Does God Still Speak?

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Yes, God does still speak to His children today.

As children of the Most High God, we do not take on the beliefs of those in the world whether they are the ordinary unbelievers you come across every day or secular actors, athletes, singers, and the like  who believe that if you talk much about God they consider you to be a good Christian but then consider you to be crazy if you say God speaks to you.   The vain imagination of man and the world’s philosophy is contrary to the nature and character of God and is in direct opposition to what the Word of God says.

Our God is THE personal God.  He is so personal that you are fearfully and wonderfully made complex (Psalm 139:14).  There is nowhere you can go that you can flee from His presence (Psalm 139:7-10).  God knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).  You CANNOT get more personal than that.  He wants to talk to you (Isaiah 1:18, James 4:8, Hebrews 4:12), and He wants you to talk to Him (Jeremiah 33:3, John 10:27-28, 1 John 1:3).  Having a relationship with God involves communication with Him, and you can talk with God anytime even if you are shopping, cooking, cleaning house, doing yardwork, tending to your children, and taking care of other responsibilities or anything you are doing in your leisure time (Joshua 1:9; Psalm 16:8, 145:18).  You’re not limited in when you can talk to your Heavenly Father or in how often you can speak with your Heavenly Father.

“GOD DOESN’T SPEAK TO ME LIKE HE DOES TO YOU; WHY DOESN’T GOD SPEAK TO ME LIKE HE DOES TO YOU…”

Do you want to hear God’s voice?  If yes, what are you doing to nurture your relationship with God in order to hear His voice?   Are you being quiet enough to listen to Him?  In other words, are you going into your prayer closet where it is just you and God alone, in place of solitude, where He can speak to you without you being distracted?  Are you willing for God to interrupt you at anytime no matter what you are doing so He can talk to you?  If you have a relationship with God, you should be daily spending time in the Word, developing discernment about what is right and what is wrong, and hearing Him speak to you through His Word.  If you have a relationship with God, then you should be spending time in prayer, seeking His Kingdom and His righteousness.  If you have a relationship with God, you should know the Word is clear when it states that “God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?”  (Numbers 23:19 NLT)   Since God does NOT change, the phrase “God doesn’t speak” is incorrect, and, therefore, does NOT line up with the Unchanging God the Bible speaks of. God uses various ways to speak to His children.

It is important to note this: Do NOT complain God doesn’t talk to you (1) if you are not opening your Bible to study or read it, (2) if you are practicing a life of sin that is drowning out His voice, (3) if you are not paying attention to Him because you’re too “busy” to give Him your attention, (4) if you are complacent, non-committed, indifferent, or stagnant when it comes to God and the things that concern God such as His Will and His Ways, or (5) if you have cut yourself off from Him by actually choosing to be disobedient, disloyal, and have chosen your ways and your will rather than God’s.

“SO GOD SPOKE TO YOU AUDIBLY?”

Usually when someone says, “God told me” or “God spoke to me,” the automatic assumption and conclusion on the part of the listener is that the person heard God speak audibly.  However, the Bible is filled with metaphoric language, which is “the changing of form or nature of a person or thing into something different by natural or supernatural means,” and anthropomorphic language, which is “ascribing human attributes to God.” For instance, in the New Testament, we are told “God is spirit,” (John 4:24) yet at the same time, we speak of being in the hands of God (Deuteronomy 7:8, Isaiah 49:16) and talk about God holding the waters of the earth in His hand (Isaiah 40:12), and we see, in Genesis 1:1, God spoke things into existence such as the heavens and the earth, and in Genesis 3:8, we see Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8).

BAR OF MEASURE FOR THE BELIEVER

Within the pages of the Bible, we see the standard of morality and the standard of ethics are set forth by God, and therefore, any preaching or teaching is measured by the Word of God. If a teaching or preaching does not line up with the Word of God, then it must be thrown out.   With that being said, since the Bible is the Authoritative Word of God for those who are believers, it should be no surprise to believers when their fellow brothers and sisters use phrasing often used within the pages of the Bible which they cherish to give them instructions for how to live a life pleasing to God.  God speaks to us through both the Old and the New Testaments.  If you believe in the New Testament, you must also believe in the Old Testament.  The apostles and disciples did not have the New Testament you hold in your hand today.  They got their teaching from the Law and the Prophets as well as those who were in the very presence of Christ and walking with Him during Christ’s time on earth as well as through the disciples who went forth into all the world to make disciples of all nations preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ and the testimonies of those who were witnesses and were saved through the hearing of the message of the cross.

