• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • February 2011
    M T W T F S S
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Is It Possible To Hear God’s Voice?

Many people, no matter their religious background, say they want to hear from God when they have difficult decisions to make. Whether they use god as a “rabbit’s foot” or “wishing well” they sometimes want to manipulate circumstances through their “buddy,” god. This is why they find the God of Christianity so unacceptable. The Christian God is omnipotent and will not be manipulated. There are “cultural” Christians, however, who call on God without really knowing Him. They have never truly tried to understand God by reading what He says about Himself in the Bible.

What do you think the voice of God would sound like if He were speaking to you today? I have never heard the audible voice of God, so I do sometimes wonder if God is leading me in this or that direction or if I’m missing His guidance altogether.

The Bible gives us many examples of the ways in which God has spoken to His people. God has spoken through a donkey. God spoke through His prophets. His angels have spoken to various persons for Him. He has spoken through His Holy Spirit. He speaks to all of us through His Word. Is God speaking to you?

There is no three step formula to hearing from God. We must, however, diligently read the Scriptures and pray. God’s written word is our most certain teacher.

If God were speaking to you today, would you be ready to obey His call? What would be your response? Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Is this relationship your greatest treasure? If so, God will give you the guidance you need. Be patient.

Know this above all, however: Jesus Christ was born into this world and lived a perfect life in order to die and pay the price for our sins. He has risen from the dead in order that He may be the first born of many who will share eternal life in the kingdom of God. This relationship is the “pearl of great price.”

Yet, there are still many who have heard God’s word, but are not ready or willing to fully obey. They, somehow, believe that life won’t be as much fun if they do what God asks. The source of this lie is Satan who hates and fears your obedience to God. To refuse to obey God is to obey Satan and fall into sin. Many have been deceived by following the voice of Satan instead of discerning the word and voice of God.

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

God’s Guiding Of Providence

Octavius Winslow

Quoting Octavius Winslow:

We live in a world of mysteries. They meet our eye, awaken our inquiry, and baffle our investigation at every step.

Nature is a vast arcade of mysteries. Science is a mystery. Truth is a mystery. Religion is a mystery. Our existence is a mystery. The future of our being is a mystery.

And God, who alone can explain all mysteries, is the greatest mystery of all. How little do we understand of the inexplicable wonders of a wonder working God, “whose thoughts are a great deep,” and “whose ways are past finding out.”

But to God nothing is mysterious.

In His purpose, nothing is unfixed. In His forethought, nothing is unknown. In His providence, nothing is contingent. His glance pierces the future as vividly as it beholds the past. “He knows the end from the beginning.” All His doings are parts of a divine, eternal, and harmonious plan.

He may make ”darkness his secret place; His pavilion round about him dark waters, and thick clouds of the skies,” and to human vision His dispensations may appear gloomy, discrepant, and confused. Yet He is “working all things after the counsel of His own will,” and all is transparent and harmonious to His eye! (Octavius Winslow’s, “My Times in God’s Hand”)

The Insanity Of Hiding From God

God is sovereign. It is extremely important to get this right. God is the sovereign ruler of the universe who created all matter! We can deny that He is present and can try to hide from Him like Jonah, but the consequences of these actions are very grave.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:18-21, ESV)

Existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, writes in his essays titled The Words that “I had been playing with matches and burned a small rug. I was in the process of covering up my crime when suddenly God saw me. I felt his gaze inside my head and on my hands. I whirled about in the bathroom, horribly visible, a live target. Indignation saved me. I flew into a rage against so crude an indiscretion, I blasphemed, I muttered like my grandfather: ‘God damn it, God damn it, God damn it.’ He never looked at me again.” (p. 64)

All human beings know that God exists. We cannot hide from Him. He sees our every indiscretion. In spite of Sartre’s claim, he never escaped the watchful eyes of God. Sartre became an atheist precisely because he understood that God does exist. It was the inevitable conclusion that God’s existence requires our accountability to Him that Sartre could not tolerate. Therefore, Sartre – like millions of human beings before and since – (including myself at one time) chose to suppress the knowledge of God rather than to acknowledge God’s right to absolute sovereignty over us and our accountability to Him.

The guilt of unrighteousness drives us to a form of insanity in which we conclude that we can lock God away in some dark corner of the universe. We are driven to suppress the truth of a supremely righteous, holy God because we know that our desires and actions fall far short of His holy standards. Fallen man is like the mythical vampire exposed to light. We fear the burning exposure of the presence of God. Consequently, we choose to hide in the darkness.

Nevertheless, like the mad, self-deluded Jean-Paul Sartre, we too will one-day face the inescapable judgment of God. All that we have said, failed to say, done, and failed to do will be weighed on the scales of justice. The standard of God’s holy law will cast a light that overwhelms our illusions of self-righteousness.

Unless! And this word, “unless,” is supremely important. Unless we stand before almighty God in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who atoned for our sins by His death on the cross – we will be like a people who wish the mountains would fall on them to cover them and hide them away. God’s wrath is real and terrible.

You must, therefore, suppress the truth no longer. Acknowledge the truth of God and your accountability to Him as your Creator. Do not incorrectly assume that you can continue postponing this day of reckoning. Flee quickly to Christ for His mercy and righteousness (John 3:16).

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