Tag Archives: God speaking

Two Hindrances to Hearing God

by Scott

Jesus made an all-important statement early on in his ministry. Already based in the Hebrew Scriptures (or Old Testament), Jesus was simply re-emphasising an essential characteristic of God’s people:

Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matt 4:4)

We are not first and foremost task-managers and busy-bodies. We are first and foremost sons and daughters called to hear our Father.

Yet there are 2 major hindrances to such. There are more that could be considered, no doubt. But I believe these are the 2 major ones that become barriers to hearing the voice of our Father. Continue reading

Haggai & Modern-Day Prophecy

by Scott

Tucked away, near the end of the Hebrew Scriptures (the Christian Old Testament), we find a little prophet named Haggai. Well, he could have been a big prophet, but the words we have recorded were not as many as say an Isaiah or Jeremiah or Ezekiel, or Hosea or Zechariah for that matter. His words are important, just shorter.

Haggai (pronounced Hag-eye by Americans and Hag-ee-eye by Brits) was part of a post-exilic team that included at some point the main leadership of various people as Zerubbabel, Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah and Malachi (some overlapping with one another).

I recently found myself reading Haggai. I had no plan to, but the Lord had been speaking to my wife out of one of the minor prophets and she decided to share with me the passage. When I asked where the passage was specifically found, she mistakenly told me Haggai, though it had actually been Zephaniah (to which I later found out when I didn’t come across the passage she had read out to me). So I found myself taking up the “2 chapters” of Haggai’s prophetic message to the Jews who had returned from exile in Babylon.

After I read through this short book, a few things came to me that I believe can teach us about prophecy today, meaning prophecy coming forth in these days, centuries after the formation of the biblical canon. It mainly sprang out of these few verses: Continue reading

Two Levels of Revelation

by Scott

Continuationists believe God is still speaking today, not only through His overall leading and direction via Scripture and other such means, but even through actual direct and revelatory words. These revelations can come in various manners – prophecy, words of knowledge, words of wisdom, visions, dreams, etc. – but God is still communicating and speaking directly today. He never desired anything less.

But what gets easily leveled against continuationists, from a more cessationist camp, is the idea that such revelation would no longer be needed knowing we now have the completed revelation of God in Jesus Christ, which is, of course, summarised in the full canon of Scripture that now includes the New Testament. This revelation in Christ is the final word and no other such revelation is needed. And we now have the testimony of a full biblical canon to confirm this.

Well, to be honest, I believe partial agreement should exist here for those on both the continuationist and cessationist side. Continue reading

The Voice of the Father

by Scott

There truly is nothing like hearing the voice of the Father. He still speaks, you know. His actual voice.

From the beginning in Genesis 1, God set the precedent for His desire to communicate:

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.  3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

And it continues right through the whole of Scripture, capped off with our Lord Jesus saying in the final verses of Revelation – Yes, I am coming soon. (Hmmm. Soon. Ok, this article is not about eschatology….)

Really and truly, the pattern is set that our God is a communicative God via speaking, via His great acts, through providential guiding, through His people, through the written word of Scripture, and so on.

And we know the great voice of God ultimately came through The Word, Jesus.

The Word sets the example – only doing that which the Father is doing (John 5:19) and only speaking that which the Father is speaking (John 8:28).

He is not so bothered with setting up excellent programmes and super-duper campaigns and blow-your-mind slogans. He hears the voice of the Father, he sees the acts of the Father, and that is what compels him into action.

And it is this voice, the voice of the Father that I desire, for we do not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Father. I suppose starvation from the words of the Father would make us worse off than starvation from bread. The psalmist said, ‘Your love is better than life’ (Ps 63:3), and I gather the same is true of the Father’s voice.

It is powerful, gentle, strengthening, true, tender, gracious, kind, loving, caring, faithful, and so much more. It cuts through confusion and fear and bitterness and exhaustion and a whole host of other things that hold us down.

I’m stirred.

I love this poetic expression of the voice of the Lord found in Psalm 29:

3 The voice of the LORD is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the LORD thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;
the LORD breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD shakes the desert;
the LORD shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

Pretty powerful stuff – breaking strong cedars, making a nation leap like a calf, shaking deserts, twisting oaks (or some versions translate that last one as ‘makes the deer give birth’).

The voice of the Father is no patty-cake, patty-cake game. It is powerful, even in its whisper.

And so I’ve recently been re-drawn in to that reality that we cannot simply live on bread – as individuals, as churches. We must live on the words, every word, that proceeds from the mouth of God.

He meant it that way long ago. He means it that way today. He will mean also mean it for the age to come.

The Word/Message of Wisdom

by Scott

Within our local church context of Cornerstone, I have begun to pick back up on the gifts of the Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12-14. I had shared much back in the autumn time on the empowering of the Holy Spirit, as well as on prophecy and tongues. But I wanted to go back and look at the 6 other gifts mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10 – message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, healings, miracles and discerning of spirits.

Last Sunday I began by looking at the message of wisdom. So I wanted to post an article along the same lines.

Specifically, in 1 Cor 12:7-11, we read these words of Paul:

7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Continue reading