How Do YOU Hear from God?
God gave us the bible so that we may know Him more completely, hear from His wisdom, and come to saving faith in Christ. The bible also self proclaims itself “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that” you and I may be equipped for every good work. (see 2 Tim 3:16-17)
As a self proclaimed Charismatic Calvinist, I believe the gifts of prophecy and hearing from God audibly are in effect even today. However, I also believe that these gifts must be tested against scripture for veracity.
If we are to demolish not only strongholds, but also “every high and lofty idea that sets itself up against the knowledge of God” and take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ), then it logically follows that when we hear about a mystical experience someone has had with God we have a responsibility to weigh that experience against what God says about Himself in His revealed word. The word is our plumb line.
Why Am I So Bent Out of Shape?
I just watched the video below. If you care to save yourself a 3 minutes of cringing, I’ll cut to the chase: there is a popular version of the gospel that promises not only health and wealth, but is used to justify the lavish lifestyles of the many who preach it. Prosperity gospel is no gospel at all. The Good News Christ came to proclaim was about eternal prosperity (salvation from sins) not riches and material blessings merely in this life.
As you listen to supposed men of God tell you what God told them, the first place any Christian who believes in sola scriptura needs to go is STRAIGHT to the word to make sure such revelation LINES UP with the truth… Go ahead, watch the video and you’ll understand why I’m steaming mad. Then, ask yourself: would the God of all compassion tempt any of us with material prosperity by asking us if we think He’s limited in His ability to give you temporal wealth?
NO. Jesse Duplantis claims God asked him if he thought God couldn’t deliver more than just a jet; challenging the power of God as if God were limited in His ability to bless. Now, this is a fair challenge, but there are two paths you can go down – the same one Satan tried to get Jesus to go down in his tempting and the one Jesus went down when He rightly used the word of God to straighten out the Liar and Accuser of the brethren. The question in question is: “is God limited in His ability to bless us?”
Is God limited? Yes: an omniscient God can never learn anything new. Amen? He can never be surprised. Amen? He cannot lie nor sin. Amen? God is limited by His own attributes and must be, or He would cease to be God.
Better… His generosity with worldly wealth IS limited by His love, kindness, and WISDOM – just read James 4:2-3. If you don’t have material prosperity, it’s not because God can’t be trusted or you think God is so small or you haven’t “claimed it” in Jesus’ name. Sometimes in His wisdom and patience, God withholds material prosperity because He knows, all to well, that the more we have, the easier we can be tempted to use it for our good and factor Him out. The more wealth we have, the more self-sufficient we can become. God built us to rely on Him, surrender to Him, and trust in Him, not our stuff.
God inspired, preserved, and protected the original manuscripts in order that we may know Him, not merely about Him, better. Biblical literacy is crucial in an age when so many have not only an understanding of what the scriptures do say, but also what they want them to say. Test all wisdom against the criteria in James 3:17. If it passes that muster, move forward to other passages and test it further. Be on your guard, saints. There are many false preachers preaching this garbage and more yet to come in this dark age. Lift up the sword of the Spirit (the word of God) and send the devil packing.
I hate to brag, but I have a really big mouth… Years back, I told a few guys I was going to read through the bible that year – cover to cover. I was full of it. Trying to impress. Selfish motive, meet big mouth. Ever been there?
There are two paths you can go with that: either repent & resolve to do it year after year, failing until you quit trying, or get so sick and tired of not doing it that you finally get it done. I want this to be the last year you try and fail. Is that OK? An END to the lightning starts in Genesis, followed by stop and go traffic in Leviticus, and stalling out in the genealogies of Numbers somewhere around February 2nd… (Yes, I’ve had camera drones flying over your house for years now… Can we get back to the point?)
Every year, we make resolutions because something inside us yearns for “better”. Whether light years better or just a few inches better, we want… better. But, striving for better will only wear us out. (Been there, done that. I give it zero stars.) Christ promises us if we “walk by the Spirit” we’ll bear some killer fruit (see Gal. 5:16); one of them is perseverance.
The Most Important “Strategy” Question
Most failures begin with a great strategy. ( –Yours, Truly). But, as Michael Hyatt taught me: Popular wisdom says the crucial strategy for completing any challenging, long term task is “accountability“. While that is important, it’s not most important. Strategy apart from vision leads to frustration, false starts, and failure regardless of accountability. Accountability doesn’t do the work. The work gets done where the rubber of strategy meets the road of discipline, fueled by vision. The most important strategy question starts by first answering the vision question: “why do I want to read the Bible start to finish?” The Lord weighs the heart. We should, too. If you’re reading to get a bible merit badge, regroup, repent, restart… now. We have the word of God so that we may know the God of the word. Let’s use it that way, mkay?
Then… write that answer down. I’ll tell you why in a minute.