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Peace Steps to Bible Study.

It is my hope that this page will help you learn to develop a relationship with God.  Remember that so much of what we do is all about doing and impressing God.  Father is not about that.  He is all about a relationship.  In a relationship the is fellowship and communion, sharing of hearts and ideas and goals and dreams.  The goal of learning to walk with God in this way is to allow Him to share His heart with us.  Passages in 1 Cor talk about this type of relationship, a relationship where we are spirit to spirit with God’s Spirit.  One might describe this in the vernacular as a true “soul mate”, for that is how well we are known and can know this One Who is God.

For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.  Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words (1 Cor 2.11-13)
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Cor 3.16)
Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body 
with her? For He says, “The two shall become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Cor 6.16-17)

It’s all about a relationship.  In all the religions of the world, they are called to seek God.  In Christianity, the God seeks man.   In all the religions of the world the people are commanded to spread offerings before their God, but in the Christian Faith Father God spreads a feast before His Children.   This same Father called us to “Live Vertical”.

To know Him is to hear His Voice.   It is my conjecture that this is precisely the depth of the meaning of abide in John 14-16.

“He who has My Commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father and I will love him and disclose myself to him.” (John 14.21)
Jesus also taught, “but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life”.  (John 4.14)

To begin that process of building this relationship with God we need to learn to hear His Spirit in our inner man.  Hearing His voice is a skill that comes with risk for we can be influenced by the natural man as well as the words of the enemy.

We must become investigators and explorers of the Word

There is such a wonderful story of investigation as reflected in the story of a student who learned the power of observation under the instruction of a professor named Agassiz.

Learning to Hear Him goes beyond study.

The intellectual arrogance of modern Christianity is suffocating.  So many invest in reading and dissecting the Bible all the while missing that the Word of God is a Mirror to personally see and experience the Person of God in Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Here are the four overriding principles I use in all my personal walk with God and as accountability in those I disciple.

What does it say?
What does it mean?
What does it SAY TO ME?
What did it mean to me?

In asking God to speak to me I find there are some great questions to ask, found in Peace Steps acrostic.  Is there a …

Promise to claim?
Example to follow?
Attitude to change?
Command to obey?
Error to avoid?

Sin to confess?
Truth to proclaim?
Exaltation of God or Evangelism tip to follow?
Prayer to pray?
Something to thank God for?

 

Remembering that this is a relationship expect God to Speak.

I”m passionate about hearing the Shepherd’s Voice.  I love the passage in Habakkuk 2.1-4

[1] I will stand on my guard post And station myself on the rampart;

And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,

And how I may reply when I am reproved.

[2] Then the LORD answered me and said, “Record the vision And inscribe it on tablets, That the one who reads it may run. [3] “For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. [4] “Behold, as for the proud one, His soul is not right within him; But the righteous will live by his faith.

1. Get Serious: Stand and station yourself to wait on God alone.

The first necessity for time with God and hearing His voice is shutting off every other voice in your head. People’s minds are filled with thoughts, worries about the day, goal setting for tomorrow, rehearsing the frustrations of yesterday. Forcibly shut them off. Quiet your heart to stand like a soldier fixed on hearing what God has to say to you.

2. Be Focused: “And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me.”

A person keeping watch over something constantly turns his or her eyes, scanning every detail, usually to protect the object. In your times with God, as you hear Father’s voice, you need to be protecting your heart from all distractions. Father God has given you the Holy Spirit as your internal guidance system. Professor Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary would say that God is far more interested in giving you His will than you are in finding it.

Practice spiritual breathing, inhaling God’s Word by reading His Bible and letting it wash through you. Try reading one book in the New Testament every day for thirty days. Soak it in, “letting the Word of Christ dwell within you richly.”[i] Soon you will start to hear and sense the Holy Spirit guiding you internally. You will start hearing His voice as you learn to watchHim, listening for His still small voice within you. Picture Him speaking to you, as you sit by your Father’s chair or in His lap. Learn to see with your spiritual eyes. Journal with your Father or with Jesus as you see  in the eyes of your spirit. Listen to His Spirit as His voice leads you.

 3. Practice Authentic Humility: “And how I may reply when I am reproved.”

The core of your walk with God is hearing how loved you are, which leads to a repentant, or humble, heart. The essence of sin is self-dependence, and the goal of the believer’s life is to respond to God’s Love in humility. Often, before Father God begins a discussion with you, the Holy Spirit will identify the self-prioritizingyou are doing, which keeps Him from flowing through you. “For God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble.[ii]

Breathing in His Word and exhaling selfishness opens up the rivers of Grace flowing through your heart. As that happens, God’s power flows through you. You will see this important concept expressed in every chapter of this book. Father won’t spend long on “reproof” in your life; He seldom mentions more than a couple of areas that need cleansing. John 1:9 says that when “we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”   The Greek word for “confess” comes from homologeo, meaning “to say the same thing.” So confessing is simply feeling the same thing God feels about your sin.

