A word for the moment
Israel had received the ten commandments and the laws, the statutes and ordinances, which were written down and was for everyday living. But they had to listen to the voice of God for every battle they encountered. For Jericho, they were to march around the city walls once a day for six days, and on the seventh day seven times, sound the trumpet and shout, and the walls came down. (See Joshua 6) The next city they conquered was Ai. They did not march around but set an ambush. (See Joshua 8) Gideon in his day was told step by step what to do as he defeated the enemy of their day. Every battle, as they faithfully listen to the voice of God they won their battles, every battle was different, God give different instructions every time. Throughout the bible we find that God spoke with His people. David regularly enquired of the Lord and the Lord would answer. So we also today, we need to regularly enquire of the Lord, listen to Him and follow His instructions. This is not only for us to be victorious in our battles, but also a personal relationship with the Lord.
As mentioned already before in another chapter. How would a bride like to get married to a man, that on the wedding day he would give her a number of letters, and then never speak to her again? Is that not how many in the church live their lives? Claiming to have a relationship with God but there is no communication between them. God wants to communicate with us. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying.
We want to look at twelve ways that God speaks to us. I have tried to include scriptures as well as personal testimony where applicable, trusting the Lord will use it to draw each reader closer to Himself, and increase our ability to hear Him.
#1 The written word
We have the written word of God which is the most valuable book in the universe. The writer of Hebrews says, “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”. (Hebrews 4:12)
Paul says to Timothy that “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16-17)
Peter talks about the prophetic word of God, how the people who wrote it were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. “So we have the prophetic word made more sure, to which you do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts. But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.” (2 Peter 1:19-21)
Many times when we read the bible, the Lord will highlight a word, a phrase, or a topic, and we know He is saying something through that scripture. Or as some people may say that the verse jumped out, or stock out to them. Whatever term we use, it is the Holy Spirit shedding light on that portion of scripture and speaking to us.
He also often uses the word to confirm what He is already saying in other ways. When we were getting the call to come to Ghana, I had received a prophetic word, a word of knowledge through a person. To me it was absolutely clear that God was calling us to Ghana once I had that word. But God being so good He also gave me a scripture. I was in Jeremiah 29:11-13 preparing to speak on those verses. Then I clearly heard the Holy Spirit say “go to verse 7”. I read it and I knew the Lord was speaking to me about seeking the well-being of the people in Ghana and to pray for them. Even though I already knew before from the word I had received a few days ago through a person, this confirmed it again and strengthen it. My wife and I both knew so clear that we were to go to Ghana that if we did not go, we knew we would be in disobedience to the Lord.
We had heard the Lord. “faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ”. (Romans 10:9) In the difficult times here on the mission field, the greatest strength and encouragement for us to stay was that we had heard the Lord and we knew that we were in His will. Our faith rested in the word of the Lord.