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A Heart For God: How I Hear From God

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How I Hear From God

I don't share this like I'm anything great because I'm not. (I'm a sinner saved by grace like anyone else who has Jesus in their heart.) I share this for instruction purposes.

I'd been reading through the Old Testament book of Esther in my regular Bible reading. And I've always been struck by the fact that, on the very day Israel's enemy, Haman, had planned to destroy the Jews, God had a plan to deliver the Jews. On the very day. (Esther 9:1)

The Jews didn't know that. But God had it marked on His calendar. (God's plans take precedence over all other plans.)

I thought nothing more of it (this point the Holy Spirit impressed upon me) and went about my day and the rest of my week.

Sunday came. And what you gotta know is my Pastor has a group of people that he calls upon each Sunday to open both the first and second services with a word of encouragement / exhortation for the congregation. I just happen to have the privilege to be in this group. My family and I attend the first service.

The other thing you gotta know is he (my Pastor) never tells me ahead of time when it's my turn. He just decides on the spot. And so my wife and I joke most every Sunday, "I wonder if he'll call on you today." And I have to be ready, as the Scripture says, "In season and out," just in case. (Isn't that crazy?)

It many times comes to me when I'm jogging. Some might call it: "The word of the Lord." A timely word. An uplifting word. This Sunday God said (not audibly, you just sense it in your mind and heart), "Mike, do you remember that point you got while reading Esther? Don't forget that point you got reading Esther."

So I'm walking up to church later and I walk past my Pastor. He doesn't say anything. I think, "Yay. I don't have to speak." (The sign you're called of God is you're reluctant about it. Remember Moses?) But then, all of a sudden, my Pastor reaches out towards me and says, "Mike, can you open the service this morning?" It's always like five whole minutes before the start that this happens. (Who needs more time to be ready than that?)

"So what should I say?" is always what goes through my mind when I'm called upon. And then I go back and forth inside, "Will this work? What about that? No, that can't be what God wants. Or maybe it is?" Then I thought (on this Sunday), "Wait a minute. The point from my reading in Esther?!"

I shared the word. I sat down. We went through worship time (about 20 minutes). Then Pastor got up. He said, "I feel like the Holy Spirit wants to do something different before I preach."

Then he looked toward me and said, "Mike, I want to thank you for being sensitive to the Holy Spirit this morning. You know, even I needed to hear what you had to say."

He would go on to minister to a nearly entire congregation that raised their hands to show they were needing help with a spirit of discouragement they'd been battling that week.

You still get up in front of everybody and you wonder if what you're bringing is timely. :)

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." (Proverbs 25:11; KJV)

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