“HOW DOES GOD SPEAK?”   GOD SPEAKS IN VARIOUS WAYS.

  • GOD SPEAKS through the Scripture either by multiple verses or even just a single verse:  “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” (2 Timothy 3:16 NLT)  “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.”  (Hebrew 4:12 NLT)
  • GOD SPEAKS in Gentle Whisper/Small Still Voice. “And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” (1 Kings 19:12 KJV)  “While you were doing these wicked things, says the LORD, I spoke to you about it repeatedly, but you would not listen. I called out to you, but you refused to answer.” (Jeremiah 7:13 NLT)
  • GOD SPEAKS in Your Personal Quiet Time With Him.  Jesus spent time in prayer, before God, and spoke with God regularly in a place of solitude.  “But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”  (Luke 5:16 NLT) “In those days, Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and He spent the night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12 BSB)  And if Jesus spent time in solitude with God, how much more should we to hear what God has to say?
  • GOD SPEAKS Revealing His Thoughts To Mankind.  “For the LORD is the one who shaped the mountains, stirs up the winds, and reveals his thoughts to mankind. He turns the light of dawn into darkness and treads on the heights of the earth. The LORD God of Heaven’s Armies is his name!” (Amos 4:13 NLT)  “‘Her husband Joseph was an honorable man and did not want to disgrace her publicly. So he decided to break the marriage agreement with her secretly.  Joseph had this in mind when an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. The angel said to him, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. She is pregnant by the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus [He Saves], because he will save his people from their sins.'” (Matthew 1:19-21 GW)
  • GOD SPEAKS by Natural/Supernatural Means.  God used a donkey, a burning bush, a bright light, and has used all of creation.  “Then the LORD gave the donkey the ability to speak. ‘What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?’ it asked Balaam.” (Numbers 22:28 NLT)  “When the Lord saw Moses coming to take a closer look, God called to him from the middle of the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!'” (Exodus 3:4 NLT)  “Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him.” (Acts 9:3 ESV)  “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 1:19-20 ESV)
  • GOD SPEAKS by The Word Of HIS Testimony. “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul;  The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7 NASB)
  • GOD SPEAKS in Dreams & Visions.  Examples:  Peter, Paul, Ananias. “It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy,  Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions.” (Joel 2:28 NASB)  “He saw the sky open, and something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners.” (Acts 10:11 NLT) “That night Paul had a vision: A man from Macedonia in northern Greece was standing there, pleading with him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us!'” (Acts 16:9 NLT) “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias.  The Lord spoke to him in a vision, ‘Ananias!’  ‘Here I am, Lord,’ he answered.” (Acts 9:10 BSB) “About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, ‘Cornelius.'” (Acts 10:3 ESV)
  • GOD SPEAKS through People.  “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.” (Matthew 10:20 ESV)
  • GOD SPEAKS through His Son Jesus Christ. “but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” (Hebrew 1:2 ESV)  “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.” (Matthew 4:23 HCSB)
  • GOD SPEAKS through the Prophets.  “He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago.  Now we will be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us.” (Luke 1:69-71 NLT)  “I want you to remember what the holy prophets said long ago and what our Lord and Savior commanded through your apostles.” (2 Peter 3:2 NLT) “Are not these the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous along with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited?” (Zechariah 7:7 NASB)
  • GOD SPEAKS through His Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, for He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-18 BSB) “Then He remembered the days of the past, the days of Moses and his people.  Where is He who brought them out of the sea with the shepherds of His flock?  Where is He who put His Holy Spirit among the flock?” (Isaiah 63:11 HCSB) “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” (Romans 8:14 NASB)  “If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25 NASB) “Then the Spirit said to Philip, ‘Go up and join this chariot.'” (Acts 8:29 NASB) “which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” (1 Corinthians 2:13 NASB)  “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16:13 ESV)
  • GOD SPEAKS through Godly counsel.  “The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong.” (Psalm 37:30 NLT)  “Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.  Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand. (Proverbs 19:20-21 ESV)
  • GOD SPEAKS through Circumstances.  “Daniel said to the king, “Your Majesty, may you live forever!  My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they couldn’t hurt me. He did this because he considered me innocent. Your Majesty, I haven’t committed any crime.” The king was overjoyed and had Daniel taken out of the den. When Daniel was taken out of the den, people saw that he was completely unharmed because he trusted his God.” (Daniel 6:21-23 GW)

 

