Part 1) God Spoke to Me While I Meditated on Him (January 7, 2017)
I listened to some sermons about developing a strong spirit. This reminded me that I want to learn to be still and quiet before God. To hear from him while being silent in body, mind and heart. So I lay down and tried doing just that. It wasn’t long before my mind wandered off. This kept happening just like it always had. So i asked God, how can I do this? How can I just lay here and concentrate on you with out saying anything? Then my mind wandered off once more. Then suddenly I realized something.
I realized that when my mind wanders off I usually think about situations involving people whom I have seen. I hold the image of those people in my mind while I think about past or future situations involving them. So I asked myself how to do this with God? I’ve never seen God. I dismissed the idea of using the image’s of Jesus painted by people. Too cliche’! Then something mysterious and amazing started to unfold.
I thought, now I want a 1970 Camaro and I often meditate on driving one of those. What about if I meditate on driving that car with God as my passenger. Then I wondered what it would be like if God were driving the car. I thought about how expertly he would be able to drive it. The next thing I knew I was vividly meditating on this. There we were, God and I, cruising in a red 1970 Camaro.
I had let go of needing an image of God and accepted that he was there expertly driving that car. I started to chuckle not just in my imagination but audibly. When God saw that I was happy he became happy and he made a sudden left turn. In an instant the car was gone and I was staring into what appeared to be an empty universe.
Then some pieces of this universe broke away and drifted past me. I knew that I was zooming in on something. Next I saw a man standing next to a stone structure. I new it was the apostle Peter. Then i began to slowly zoom away. Higher and higher above the ground. I kept looking down and saw Christ on the cross and a darkened world. Soon I was viewing Christ on the cross from outer space. Then the earth shifted to the left and I slowly zoomed back in. I saw a raging body of water and a boat.
Noah’s arc afloat in the midst of a great storm. I saw a giant hand dip into the water and move like a paddle. This stirred the water and the waves from it adjusted the direction of Noah’s arc. Then I quickly zoomed back out and saw part of our solar system with the sun to the left. I marvelled at all of this.
Part 2) Searching for Confirmation in the Bible (January 8, 2-017)
I decided to re-read 1st and 2nd Peter. And there in those books written thousands of years ago I found confirmation. I laughed out loud when I realized that every topic God showed me the night before was in 1st and 2nd Peter. What does this mean to me? I’m learning to be still and hear from God! What a breakthrough! It's one thing to spend time talking to God. For me that became a good habit. But now I know I can also be still and meditate (focus) on God without saying a word. I know I'll have to exercise this if I want it to increase. I'm just very happy about this and want to share it with whomever. But you may ask…”what does it all mean though?”. Well I am working through that and if you read on you will see what I’ve learned so far.
Part 3) Painting a Bigger Picture (January 9, 2017)
Working back through the bible from the great flood of Noah, Jesus crucifixion to Peter’s Epistles. There are some biblical connections that I want to work at drawing out. I will first focus on some of fresh revelation from Monday January 9, 2017. I realize that God answered two prayers on Saturday January 7, 2017. One answer was that he showed me I can silently meditate on him. Two, that he forgave Peter for denying Christ and that He has been showing me that I’m forgiven for this too! I just wasn’t accepting his answer. I have faith in my Salvation now!
3-A) The Great Flood of Noah relates to Jesus
Many biblical scholars and other authors of the faith have pointed out the significance of water in the account of Noah. Prophetically it is a type or image of the baptism of Jesus. Just as the whole event of the great flood is a prophetic type of Jesus and his purpose on earth. For example Jesus said “But the gate that opens the way to true life is narrow. And the road that leads there is hard to follow. Only a few people find it.” (Matthew 7:14 ) Only seven people found salvation through the ark when they walked through a door comparably narrow compared to the size of the ark or the whole earth. God’s own hand shut the door of the ark and God remembered the ark during the flood and guided it.
3-B) Christ’s Ministry and Peter
Jesus baptism relates to Peter
The four gospels give an account of the birth, the life, the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus. I’ll be using the gospels of Matthew and Mark (ERV) to draw out the connection between the flood, the Christ and Peter the apostle.
Jesus was baptized in water by John the baptist. The bible makes it clear that this act was required. We know that after Holy Spirit settled upon Jesus God confirmed his approval of him saying “You are my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with you.” After that Jesus went alone into the desert for 40 days to be tempted.
When Jesus had successfully over come these temptations he left the desert and went to Galilee. There he began to choose his followers. The very first two men he chose after his baptism and testing were Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. The bible says they immediately left their nets to follow Jesus.
Jesus Calls Peter to walk on Water
From the account provided in Matthew (ERV) we see Jesus walking on the water. The disciples are terrified at the site of it. Jesus tells them not to worry “Don’t worry! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.” Then we see Peter asking to Lord to call him to come out on the water. Jesus responds to Peter “Come Peter” and Peter walks on water. Then what happens? Peter sees the waves and fear destroys his faith so he starts to sink.
