3. Messages by Anointed men of God- You see the ministry gifts are not just given by God to man for no reason, rather it is for the edifying of the body of Christ and perfecting of the saints Ephesians 4. God did not make anyone a citadel of all wisdom and knowledge rather he distributed to All in Him, giving them all different gifts and calling as He wills so that where we are lacking we can and would find someone else who is sufficient and well equipped in those areas to help us in it. We see an erudite teacher of the gospel named Apollos in scripture who preached John’s baptism in Acts18:24-28 but when Aquila and prjscjila heard of his teaching style they taught him about the more perfect way through Jesus Christ and being humble He listened and obeyed and had a prosperous ministry to show for it Acts1:12 & 1Cor.3:6. Also Remember the Ethiopian eunuch who loved God but was ignorant about the scriptures, so he religiously read the scriptures daily but understood nothing in it Acts 8:26-31. But as the Holy Spirit brought James to him who expounded the scriptures to him effectively, he caught the light of the word and the heart of the father towards him, got born again and was baptised in water that same day Acts8:32-38. So is it with us as believers today, when we are confused or unsure about what step to take or what we may think God is saying to us, getting into a faith environment were the word of God is preached purely (with witness in your heart) is the solution. For as you do so, the word of God would come your way expressly ad the light of God would beam on every dark areas of concern or confusion to show you the way. Psalm says the voice of the Lord is upon many waters man in when the word is preached there you would find the voice of God expressly without fail. So we will find that the word of Christ Jesus being preached stirs up our spiritual level voice to be heard.
2. Books by Anointed Authors- There are certain truths God seeks to reveal to us, that we might not be able to grasp the depth of it on our own. We would require deeper insights by others who have being engraced to see deeper in those areas to fully understand, comprehend and come open towards God in those areas. We therefore see Daniel speaking in Daniel 9:2 “…I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. Here Daniel had a burden in his heart for the state of Jerusalem which laid in ruins and devastation, but He didn’t understand why, because as a Jew dedicated to God, He knew God wanted His people to live in peace and rest. So in His confusion, He got books to study so that he could gain insight into he mind of God fo the hour. This payed off for him, because he got the revelation he needed about Gods appointed time for the end of Jerusalems desolation.
I have experienced this truth on several occasions in my life also; where I sense that God is speaking to me but I’m lacking clarity. In those times I employ the aid of the Holy Spirit on which book to read and being the spirit of truth He leads me to read certain books that turn my hears open towards God in those areas and suddenly i begin to hear and understand with clarity what He had being saying to me all along.
I remember one occasion in particularly where I knew I was struggling through life I didn’t know why but I just knew everything I did was a struggle, I prayed about it but was not receiving much in my spirit. Then one day I said to the Holy Spirit, “I need your help, please help me overcome this and understand what you are saying to me” immediately i sincerely admitted to this, he said to me “go to the bookstore, I’ll show you which book to get” I was surprised and skeptical at the same time as I didn’t expect such an answer but He is the spirit of truth that knows all things even to the root cause of our challenges beyond our wildest imaginations. So I obeyed, went to the bookstore nearby and started looking. As I approached a particular shelf, a book caught my attention and the Holy Spirit said that is it. I want you to read that book. You know scriptures says He works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, this was one of such workings and I was amazed by it. Interestingly, this was a book that as at that time was out of my league, in terms of the Christian authors I read or listen to but the Holy Spirit said to me “I have something there for you, so I want you to read it” Behold as I read this book page by page chapter by chapter, it was as though it was written for me and to me. I could see myself and the challenges I was facing in each chapter. So as I applied the advised solution to each challenge, the long standing issues where solved instantly. It was a glorious time for me in Gods presence as I journeyed through that book and transited into a more successful version of me. I was amazed at the leading of God through the Holy Spirit to me and the resultant effect of obeying the instruction to read a book on another anointed vessel of His. So are you challenged today in certain areas of life or the call/direction of God on your life, you don’t have to go through it guessing, rather get precision of direction by indepth study of the word via the help of the Holy Spirit and follow the lead of the Holy Spirit to get the necessary materials needed to advance your understanding in Gods word and to open you up to deeper revelations the Lord might be speaking to you on.
