In today’s Christian church there is much emphasis placed upon the study of Gods word. While study is profitable I believe that we may be missing the greater and perhaps more important area of hearing God’s current word for today.
For example, if I wrote to you on Sunday asking to meet me at 5th and Main on Tuesday and then later, on Monday, called and said I would be at 4th and Steward at noon: where and when would you meet me? Here is a truth,
“It does no good to be so tied to where God was that we miss where God is.”
To be sure the Bible is the word of God. All scriptures were received through holy men of God who spake and wrote as the Spirit led them. It is also true that the translations we have today are largely inerrant and are true to the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts. The scriptures, spanning thousands of years, also allow us to derive general principles of who God is and how He deals with mankind.
However, let us keep in mind that men and women of God received specific and timely communication in order to perform the great acts of faith we read about. Abraham spoke with the Angel of the Lord about those in Sodom. Moses met God in a burning bush and was instructed to return to Egypt. Joseph was warned in a dream to flee with Jesus into Egypt. In fact, every significant saint of old experienced direct communication with our Father in one way or the other. These personal communications allowed them to know what to do in specific circumstances and when to do it. .
The questions we may all need to consider is:
“If Abraham, Moses and Joseph needed direct communication isn’t it just as necessary for us to do the same?”
I assert that all Christian believers need to know Gods voice in order to receive specific direction for what He presently wants done in their day to day lives. In fact, hearing God’s voice should be the normal experience of everyone who confessions Jesus as Lord.
For instance, the Bible says that we should study to show ourselves approved. However, it does not tell us specifically what we should study on a day to day basis. Perhaps you need to study a certain set of scriptures today because God knows you are going to meet someone who needs to be encouraged by specific verses. If you ask God what He wants you to study and allow His Holy Spirit to guide you will be fully prepared. Here is a truth:
“While the Bible is good at giving general principles you still need individual direction from the Holy Spirit in order to be 100% effective.”
Likewise, if you read the holy writ and apply the principles to your life only through natural minded thinking you may or may not be doing the will of God. What we need is specific direction from above in order to truly fulfill the will of God for our lives today in the way He wants it done.
The question we must all ask ourselves is:
“If God speaks to you but you do not follow His voice are you truly one of His sheep?”
Sadly, many people count themselves to be Christians simply because they belong to a church and follow certain rules to the best of their ability. However, following rules does not necessarily mean you have a relationship with the rule giver. To have a relationship you must become personally acquainted with Him through conversation.
Communication is a two way street and each party must speak and then also listen for any meaningful dialogue to take place. God always listens to our prayers and always speaks. However, though we speak much we often times do not listen to or do what He says today as He speaks to us NOW.
Some have fallen into a stupor believing that doing the things of God is the same as having a relationship with Him. One does not always follow the other. Many are simply being religious and obey formulas that they have been told will grant them access to heaven and eternal life. However, the only thing that assures us a place in heaven is a relationship with the one who grants that access. If you do not know Him you will not be let in no matter how many good things you have done or how many rules you have successfully followed.
In conclusion, get to know God’s voice and so that you will know the specifics of what He wishes for you to do today. Let the Holy Spirit replace your natural mind as the decision maker in your life. To walk in the Spirit is simply to let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you in your actions and interactions. Though the cost is great the will of God is this:
“Live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God both in the past and even more importantly in the present.”
I this way you will become both hearers and doers of the word of God and, in the resurrection, be counted as a friend of God.