Linda A. Knowles

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Take A Lesson From Daniel

BOLD 1King Darius had just done the layout of his kingdom, broke it down into 120 provinces, appointed a ruler to each province, and CHOSE Daniel and two other administrators to supervise the high officials and to look over the king’s interests.  Daniel proved himself to be trustworthy and reliable, more capable than all the other administrators and high officers.  Daniel had great ability, and the king made plans to place him over the entire empire.  (Reference Daniel 6:1-3)

Daniel had enemies who were jealous of his success when what Daniel was doing was simply obeying God, remaining above reproach, and doing his job.  We can see this in Daniel 6:4-5, which states Then the other administrators and high officers began searching for some fault in the way Daniel was handling government affairs, but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn. He was faithful, always responsible, and completely trustworthy.  So they concluded, ‘Our only chance of finding grounds for accusing Daniel will be in connection with the rules of his religion.’”

When you do what God wants you to do and live by His standards, never expect the world to applaud you because the world won’t applaud you.  Daniel remained honorable and steadfast, walking close to the Lord.  His enemies were looking for a way to bring him down, “but they couldn’t find anything to criticize or condemn.”  So they decided to plot evil against Daniel.  It’s important to note, Daniel had already been through trials, but God delivered him out of each trial safely.  No weapon formed against the Child of God is going to prosper.  Nothing Daniel’s enemies had thrown his way worked.  Nothing Daniel’s enemies did to him prospered.  Like Daniel, we, as children of the Living God, can be bold and courageous, and because we are Children of God, we know our God is able to deliver us out of whatever circumstances we find ourselves in.

Daniel’s enemies devised a plan and So the administrators and high officers went to the king and said, ‘Long live King Darius!  We are all in agreement—we administrators, officials, high officers, advisers, and governors—that the king should make a law that will be strictly enforced. Give orders that for the next thirty days any person who prays to anyone, divine or human—except to you, Your Majesty—will be thrown into the den of lions.  And now, Your Majesty, issue and sign this law so it cannot be changed, an official law of the Medes and Persians that cannot be revoked.’  So King Darius signed the law.” (Reference Daniel 6:6-9)

But in the face of this decree, Daniel remained faithful to God.  We can take a lesson from his wholehearted devotion.  The enemy will do whatever he can to trip you up, but we have been empowered by the Lord Most High.  We can take a lesson from Daniel when he combatted his enemies through prayer, “But when Daniel learned that the law had been signed, he went home and knelt down as usual in his upstairs room, with its windows open toward Jerusalem. He prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to his God.”  Nothing stopped Daniel from talking with his Heavenly Father.  And let’s face it when there is nothing we can do and no place left to turn, there is nothing left of us to get in the way of God’s work.  What better way to keep us on our toes than trials.  They shape us and refine us, and we learn lessons, and if we are wise like Daniel, in the face of trouble, we continue our communion with the Lord and seek Him for counsel.

isaiahDaniel’s enemies were checking in on him, found him praying even though the decree had been put into law.  The high officials and administrators made their way to the King and questioned him about the decree, and King Darius said to them the decision stood, an official law of the Medes and the Persians and could not be revoked.  We can also take a lesson from this just because there’s a law does NOT mean the law is correct.  For example, the law, in this case, was no one could pray to anyone or anything except for the King, but Daniel knew God’s law which states, “‘You shall fear only the LORD your God; and you shall worship Him and swear by His name. You shall not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who surround you.” (Reference Deuteronomy 6:13-14)  Daniel chose to continue obeying God rather than man.

Now it may have looked for a moment his enemies would succeed in their plan, but that’s not the case.  Yes, his enemies were jealous and a thorn in his side.  They were busybodies, and they turned Daniel into King Darius:  “So at last the king gave orders for Daniel to be arrested and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to him, ‘May your God, whom you serve so faithfully, rescue you.’”

In keeping with honesty, I would have looked at the lions, been scared out of my mind, and would try conversing with the lions if they were looking at me like I was thanksgiving dinner.  “Hey, Mr. Lion, How Are Ya This Evening?  Hope all is well.  Please don’t eat me.”

Daniel, however, was bold and courageous.  God shut the mouths of the lions and protected Daniel.  Daniel was prayed up, strengthened by the Lord, and slept soundly all night… SURROUNDED BY LIONS.  King Darius, however, refused any of his usual entertainment, fasted, and got no sleep.

Daniel’s example of courage and steadfast obedience to God is a lesson to us all.  What the devil meant for Daniel’s destruction God used to shine forth the glory of God and was for Daniel’s good.  Here is the result of Daniel’s situation:

Very early the next morning, the king got up and hurried out to the lions’ den. When he got there, he called out in anguish, ‘Daniel, servant of the living God! Was your God, whom you serve so faithfully, able to rescue you from the lions?’

