Momentum (Christ – centred, Spirit – empowered, Mission – focused)
As an energetic young boy, I often failed to listen well. It would not have been uncommon for my mother or father to say, “David, slow down and listen” several times a day. I am now fifty-six years old, and I feel that the word of God for my soul in these days is echoing what my parents told me.
A.W. Tozer, in The Pursuit of God, wrote, “God is speaking. Not God spoke, but God is speaking. He is by His nature continuously articulate.” What if when we are listening to God, we receive a word for someone else?
I’ll be honest with you; growing up, if someone said they had a word of God for me, my response would have been one of hesitation and skepticism; however, I’m beginning to understand that the voice of God is sometimes articulated to other people and then is given to us.
In the Old Testament, Samuel’s first leadership responsibility was to listen to God. The word of God that came to Samuel as a young boy was not a word for himself; it was a word for Eli, his mentor (1 Samuel 3:9).
The Apostle Paul said, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way” (1 Corinthians 14:39-40).
Last October, I attended a Holy Spirit weekend retreat. Part of the weekend was about listening to the voice of the Spirit with the strong emphasis that the Word of God is the test of all truth.
During a time of prayer, a godly woman gave me a picture that God had given her for me. In the picture, I was standing on a hill with my hands stretched out, and my family members were coming up the hill and into my arms. I loved the image, but the “hill” part was confusing. She felt the Lord say, “All of them will be there!”
As soon as she said that, I became quite skeptical. My wife Agnes and I were hoping that our children would move eastward with us in 2012, but they said, “Mom and Dad, we love you, but we’re going to stay in the West.”
A few weeks before I had received this picture, Agnes said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our children could join us for Christmas?” To which I said, “It will take a miracle!” But God used circumstances such as a broken foot and a pregnancy to bring my three daughters to Ontario for Christmas: “They were all there” – a powerful gift of God’s grace!
I recognize that this is a new conversation for some; it certainly is for me. I’d like to give you a word of caution and also a word of challenge. If you hear a word of God for someone else, be sensitive in communicating it; don’t approach them and say, “Thus saith the Lord.” Rather, say, “I was praying for you, and I sensed that God may be saying this; I give it to you to test.”
I challenge you; if you are receiving a word of God for someone else, be bold and speak it with confidence, knowing that God has given you a gift to share with someone else.
Every “word” needs to be carefully weighed and tested in light of the Scriptures. Paul said, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:19-21).
There are three ways to test the words that we receive:
1. Be aware that the Spirit of God will always be consistent with what he has already spoken in the written Word of God. Hold the Bible close and pay attention to what the Word of God is saying. Test everything you hear by the Word of God.
2. Test the word through a trusted, godly friend, someone who is sensitive to listening to the voice of God, who can give you wisdom and speak into your life.
3. Listen to the inner witness of your own spirit. What do you sense the Spirit of God saying deep within your heart? Does this resonate with you? Is it consistent with how God has been speaking to you?
These are powerful opportunities for God to communicate to us individually and to his Church at large.
When I received the picture, the thing that puzzled me was the hill. As I was driving through Georgetown, where I live, I came by a sign and realized that Georgetown is also called Halton Hills. The place where I live was part of the fulfilment of God’s prophecy to my family!
I challenge you to slow down and listen.
Dr. Simpson, “But we do not belong to the kingdom of heaven until we become partakers of the Divine nature, and that is love.”
Please find the original version in C&MA website