HEARING HIS VOICE
Moses got in trouble and could not enter into the Promised Land in the flesh because he did not sanctify the Lord before the people. In other words, he stole the glory for a moment. In this case it was significant.
Numbers 20:7-13 (NKJ)
8 "Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals."
9 So Moses took the rod from before the LORD as He commanded him.
10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock; and he said to them, "Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?"
11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
12 Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, "Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them."
13 This was the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was hallowed among them.
Many have been wounded and misled by false prophetic words. Those can come from a number of sources. Obviously the most sinister one would be the devil's deceitful voice, but it is up to us to overcome him through God's help.
Next could be greedy people, who want to merchandise the anointing. They will tell you whatever they think you want to hear for a payment of some kind. These are people who have studied human nature enough to know what people want to hear. Many read body language. Obviously they will appeal to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life.
They may say, "You will be important; you will be rich; you will have a lot of money or things; you will have a big ministry; you will have the mate of your dreams and a big house; you will command or manage many people, etc." and it will appeal to the soul nature. It will make you feel good, but will that word cause the Holy Spirit to rise up in you in a strength, giving God the glory? Are you going to battle for your flesh or for the Kingdom?
And then perhaps the most difficult words to deal with and discern and resist are the carnal words from well meaning people. These are people who genuinely want what is good for you and so they "prophesy" according to their heart. And some are more pure than others!
Again, you have to be the discerner for what is right in your own life. You must know that the spirit of the prophet is subject to the prophet, which means each person is accountable for their words and actions. That can even mean when you prophesy to yourself!
There is a lot in the book of Jeremiah about misusing the prophetic word. We can get so spooked on some things that we fear to prophesy at all but we have been encouraged in the New Testament to speak the Word of God. What really matters most is a good foundation.
To use myself as an example of self-correction, some years back I remember seeing a childless couple in ministry and I so wanted them to have children because I really sensed they wanted to have children. I even had a vision of a beautiful little girl that I felt like could be a fulfillment for them.
I almost prophesied a word to them that soon they would have this beautiful child. I was praying this for them out of the love in my heart for them. But just as I considered what to say, I felt the Holy Spirit ask me, "Did I say that?" And my response was, "Well, I had this vision and you have been answering my prayers, so I will pray for this."
It only took His silence to let me know that I was about to miss it. Since I have missed it enough in my life (smile!) I realized I could become counter productive. That would hurt them and me both! Later I believe the Lord shared with me that this ~could~ happen if things lined up a certain way and that it was good to pray. But those things never lined up. Of course, then I was glad I did not share it.
Our wishes are not always what works, even when we pray! I also remember being a victim (more than once, believe me) and the particular time I am going to share here was when I had a financial need and no way to pay the bill. A lady I didn't really know all that well at all came to the meetings we were holding and she called me on the phone and prophesied a number of good things, including that the financial need I was concerned about was going to be met "in 30 days."
I was so excited with that word that I just quit worrying about the need. But a couple of days before the due date, the money was still not there and it wasn't there on the due date either. God ended up covering the situation, and it taught me two things. One was that not everyone prophesies accurately and two, I should have more peace about such needs.
I was almost angry with that lady for the wrong word but the Lord told me that she meant well and that she was just seeking favor so she prophesied a "good" word. That caused me to release her with forgiveness and let me mature in my understanding. The Bible says that some have a zeal for God without a full understanding. I never saw her after that, so I never did confront her, but I know the Lord would have wanted me to be kind.
In the New Testament we are encouraged to prophesy, and we are told to not despise prophesying. A few bad experiences can sometimes make that hard to do, but Jesus said that His sheep hear His Voice! That does not mean that we are all stellar prophets but that He will Spiritually guide us in our own personal lives.
The Usurper will replace God's Voice in your life with his own. He may give several "good" words to set you up for a wrong word! The horoscopes in newspapers do not sanctify God. Some for entertainment purposes put funny little words out there to titillate people, but if it is being done to suck you in, then there may be a wicked spirit behind that.
