By the way, I don’t doubt miracles or that God enters into the lives of individuals. I do have questions about encounters which do not reflect the truth of Scripture.
My friend told me of his experience. He was attending a funeral and sat down before the service. Since the service had not begun, he instinctively reached for a book in the pew rack in front of him. He pulled out a book. The problem was that he did not have his glasses to read the small print.
This is where God came in. He said he could read every word. He gave every indication that God had given him the ability to see the words.
After joining him in his amazement, I asked what that did for him. I expected to hear about a deeper relationship with God or a work God wanted him to do. Neither happened.
He simply said: “It made me feel good.”
Have we reduced God to the man upstairs whose job it is make us feel good? Our prayers so often fit that pattern. God’s job is to keep us happy. If we aren’t happy, we blame God for not being good.
What should we say about God’s speaking to us?
I recognize this is a huge subject, but there are things we know about how God speaks. His Word affirms God’s way of leading His people.
First, God speaks with a purpose in mind. He does not speak to make us feel good or because we need some conversation to fill our day. God speaks for us to do something–and to do it immediately. Think of instances such as the burning bush and the prophets who spoke for God to the people. He intended them to accomplish His task.
Second, when God speaks, we must adjust to His plan. When God called Abram, He expected Abram to adjust and to change. God’s speaking is not for our amusement but for God’s eternal purpose.
Third, God doesn’t speak casually or often. He wants us to know Him and to take on the mind of Christ so that we know what He desires from us. God wants us to know Him so well that we know His will because we have seen it in Scripture and through God’s revealed plan.
Fourth, when God speaks, He wants you to respond immediately. He does not speak for us to take ninety days to think about it. He is calling for action and obedience. If we do not obey, can we expect Him to speak again?
Finally, hearing from God is a great responsibility. It’s not always easy. Jeremiah the prophet saw it as a “burning fire” within him. Since it would be advantageous for him not to speak, Jeremiah tried to hold it in. “If I say, ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up I my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot” (Jeremiah 20:9).
Let us seek God with all our hearts, and let us seek to serve Him continually.
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