En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

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-From A Dad: When God Speaks!

Posted by Scott on November 17, 2007

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-God speaks to His chosen people!  Today so many people are looking for the audible voice of God.  We seem to want God to start burning a bush again and speaking from it.  Although God could do that very easily, He does not speak in that fashion anymore.  So, how does God really speak to us today? 

He speaks through His written word.  God has inspired men thousands of years ago to write down His word.  The word was then put into book form several hundred years ago and is now available to us in many translations today.  Within the scriptures are the wisdom and instruction of God.  Within those pages are direction and encouragement.  The Bible ties in the purpose God has for us from the beginning to the end of the book.  His purposes for us is to bring Christ honor and glory from our lives….I am speaking of His chosen people. 

God can and does speak through providential means.  He can send friends and/or family to tell us things that only God could have placed on their minds.  Many times these people will not know they are being used by God to answer your prayers, but the Lord has placed something on their hearts to share with you and it seems to fit much of what you are looking for.  This is the providence of God at work.  I know that many times I will be praying specifically about something looking for concrete clear direction.  In the course of weeks and months I will seek counsel possibly or just sharing my prayer with someone when they will give their thoughts on it and that same thought will be repeated several times by others.  When that happens I must perk up my ears and listen.  God is using these people to get a message across to me.  In that case we need to take the next logical step that seems to come natural and continue to listen and seek clear answers.

God can speak to us through circumstances as well.  Through our job, family members, church, ministry, health, or whatever situation that comes up.  God will speak to us when He so desires.  We have a grand opportunity to hear from God through this. 

The most used means of speaking to us is through the study and meditation of His holy word, however, He can choose whatever means He deems necessary in order to get our attention and speak clearly His desires and plans for our lives.

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
      I will advise you and watch over you.”  NLT

__________

“Let me give you some good advice;
      I’m looking you in the eye
      and giving it to you straight:”  The Message
 

-God speaks with His chosen people!  It can be hard to distinguish the difference from God speaking to us and speaking with us.  When He is speaking to us it is in an instructional way like a teacher would.  Giving us the direct truth without batting an eye.  When God is speaking with us I would equate this like a father and son setting down to chat about life.  Talking about the direction the son is going.  Not necessarily instructing, but asking questions of the son.  The Father could be having an intimate conversation with us through His promises, situations that nurture and groom us.  I seem to gather the true differences are in instruction because we must have that to grow and the intimacy and closeness of a face to face talk about life.  Both are necessary in our relationship with God. 

It is possible to gather all the instructions we can handle.  Then set about doing the work, but never stopping to be quiet and listen to gentle voice of our loving Father as He wants to speak with us in a way that is not to be resisted, but accepted with both arms open wide as we run into the arm of God.  So, we have one as being more of regimented time in class and the other on a picnic blanket under a huge oak tree eating a lunch together, laughing at our kids, and thinking about life in general.  I enjoy thinking about the intimate moments with my heavenly Father.  It brings tears to my eyes as I write this.  His gentle large hand resting upon my shoulder as He gently tells me “everything will be alright”.  He is here with us today…not in bodily form or in a voice I can hear out-loud, but I can sense the touch in my spirit, I can sense a filling of His sweet breath upon my mind, and sense the uplifting spirit of His strong hand at work within my life.  I enjoy the fellowship with Him daily.  My hope would be that anyone reading this can experience and enjoy the same kind of fellowship and relationship.  It is in this way that makes the difference between God speaking to us and God speaking with us.

1 John 1:3

 We proclaim to you what we ourselves have actually seen and heard so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”

-God speaks through His chosen people!  Some of the greatest preachers of the last 1500 years was God speaking through His chosen people.  Preachers like Augustine, John Owen, Jonathon Edwards, John Calvin, Charles Spurgeon, John Knox, Charles Swindoll, John Packer, John MacArthur, Steve Farrar, Dr. D. Martin Lloyd-Jones, John Stott, R.C. Sproul, and list goes on.  God speaks through those of us that are not so well known as well.  We are to instruct our kids as though God Himself was instructing them.  Especially for us dads, it is imperative that we strive to advise, instruct, and discipline as God would.  Why would that be important?  Our kids and children around us develop their view of God the Father based on what they see in us.  This is why it is important for us to be careful how we respond to them and especially in the disciplining of them.  God is never reactionary based on our sins.  He does not immediately swat at us with anger.  God is sure and just in his discipline, but very loving all the way through.  He shows us mercy and grace  as He speaks through us. 

As we are called to address a crowd of people or simply teach our family the ways of God it is of the Holy Spirit that is actually doing the great work of our heavenly Father.  He prompts our hearts when it is time to take action and what to say at each precise moment.  We can take credit for nothing.  We are as empty vessels waiting for the Lord to fill us with His will as it connects with our will. 

