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God's peace can help us live above anxieties as we learn to trust in Him!

The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

Newest! The Lord Your Healer

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

First step of discipleship
revive devotions
Advanced Discipleship

The Bible Teaching Commentary on Genesis: The Book of Foundations

Commentaries that specialize on training the teacher!

Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


Gaining Strength: Lesson #3

Discovering and experiencing the power of God's Word!

Discipleship Level 2: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity

Paul J. Bucknell

Strength | Word of God | God speaks | Spiritual Warfare | Overcomer


Purpose: What does it mean that God speaks to a person? Many Christians are confused at how God speaks to them through their encounters with Him in His Word. A number of examples of how God speaks to His people are provided here. What Does it Mean for God to Speak? is the 3/5 article in the third lesson, Gaining Strength, in the Discipleship Level 2: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity series.

What Does it Mean for God to Speak?

God's Word is vital to our faith. He often will speak to us while talking to Him, while asking Him what He wants. It is a bit mystical, but perhaps only because God is spirit! We cannot see Him, and He does not typically use an audio voice like we are used to when talking to others.

Having said that, if you as a believer are sincere, the Lord will speak. Yes, He will hide His face from us if we sin, but normally He is looking to the opportunities to speak to us.

"But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear" (Isaiah 59:2).

Let me clarify my meaning. Some individuals face problems not so much that God is not speaking, but they do not recognize this speaking as the Lord. They are much like little Samuel when God first spoke to him.

We can examine our times in God's Word or think of our personal experiences. They should confirm each other. By God speaking, I do not merely mean that I have read God's Word. It is not like that. It is not mechanical. God is a person. He wants to be talked to just as Jesus many times spoke to the Father.

God did speak through the written Word but when we mean God spoke to us, we mean more than just comprehending the scriptures. We mean that God's Spirit enhances part of the Word and impacts us. We use words like "I was moved" or "God spoke to me."

Sometimes even though we say these things, we still are not really comprehending the fact that God actually personally spoke to us. We often think of this whole experience impersonally as if God's generic word helped my life much like any other book. This would be a faulty understanding. We need to straighten this out. God speaks through His Word.

Our Heavenly Father spoke to Christ His Son and wishes to personally speak to us too. It is a miraculous wonder. Perhaps because of our secular surroundings, we fear allowing God to really speak! Each time God speaks, we are admitting that God is personally involved in the operation of our lives.

Let me give you a few examples from my own recent quiet times (they are not very quiet because God is speaking!).

overviewI read the Book of Ruth last Sunday afternoon. I was so moved that I wanted to cry, but my children kept asking me questions. I finally had to have them stop talking to me. I was being moved, but I did not know why. I kept searching my mind and through prayer pursued the Lord as to what He was trying to say to my heart.

He was impacting my heart before my mind could understand. Finally, I understood that I felt much like Ruth as a unlikely candidate of God's grace but that in my seeking the Lord, I found such great favor in my life. I then responded by giving thanks. He has been so good to this former outsider.

I read Judges 7-8 this afternoon. I couldn't believe how God trimmed down Gideon's army. It is not that Gideon had a lot of experience! I started thinking about my faith. God has stripped me down to hardly any resources. I should not fear this. This is the way God sometimes works! If so, I can count on Him doing lots of special things. So I put away any fear and trust in His leading even if it seems crazy to me or others. Through these times in the Word He often builds up my faith. (This happened as a dialogue with God - as I thought about these things and talked to Him).

Origins_BibleThe Reliability of the Bible Texts

Yesterday morning He spoke to me through my reading in 2 Peter. Some of these readings He has pointed out to me that I should use them in this lesson. God was teaching me how to teach. God especially moved my soul regarding 2 Peter 3:18, the last verse, "Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." I was to grow in two ways, in grace and in knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Jesus wants to bless me more by meeting with me more (I paused a while on that point trying to figure what this verse meant to know Jesus more). It brought joy to my life. I welcomed His grace in my life and sought to know Him more.

I have come to expect that the Lord will regularly speak to me. This has radically changed my life. If I find God not speaking, my dullness of hearing is a sign of a heart problem (i.e. bad soil). It is not God being silent but my unprepared soul (i.e. bad soil). When I come to the point where I no longer believe I need Him to speak to me to get along in life, then I am full of pride. How fatal this mentality is! How foolish I am to be polluted with it. I go through seasons where I need to fight these kinds of attitudes off maybe once or twice a week as well as seasons where my hardness is not so troublesome.

You have just heard me share from 2 Peter 3:18. Say it to yourselves. "Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus." It is a command. Are you ready to obey? What is He asking you to do? He is saying He will give you all that you need for any situation. Will you trust Him for it? Say now that you will. Ask Him for the grace for that day and grow! Thank Him. I would love to spend more time, hours, rejoicing in His many teachings with you, but we have so little time.

The major point is that God as your Father wants to speak to you each day. Some of us are so arrogant that we do not even ask our earthly Dads their thoughts on various issues. Perhaps we treat our Heavenly Father in a similar way.

Psalm 1Pause here and pray as needed.

Tell Him of your past habits and what you want now to happen in your times with Him. Be careful with your words, He will test you!

An Assignment

In order to create a greater ability to discern God's word to your life, we have provided an exercise in which you can grow through carefully reading God's Word. See the "Growing Through Psalm 1" exercise. {This exercise and others are available both in pdf and printed format in the book below.}

-> Continue on reading part 4/5: How does one breakthrough with spiritual warfare?

Reaching Beyond Mediocrity book

Reaching Beyond Mediocrity (Click here)

Discipleship at the 2nd level

by Paul J. Bucknell

Discipleship at the 2nd level

by Paul J. Bucknell

God's Word comes alive as you learn how to use it to overcome personal struggles like anxiety, depression, pride, lust and anger. God has made you strong! Many worksheets! (300+ pages). This is the full resource with all the complete and updated pages included!

Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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