There has been a lot of teaching in the Experiencing God workbook this week, so for today, I’m just going to review the summary statements:
God Speaks in Different Ways (Hebrews 1:1-3):
- If I don’t know when God is speaking, I am in trouble at the heart of my Christianity.
- God speaks to his people, he desires to reveal himself, his purposes and his ways.
- THAT he spoke to his people is more important than HOW he spoke.
- When God spoke in the Bible, it was unique to that individual.
- When God spoke in the Bible, the person was sure it was God speaking.
- When God spoke in the Bible, the person knew what God had said.
- When God spoke in the Bible, THAT was the encounter with God (it did not lead to an encounter with God).
- If I don’t have clear instructions from God in a matter, I will pray and wait. I will not bypass the relationship with God by moving out in my own strength.
God Speaks Through the Holy Spirit:
- An encounter with the Holy Spirit is an encounter with God.
- I understand spiritual truth because the Holy Spirit is working in my life.
- When I read the Bible, the Word of God, the Author himself is present to instruct me.
- Truth is never discovered, it is always revealed.
God Reveals Spiritual Truth:
- God revelation is designed to bring me back into fellowship with him.
- God reveals himself to increase me faith.
- God reveals his purposes so I will do his work.
- God reveals his ways so I can accomplish his purposes.
God Speaks Through the Bible:
- God speaks uniquely to individuals and can do it any way he chooses.
- When God speaks, his people hear and understand his voice.
- I cannot understand spiritual truth unless God reveals it to me.
- God is more interested in what I become than what I can do.
- The process of hearing God through the Bible (use Proverbs 22:7 as an example):
- The Spirit prompts me…
- So I read God’s Word.
- The Spirit reveals a truth.
- I adjust my life to that truth of God.
- I then obey God.
- God works through me to accomplish his purposes.
- Confession is agreeing with the truth that the Spirit has revealed to me.
- Here is a guide to responding to the truth God reveals:
- Write down the verse.
- Meditate over the verse.
- Study the verse, immersing yourself in what is written and revealed.
- Identify adjustments I need to make in my personal life, family, church or work.
- Write a prayer response to God.
- Watch to see how God may use this truth about himself and my life.
- Understanding spiritual truth does not lead me to an encounter with God, it IS the encounter with God.
God Speaks Through Prayer:
- When the God of the universe tells me something, I need to write that down.
- Truth is a person.
- Prayer is two-way communication with God.
- Prayer is a relationship, not a religious activity. Prayer develops that relationship, we spend time with people we love.
- Prayer is designed to adjust me to God, not to adjust God to me.
- Oswald Chambers said that prayer doesn’t change things. Prayer changes me and then I change things.
- I need to make sure that my only desire is the will of God, and not my own will.
- The process of God speaking through prayer:
- God initiates a desire to pray.
- The Spirit uses God’s Word to reveal truth.
- In the Spirit I pray in agreement with God’s will.
- I adjust my life to the truth revealed.
- I look and listen for confirmation from from the Bible, circumstance, and the church.
- I adjust my life and obey.
- God works in me and through me to accomplish his purposes.
- I then experience God just as the Spirit revealed during prayer.
God Does Not Go Against His Word:
Blackaby mentions it is never God’s will to go against his reveal truth. Could it ever be God’s will to deceive in order to support a higher value of life? We know lying is wrong (Exodus 20:16, Proverbs 14:25, Psalm 58:3, 62:4, Isaiah 59:4, John 8:44), so we cannot say it is ever God’s will that I tell a lie, yet we read…
- Biblical examples:
- 1 Kings 22:21-23 mentions a lying spirit from God.
- 2 Samuel 15:33-36 mentions a planned deception: 33 But David told him, “If you go with me, you will only be a burden. 34 Return to Jerusalem and tell Absalom, ‘I will now be your adviser, O king, just as I was your father’s adviser in the past.’ Then you can frustrate and counter Ahithophel’s advice. 35 Zadok and Abiathar, the priests, will be there. Tell them about the plans being made in the king’s palace, 36 and they will send their sons Ahimaaz and Jonathan to tell me what is going on.”
- Practical example:
- Suppose someone with a gun breaks into your house and asks if your wife and kids are in the house.
- You know that they are hidden in the back of the closet but you say “NO” in order to protect them.
- I know this is extreme, but does the situation warrant a choice of values whereby we sacrifice a lesser value (truth) to uphold a higher value (life)?