I wrote this about 4 years ago, changed a bit of it off and on, finished it to this today..
I remember standing in the bathroom having just finished my shower. No one else was home just me. As I was toweling off I heard Father’s distinct voice, “ Go stand in front of the mirror”. You must realize that that I am a cowboy, born and raised on a ranch. Cowboys don’t even wear shorts around the house when no one is home, someone might come down the dead end lane leading to the house and you might get caught with your legs showing! The thought of going and standing in front of a mirror “naked” was way beyond my ability even though the house was empty. Once again I felt the insistence of the once spoken word, “go and stand in front of the mirror”, God added, “I have something I want to show you”. With trepidation and fear I walk out of the bathroom with the towel wrapped firmly about my waist. I checked the house and the road to make sure “NO ONE” was visible or could sneak up on me as I stood in front of the “full length” mirror in the hall. I could not look at the image in the mirror. I had the hardest time letting go of the towel. I also knew by then that it was not about what I saw physically in the mirror but was much deeper than that. I was being asked to see something that Father wanted to communicate to me and to let go of something I feared. The conversation was not going to be about the words, but what I saw. The thought came as I stood there looking at my reflection, God sees all of me, there is no way to hide anything in my thoughts, my heart, my mind, or in my life. God even sees what is inside not just what I am willing to reveal. This was about looking past what I see in the natural and being willing to see what is the spiritual reality behind that, then living out the truth found in the Spirit in the natural or physical world. I gained a new insight into my life and into the kingdom that day in those few moments standing naked in front of a mirror. I realized that if I want to walk in the kingdom I must see what God sees and feels or know what God knows to be effective in sharing the kingdom with others. I must stop walking in the natural way of living. I need to live in the Spirit. I must be willing to see the truth and not only see it but recognize it and humbly agree with it. Hearing Father has a lot more to do with listening, without expectations and with all your being, than waiting for a spoken word to come. Even the deaf can hear. From this point on in my walk with Jesus it was different. I could not look at scripture the same anymore. It was a much different book after God’s visit.
I actually believe James when he says we should ask for wisdom when we don’t know something and should believe that Father will answer.
James 1:5-8 (NKJV); 5If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
People have always told me to never ask God “why” and that I should not expect God to answer every prayer I pray, but that is not what James says and it is definitely not what the bible says. So I chose to begin to believe that if I asked God anything He would speak. I figured out that I was the one not listening if I did not get some kind of answer. As a result of my changed mind, I began to ask myself, “How does Father speak”? I began to look for His answer without a preconceived idea of how He would speak or answer but knowing He was true to His word and would answer in some way that I would understand, if I was willing to hear. Then I began to ask people questions about things I would feel, see or think while in their presence. As I practiced by asking questions I found that at times I would simply know that I had something to say from God to people and would open my mouth and trust that what would come out would be God. Through the years I have found that a majority of the time, what I “hear” (through the many ways that Father communicates) is truly from the Lord.
My daughter-in-law Januari and son Jon are amazing parents, not matter what our 4-year-old grandson Jay asks they give an intelligent answer to his query. Even if he will not understand much about the answer. They treat his question with importance and give a relevant answer or will tell him “watch and you will see”, because the question is important to him, (even if it is irrelevant to what is going on). They do not take his curiosity lightly. He is looking for wisdom. When we go to visit my son Jon’s place Jay starts immediately asking me questions like, “What are you doing? Where you going”? At times I do not use words to answer him, I look at him, smile and begin to do whatever I started to do and allow him to watch me for a bit then ask him, “what do you think I am doing”? He is so smart and he gets the answer with out me saying a word. It has gotten to the point now that Jay will come and watch me for a bit doing something then ask if he can help.. I like that, he has figured out that I don’t speak a lot while working but I show him what I am doing and how he can help and then with a few words guide him through our project.
Do you think Father takes our inquiries seriously? Is He a better father than my son? I think so, and I believe that He would like us to know that. He can speak without saying a word, through what He has already created or is creating.