2Cor.3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”. (KJV)
Notice that the HolySpirit says as we behold the glory of the Lord as in a glass, we are changed. The word glass in Hebrew is ‘katoptrizomai’ which means to reflect in a mirror or to look at or behold oneself in a mirror. This is the same as the word used by James in James 1:23 when He said, “for if any be a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass. For he beholds himself and goes his way, and straightway forgetting what manner of man he was. But whosoever looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. ”
So we see the Word likened to glass and as 2Cor.3:18 reveals that as we behold in a glass the glory of the Lord we are changed, we realise that we are changed beholding Jesus, viewing in the word who we really are in Jesus and who Jesus really is in us. For Jesus is the brightness of the glory of God manifest to man Heb.1:1-3 & 2Cor.4:6.
Therefore as we behold Jesus in the mirror of His Word, we behold the glory of the father and are transformed into the same image as He. By this transformation, our souls would finds ease in knowing what He would have us do and greater ease in executing His plan in our lives and endeavours. For Grace would be there to lead the way, teach us how to walk in the way and working His good pleasure in us; bringing us through to our victory place. So we encounter Jesus and His perfect will for us in His Word.
We listen to the Lord through the following ways:
1.The Bible- This is the compilation of records pointing to one person(Jesus Christ) and His undieing love for His people. As we keep studying the Bible, we begin to see the image and person of Christ Jesus from page to page, character to character, word to word of the bible. John 1:1-5 says “in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God and the same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; For without Him was nothing made that was made. In Him was life and His Life was the light if men and that light shines in darkness and darkness comprehends it not”.
Notice that the ‘Word’ was written with a 1st capital word(in the KJV translation) which signifies superiority. Thus we see that the Holy Spirit speaking through John in John1 was NOT referring to an inanimate thing but a person, so He used a noun qualifier to emphasize this truth by saying “in the beginning was the Word”… This truth is also confirmed when He said “and the Word was God”. Someone might say well that means God Almighty but vs.2 insists on whom He was referring to by saying The same(meaning this Word) was in the beginning with God. Thus we see that this Word(Jesus Christ) was in the beginning with God as seen in Gen.1:26 and by Him all things were created. Colossians 1:1-19 in speaking of Jesus Christ reiterated the same truth and concluded it by saying “for it pleased the Father that in Him(JesusChrist) should all fullness dwell” Col.1:19.
Thus we see the reality of Jesus being the word as we approach the bible each day, seeking to meet with him from Genesis to Revelation. For it is in our encounters with Him each day that our lives are changed and transformed from glory to glory because as we behold Him in His word and via His word we are changed from glory to glory according to 2Cor.3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord”.
1b. The Word (Contd)- As we spend more time in the word of God, the more accustomed we get, to knowing Gods voice and paying close attention to Him when He speaks. You can view it this way; quality time spent with your parent, friend, or spouse is never wasted, because the more you spend time with them in communication, the more you get to know them. Soon enough you would be able to distinguish there voice any where you go and even in the midst of a crowd, you would recognise their presence or words.
Thus Jesus said my sheep knows my voice and the voice of a stranger they will not follow John10:4-5 & 27. When a new sheep comes into the fold. He is not so aware of the shepherds voice, but as He stays in the fold, listening to the voice of the shepherd, soon He would be able to easily differentiate between the voice of the shepherd and the strangers. We also see this in our trained animals; once they are accustomed to us, it is usually difficult for a stranger to sway them off to change ownership.
In the same vein, as we spend time in the word, we become more aware, sensitive and alert to the voice of our Lord. His word wakens our spiritual ears to His leading, direction and promptings towards us. As you study the word you get to know the person of Jesus, who He is, His heart for you, what He has done for you and would do for you, how He talks, what He says, how he thinks, why He thinks what He thinks and His perfect will concerning everything on the earth, in heaven and under the earth. So as we patiently spend time in the Word, we are getting to know and commune more with the person of Jesus Christ (the Word) even as we find revealed to us, His will for mankind including ourselves.