Matthew 10:20 

For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

May the Lord bless each of our acts of obedience to Him.  Guys, at times this is not going to be easy.  Many times to be obedient is going to go against our instinct at a particular moment, but we must force ourselves to listen to the call of our God.  We must make ourselves take the action the Holy Spirit is prompting us to take.  As the scriptures tell us to buffet our bodies unto  holiness….this takes discipline.  It takes courage that is built within our being by God Himself.  God uses His chosen people in order to create the fellowship and relationship He desires us to have with Him.  His purposes always are to draw people to Himself and ultimately glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. 

-Scott Bailey (c) 2007

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5 Responses to “-From A Dad: When God Speaks!”

  1. […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  2. what are his providential means .?

  3. qbaileys said

    What do you mean by the question? How is He providential?

    God has a plan for our lives. He has predestined you and me with a full life plan before we were even thought of. God can use whomever and whatever He wants in order to work His perfect plan. Example: The hurricane that hit New Orleans a few years go left many homeless. Someone moves from there to Dallas. Now their life is far better. They have found that now they have a better job, housing, and life to live for God. This was the providential power of God at work. God used the horrible events of the hurricane in order to move this family to a better place that He had already planned for them. Now, not all events mean a better job or more money, but for this example that is what might have happened. God can use any event He chooses to move us in the direction He wishes us to go. This is one of many providential means He can and will use.

    In order for the Israelites to trust in Him, He drew them into an area with their backs to the Red Sea and the Eygptians coming for them. God put between the Pharaoh and his army a pillar of fire while He parted the sea for the Israelites to cross over on dry land. This is another example of the providential power directed at His chosen people.

    Hope that answered the question somewhat.

    Scott

  4. Derrick said

    Regarding your previous reply post.

    Ok, so God is going to cause thousands of innocent lives to be lost? Souls, who were not right with God to be cast to hell? We are talking about God, who is willing that none should perish, but that all should come to everlasting life!…

    That doesn’t make any sense. Gad, at various times, and at various places spoke to men in many ways. He speaks to us through his son. The way he speaks to us through his son is the Gospel, which is his word. The bible. In remote nations where there is no bible, there is no faith in God.

    Hurricanes happen by the Ocean (under certain environmental conditions). Earth quakes happen on fault lines. Tornadoes happen in the plains. Floods happen near lakes and rivers… Avalanches happen on mountains with lots of snow… and I could go on. Thank goodness I live in Kentucky. 🙂

    God set the world in motion, and things happen. People are 100% free will moral agents, and things we do directly effect other people. God isn’t going to force anyone to follow him, nor the opposite.

    Yes, God, at various times used people to carry out his plans. In Genesis, we find the promise to Abraham… That through his seed, all nations of the earth would be blessed. This was ultimately fulfilled when through his seed, Jesus arose. He was the once and for all sacrifice for our sins. And on the cross, he said “It is Finished”. He was talking about a lot of things, but primarily, the greatest prophecy to ever be fulfilled. Thus with this fulfillment, the preparation thereof ended.

  5. qbaileys said

    These questions you raise are nothing new. I once thought the same way. I really did, until God begin the show me in His word what salvation was really all about. Basically it gets rid of man in the picure of salvation other than the receiver of salvation and brings to glory and light the greatness of a sovereign God. By the way…no one that enters hell from here is innocent….justice will have been served on each and everyone….read further!

    Men would not choose God out of his own free will as you might call it. Our free will is the ability to choose God because He first chose us. Jesus said that we do not choose Him, but He chooses us. We come to Him because He first loved us…not the other way around.

