My set of keys had been lost for many days and I “knew” that they were somewhere and that, eventually, I’d find them. For the time being, however, I would have to “make due” without them, borrowing my wife’s keys until I found them. But recently, while going about her day, my wife was trying to think about where my keys were, when, all of a sudden, the Lord spoke to her by giving her a vision of my red coat. She said it very clearly “passed” in front of her, at the same time as she was thinking where my keys might be, and she knew the Lord was telling her where the keys were. So she checked the red coat, and, sure enough, the keys were in it! What an encouraging experience that was for both me and my wife! Yes, the Lord was still with us! This heaven-sent vision spoke to our hearts.
Hearing from God “afresh” is like attending a “fresh” sporting event – it’s an exciting and fun experience. We are never content to live in the past, and to rely upon past activities to satisfy our intense desire for relationship “here and now”. Something fresh, something powerful, something exciting is required “here and now” in order to satisfy that God given desire for relationship. If you are a Christian, there is no satisfaction apart from hearing God speak on a regular basis, just as there is no satisfaction in relying upon the “old” sporting event that occurred at some distant point in the past. It’s got to be fresh. And when it’s fresh, it’s refreshing, and reassuring, and solidifies the fact that God is still with us. Not that my wife and I ever doubted that God was with us, but isn’t it nice to know that the One that you are serving in “Spirit and in Truth” is rewarding you by speaking with you on an intimate basis, revealing to you things that could only come from him?
To me, this is what Christianity is all about. It is not about religiosity, or ritual, but it is rather a tremendous relationship with the One who designed us, and who loved us enough to send Jesus Christ to die for our sins. Too often we confuse “serving” God with simply “obeying” him, lest he strike us! That is very much an imperfect picture of God, because God desires to be intimate with everyone that he has created. Unfortunately, however, he cannot be intimate with everyone, because not everyone regards him highly, but rather some spurn him. God’s word assures us that he will not disclose himself to those who spurn him. But rather, like the Pharisees, a “veil” will be over their spiritual eyes, such they cannot see and appreciate the things of God. What a sad thing to have the power to know God, but to miss God! Each and every person on the face of the earth has the power to know God. But how many actually know him? To be sure, many have not heard about him, and we must tell them. These are not to be condemned, but to be reached for Christ.
How is your relationship with Christ? First, do you have one? Putting your faith in Christ is the starting point which “opens the door” for you to experience a loving, intimate, relationship with God as Father. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man comes to the Father but by me.” (John 14:6) In this, Jesus was declaring that the way to experiencing intimacy with God was through him and through him alone. There is no other way to reach God, except through Jesus. Buddha, Mohammed, Confusion, Joseph Smith, and a whole host of others all died and were buried. But only Jesus was raised from the dead to prove his authority over death. This alone is good enough reason to put your faith in him, and to trust him, when he says, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)
Second, once having received Christ, are you living for him and honoring him in every thing you do? Being passionate for God, and serving him wholeheartedly, is a key to obtaining favor from God. Sin cuts off our relationship with God. If you are caught in a sin, then you cannot expect to hear from God until you deal with it. Like David we need to continually be asking God to search us and to try us, to see if there be any wicked way in us. (Psalm 139) I believe this is an appropriate prayer for us to pray even on a daily basis, for sin is insidious, and it “creeps in” almost unnoticed, sometimes. Remember, God Spirit didn’t leave the temple in Jerusalem in a day. But it was the ongoing sin, day after day, year after year, that caused him to eventually “leave”. So it is with us, that if we don’t deal with our sins, we will risk losing our intimacy with God. There will come a time when we simply can’t hear him. What a shame that would be for us to enter into that circumstance!
Having said this, if you are really not sure that God is speaking with you, but you are sure that you have received Christ as Lord and Savior, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to hear God afresh, and once again know that his favor rests upon you? The Lord longs to be gracious to you, and to speak with you along intimate lines, as we read in God’s word, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” (John 14:21) Notice what Jesus is saying here, essentially, “I will reveal myself and show myself to the one who obeys me!” Notice that this promise is not for church leaders only, or for “super Christians”, but is it for people like you and I. Indeed, God wills to reveal himself to all people, regardless of social status, or nationality, or color, or what-have-you. Our God is indeed an awesome God, and I encourage you to seek him now, while he may be found!