The bibles says then Jesus caught Peter with his hand saying “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”. Jesus hand, stretched out to Peter sinking into the tossing waves. When I read that I immediately recalled the giant hand guiding the Ark through the water.
Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection Deeply Connected to Peter
The biblical account of Peter and the rooster crowing is well known to believers and non believers alike. Jesus answered (Peter), “The truth is, tonight you will say you don’t know me. You will deny me three times before the rooster crows.” This is one of the many profound moments where God shows us how human the people in the bible were. Peter did deny Jesus, not just once but three times just as Jesus said.
We also know from Matthew’s account that Peter followed Jesus from a distance after he was arrested and taken away. I know that I have followed Jesus from a distance as well. My careless lifestyle and sinful choices most certainly caused a distance between me (in my heart) and Jesus. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is how Jesus redeemed Peter. Peter was crushed deep down in his heart after the rooster crowed for the third time. He suddenly realized he had denied Jesus three times. The bible says that Peter went outside and cried bitterly. He probably thought it was all over and he had completely blown it. I can relate to that, can you?
We know from the bible that Jesus forgave Peter. Peter accepted his forgiveness and went on to be the rock of the church which Jesus had prophesied to Peter. I know that all of this seems so elaborate. But you must understand. I had blown it with God. I had pitched my tent in a forsaken campground along the shores of “Lake Mist-it Big Time”. I didn’t think I could ever come back to God. I know now that prior to Saturday January 7 2017, God had lead me to the two books of Peter to answer my question. “God, will you really take me back”? I wasn’t connecting the dots. I see it now. God is so incredibly wise and faithful. He want’s to talk to you as well. Oh, and God LOVES it when he see’s us full of Joy! It makes him HAPPY
God knows my past. He knows all of the things I did and why I did them. He knew my heart then and he knows my heart now. First Peter chapter four is one of my go to sources of encouragement. I particularly find strength and encouragement in the NLT translation of verse three. It speaks directly to me every time I read “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy…” because I truly have had enough. I finally came to a place where I just couldn’t wear the “old person” any longer. God through his mercy answered me when I asked him to show me the way out.
His way out for me was reading his word and praying about what I read. I didn’t know where to start to be honest but I knew that my dad is strong in the Lord and very humble. So I talked to him. He encouraged me to read Ephesians, the books of John, the gospel of John and Psalms so that is where I started and branched out from. Throughout all of that scripture reading I grew in my understanding of how important my heart is to God. For me I suddenly realized that my heart was never really quite right with God. I felt sad at first. Looking at how I’d missed it. But God was merciful and kind. Through my bible reading and prayers I received a foundation to stand on. I don’t say that what God lead me through is the absolute blue print for everyone else. God may have different scriptures for you or whomever. I will say this, have faith in God. It really starts there and it’s the best place to start. God helped me to develop a thirst for his word because I got on board with his custom made journey for me. Now I find so much comfort, encouragement and healing in the bible. I thank God for that, it is the first time in my life that the word of God is so alive to me and in me.
I’ve read many books that were classified as christian literature. Some were really good while others made me wonder if they should have been published. Of the books I wondered about, I don’t make the comment to be harsh, critical or judgemental. Rather, I wonder if they were really something God intended to be shared to that extent. I also wondered if I should have read them. Let me explain.
I’ve read books about hearing from God and growing in faith and so on and so forth. These are great topics and many Christians have ongoing questions and desires for knowledge in these areas. I do and that is why I read them. However, at one point I kind of kept hearing myself asking this same question. Did I try to take a short cut by reading this? If so then what did I miss by not working it out with God?
The simple fact is that these books, we assume, were inspired by the author's journey with God. A journey for knowledge or victory in various areas of their lives. So on one hand reading their accounts is not a bad thing for us to do. On the other hand, maybe we should have sought God for his direction in our particular journey.
I’ve done that recently and found that the revelation I received just seems deeper. I get the sense that the things God showed me will “last” or “stick” longer. Maybe it’s like eating fast food versus a home cooked meal. It’s not that fast food is always wrong because sometimes it serves a purpose when we don’t have time to cook. Ever notice that a home cooked meal seams to stick around longer? By that I mean you don’t feel hungry again so soon after eating it.
So maybe at the very least we should seek God on our own along with or supplemental to reading a book and also read the Bible. Not just focus on some one else's journey but focus on both? That way we can see God working in our own lives, in his own custom made way for us. Won’t our love and knowledge of God increase more this way?
There are many opportunities presented to us throughout our lives. Jesus said “have faith in God”. I think that it’s good to check in with God about the opportunties we see in front of us. Even if, by our own understanding, all the opportunities look equally good.
