A Word from God
July 26, 2023
A Word from God
A Message For 3 Audiences:
- Those who have never heard from God themselves (Israel)
- Those who haven’t heard from God in a while (Peter)
- Those who aren’t hearing from God consistently (Prophets)
Audience One: Israel (Encountering God gives you relationship with God.)
Have you ever encountered God? So many Christians have never actually encountered Him. Their testimony is wrapped up in what someone else has told them, but they’ve never met Him themselves. This ultimately weakens their faith. I could walk away from God tomorrow and pursue sin, but because I have seen Him, I could never say He doesn’t exist. We see that happen all the time with artists, pastors, and even friends. I believe that’s because these people never truly encountered Him.
People who have encountered God often talk about the voice, or Word of God – extra emphasis on the Bible, which is the living written Word of God.
There is a power that goes forth when God speaks – the same power demonstrated in creation. All of creation came from His voice. Saul becomes Paul. Jacob becomes Israel.
Some verses about His Voice:
Psalm 46:6 (NKJV)
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
Jeremiah 10:13 (NKJV)
When He utters His voice,
There is a multitude of waters in the heavens
And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth.
He makes lightning for the rain,
He brings the wind out of His treasuries.
Hebrews 12:25-26 (NKJV)
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.”
Psalm 29:3-9 (NIV)
The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord thunders over the mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon leap like a calf,
Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord strikes
with flashes of lightning.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the desert;
the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord twists the oaks
and strips the forests bare.
And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Revelation 1:15 (NKJV)
His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; 15 His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters
The amazing thing is that, with a voice like that, He doesn’t want to destroy or enslave us. The desire of God is and has always been a relationship, not servanthood. He gave us free will because He wanted us to choose Him. Your servanthood is a metric of your relationship with God, not the other way around.
The foundation of your personal faith must be a relationship with Him, not theology, and not work. What does a relationship look like? It’s not a feeling; it’s not knowledge. It’s time spent together; it’s communication with, not communication about. Are you a Paparazzi or are you an insider? It’s about consistently encountering Him.
In Exodus 20:18-21 (NKJV), the Israelites are afraid to encounter God, to the point that they made a Golden Calf.
Exodus 33, full chapter (AMP)
The Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Depart, go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought from the land of Egypt, to the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel), saying, ‘To your descendants I will give it.’ 2 I will send an Angel before you and I will drive out the Canaanite, the Amorite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 3 Go up to a land [of abundance] [a] flowing with milk and honey; for I will not go up in your midst, because you are a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people, and I might destroy you on the way.”
4 When the people heard this sad word, they mourned, and none of them put on his ornaments. 5 For the Lord had said to Moses, “Say to the sons of Israel, ‘You are a stiff-necked (stubborn, rebellious) people! If I should come among you for one moment, I would destroy you. Now therefore, [penitently] take off your ornaments, so that I may know what to do with you.’” 6 So the Israelites left off all their ornaments [in repentance], from Mount Horeb (Sinai) onward.
7 Now Moses used to take his own tent and pitch it outside the camp, far away from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting [of God with His own people]. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the [temporary] tent of meeting which was outside the camp. 8 Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise and stand, each at his tent door, and look at Moses until he entered the tent. 9 Whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the doorway of the tent; and the Lord would speak with Moses. 10 When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the tent door, all the people would rise and worship, each at his tent door. 11 And so the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his attendant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. 12 Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in My sight.’ 13 Now therefore, I pray you, if I have found favor in Your sight, let me know Your ways so that I may know You [becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with You, recognizing and understanding Your ways more clearly] and that I may find grace and favor in Your sight. And consider also, that this nation is Your people.” 14 And the Lord said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest [by bringing you and the people into the promised land].” 15 And Moses said to Him, “If Your presence does not go [with me], do not lead us up from here. 16 For how then can it be known that Your people and I have found favor in Your sight? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we are distinguished, Your people and I, from all the [other] people on the face of the earth?”
17 The Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have asked; for you have found favor (lovingkindness, mercy) in My sight and I have known you [personally] by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!” 19 And God said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion (lovingkindness) on whom I will show compassion.” 20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live!” 21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place beside Me, and you shall stand there on the rock; 22 and while My glory is passing by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and protectively cover you with My hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”
Exodus 33:11 Joshua stayed behind
Exodus 33:13 Show Me Your Way, that I may know you (Moses’ prayer)
Audience Two: Peter (A Word From God gives you Identity)
The first time I heard God speak to me Himself, it was at a conference in Myrtle Beach. I was in the middle of an identity struggle – I didn’t know who I was, and my sense of self-worth was nonexistent. It felt like I was at a breaking point. The speaker at the conference did something I had never seen before: he gave us a period of time for personal communion, and told us to ask God two questions: God, do you love me? Why do you love me? The answer that He had on me started my life on a different trajectory, and began a path of immense healing.
God gives us our identity, and sees potential in us that no one else can see. He sees every hurt that afflicts us, and every identity that weighs us down. One word and encounter from God can redirect and rewire your life. He sees things in you that you don’t even know are there i.e. Gideon, Moses, The Disciples, Isaiah… Peter
Luke 22:31 (NKJV)
And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.” 33 But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.” 34 Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
Peter was at the Mount of Transfiguration. He had known Jesus more intimately than most others had; yet after he stumbled in his faith, he ran. He forfeited his identity as a disciple, and went back to his old identity as a fisherman.
After the resurrection, as Jesus was meeting his disciples again, He singled Peter out with a specific word for him. First, he said, “Go tell my disciples and Peter.” Then, He asked Peter if He loved Him one time for each denial, and left Him with a specific word for him to do: Feed His sheep.
A fresh Word from God will restore you from whatever mess you’ve gotten yourself into. He wants to restore you, but you have to give Him an opportunity to speak to you.
Audience 3: Prophets (Encountering God gives you and others direction.)
This part is for those of you who encounter and hear from God regularly – going back to something I mentioned earlier “Your servanthood is a metric of your relationship with God, not the other way around.”
If you are in a relationship with God, then you should have the correct understanding of who He is in relation to you. Servanthood would be a joy, and not something you dread. If you aren’t serving God, do you actually know Him?
Romans 12:1-8 (NKJV)
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. 4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Everyone has some level of prophecy, because all of us have the ability to hear from God. Does God use you to talk to other people? If not, why?
God can use you to deliver the very word from Him that could change someone’s life. Are you living a lifestyle that makes you a worthy vessel of His Word? Are you sensitive and obedient to moments like this? Imagine if the speaker at the conference hadn’t been obedient to God in creating that moment of communion. I probably wouldn’t be here today.
Psalm 119:105 (KJV)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
He can also guide our lives in a more specific way than just general directions – Not just paths and destinations, but footsteps as well. His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path: It’s a GPS not a postcard. Example: the way my band goes about making decisions.
If we want to encounter God like Jesus did, we have to live like He lived – before He made any other moves, He moved towards the Father. Everyone did what was right in their own eyes… What is right for you in the Father’s eyes?
- What do you need to do to hear from God more frequently and consistently? Are you in His Word? Do you ascend the mountain, or do you depend on Moses to do it for you?
- What things are keeping you from encountering God?
- Are you obedient and faithful to the Words He has already spoken to you?