I have spent a majority of my Christian life not expecting to hear the voice of God and therefore my relationship with Him has been a bit one sided. Yes, I prayed, applied faith to the promises in my Bible, went to seminary, learned Greek and Hebrew, studied, preached, and taught a lot about what the Bible has to say about God, but as far as speaking to His people – that was confined to apostles in days of old.
Why was my view so limited? I had swallowed a lie early on as a newly born again believer – the lie that after the completion of the canon of Scripture, God didn’t need to speak to His children anymore – all He had to say was contained in the Bible. Can you imagine limiting God in such a way? I can and was guilty of it!
It was that lie that fueled my passion for the Bible – you see – as a child of God I longed to hear my Dad’s voice, I wanted to know what pleased Him, what His plans were for me – what He wanted me to do and since all God had to say to me was in the Bible – it was the Bible I had to know and properly interpret. It was my field manual so everything was about Bible doctrine. There was this doctrine and that doctrine – the doctrine of divine decrees, the doctrine of the essence of God, the doctrine of prayer, the doctrine of forgiveness. There was so much doctrine that I was asked as a pastor to teach every night and when I scaled back from four to three hours of Bible teaching a week, I caught some serious flack. Wow, there was even a certain way to pronounce the word ‘doctrine’ – ‘doctrain”. Have you taken in your Bible doctrain today – man shall not eat on bread alone? Roger that- took in 3 hours!
I waved the banner of sound doctrine high because of the exhortation to “preach the word . . . for there will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:2-4). Because of my passionate love for Jesus, I certainly didn’t want to let Him down in my responsibility to preach the word. And because of my love for the congregation, I certainly did not want them to turn aside to myths.
I am so thankful that God works all things together for good – even the lies we swallow – I am even more thankful that He loved me way too much to leave me in that camp. The reality is, He loves us so much that He does not want any of us to stay in a place we are not experiencing His fullness.
Can you imagine having a bunch of wonderful kids, handing them a book you’ve written, then driving off into the sunset one day? Your kids would never hear your voice. They could read about you in that book you left them. They could even read about how you spoke to your children thousands of years before them, but as far as hearing from you and experiencing your embrace – it’s limited to what they discern from that book – in fact, that book you left them is sufficient for everything pertaining to their lives, right? See, when you completed your book and handed it to your kids the partial was done away – and the congregation said . . . Uggh, yuck! What kind of god would do that? Exactly!
I pray that the eyes of your heart will be opened for you to hear your Daddy’s voice for the first time as one of His sons or daughters. I know this has a huge shock factor for those of you who were acquainted with my ministry and teachings – and that’s good – I hope it shocks you just like a defibrillator and you experience a spiritual cardioversion.
We are so fearfully and wonderfully made – that God designed us to experience Him with our senses- we can actually taste and see that the Lord is good!
The travesty is that when we are inculcated with Bible teaching that limits the ways in which God speaks to us today, we are cut off from how God is speaking and we do not hear His voice.
I don’t know if you ever did projects with your dad, but mine loved to introduce me to new things. One time we built a fort together. Another time we made papyrus from some kit he ordered – that was pretty cool. And another time we made a telephone out of a couple of tin cans and piece of string – ever done that? So here I am with my ear pressed up against this can and at the other end of the line is my dad speaking. I can kinda hear what he’s saying through the can, but it’s really hard to hear anything clearly. Pull that string tight!
If you are done pressing that ear into the can with your Dad and want to experience the full resonance of His voice, then I highly recommend the DVD series, “Hearing God, Growing in the Prophetic” – and don’t forget to get the workbook, I edited it. As a gift to you type in “Henry” in the special field to receive a discount.
If you want to see what’s new in my life – More about Henry