Listening to God

Job 33:14(NIV) FOR GOD DOES SPEAK—NOW ONE WAY, NOW ANOTHER— THOUGH NO ONE PERCEIVES IT. The opening scripture contains words that were spoken by a young man called Elihu in the times of Job's mourning when he had lost all that he had. The bible lets us know that three of Job's friends joined him in his distress to try and comfort him but this forth figure we are not told when exactly does he joins them and also what was his relationship with Job. However we know this much, that he was a young man filled with the spirit of wisdom in the things concerning God since when God asked Job to pray for his friends, He doesn't include Elihu among them but says to one of Job's friends Eliphaz the Temanite, "I am angry with you and YOUR TWO FRIENDS, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has"(Job 42:7) - remember who Eliphaz's two friends were? Elihu was not among them. Therefore by this we know that Elihu was speaking true wisdom from the Spirit and even he himself says "But it is the spirit in a person, the BREATH of the Almighty, THAT GIVES THEM UNDERSTANDING."(Job 32:8) - the word BREATH is translated INSPIRATION in some other versions of the bible, therefore Elihu spoke INSPIRED by God. Nonetheless it is the words he speaks that we are concerned about at this moment, he says "for God does speak" - that's the first part. There is no doubt about it, God does speak He is not mute, in fact if God didn't speak, nothing in this creation would exist and nothing that we ask for would we receive if God didn't speak. This thing is something we need to come to terms with - God has not stopped speaking even though it has been said by many these days that God has stopped speaking to people and some say He still does speak but the difference is that now He speaks through His word, the bible. The truth is that there are many ways that God communicates with us, a friend of mine likes to say "God is a master-communicator" and that Elihu was able to perceive that because he also says "now one way, now another". The writer of Hebrews shows us that God doesn't just communicate in one way when he says "in the past God spoke to our ancestors THROUGH PROPHETS at many times and IN VARIOUS WAYS, but in these last days HE HAS SPOKEN TO US BY HIS SON..."(Hebrews 1:1-2) - this is powerful, God has so many ways to speak, so many ways to communicate His messages to us but in conclusion Elihu says "though no one perceives it" now that's the issue, our inability to listen. Elihu also says God speaks "in a dream, in a vision of the night..."(Job 33:15) (we will talk about that some later time), and in some other cases God spoke face to face with men like Moses (Exodus 33:11) and amazingly He has called us in these last days to communicate "face to face" with Him as He did with Moses, He says in Ezekiel "I WILL NO LONGER HIDE MY FACE FROM THEM, for I will pour out MY SPIRIT on the people of Israel, declares the Sovereign Lord.”(Ezekiel 39:29). The Spirit is the one that was to bring us into the "face to face" experience with the Father even though in past times God had said to Moses " YOU CANNOT SEE MY FACE, FOR NO ONE MAY SEE ME AND LIVE "(Exodus 33:20) - even though at first it was only Israel who was going to see the face, but later on God reveals in Joel that in the last days the Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Joel 2:28) meaning all flesh would be given the opportunity to behold the face of the Lord. One thing is certain, when one has the Holy Spirit, one has access to the Father's fullness therefore Paul says "For through Him[Jesus] we both[Jews & Gentiles] HAVE ACCESS TO THE FATHER BY ONE SPIRIT. "(Ephesians

2:18). It is by that same Spirit that we are able to hear and perceive the voice of God, even though some haven't come to that experience. When we talk about the voice of God, we are simply referring to God's communication not just an audible voice that comes from the Shekinah even though He communicates that way sometimes, but like we said He doesn't communicate in one way - there are many other ways He communicates. I believe each and every individual has a special way he receives a message from God as the Spirit speaks, some see visions, some dream, some have compulsions, some deep yearnings, some a still small voice, some a thought, some by deep revelations in the bible and these are just some of the ways that God speaks. Paul says something powerful in the book of acts, he says “And now, COMPELLED BY THE SPIRIT, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there”(Acts 20:22). A friend of mine once told me something he heard from another man of God who said "people are teaching a gospel of how to hear the voice of God" and he believes one cannot really teach that and in that I stand with him. The reason is that I have had the grace to hear the voice of God in many ways and truth be told I don't remember anyone teaching me how to but I came to understand it by revelation from God. For instance I can teach you how to hear God in dreams but then what if God speaks to you in an audible voice? - it becomes a problem and most probably one would get confused however "God is not an author of confusion..."(1 Corinthians 14:33). If you are someone who believes in continuous fellowship with the Holy Spirit, the fellowship even after prayer and meditating on the word, you begin to hear God almost every second, your spirit is just soaked in the voice because you are aware of the Presence of God. We can't teach anyone on how to hear God's voice but we can say this - each and every person who needs to hear the voice of Jesus clearly needs to soak themselves deep in the word of God and in the fellowship of the Spirit. The thing is, demons and the devil can also speak and one might think they are hearing the voice of God but they are hearing the wrong things, it has happened to so many believers. The word comes before the voice, Jesus says "everyone who is of the TRUTH hears my voice"(John 18:37) and "YOUR WORD IS TRUTH"(John 17:17). However even when you have the word you need the Spirit since "when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, HE WILL GUIDE YOU INTO ALL TRUTH “(John 16:13) - the Spirit shows us clearly what is the truth and what is not, therefore one has to be of the word and of the Spirit. Another thing, God is more than capable of speaking to us in our own languages, He wants us to get the message as clear as we can, for instance that is why when one gives a revelation from God by tongues another has to interpret those tongues using a language everyone can understand. Look at Paul for instance when he tells King Agrippa how he saw the vision of Christ, he narrates the story this way "while thus occupied, as I journeyed to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests, at midday, O king, along the road I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and those who journeyed with me. And when we all had fallen to the ground, I HEARD A VOICE SPEAKING TO ME AND SAYING IN THE HEBREW LANGUAGE, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads."(Acts 26:13-14) - Paul was a Jew and very fluent in the Hebrew language and Jesus' voice spoke to him in that very language of Hebrews he knew so well. Therefore God will communicate with you in that language you know very well. One needs to be able to listen to God in order for that person to receive guidance. How lovely is the story of guidance when we look at the prophet Ahijah who was so old he could not even see when he was about to be visited by king Jeroboams wife and God said to him "here is the wife of Jeroboam, coming to ask you something about her son, for he is sick. THUS

