Monday, September 15, 2008

Walter Martin on hearing God's voice:

Nehemiah 2:4‑5, 11-12
The king said to me, "What is it you want?" Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, "If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my fathers are buried so that I can rebuild it.” ...I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days I set out during the night with a few men. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem.

People often wonder how they will know when God is speaking to them. Nehemiah talked of how God put knowledge in his heart. I believe that God speaks to our spiritual natures. The heart is a synonym for soul or for the spirit. I believe God speaks to our hearts very definitively. He tells us things he wants us to do in such a way that we have no rest until we do that specific thing. I can give you illustration after illustration in my own life and ministry where the Lord has done that to me.

I’ve also had the Lord tell me things through people. Not too long ago I was feeling a little bit stressed. I had to finish a chapter on a book that was coming out, and I had some finishing touches on another paperback book. It was a great burden on me with all the other things I’d been doing, and I was feeling very low in my energy levels. I was praying for the Lord to give me some uplifting and some guidance.

Well, that morning I happened to call Christian Research Institute, and they switched me over to the phone system’s background music. There was a guy on there preaching, and he preached to me for about two minutes. His text came from Colossians 1:11 "...being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience....” I needed to hear that exact answer at that precise moment.

I needed to be reminded that it didn’t depend on my energy; it didn’t depend on whipping up my enthusiasm. The Lord’s energy is there when I need it. And sure enough, it was. I finished half a chapter!

God speaks through other people in just that way. Sometimes he speaks through a prophetic word in Church services. I don’t know how many times people have come up to me and said, “That word was meant for me this morning.” God speaks through circumstances—placing us where we can’t help but get the message. He speaks to our hearts and of course, always through his Word. So, there are numerous ways God speaks to you.

You can be sure that God is speaking to you when what comes through is in accordance with the Word of God, when it is for the continuous witness of the individual, for the salvation of other people’s souls, or for the solution to problems that you’ve been praying about. God speaks in remarkable ways.


Blogger JohnD said...

So true.

It's a matter of having ears to hear and eyes to see...

...and knowing when he has spoken.

11:22 AM  
Blogger JohnD said...


The soul seems to be a buffer between the physical and the spiritual... having aspects of both.

It is in this intermix chamber that thought processes from brain function and spirit impressions meet and are chosen from (by we individuals).

This is also where God affirms his having spoken to us in whatever form... even audibly.

Remember, the Apostle Paul spoke of his spirit praying in such a way that his mind did not understand (1 Corinthians 14:14).

I am of the opinion that the soul actually ceases to exist when the spirit departs the body. Thus all three camps (on death) are correct:

1. the spirit continues in a conscious state of awareness (2 Corinthians 5:6-8)

2. the body sleeps / decomposes until the resurrection (Ecclesiastes 9:5)

3. the soul ceases to exist (Psalm 103:15-16) until which time the spirit and body are reunited in the resurrection of the body (Romans 8:23, 1 Corinthians 15:39-58 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

11:39 AM  

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