2. Through Scriptures- God would always speak to us via His word. David speaking by the spirit in Psalm 119:105 says, “thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path”. The word of God lightens our path, and directs our steps Isa.48:17. It is directive in nature as much as it is instructive and encouraging 2Tim.3:16-17
“All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction, in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (KJV)
Are you a man or woman of God? Then this scripture applies to you. You may say “well I’m not a pastor, I’m just a regular Christian” or you may think “oh… I just love God, i dont have a call on my life”. The good news is that all those qualifications is not what resonates with God, rather with Him, He sees us All as His Sons Gal.4:4-7 with a specific purpose for which He created us, thus we are all men and women of God in His eyes.
Thus the word charts a course for us in our every day lives. Personally I’ve realised that God speaks majorly through His word and even in times when He speaks verbally by His Spirit, whatever He says always agrees with His word. God and His word are one and the same. He does nothing apart from His word because three things bears record in heaven- the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost and this three are one and three things bears record on the earth- the Spirit, the water and the blood and these three are one 1John5:7-8. The Spirit and Holy Ghost mentioned earlier refers to the Holy Spirit Eph.1:13, the water and the word refers to the Word of God, as seen in Eph.5:26, and the blood refers to the blood of Jesus Christ shed for us.
So we see that the Word is crucial both to guide and to direct us because it bears record in heaven as it does on the earth. It is interesting to note that the Word is our lifeline, our base, our sure foundation because it is rooted in Jesus. As a matter of fact, the Word is Jesus Chrst Himself John1:1-5. So when we study the word, with an open heart to access wisdom, we encounter Jesus all through the pages of scriptures as He talks to us directly to give us guidance, direction and leading for our daily lives and also for the greatest issue of concern in our lives.
Until you have spoken and received effective feedback, you cannot say you have effectively communicated with the Father. In various ways we receive feedback from Him that gives us direction and puts us to rest. Thus we would be examining some of the ways God talks back to us:
1. Peace- In James.3:17, we see that the wisdom of God is first pure then peaceable, meaning it is characterised by peace i.e it is full of peace and gives peace. The psalmist in Psalm85:8 said “i will hear what God the Lord will speak: for He will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” It is note worthy therefore that as believers, each time we pray, God answers and each time we seek direction He gives it. In those times of enquiry, His perfect will would always bring peace to us, thus we see the psalmist say, i know what He would say to His people for He shall speak peace unto His people. Most times we feel uneasy or ill at ease in our spirits when we are not in the perfect will of God for our lives. In those times it is also noteworthy that we have priotized our plans over Gods will and though we are praying about the plan or issue at hand, we are actually saying to God “Don’t get involved here, rather i just want you to bless my plan, that all”. In such situatons we miss the blessedness of Gods perfect plan because His plan is already blessed (not seeking approval nor peace), for His plan is a complete package of the Blessing. Thus the psalmist by the spirit of God said:
“let the people not turn again to folly, for surely His salvation is near them that fear Him(reverence Him, and His way) that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together, righteousness and peace have kissed together. Righteousnes shall go beforw him; and shall ser us intheway of His steps.” Psalm 85:8-10 & 13.
You see, the psalmist was having a revelation into the times we are in right now. He was seeing a time of Grace where Gods salvation (deliverance, direction leading into abundance) was going to be near to His people. Where Mercy and truth would go hand in hand and where righteousness and peace would be joined together as one. Thus which greater prove do we need to know that God desires that we have His wisdom accompanied with peace(which signals rest for us by His mercies)
So anytime we pray and lack the peace that should come with executing a plan, all we need to do is come boldly to the throne of Grace and seek His direction, leading and wisdom by asking Him for His perfect will to be revealed or made manifest in your life(this is the prayer of enquiry for His perfect will) and He is sure to always answer.