Pastor’s Blog 5.15.19
23 Give ear and hear my voice , Listen and hear my speech.
24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
25 When he has leveled its surface, Does he not sow the black cummin And scatter the cummin, Plant the wheat in rows, The barley in the appointed place, And the spelt in its place?
26 For He instructs him in right judgment, His God teaches him.
27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin; But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick, And the cummin with a rod.
28 Bread flour must be ground; Therefore he does not thresh it forever, Break it with his cartwheel, Or crush it with his horsemen.
29 This also comes from the LORD of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance. NKJV
Tonight I am starting a new series called “Hearing and Discerning the Voice of God”. I chose this passage of scripture to expound on the fact that the Lord wants to lead and instruct us daily. He teaches a farmer how to sow and reap, and I believe we are daily instructed through intuition and inward knowing in the affairs of life. At the same time, I also hear so many things being called the voice of God which clearly aren’t. Why? They violate His word, His nature and don’t come to fulfillment.
One of the most difficult things you will ever learn as a believer is truly discerning when God is speaking or not. I have spent a lifetime trying to discern the voice of God and the longer I live the slower I speak. Oftentimes, I am more apt to make the call after the fact. If I believe I have heard the voice of God, I will wait until total confirmation before I speak. Some would call this a lack of faith, I choose to call it a decision from years of experience.
7 For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice:
8 “Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness,
9 When your fathers tested Me; They tried Me, though they saw My work.
10 For forty years I was grieved with that generation, And said, ‘It is a people who go astray in their hearts, And they do not know My ways.’
11 So I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest.'” NKJV
Four times in the scriptures, three times in the New Testament, this verse is given. Today, If you will hear His voice…, why? The older I get and the longer I live as a follower of Jesus, the more I am skeptical of those, “hearing the voice of God.” For thirty five years I lived in the Pentecostal side of faith and observed the fallacies of many who said “God told me.” I have enough history in my own life to tell you not everything I believed was the voice of God at the time, was in fact the voice of God. I have learned to really search for the confirmations before I jump and go on public record that, “Thus saith the Lord”.
So every day I have to work not to harden my heart as I have seen many others do. I have watched many over the last 35 years throw in the towel on the present day voice of God because of people missing it. I have had to guard my heart with all diligence as well. I grew up spiritually in a Church culture of hunger and thirst for the presence and power of God. The Charismatic movement was a reformation against traditional, formalized Christianity. Now we culturally are a move in the opposite direction. I think the way of discernment is in understanding the motive of a movement.
If the fear of the Lord is not the motive, I have to question the movement. Questions I ask about a movement are things like:
- Does this movement begin like the Gospel began, with a call to repentance?
- Does this movement call me to a higher level of holiness and sanctification?
- Does this movement place the emphasis on my personal relationship with the Lord?
- Does this movement acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is the one who empowers us and equips us to walk in the present day?
- Does this movement diminish the role of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives?
- Does this movement compromise the word of God to please people?
These are the questions that we must address before we embrace a new wind of doctrine or Church culture.
Hearing the voice of God is a fundamental part of the New Covenant and I want to lead from the front on this, and not to being led astray by the popular voice of culture even in the church. I cry out to God constantly for discernment, to be led by His voice, and not the voice of another as I pray we all do.
I’ll end with this- the true voice of God will always have a “come to pass” and not an excuse why it didn’t. The true voice of God can withstand scrutiny because it will always be confirmed in the end.
I am really looking forward to digging in on this teaching and hope you will join us!
- Date - May 15, 2019