    God’s choice of certain individuals to be saved rest soley upon the sovereign grace and will of God. God is the giver of faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. This is the result not the cause of God’s choice. You see to really appreciate the grace and salvation of our great God you need to understand that nothing could be found good in man…nothing at all that would save us. You see those who God has sovereignly elected or chosen He brings through the power of the Holy Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus this is God’s choice of the sinner not the sinners choice of Christ. Men cannot boast of anything not even making the choice to accept Christ without the drawing or dragging of the Holy Spirit. The term draw in this sense has a Greek meaning of “to drag”…so, it could read that the Holy Spirit dragged you to the Lord. This is the work of the Holy Spirit not man.
    Christ work on the cross was for all man kind. However, only the elect will reap the benefit. you must understand that God is a “just” God. These people that are born on this earth as I understand the scriptures to say that never come to Christ were not of the elect. God creates people for His purposes not our purposes….we cannot think about man, salvation, election, and such through mans eyes, because wee will always lift ourselves up, but rather we must see it through God’s eyes in order to see that this is for a higher purpose. Now, getting back to what I was talking about on justice….Christ had to die for everyone in order that justice be served. The lost or non-elect cannot cry out to God and say they did not receive justice, because they did when Christ died for the entire world. God’s grace stamps out the elects sins thereby saving them….for those not saved justice was delivered and they will spend an eternity in hell apart from God. Entire races of people I believe were created by God to push the Israelites to God like the Philistines….I do not know of one record of any of those people ever believing in God….I think they were used by God for His greater purpose. God loves His people.
    God’s grace that is extended to His elect by the promptig of the Holy Spirit brings them to a saving grace in Jesus Christ. You can have a thousand people in a crowd…20 of them actually accept Christ as savior through the message which was the Holy Spirit triggering that part of their heart and mind that was created to believe….the other 980 people either do not have belief mechinism in them or it is not yet their time to accept Christ. However, I do not believe that anyone predestined to be saved by God will go to Hell…they will eventually not be able to resist the saving grace of God…could take 50 years, but they eventually will give in to it…for the others that can resist is because they are not of the elect and never were going to accept. We do not know who is chosen or of the elect and who is not, so we must deliver the gospel truth to all and let the Holy Spirit do His job in sorting it all out. It is not our job to drag anyone, but it is the Holy Spirit’s job to draw those that are chosen to Christ.
    This was the most liberating revelation I have ever found within God’s word. To understand that God chose me and loved me first is the freedom found in Christ. To know that all my efforts would not result in my salvation, but the Holy Spirit’s constant drawing of me eventually resulted in my acceptance of His irresistable grace is another liberating moment of my life. Finally, to understand that I am His and no one can take me out of my Fathers hand. To think any other way is to think that man has gotten away from his creator. God is in full control of His creation. He does not push us out on the earth to go around choosing what we will without his control…that is false theology. Man would never choose God and the entire earth would perish without one coming to God in salvation if left to us. Man is depraved and sinful from birth and only through the saving grace of an irresistable God can we be transformed into the likeness of God Himself.
    Finally, there is not one move we as men make that changes God’s plan. We do not have a reactionary God, we have a sovereign God that is not surprised by anything, but is in full control. Your decision to wear a particular shirt in the morning is not a surprise to God…you will wear exactly the shirt you were intended to wear in the morning.
    Take Jacob and Essau as a prime example of election. Why did God choose one and not the other? He had a plan for Abraham that flowd right through Jacob and although Essau was to be the first in the line, Jacob ended up with the blessing…yes, by deceit, but God uses any means He chooses to accomplish his task. Samson is another example of moving his plan along even through a womanizing sinful man as Samson who is later known as faithful to God. Read and follow God’s theology throughout all of scripture.

    A few points of scripture to reference:

    Genesis 6:5…the wickedness of man was all over the earth and every mans thoughts were evil continually.

    Ecceliastes 9:3…the hearts of men are full of evil…

    Men left in their dead state are unable of themselves to repent, to believe the gospel, or to come to Christ. Man cannot change anything by “free will”.

    Job 14:4…Who can bring a clean thing out of the unclean? There is not one.

    John 6:44…No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent me draws Him…John 6:45…This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by my Father.

    1 Corinthians 2:14, 1 Corinthians 4:7…why do you boast as if it were not a gift?

    (how can salvation be born out of mans “free will” as this generation thinks of Free Will when salvation is a gift? The “Free Will” is still granted through the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must be regenerated before we can accept anything or exercise a Free Will to hear God out for salvation).

    2 Corinthians 3:5…Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our sufficiency is from God.

    We as men have nothing to offer God at all. How do we think we can be so arrogant to think we can exercise our “will” and accept Him whenever we please. I have heard men all my life say they have plenty of time to come to Christ….I believe each one of those that I have personally heard say those words never came to know Christ and never came even close….they were not nor had they ever been chosen by God otherwise they would have been saved.

    Psalm 33:12…Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom He has chosen as His heritage.

    Psalm 65:4, Psalm 106:5, Haggai 2:23, Matthew 11:27

    Matthew 22:14….For many are called, but few are chosen.

    Few are chosen…did you read that. The gospel message is delivered to elect and non-elect alike. However, the elect are few and those few are all that responds to it. We cannot wish, pray, cry over or worry someone into heaven….by pray I mean to change God’s predetermined mind about someone. Yes, we can pray for anyones salvation, but we do not have any affect on that outcome. The plan is in full swing. God has put this world in motion, but He is in full control of everything on it and full control of the motion. He did not spin the world into existance and then just allow to happen what happens. That is absolute stupidity in my opinion. What God creates He care for and can control.

    Romans 8:28-30, 8:33, 11:28

    I could go on and on about God’s elect. I think the point is made.

    The main point is that God saves not that God enables man to save himself. We are elected by the Father, redeemed through the Son, and called by the Holy Spirit. I love God more than I ever have since being freed from the legalism of a man made salvation.

    Titus 1:1…Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness…

    1 Peter 2:8-9, Rev 17:14, Mark 13:20, 1 Thess 1:4, 2 Thess 2:13, Ephesians 1:4, Rev 17:8, Romans 9:11-13 and on it goes.

    Enjoyed your comments and the opportunity to expound.

    Pressing on in Christ,
    SB

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