AND THUS YOU SHALL SAY TO HER; FOR IT WILL BE, WHEN SHE COMES IN, THAT SHE WILL PRETEND TO BE ANOTHER WOMAN.”(1 Kings 14:5) - how marvelous is the voice of God that guides you even in physical blindness and the bible records "And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person? For I have been sent to you with bad news."(1 Kings 14:6) - lovely. It just pays to listen and obey the voice of God, not just to listen because listening and obeying are two different things. There are people who have been lavished with such grace to hear the voice of God constantly but they just don't possess the spirit of obedience to do as they are told, while others who have been subjected to obedience wish they could receive that same experience; now those would move in such great exploits. My friend said something powerful to me last weekend when we were talking about the voice of God, he said there comes a time in a man's life when he is so acquainted with voice of God that it doesn't take him a lot of time to decide whether he heard the voice of God or not but he responds immediately to what he hears and I believe that is an experience that is awaiting all of us, just like Moses a man who could say “Stand still, that I MAY HEAR what the Lord will command concerning you.”(Numbers 9:8) - Moses would ask God a question and receive an answer there and then. There were men like Nehemiah who were able to recognize the voice of God in their hearts (Nehemiah 2) and act upon it, being fully convinced it was God compelling them to do whatever needed to be done; it goes without saying that one needs faith to act upon the voice of God. We need to learn to act upon God’s voice, fully trusting that it is Him ushering us to whatever He needs us to do, remember the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath when there was drought in the land and the voice of God comes to Elijah saying “Go and live in the village of Zarephath, near the city of Sidon. I have INSTRUCTED a widow there to feed you.”(1 Kings 17:9) – now God let’s Elijah know that He had told or instructed the widow to provide for him long before he arrives in Zarephath, however when Elijah arrives and finds the widow, she says to him “As the LORD your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”(1 Kings 17:12) – now at first this woman was not acting upon the voice of God and it is certain that God had spoken to her, instructing her, in one way or another, asking her to provide for Elijah but she was in doubt because she was looking at the present situation she was in; that deep poverty. Have you ever been in that situation when you have your last money, hoping that you can survive of it for a couple of days then all of a sudden God instructs you to give it to a homeless person and you are just in doubt about how you are going to survive? That is what she was going through however the man of God then says to her “DON’T BE AFRAID! Go ahead and do just what you’ve said, but make a little bread for me first. Then use what’s left to prepare a meal for yourself and your son. For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: There will always be flour and olive oil left in your containers until the time when the LORD sends rain and the crops grow again!”(1 Kings 17:13) – O I love the first words of the prophet; “DON’T BE AFRAID”, in other words “have some faith”, as we have said before you need faith to act upon the voice of God . I’m sure many of us have had that experience where we feel like God is instructing us to do something but then we don’t do it because we think it might not be right and then we go to a church service and the man of God preaches about the very same thing and thereafter we are convinced that it was God speaking to us, if only we had faith that moment God tells us we would act accordingly, nonetheless we are still growing in these things and this has happened in the past even with Gideon, when God had told him to defeat

the armies of the Midian by a company of 300 and a word comes to him saying “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them!”(Judges 7:9), but that was not the only thing God said, but perceiving fear in Gideon He also says “But if you are AFRAID to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be GREATLY ENCOURAGED. Then you will be eager to attack.”(Judges 7:10-11) – Powerful. It’s amazing that God will even use unbelievers like the Midianites to get us to be encouraged in His voice and get us to act upon His instruction, again have you been feeling like God is instructing you to go out to the streets to evangelize and you met an unbelieving friend of yours telling you about how good a platform the streets are? All these instruments God will use to try and get our attention. If we could listen, if only we could have faith to act upon what is being said to us, I mean if God predestined each and every moment of our lives, O David says it “You saw me before I was born. Every DAY OF MY LIFE was recorded in your book. Every MOMENT was laid out before a single day had passed.”(Psalm 139:16) – Then I believe God has something He wants to inform us about every day, something we need to do for the kingdom, we need to be listening out, the Holy Spirit is speaking “Now the Holy Spirit TELLS us clearly…”(1 Timothy 4:1) and also “ANYONE WITH EARS TO HEAR MUST LISTEN TO THE SPIRIT AND UNDERSTAND WHAT HE IS SAYING TO THE CHURCHES.”(Revelation 3:22) God Bless You.

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