God Speak

"And every provision He's made to speak to us is because He wants us to never be condemned for our past, to be joyful in the present, and to never fear the future."

WE, WHO GREW UP IN THE CHURCH, HAVE DEVELOPED A MINDSET toward certain things we read in the gospel stories. We’ve heard them so many times, we’ve accepted what our mind understands and do not press the Spirit of God for the pattern of them, as set in the Word of God. I say this all the time, but nothing in the Word from the chapters and the number of verses in the chapter, to the stories as they are placed in each gospel, is there at random. Nothing. We have also accepted the stories as they are read to us and made assumptions. One of these assumptions is that men and women under the Old Covenant could not hear from God outside the work of the priest.

In Matthew chapter 1 and chapter 2, we see this contradicted, several times. Matthew 1:18 tells us Mary was engaged to Joseph and she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. In the next verse, Joseph is thinking about putting her away privately, in essence, severing ties to her in such a way she will not be harmed publicly. In verse 20, the Word says, “But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream …” Joseph’s dream caused him to do as God planned, and it was not the last dream God would give him. Because in Matthew 2, we have the wise men inquiring of King Herod about the birth of Christ.

We know the story. They asked what no one was asking, and King Herod sent for the Jewish scribes who quoted him the Scripture about Bethlehem. Then the wise men went on their way and found Jesus with His parents, and they rejoiced. But though Herod had told them to send him word of where this child was, who they’d called King of the Jews, God warned them not to do so with a dream. Here are men who aren’t Jewish, aren’t from Israel, have traveled afar, as the song goes, and the God of heaven speaks to them so that they will not do what they had planned. And they not only saw the dream and heard the warning, they changed their path. Men without God living within them heard from the God that created them. Which leads us to Joseph’s second dream. God not only warned the wise men, He warned Joseph and sent him to Egypt for safety.

In the Old Testament, there are many stories of unredeemed men who heard from God. The Israelites saw the glory of the Lord on the mountain and trembled in fear. They begged Moses to cover his face when the light of God shone so brightly on it. Abraham spoke with God, pleading for Sodom’s rescue. He spoke with God when promised his son, Isaac, and heard God call to him when he went to slay him. He had a vision of his descendants in Egypt. One of those descendants, Jacob, had a dream of angels ascending and descending to earth, and then God spoke to him the promise given to his grandfather, Abraham.

There is the dream King Solomon had where he chose wisdom. Of importance in this story, recorded in 1 Kings 3, reading at verse 1, we discover the King had married the daughter of Pharaoh and brought her into Jerusalem. God had delivered Israel from Egypt with great signs and wonders, but King Solomon brought Egypt into Israel. So when God asked him, in the dream, “what I shall give thee,” though Solomon gave the best answer and was abundantly blessed for it, of Solomon personally, God needed him to see he’d already done something decidedly unwise. And, as the story goes, women were the King’s downfall.

Moses saw God’s back parts. Here, is an encounter between the Almighty, Jehovah, and an earthly man. “And he (Moses) said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he (the LORD) said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee … And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.” No man, before Jesus came to earth, could look on God’s face, but Moses, hidden in the cleft of a rock, saw God pass by. God spoke to him as a friend (Ex 33:11). This is an amazing truth, and it shows God’s heart.

In fact, when we collect these stories together, and many others, King Hezekiah pleading for his health, the prophet Isaiah’s vision of God’s throne, Daniel’s vision of the end of times, we see God wanted to talk to people. He wanted to communicate and would not let anyone, though they may not be under His covenant at that time, go without His wisdom. Job heard from God and repented of his unwise words. Zachariah spoke with Gabriel the angel in the temple and learned of the birth of his son, John. Mary also spoke with Gabriel and surrendered her will to God’s, so she would carry the Christ-child.

God sent Jesus to earth to redeem mankind, to die and rise again and condemn the devil, once and for all. But He sent Him also to reveal Himself. Jesus was the exact representation of the Father. “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father,” He said to His disciple, Philip. The Father didn’t want to give men less of Him, to take away what little we had, but to make it permanent that we could call on Him and hear His voice, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, all year long. This is why Jesus sent the Comforter, the sweet Holy Spirit. This is why we can not only be saved and have Him living within us, but He will baptize us in His power and come upon us. We can pray to Him, through Him, in a heavenly language and not struggle with the enemy, who can’t understand it, nor our mind which sometimes gets in the way of our prayers and understanding.

God still speaks through dreams. He still gives men visions. But they always come through His Spirit, whose voice we must recognize so that we do not make mistakes. We must know our mind, our thoughts, and the thoughts of the enemy, the devil, from the words that the Holy Spirit speaks. Is that dream or vision simply because you had too much pizza, or was God speaking? When you truly know Him, when you’ve spent time with Him, speaking to Him, you will never have to ask and wonder. But knowing Him only comes through time spent with Him. We must read the Word of God and meditate on it. I like to pace and roll what I’ve read over in my thoughts, to quote it and consider individual words. We must spend time in prayer, both in our native language and in the Spirit’s language. Praying in tongues strengthens us, it tells us in Jude 1:20. It is a conduit of the perfect will of God. Simply put, you can’t mess it up, but the Spirit prays the will of God over people, circumstances, and events, over ourselves, to the Father. He knows what needs to be said, and He says it.

God still speaks prophetically. But only when you know His voice will you recognize His words from those of the speaker’s mind. Our wonderful Father wants us to never come up short, to never be lost and confused about our lives, to never lack knowledge and wisdom, and to always have hope. And here is the reason for all He is. He is the God of hope, He is love, and every provision He’s made to speak to us is because He wants us to never be condemned for our past, to be joyful in the present, and to never fear the future. Jesus made the way possible, but we have to choose to seek Him and take hold of it. We don’t seek dreams and visions. We can submit to God in humbleness and be open to them, but our part is to bring our prayers and petitions to Him, so that He has the delight in answering. Something He wanted to do in the ages past. We should see in the Old Covenant stories His heart for us because He hasn’t changed in character or nature. He has, instead, made Himself more open, more available, through the blood of His Son. For God SO LOVED the world, that He gave.

“For God has clearly revealed himself and his principles of love, beneficence and giving, in all he has created.” (Romans 1:19 Remedy)

“Because God didn’t want any doubts —because God wanted those who are heirs of his promised redemption to be certain about the unchanging nature of his methods, principles and character of love—he confirmed it with his own word.” (Hebrews 6:17 Remedy)

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Suzanne D. Williams, Author