4. Write it, Check it, Run it: “Record the vision and inscribe it.”

Learn to journal your conversations with God. Sit with your Bible and a notebook.  Write down what you say to Him then what your heart (not your ears) hears Him saying to you. Listen quietly and let Him speak or lead however He chooses. (He is God remember.) Learn to check your heart by sharing what you’ve written with at least three trusted advisors. When they agree with what you have heard, then you have a checking system that keeps you from going in some drastically wrong direction.

At this point, you run in the strength of the vision God is giving you for your life. I am indebted to Dr. Mark Virkler, whose excellent materials on this subject give guidance for recording your conversations with God.[iii] He writes that there are five conditions that should be met to safely hear God’s voice:

  1. You are a born-again Christian, having accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your Lord and Savior, and having had your sins washed away by His cleansing blood.
  2. You accept the Bible as the inerrant Word of God.
  3. You demonstrate your love and respect for God by your commitment to knowing His Word. You follow a plan for reading through the entire Bible regularly (such as once each year), as well as enjoying more in-depth meditation on books, characters, or topics.
  4. You have an attitude of submission to what God has shown you from the Bible.
  5. You have two or three spiritual advisors/counselors to whom you go for input on a regular basis.

[i] Colossians 3:16.
[ii] James 4:6.
[iii] Mark and Patti Virkler, Communion with God, Destiny Image Publishers, (Shippensburg 2010).

 

Reading about God and HEARING God as He Speaks to you.

Logo and rhema word difference

Answer:  There are two primary Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated “word” in the New Testament.

The first, logos, refers principally to the total inspired Word of God and to Jesus, who is the living Word.  Logos is found in John 1:1;Luke 8:11;Philippians 2:16;Hebrews 4:12; and other verses.

The second Greek word translated “word” is rhema, which refers to the spoken word.   Rhema literally means an utterance (individually, collectively or specifically). Examples are found in Luke 1:383:25:5; and Acts 11:16.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

 

Derek Prince wrote the following:
Refined in a Furnace. Psalm 12:6. The words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.     NIV

“The words of the Lord” – those are the words that are brought to us in Scripture. They’re flawless, they’re without error. They are absolutely and totally reliable. Do you perhaps wonder how that could be since they were brought to us by human agents, by men who were often weak and fallible and made mistakes? How can it be that the message that comes to us through such men is absolutely infallible, authoritative? The psalmist uses a beautiful picture. He says it’s like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times. You see, the silver is the message of God. The furnace of clay represents the human instrument, the human messenger. There’s a fire in that furnace which is the fire of the Holy Spirit, infinitely pure, infinitely purified, and, as the message comes through the fire, even though it’s in a furnace of clay, the fire purifies the message and makes it absolutely pure and absolutely reliable. That’s why you can put your faith without question in the absolute accuracy and authority of God’s Word, the Scripture. The words of the Lord are flawless.  They’ve been purified seven times (that speaks of the Holy Spirit) in a furnace of clay, and they come forth as pure as refined silver.

Amazing words by AB Simpson

There was silence, and I heard a still voice” (Job 4:16, margin).

A score of years ago, a friend placed in my hand a book called True Peace. It was an old mediaeval message, and it had but one thought–that God was waiting in the depths of my being to talk to me if I would only get still enough to hear His voice.

I thought this would be a very easy matter, and so began to get still. But I had no sooner commenced than a perfect pandemonium of voices reached my ears, a thousand clamoring notes from without and within, until I could hear nothing but their noise and din. Some were my own voices, my own questions, some my very prayers. Others were suggestions of the tempter and the voices from the world’s turmoil.

In every direction I was pulled and pushed and greeted with noisy acclamations and unspeakable unrest. It seemed necessary for me to listen to some of them and to answer some of them; but God said, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Then came the conflict of thoughts for tomorrow, and its duties and cares; but God said, “Be still.”

And as I listened, and slowly learned to obey, and shut my ears to every sound, I found after a while that when the other voices ceased, or I ceased to hear them, there was a still small voice in the depths of my being that began to speak with an inexpressible tenderness, power and comfort.

As I listened, it became to me the voice of prayer, the voice of wisdom, the voice of duty, and I did not need to think so hard, or pray so hard, or trust so hard; but that “still small voice” of the Holy Spirit in my heart was God’s prayer in my secret soul, was God’s answer to all my questions, was God’s life and strength for soul and body, and became the substance of all knowledge, and all prayer and all blessing: for it was the living GOD Himself as my life, my all.

It is thus that our spirit drinks in the life of our risen Lord, and we go forth to life’s conflicts and duties like a flower that has drunk in, through the shades of night, the cool and crystal drops of dew. But as dew never falls on a stormy night, go the dews of His grace never come to the restless soul.
–A. B. Simpson

 

 

 

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