I teach a lot on intimacy (a dynamic, powerful, close relationship) with Father. Many people simply cannot comprehend hearing from God. They say they don’t have pictures or words come to them and that God simply does not speak to them so they feel like second class sons or something like that.. If you talk to them a while they will give away soon in a conversation that indeed Father does speak to them but they don’t really recognize it happening or know how it happens because it is not necessarily done with audible words. WE make it so hard to hear when it is so natural. One day while I was talking to Father about His children not hearing, He spoke very plainly, “Even the deaf hear “. His statement to me altered my perspective of listening.
The deaf hear through other senses and/or forms of communication besides the audible sounds that most of us hear. I like to sometimes go out into the wilderness and then put in earplugs. It is amazing what you can hear without a sound. You begin to hear with your eyes, nose, touch, feelings, and even through a shadow or a patch of sunlight. (The feeling of coolness and heat upon your skin).
“The scriptures are true or they are not. So what if we simply accept them as truth and began to walk like they are true. What would happen? If I am following God (obedient to His guidence) then signs and wonders are going to follow me and as scripture says, I will hear His voice”. That is a simple declaration and yet it is a profound one. (These words are not a magic formula). Maybe instead of asking, “How can this be God,” when we think we hear or perceive something we should ask, “Why wouldn’t this be God”?. In much of my life, as I walk and talk with Father, Holy Spirit, and Jesus I have found that faith indeed does work by Love, (Gal. 5:6) and as I grow in love for Father, and trust in my relationship with God, communications get simpler, stronger and more exciting.
Relationships are based on spontaneous conversions for the most part. We don’t plan what we will say or how we will react to the communion of relationship, we flow with it. It is still scary (in a good way) after all these years – what if I am wrong–what if I hear wrong-, I am still His son, my relationship does not end. At times I have been wrong or I have misunderstood Him and that is ok as perfection is not my goal, a relationship with God is. (I have been married to Dana for 32 years, and love her more than ever, yet I make mistakes and misunderstand her occasionally, but we press on and grow into something different and better each year).
I began years ago to begin to trust that the scriptures meant what they said. I have found them to be true in my relationship with Father. It is simple as I have stated – it is true or it is not – The results are this; A real relationship with God will always impact society or the world as God changes what cannot be changed, because God does the impossible in speaking with us or guiding us.
There are several interesting scriptures that basically say that when we open our mouths He will put words in them to be a testimony of Him. Lu. 12.12 is one. Recently I was with two pastors at a restaurant and I ended up giving each a word from the Lord. In both cases I had nothing when I started to speak, but as I opened my mouth (literally in that same instant) HS revealed a part of their hearts and lives to me. I simply trusted that what would come out would be Father because I was there to be His love and a servant to both Him and them. One of these pastors was across the table from me and began to ask me a question about something I had brought up in the training seminar I was teaching. As He began to speak, Holy Spirit spoke to me and instead of answering this pastors query I simply repeated what Holy Spirit(HS) had spoken to me about him. I started with, “Let’s just deal with your anger, You are so angry at times that you clinch your teeth in frustration and pain.” After a hesitation I continued, “Do you know why you are so angry? I am going to tell you. It is because of your frustration with God and your inability to obey Him. You hear from Him but you are ruled by your need of other’s approval so you cannot obey what HS says to you. This builds in you and then you take it out on your family”. In the silence, it was evident that I had struck a loud chord in his life. The others around the table joined together and prayed over the brother and in tears he confessed that what I had just done had set him free. He stated that at times the anger was so bad that it was like a hive of bees buzzing around his head and he would be in such pain at the noise that he could not even think.
