Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Voice of the Lord

And the Lord came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!”

And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.

1 Sam. 3:10 NLT

Principles of receiving God’s guidance in our lives:

First, God’s voice often sounds, whether spoken outwardly to the physical ear or inwardly to the human soul, like a human voice.

Second, God’s voice is hindered by unrepentant sin, unsurrendered goals, and self-centered ambitions.

Third, God’s voice can be corrective, or even a word of rebuke, but it will be seasoned with encouragement that is full of enabling grace.

Fourth, God’s voice speaks in silence and repose. Spend little or no time in God’s presence and you will not receive guidance from the Holy Spirit.

Fifth, God’s voice is precious to those whose hearts burn for more of Christ. They maintain yielded and surrendered hearts opening their lives to more and more of God’s presence.

Sixth, God’s voice is gracious, he will speak to us over and over again until we understand his direction.

Seventh, God’s voice is more concerned with developing our character than getting us to the next place in life.

Last, God’s voice always leads to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Jesus and never contradicts Holy Scripture.

The servant’s open ear is a reason for the Lord’s open lips.

Alexander MacLaren

I make it my business only to persevere in His holy presence, wherein I keep myself by a simple attention, and a general fond regard to GOD, which I may call an actual presence of GOD; or, to speak better, an habitual, silent, and secret conversation of the soul with GOD, which often causes in me joys and raptures inwardly, and sometimes also outwardly, so great that I am forced to use means to moderate them, and prevent their appearance to others.

Brother Lawrence, Practicing the Presence of God


Opportunities and Opposition

Open Window

For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

1 Cor 16:9 KJV

God’s call may be an inward drawing, an internal prodding, or a wooing sense in one’s spirit. On occasion, God’s direction may come as an outward audible voice, which sounds much like our own human voice (1 Sam. 3: 1-21). Mostly, God speaks in our hearts as a thought that is much like our own reasoning. God’s thought appears to come out of nowhere and is not an idea we normally would have conceived. Dallas Willard calls this type of inward direction, “a God characteristic type of thought” (1 Kings 19: 12). God is not playing a cat and mouse game disappearing when we most need him. He is no trickster playing with our lives while we stumble around in the dark. The Lord will make his will known even if he has to repeat it continually.

God’s call may lead us to a season of difficulty and opposition from the enemy (Matt. 4:1). Trials do not indicate that we missed God or somehow lost our way. The very thing that God most desires to accomplish in us and through us, intimacy with him, is the very thing that the kingdom of darkness wants to oppose. We should not allow difficulties and discouragements to prevent us from obeying the call of God. If we obey and trust God’s call, the Lord will be glorified by our obedience and our faith will grow exponentially.

There are open doors in every life, doors to high achievement and wide usefulness and spiritual discovery. Many of us, in moods which we allow too often, look upon our circumstances in life as barriers to attainment; but in our moments of truer perception we discern that the imagined prison bars are in reality open doors of opportunity. Our circumstances only look like barriers because the inward eye by which we recognize spiritual values is diseased.

But there are never open doors without opposition. . . . There is an opportunity in every difficulty and difficulty in every opportunity. That is why so many blessings are missed, so many heights left unscaled, so many chapters of service left unwritten. Some of the finest foreign missionaries are those who never went! They heard the call, they felt the urge, they were keen to go, they saw the open door and would had gone through; but there were adversaries, obstacles, discouragements; there was hesitation; the vision faded; and the grand vocation was never fulfilled.

J. Sidlow Baxter, Awake my Heart: Daily Devotional Meditations for the Year (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1960), 10.