Here is an analogy. When we go grocery shopping we take a certain level of care selecting our produce. We’ll pick up an apple or bell pepper and flip it around to look for obvious faults. We do this because we want the best produce we can get for our money. In other words, we want the good fruit (and vegetables). If God were shopping with us, and actually he is if you think about it, we would never get a bad apple. But choosing produce is not as important as choosing a job, career, business opportunity or even a church for that matter. This is not to say that some of the possibilities are going to lead to ruin if we get them wrong. We know that God is all knowing, full of love and a giver of good gifts. So if we include God in our decisions won’t he point us to the one that is best?
There is of course more to this because hearing from God requires a level of faith. I won’t address that problem here beyond admitting that I sometimes struggle with this.
“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall HE SPEAK: And he will SHOW YOU things to come.” John 16:13
This article is the continuation of my last post titled, “How to Hear From the Holy Spirit”. In that post, I did promise to expatiate on the various ways the Holy Spirit speaks to and leads the children of God…
Hence, this article seeks to scripturally point the Christian believer, to the various avenues, through which the Holy Spirit Speak to his Children. So they can always be sensitive to his voice and receive directions for themselves. Concerning any and every areas of their lives, which they need spiritual guidance on. Instead of running from one man after the other.
So What Then Are the Various Ways The Holy Spirit Speak?
1. The Witness of the spirit – Rom 8:16. One of the principal way the Holy Spirit speaks to the believer, is through the witness of the spirit (heart, or conscience). The word witness, from the original Greek word means- to give an evidence of something.
Hence, the Holy Spirit always leads every true believer to what God will have them do per time, by a convicting evidence to the heart or conscience. Many a time, he supports the conviction in the heart or conscience with a very glaring scriptural truth. That the believer cannot sincerely wave off.
2. Jumping Scriptures—Psalm 119:105; “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Another principal way the Holy Spirit speaks very often to his children, is through striking revelations from scriptures that just jump at the believer’s heart. And this can be either when reading or meditating on the scriptures or any Christian literature.
Then at some other times, it occurs even when not reading at all. The scriptural revelation, just jumps out from your spirit in total harmony with the situation you’re seeking answers from God to. And on some occasions, the scripture can be given to you in your dream.
In order to position his or herself to be hearing from the Holy Spirit through scriptures, the believer must of a necessity, train his or her spirit to hear.
And by training I mean, consistent reading, meditating and practicing of the word of God on a daily basis. Because most of the time, the Holy Spirit speaks to the believer, from the scriptures he or she is already aware of.
3. Audible Voice—Isaiah 30:21; “And thine EARS shall hear a word behind thee, saying, this is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
The Holy Spirit speaks to believers audibly. But though, rarely. Many men of God have confirmed to hearing from God through their ears only very few times. Some three times; and some others four times since they became Christians. I for one, I have only heard the audible voice of the Spirit once in all my Christian walk…
And that was last year, as I was just about to wake up from my sleep. To be on a safer side, if you hear an audible voice, don’t just run with it. You must confirm it with a witness of the spirit and scriptural backing.
4. Authoritative Voice of the Spirit The authoritative voice of the Spirit, is what the Apostle Paul calls the Spirit speaking expressly in 1 Timothy 4:1. Through this avenue, you just receive a very strong and authoritative knowing in your spirit concerning what God wants you to do…
You don’t hear anything in your ears, but after receiving the strong revelation in your spirit, it seems as if someone around or within you just spoke to you. I have had this particular experience about three or four times.
And they have occurred to me when I would be asking God, concerning some critical issues that I am confused or not clear about. Whether he or the devil was the one speaking to me. Immediately, I get that authoritative voice in my spirit, I am instantly convicted of the truth of the matter.
5. Visions and Dreams: God speaks to the believer through visions and dreams. Visions include: Trance, Open visions, inner visions (with your eyes of faith) and dreams. I have never had an open vision or a trance.
But I have gotten revelations through inner visions and dreams. But the dreams I accept as the directions of God are the one that as I wake up from my sleep, has a confirmation of the Holy Spirit, by the witness of the spirit…
If as I wake up, I do not have any witness of the spirit concerning the dream, I just discard it.
The Holy Spirit also leads through situations or providence; through the words of other people (Either born again or not- with the witness of the spirit). He also leads through wisdom or common sense, peace… and a number of other ways…
But ultimately, amongst all these various avenues, he will always bear witness to the truth, through the witness of the spirit and scriptural truth. The Holy Spirit does not speak against or outside scriptural truth.
So regardless of the avenue you receive a revelation, you must check with the written word of God and the witness of the spirit (through conviction or peace). Then also to be on a safer side, when seeking guidance from God on any issue, especially critical issues (such as marriage). You should seek to get confirmation from about two or three avenues as stated above, before making a move. May God guide you continually in the path of righteousness, for his names’ sake in Jesus precious name!