The other pastor I was to speak to got up from beside me and went to talk with a group at another table in the restaurant. In a few moments he came back. As he sat down he said, “Well Neil let’s continue from where you left off.” “OK, I replied, so let’s deal with your fear.” At my statement he responded with, “Let’s not”, turned away and began talking with another person at the table. In a couple of moments he turned back to me and before he could speak I injected a story about being in India on 9/11 and what had happened to me when I wondered into a Muslim celebration over the destruction of the trade towers in the USA. I did not even know about what had happened when I found myself in the midst of their celebration and fingers were being pointed at me and people began to run toward me with anger on their faces. I got out of there and made it home to find out that 9/11 had happened. The next day I went back to the place of the gathering and sat where they had burned an effigy of a US citizen hung on a pole instead of using me. I dealt with my fear of death sitting there and have never feared what anyone would do to me for sharing the Gospel since. As I finished my story this pastor had tears in his eyes. “Just the opposite happened to me. In 95 a religious group came and burned down my church beat me up, and for 5 years threatened my family, my church and me. Since then I have not been able to do what HS tells me to as I live in fear of what these people will do to my family and church. Jesus has been talking with me lately to let go of my fear so I can serve Him and those he has entrusted to me. You are right, I live in tremendous fear, would you pray for me?” He also was delivered from all his fears that day and I ministered in His church the next week and could see the difference in him and his confidence was thrilling to see.
Hearing and responding to HS is so important in this world we live in.. We need to learn to hear and trust. Father knows what he is doing. I know that some of what I get is because I tend to be prophetic in nature but for the most part what happens to me is simply normal naturally supernatural Christianity.
I awoke this morning thinking about hearing Father thru Holy Spirit. There is no formula or way to hear. People are always asking me to show them how to hear, they are really asking for me to give a bunch of steps that they can go through step by step so they can be sure that they are hearing the right voice. Intimate communications come through relationship, no matter how shallow it may be, and is not a formula. God promises to be a better dad than any of us have ever had. That means that He will answer us if we ask a question and that when He talks we will know it. I cannot imagine a relationship without communication. It is not possible! An audible voice is such a small portion of the communications in most deep relationships. Why do we have a hard time expecting the same types of communication with Father as we have with those we love? Not all of our speaking uses audible words. That is why it is so hard to put our thoughts into written words, because there are expressions that go with what we write that are missing.
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit abide in us so why wouldn’t we hear. Our heart is His dwelling place so why wouldn’t our emotions, impressions and thoughts be a part of His communication channels? If the devil can speak through them and he is the counterfeit voice living outside us (if we are Christ’s) then why would we doubt that God uses our senses to speak to us with? Jesus, the man, wept over Jerusalem – how could this be if he did not hear or feel the father’s pain for it? Father had the choice of anywhere He has created to live—He chose to live in us!,
I have a word for all of us – we need to stop making it so hard to hear from Father. The bible says that we know His voice, Jn 10:27. There is a need for us to find this foundational truth and walk in it. How can someone be convicted or convinced by Holy Spirit, Jn 16:7-15, if there is no communication by Holy Spirit. And how can people repent and turn to God if they don’t know it is God speaking? Even before we are born again we know the voice of God! Why stop listening when we become His children? Our position alone dictates that we must hear; we are His children! What father does not speak to his kids? WE have several examples of kids hearing from the Lord at young ages. Samuel, a very young man is sleeping, and God speaks to him. He goes to Eli thinking it is Eli calling him but not so and Eli eventually informs Samuel that it is God speaking to Him and tells him to simply answer with the implication of listening. We know that David heard from the Lord as a boy out watching the sheep. Moses had to have heard from God to know he was the deliverer (even though He had a problem carrying out that call as a young man and God had to work him over for a few years until He would listen to Him to fulfill the call and not take matters into his own hands.) Jesus the man heard from Father before the age of twelve because at twelve he was, “about His Father’s business”.
Christians are always running around like the cell phone commercials, “Can you hear me now?”, looking for a place that has good reception and where Father will hear them and reply and they can know it is him and hear… What we all need to realize is that He really lives in us and we don’t have to be in a special spot to hear, we merely need to listen.