Consider how the enemy could work by getting you to think wrong thoughts. I learned this from my brief experience with Tarot cards in my seeking days, before I committed to the Lord with an understanding of the importance of His Word. These "ministries" may tell you several "good" things, like you are going to meet someone important, have a pleasant relationship, get some money, have a new experience, that you will get a new job," and possibly some of these general things could come to pass.
But then there will also be words of suspicion thrown in, like "beware of the person wearing red," or they will tell you something like "be wary of the third person you talk to today," or "don't invest in any venture today (or that maybe you should)" or "the person who speaks kindly to you this morning is really an enemy," or other such crazy stuff. There is no Scripture or fact to back up or deny such statements as something that would guide your life! Certainly solid wisdom is not there, and it's all based on another's voice.
Could the Lord speak through something like that? Well, possibly He could but He has not built a foundation on it. He has built a foundation on His Word! It is written and when He speaks a rhema word there is often a witness of His Holy Spirit in a discernable way.
Some people get very dramatic in how they say they hear from the Lord. They will have drama dreams and drama words and they want to suck you into their drama world. The Lord does speak in interesting ways, but He is not as full of drama as some people are who just want the positive attention. Problem is that it is usually just short lived.
I have also encountered a lot of people in "prophetic" ministry who come trying to put fear in me or other people. They don't entreat in love or reason in compassion with them, they only threaten them with fear filled prophecies.
There are stages that happen when God is about to judge something. It is not His will that any should perish. He wants you to fear Him in respect, not people who want to victimize you, especially ones you don't even know well enough to prove they really do have their best interests for you.
Often these type people are full of fear in their own life and they have developed a "tough" exterior to deal with their world. Often authority figures have abused them, some because they don't know any better, some because they are just hateful. I wish every person was motivated by God but they are not, but He is the Ultimate Judge of all that. We just do the best we can in our walk and resources.
Many immature "prophetic" people talk to people like their parents must have have talked to them, which may not be with the kindest voice. When I hear "words" saying things like "I have had about enough of this" and other such frustration filled "words" like God is about to lose His self control, I often sense that these people heard those same words growing up. God is not going to lose His self control!
God does have a personality and He does work with people but God does not lose His cool; He just acts, and it's Sovereign! Some people try to judge God, and enlist themselves as His advisor, even for their own lives,not to mention others, and just because He does not correct something immediately does not mean He is not going to correct it. He may be looking for the kindest way to do it and it's not with a frustrated "I am going to hurt you if you do that one more time!" type of word. God's emotions are positive.
God will always try to reason with our spirit first but we must have our spirits tuned in with the resources that are available to us. We are held accountable for it! Rahab the harlot was spared because her spirit reasoned right when she encoutered the people of God.
I sometimes have people who want me to do their homework and research for them. I will get letters like "Tell me your views on women in ministry," or "Tell me your views on the Trinity" and they may be nothing more than time stealers! They may have a gross misunderstanding of what ministers are!
Sometimes they only want your view to compare them with someone else that "they" are making a decision or a case on. They are not being led by the Spirit and some are not even truly seeking God. Many times I have articles already written on the subjects and they just have not searched that out. Some think they can give a few coins and get a word like King Saul did (before he was king). (God forbid you tell them they won't be royalty, ha ha!) They forget that God had gone ahead in that particular situation for His Cause!
We are so used to having so much given to us that it becomes like a pacifier. It's a substitute for food that we may or may not need! As adult Christians, we must decide if we are growing in the Lord or in the flesh. Many will offer their agendas for you because to them, it completes their cause.
A cause may be good or not good; it may be a God cause or a flesh cause. But even so, you must discern if you are to be a part of that cause as God's will for your life! A lot of "good" works can be substitutes for the real works that God wants you to do.
So what if you make a mistake? The wonderful news is that you get to repent! That just means to turn your direction back to God. There is a great satisfaction in hearing Him and responding to Him. He is not trying to take away your reasoning abilities. If you are putting Him first, He will often go out of His way to help you.
