“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him.”
Psalms 62:1 NLT
We began this journey last week, discussing how to hear the voice of God and I listed the 4 KEYS taught by Mark Virkler, which are:
3. SPONTANEOUS THOUGHTS
Achieving STILLNESS can be challenging due to the busyness of modern life and of our own minds. Because the recreated spirit of a believer is in constant union with the Holy Spirit, that unconscious part of us knows a lot of things that our minds do not know. Stillness enhances our sensitivity to hear God, hear our own spirits or at times simply get confirmation for thoughts that are already part of our contemplation for which we only need confirmation.
Living with our family in a small apartment as a teenager meant being easily distracted by many things and led to me cherishing the ability to rise up as early as 5am when it was still tranquil, withdrawing to the bedroom alone during family TV times or as a college student of a polytechnic, finding favourite spots in bushes on campus that were quiet. I have also endeavoured to have a study wherever we lived since my wife and I got married. Something about going into a place alone makes me feel it is the exclusive meeting place between me and the Holy Spirit. You need to find quiet places at home and in times of desperation, check into a hotel, a guest house, retreat centre or simply a quiet time of the night .
“I want to see you young man,” the hotelier accommodating our church services called out to me as we were behind in bill payments. He had been bewildered that very unlike me, I had been behind in the payments of hall rentals. As I stood before him nervously, he said to me “I can see you are worried. No man can gather the crowd you are gathering without some spiritual power. You need to stop worrying, get into a quiet place and concentrate spiritually to solve your financial problem…” As he went on, I smiled, understanding that all truth is parallel. He might understand things from a non Christian worldview as an unbeliever, but he knew an anxious kind couldn’t focus mentally and spiritually. It reminds me of Jesus describing the thorny ground in the parable of the sower as a heart filled with the “cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.”
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”
Philippians 4:6 NLT
Prayer empties the heart of its cares, and I had not only been worried about hotel bills but a bank loan we had taken to complete payments for a church landed property. While preaching for a friend in Abeokuta, Nigeria, I poured out my soul to God in prayer one quiet morning. For hours I prayed and then finally *quoted* my soul as a flood of peace filled my heart. In the midst of that peace, came the still small voice of the Spirit giving me instructions that turned the difficult circumstance around completely in just over two months.
“Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:7 NLT
While worried, we do not discern the voice of God. Our sensitivity is dulled by our self absorption and the cacophony of voices in our heads. It will help to write down all we are concerned about and resolve to attend to them at a later time so we can concentrate. It also helps to listen to the right kind of music. I use Benny Hinn instrumentals or anointed ones by Kevin Zadai. Slow paced songs by maranatha music, hillsong, bethel music and others can be helpful in focusing the heart on the Lord. God is speaking but we are the ones who need to position ourselves to hear his voice.
In addition to the above we should spend time studying and meditating in God’s Word and we will also hear God from the pages of scripture as His Spirit through the written word conveys the spoken word to our hearts.
To be continued.