I was watching an old episode of House last night. A person was sick and they were trying to work out what was wrong with them. In the process of examination it came up that the person was a Preacher and heard from God. Everyone in the show thought he was delusional and thought they needed a psych consult.
But the reality for us as Christians, is that it is normal for God to speak to us. People who don’t know Christ personally will never quite understand. They might think we are crazy or we think we are special because we say we “hear” from God.
In the Bible Jesus Himself tells us in John 10 that we are His sheep and He is our Shepherd and we listen to His voice and follow Him (John 10:27). That alone is enough for me to have my ears open and expect Him to speak.
The Bible also tells us that when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside us. This is the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead (Romans 8:11). The Spirit who gives us gifts that help us to hear, speak and do amazing things for God (Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
When the Spirit takes up residence in us, we can have an intimate relationship with Him and talk with Him at any time. He can also speak, prompt, encourage, strengthen, remind, comfort and illuminate Scripture at any time too. That is His role.
So yes it is normal from Christians to hear from God. It doesn’t matter if non believers think it is crazy for us to say God spoke to me. It is a normal part of the Christian life, because that is how God intends it to be.
A few weeks ago I did a post titled, “ Obedience when it doesn’t make sense“. It touched on doing what God says when you don’t really understand why. It used Peter’s example from Luke 5:4-7.
As I have reflected more on this idea I thought of some other occasions in the Bible where people followed when not knowing the full story or the outcome of their obedience. Here are a few more examples….
Abraham and Isaac – Imagine how Abraham felt when God asked him to sacrifice his son who was a child of promise. Time showed the Lord provided a ram instead. (Genesis 22:1-14)
The walls of Jericho – God asked the people to march around the city once a day for six days and then all shout. That is not the usual way to storm a city, but the walls fell down! (Joshua 6:1-20)
Noah and the Ark – God asked Noah to build an ark to save him, his family and the animals from the flooding rains. Up until that time rain had never fallen from the sky. Noah built the ark and it saved them all from the flooding rains. (Genesis 6:1-22)
Moses before Pharaoh – Imagine how Moses felt when God asked him to go to the most powerful ruler on earth and demand he lets God’s people go. History shows it worked out ok! (Exodus 5:1-5)
Gideon’s army of 300 – Imagine how Gideon felt when God told him to reduce his army to 300 men to fight and defeat a huge Midianite army. Again we see God knew what He was doing and 300 men was enough. (Judges 7:2-8)
As we can see from all of these occasions, obedience to God’s requests really does make sense. God’s knows the end from the beginning and even though He doesn’t let us know all the details, it makes sense to follow Him. Even when it doesn’t make sense to us at the time.
I am doing a Bible reading plan on the YouVersion Bible App called “Deeper” at the moment. On day 2 it talks about getting our hunger for God and it gives some tips. I thought I would share them today…
“To increase spiritual hunger, simply ask for it. “Ask that you may receive that your joy may be full.
Make a formal decision to pursue God until You find Him deeply. Put it in writing. He wants this very much. He is passionately waiting for you.
Open the written Word with the Holy Spirit as a guide and let what you read reveal the Author.
Take time to meditate deeply on the attributes and names of God. Say these back to Him and thank Him for specific times when He revealed Himself in your life or the lives of those you love.
Study revival. Read the testimonies of those who have experienced Him mightily. I recommend The Hiding Place, by Corrie Ten Boom, for starters.
Have coffee with those you respect who are white-hot in their walk with God. Ask them to share about their quiet time, their favorite passages of Scripture, and their most significant experiences with God.”
In Luke 5:4-7 there is an interesting section of the Bible that touches on obedience when the request doesn’t make sense.
In this passage we see that Jesus asked Simon (Peter) to take his boat out into the deep water to catch some fish (V4). In verse five we see Simon’s response….. Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
The thing I like about Simon’s response is that even though the request didn’t make sense to him at the time, he still chose to be obedient to Jesus’ request. What was the result? He caught so many fish that he had to call other boats over to help. His boat was so full that it nearly sunk! (v7)
Often for us as Christians we can be in the same position. God can ask us to do something, but it really doesn’t make sense at the time. Then after we have been obedient and done what God has asked, we get to see why He made the request and how important it was that we were obedient.
If God has asked you to do something that doesn’t make sense at the moment, I would encourage you to be obedient because it might just be one of those Simon and the fish moments for you!