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An Heroic Ministry
Verse of the day
YWI - working with...
YWI is pleased to work in association with
Fuller Youth Institute, US
Sophia Network, UK
I used to marvel at Christians who used to punctuate their sentences with “God told me” and “God laid on my heart…” In fact, I used to be awed at their seemingly supreme level of spirituality that enabled them to hear from God.
Then I discovered the secret: listening for His voice. I eventually got to such a desperate state of needing direction and answers from God that I started ‘researching’ how to hear His voice. I asked everybody who seemed like there were pressing into the Father’s heart – “But how do you know its God speaking to you?”
Although we know that we will probably never be privy to it, we still expect a thundering voice from heaven (to tell us which car to buy or which job offer we should accept). Then a voice came from heaven, "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again." 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine. John 12:29-30
Jesus listened closely for His Father’s voice, even withdrew to be alone in a quite place so that He could connect to what He was saying. We struggle to sit still for five minutes. I think that the crucial thing is that we firstly need to drown out the other voices clamouring for our attention, instead of tuning into the news, the negative co-worker, even our own feelings that feed its silent thoughts into our brains. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
God started a process in me (which involved many mistakes but resultantly many valuable lessons) that has helped me to be more sensitive to the Holy Spirit and these days my sister even comments “at least God speaks to you” to which I offer the “at least I try to listen” rebuttal.
God speaks through His Word, through His prophets, through His teachers, through circumstances, through nature, through heartache and pain, through joy, through the testimony of others. So as you can see, we need to learn to listen. Your relationship with God is unique. Only He knows you inside out – He knows your favourite colour, the fact that you hate clowns, He knows where you will be next year and what kind of cake you will be eating on your birthday. Hearing His voice comes from knowing His heart.
14 "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. John 10:14-16
One of the most important keys is to stay hungry for His presence in your life. Don’t ever let a sermon or a conversation with a friend be enough. He is waiting for you to reach for His heart – and as you lean in closer, your spiritual sensitivity will increase, your level of discernment will become sharper and one day you will find yourself starting sentences with: “God spoke to me…”
24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. 25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live" John 5:24-25
Cheryl Ramurath is South Africa's Purple Brain. You can read more of her devotional material and articles by logging on to www.purplebrain.co.za