Ok, let’s look at this another way. A baby is conceived; it is 9 months before it is born but when born knows its mother’s voice, why? It has been listening to it for 9 months before it came into this world (it is the same with God, Holy Spirit is talking to us before we are born again).
Now we have a child ( we are children of God once “born again”). How does the child learn the language the parents speak, by reading a book or through listening to Father and mother speak to it and others? How does the child learn rights and wrongs, through reading or experience with Father and Mother? We don’t introduce children to reading books until they are about 4 years old. Until then we are their vocabulary book.
Did you ever think about all the ways we speak to a small child and train them before we teach them to read?
We take the child places—they SEE things—in the spirit that would be pictures and visions; in the natural it is places and things.
We give them different things to play with – touch and feel. Spiritually we sense or in some ways feel things. We have impressions.
WE give the child different expressions when it does things (My sons call some of that “the Look”!) Smiles, the lifting of an eyebrow, etc. Spiritually that would be impressions, convictions, and leadings.
We feed the child ideas and allow their imagination to paint a picture of what we are saying. God feeds us thoughts and as we act on them, we find God in what we call coincidences.
We place the child in different circumstances—that is the same in the Spirit– and then help or teach them to react correctly to the situation or we talk to them after the experience is over.
We talk to them about other’s reactions to things that happen and we use other’s lives and explain why or what they are doing—Spiritually God does the same, He teaches us through experiences we have with others and through our interactions with life.
What about the imagination.. It is said to be the seat of creation an invention. Do you think that Father could use that to talk to us with? I know that is out there on a limb but, didn’t Father create us in His likeness≥ He created everything that is from nothing. Some how he must have seen a tree in His mind to create it. All we have to do is look at all of creation to know that God used what we would call “imagination” to create. The things that we see and take for granted had to come from something, a thought or a picture inside of His being. (I know not all that is in our imagination belongs to God. He did give us the right to choose and that means that there must be a choice. So that would mean that there is more than one; picture, thought, feeling, leading, or voice to chose from) there is also all the input that we feed our mind with and we know that much of that is not good or God.
I have listed only a few of the ways a young child learns and the communications that parents use to “speak” to or educate their children. When the child has enough experience with words, pictures, and activities in relationships in the world we begin to teach them to read and give them books to continue their education. The formal education comes after the relationship and communication skills have been developed. The way formal education affects the young mind will depend on the relationships and communications already developed before they began studying.
It might be good for us Christians to think about how we raise up new believers and train them in the things of God…
Here are a few considerations that can affect intimacy not just with God but others as well: The position you see yourself in affects how and what you hear. The position you see others in affects what you will hear from them and how you will hear them or even if you will hear them. It will also affect how you talk to and react to others and the world around you.
In the majority of the commands that Christ gives us in the New Testament (there are more than I will list here); repent, believe, be baptized, be filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit, follow, pray, love God and others, give, seek first the Kingdom, go and make disciples, walk in the miraculous, serve each other and teach, there is ONE prerequisite, hearing… Without fathers in the Church who begin to teach the children at a very young age how to listen and understand the Father’s voice, the believers will have to walk in the flesh and for the most part “guess” what Father’s will is. The Children of God need to be equipped, edified, and empowered.
At times I weep for a revelation to come to the church and the world of how much Father is speaking. Oh that we would hear and repent or change! The Church of Jesus Christ is so far from the foundation that has been laid in New Testament scripture. We have some really bad doctrines that need to be thrown away or dealt with so we can get back to what scripture actually teaches, the starting point to obedience of all the commands Jesus gives is hearing, (that is listening and obeying). I pray that the church would rise up and be the voice of God to those who are hurting and in fear.
We need to recognize that Father is speaking and stop ignoring His communications. WE need to become who we are! We need to stop denying what the scriptures say and stop making excuses not to hear. God is talking are we listening?
Even the deaf hear!