Friday, November 18, 2011

Knowing God for Yourself.. No Second Hand Faith

A church hierarchy sets up a chain of command that separates the so called ordinary believers from the immediate personal direction of the Jesus and His Holy Spirit.
Christianity is either supernatural or it's nothing. We are called to be fruitful and multiply.
There is a Christianity that does not welcome supernatural revelations, healings and the active presence of God doing surprising stuff.
The Reformation achieved some good things in its time. Salvation through faith in Jesus was preached. The Bible was translated and restored to the people.
BUT THE REFORMATION WAS VERY INCOMPLETE. GOD IS THE GOD OF MIRACLES. Faith in a God who only did miracles 2000 years ago will not impact the world today.
When Christianity is truly alive and healthy, every believer hears the voice of God and every believer follows Jesus directly and personally.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (ESV)
In the Old Testament, the people of God only heard the voice of God indirectly, through the Bible and the words of the prophets who spoke for God. We still read the Bible and it is God speaking through His perfect revealed word.
But how do you know what God is saying TO YOU NOW?
The Bible says different things to different people in different passages. Is God telling you to rest in His love or to radically change your life?
  • Is God telling you to hide His truth in your heart or to tell everyone what you believe?
  • Is God telling you to marry or to stay single?
  • Is God telling you to preach in Africa or stay at home?
  • Is God telling you to work in a job or to be a missionary who trusts Him to provide?
Bible reading alone will not answer these questions. Many people resolve this difficulty by putting themselves under the direction of a priest, pastor or spiritual advisor. This is putting a man in the place of God. It is Old Testament thinking but it is common in the church. It is like the old fashioned Roman Catholic system where the priests told the believers what the Bible says and what they should do. I hope you don't think I am against Catholics. Many Catholics love Jesus and listen to the Holy Spirit.

What is God saying TO YOU NOW?
There is nothing wrong with seeking wise counsel and teaching but this must not be a substitute for growing up in faith yourself. A Christian who is spiritually healthy is able to receive direct personal communication from God Himself.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27 (ESV)
And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, “ ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
Matthew 4:3-4 (ESV)

Here Jesus shows His faith in the Written Word of God but also in the spoken word of God. God SPEAKS today and He speaks every day. The Spirit of God brings the written word of God alive, so you know when God is speaking to you personally through a particular Bible text. But the Holy Spirit also speaks to your spirit in many different ways and He does it much more than most of us realise.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20 (ESV)
In the New Testament, every believer is invited to hear the voice of God and to share with others what he hears.
 â€œ ‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy. Acts 2:17-18 (ESV) 

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