Not long ago, a well-known television personality made derogatory comments about Vice President Mike Pence’s belief that Jesus speaks to him on a regular basis. She was quoted as saying, “It’s one thing to talk to Jesus. It’s another thing when Jesus talks to you… that’s called mental illness … hearing voices.” This highlights the sharp contrast between the traditional understanding of prayer and the view held by many in our culture today.
What about you? Do you expect to hear from Jesus when you go to him in prayer? How would you explain this experience to a non-Christian friend?
I really appreciate that we as a church family are exploring this integral part of being Christ-followers. One of the things we are sure to discover is how many different ways God has spoken to people throughout history. He has been known to use Scripture, dreams and visions, angels, nature and even a donkey (for real…check out Numbers 22:1-35).
I’m often struck by one of the aspects of seeking his will that we often neglect—listening for his voice together. In the Old Testament, God spoke uniquely through specific people called prophets. People would travel great distances to seek counsel from these messengers of God, and kings (the wise ones, anyway) would seek their counsel before going to war. A common misconception is that pastors and evangelists (RIP Billy Graham) have taken the place of these prophets. But look at what one of those very prophets said, echoed by a founder of the New Testament church:
‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind;
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 bondslaves, both men and women,
I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit
And they shall prophesy.
– Acts 2:17-18 NIV
After Jesus “tore the veil” that separated us from God and returned to Heaven, he sent the Holy Spirit to reside in every believer. God now speaks directly to you, and through you. You might just be the modern-day prophet that God uses to speak into my life. When you gather as a community group, study the Bible together before school, or fellowship around a meal, you can expect that God may have something to say to you—even if it’s not a Sunday.
“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” – Jesus, Matthew 18:20
Post by Andrew B., gracespring member