Daniel answered,  ‘Long live the king!  My God sent his angel to shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, for I have been found innocent in his sight. And I have not wronged you, Your Majesty.’

The king was overjoyed and ordered that Daniel be lifted from the den. Not a scratch was found on him, for he had trusted in his God.

Then the king gave orders to arrest the men who had maliciously accused Daniel. He had them thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. The lions leaped on them and tore them apart before they even hit the floor of the den.

Then King Darius sent this message to the people of every race and nation and language throughout the world:

“Peace and prosperity to you!

‘I decree that everyone throughout my kingdom should tremble with fear before the God of Daniel.

For he is the living God,
    and he will endure forever.
His kingdom will never be destroyed,
    and his rule will never end.
He rescues and saves his people;
    he performs miraculous signs and wonders
    in the heavens and on earth.
He has rescued Daniel
    from the power of the lions.’

So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

King Darius gave glory to God.  Daniel’s enemies were fed to the lions who devoured them before they hit the ground and prospered.

As God protected Daniel, God protects you.  As God gave Daniel courage, God emboldens you.   God gives you hope, salvation, and deliverance.  God gives you healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.  Take your stand, and do NOT be conformed to the customs of this world.  The world offers you NOTHING.

 

L.A. Knowles

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7

Huldah & King Josiah

HULDAHShe inspired King Josiah and a nation to repent.  Her name?  Huldah, a prophetess who lived in the 2nd District of Jerusalem during the time of King Josiah’s reign.  Not a lot is said about her.  However, her role in the nation of Judah was one of great significance.

Here is their story:  King Josiah, eight years old, had become king and reigned for 31 years.  He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s eyes, followed the example of his ancestor King David, and continued doing what was right.  (Reference 2 Kings 22:1-7)

Fast forward to the 18th year of his reign,

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!’  Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.  Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’  Shaphan also told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’  So Shaphan read it to the king.   When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.   Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah.  Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.  For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.  We have not been doing everything it says we must do.’” -2 Kings 22:8-11

Josiah’s response was a fitting response given the fact He had heard the Words of the Lord.  He listened to the Book of the Law which was now found, filled with despair, he tears in clothes in act of remorse.  The king was not dignified in that moment of despair.  Even Josiah himself took note, “We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”  King Josiah wanted to know what they should do.  As a result, he sent Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah to go to the temple, speak to the Lord for him (King Josiah), the people, and Judah.  King Josiah had recognized God was angry at them because of their ancestors’ disobedience to the Words written on the scroll.

The men made their way over to consult Huldah about what they had found.  For them to go to her, it was obvious she was respected, and she had a message from the Lord for them,

“She said to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people.  All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true. For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done.  My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.  But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate.  You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance.  And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.  So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace.  You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.  So they took her message back to the king.’” -2 Kings 22:15-20

Huldah spoke boldly and confidently.  She gave the men the message the Lord had her to give without hesitation.  The message the Lord gave her was clear, and she had the courage to tell them exactly what God wanted.  Huldah was willing to be used.

King Josiah’s response to the message God gave Huldah to give him is remarkable:

“Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. 3 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.”  -2 Kings 23:1-3 

He took the warning Huldah gave and he acted on the Word of the Lord.  King Josiah took the lead, called everyone together in one place for the reading of the Word of God, and they pledged themselves to the Covenant.  The King vowed to keep the commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul in the presence of God.  King Josiah gave himself over to the ways of God.  He removed the idolatrous priests who offered sacrifices to pagan gods, removed pagan worship and shrines of prostitution from the Temple of the Lord, idolatrous priests were not allowed to eat of the unleavened bread with the other priests, destroyed altars on the palace roof and the upper room of the palace and any other altar for worship to other gods, and the list goes on of the actions King Josiah made.  He took drastic action.  (Reference 2 Kings 23)

Like Huldah, are you willing to be used by the Lord to carry out the task He has given you?

Are you willing to be shaped and molded by the Lord like King Josiah was?

Will you, like Josiah, set your face like stone determined to do the will of God?

Will you push aside God’s Word, or will you draw close to Him and take immediate action on what needs to change in your life?

Is there anything you have to do so your life falls in line with God’s Word?

Remember our God never fails.  He is the One who strengthens you and delivers you. You need only to go to Him and call out to Him.  But if you go to the Lord for counsel and He tells you what to do, then be prepared to jump into action and follow every instruction He gives you.

“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” -1 Samuel 15:22

 

L.A. Knowles