If something bad happens, then He wants you to learn from it. God is the One who puts the true value on life and it is up to us to respond to that. God's Voice to you can be extremely important. It is up to each of us to learn it and respond to it.
There is a counterfeit spirit out there. If you have ever been its victim, then you are probably called to be an overcomer of it and help others along the way too!
I believe that God also wants us to give with our eyes wide open. Some give just because someone told them to give and so they give blindly. But faith cannot be mixed very well with that if God did not tell you to give.
I have also learned that I get a Spiritual response from my giving. When we are young in the Lord, we may or may not give to a church or project that is a stronghold of God's will. Some are blessed just because they did give, but if I feel yukky after I give, then I seek the Lord about that.
We should always be giving portions of our lives back to God in the many ways that we can. Finances, time, good deeds, obedience to His Voice, helping others, these are just some of the many ways we should give.
But God will direct you in these things. If you don't feel a strong direction but know you should give or feel that you want to seek Him more and get closer to Him, then just reason your giving out. Give to things that bless His Cause. You may be doing thanks giving, you may be seeking direction. You may just want a more intimate walk with Him. There are ways to give to these things.
When you learn how to give to having your desires met IN HIM, then your Spiritual walk will mature. Some will only seek the causes of the flesh but it will show. Many NEED someone to help them and show them the way, and that is what we are all called to do. We each have a ministry. Throwing money at something does not mean you are hearing His Voice or will be rewarded for it. If you aren't giving at all, then that's a sure sign that you aren't hearing His Voice!
It's not hard to give. Sometimes God will intervene in our lives in a way that does forced giving. I hate to fast. Sometimes I will but I usually want to be very Spirit led to do it. And when it is Spirit led, I am often not even hungry for those times. Then there is a release.
Sometimes I think I may miss a fast call and God forces the effects of a fast on me. Maybe He is just helping me out, but in those times where my stomach has been forced empty, I have often heard His Voice more clearly. But He has never been mean to me about it. He is more interested in me hearing His Voice than the legalims of fasting.
When He really wants me to hear something, I will!!! I may hear it in an unusual way but if my heart puts Him first, I find He is with me. We grow in our flexibility. We are also in a fallen world at the end of an age. Spiritual forces are polarizing. To gain the benefits of the blessings, we are going to have to make bold and strong stands.
God is not playing games and He did not give us an intelligence (or talent) that He did not want us to use. But we must learn our priorities. Something is wrong when a baby does not grow up, but the goal in His Family is mature Love.
The character of God expresses itself in tangible ways. Even the unlearned and foolish can often recognize it. If our spirits have a heart towards God, we will respond to it. If we are wrestling, we will find an internal battle that expresses the internal desires. What we cater to is what wins.
Many write me and ask me to tell them what the will of God is for their lives. Some think He is going to tell me something that He is not telling them. What I often see in a person's life is the wisdom they are using or are not using. I don't know everyone else's secrets! I will get just enough, if I get anything, to spur you along, if He wills I do that. I am not every person's prophet just at the Apostle Paul said he was not every man's apostle. But he was an apostle!
God really wants to speak to you first. He wants you to seek the treasures that He put into your heart. Sometimes He will have others stimulate your interest to seek, and ministers are called to help you learn in the way He chooses, but clairvoyancy is not the same thing as being Spirit led. Sometimes God just wants personal relationship with you! Sometimes He may not speak to others because He knows that you to get with a program or learn about His goodness for yourself! He is an amazing God.
He is not about destroying other people for the fun of it. That is a different spirit! But sometimes we have been wounded so that we will seek Him more. God allowed Pharaoh to be himself and God used that to speak to Israel. He wanted to show them that He was not like Pharaoh!
You can have an enriched God filled life if YOU seek Him! If He makes you stop to smell the roses along the way, realize there may be more going on that the thorns you first see! See if you can figure it out! It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to seek it out.
God will match your wits! If you learn to play the way He does, things can be pretty fun and exciting! Just know the character of His Spirit and resist the evil one. Then you will be known as a gifted man or woman of God.
Even children can learn these things, and a society full of the knowledge of God is blessed society indeed!