Hearing From God
1Kings19:11-12 NLT “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a sound of a gentle whisper.
For me personally there is nothing greater then hearing from and/or being in the presence of God. One of the first times that I heard God speak directly to me was one of the most powerful times. I was sound asleep when suddenly I was jolted awake and sitting straight up from God’s voice saying “GO TO THE STREET!” I sat there stunned by the power of it. I did not understand what it meant. It was the middle of the night and the middle of winter, very cold out, in the 20’s. Go to the street? I sat there thinking about it and started talking myself out of going to the street. I lay back down. Immediately I heard it again, “GO TO THE STREET!” I quickly sat back up. I looked over at my wife Dorinda sleeping; she had not heard a thing. I knew it was God speaking to me but I still really did not understand. Why “go to the street?”
I decided to obey God. I got dressed, put on my heavy coat and hat and went out in front of my house to the street. It was very cold, very dark and blustery. Looking around, up and down the street there was nothing moving, no cars, no people, nothing. I waited, and waited. Nothing. I was praying and talking to God. He was silent. I began to start doubting myself. Did you really hear it or were you just dreaming? After about 30 minutes I came back in and went to sleep not waking up again until morning. I would ask God many times over the next weeks and then years what it meant but I received no answer. I was still hearing and experiencing His presence but not receiving an answer for this. Eventually I forgot about it.
A few years later I was excited to be heading to Lexington Kentucky for training to become a Church of God Chaplain. Though I was not sure that God had called me to be a Chaplain both of my Pastor’s had asked me to and I did need the credentials to get into hospitals, jails, etc., to be able to pray with the sick, the lost and hurting. Arriving for the first morning’s seminar I was seated in the front row right in the middle. Our very first speaker introduced himself and opened the meeting with these words; “As Chaplains we are called to GO TO THE STREETS!” I nearly fell out of my chair! The Holy Spirit hit me like a 50 gallon drum of hot oil was poured over my head! Tears began to pour down my cheeks. The man next to me reached over and put his arm on my shoulder and asked me if I was all right. I told him I was more than all right and I would explain to him later. I composed myself and finished off the meeting with very red eyes, a very large smile, and a very grateful heart! God always answers in His time! It had taken a few years but I now understood that God wanted me to take Him to the streets as a Chaplain!
A few years later a friend asked me to visit an acquaintance in jail. The night before making the visit as I was going to bed I prayed and asked God to give me the words to speak to this man in jail. God woke me up three times that night and each time I jumped up out of bed and wrote down what he told me.
The first time God said;” Am I like the gold chain that you put on once in a while so that you look nice?”
The second time God said;” Am I like the trophy that you pick up, dust off, admire, and then return to the shelf?”
Or am I like the pair of eyeglasses that you reach for first thing in the morning, put them on, so that you can see clearly all day, everyday?”
Even though I felt that this was meant for the man (whom I had never met) I felt that it was also a message for me. Put on the Lord Jesus Christ first thing every morning and keep Him on all day!
In the morning I went to the jail and talked with the man. He had been unexpectedly sentenced to six months when he thought he would receive probation. He was devastated. We talked about his situation and he admitted that though he was a Christian he had not been as faithful as he should be lately. I felt it was time to share with him what God had spoken to me. I said to him; “Is Jesus like the gold chain that you put on once in a while so that you look nice? Is He like the trophy that you pick up, dust off, admire, and then return to the shelf? Or is He like the pair of eyeglasses that you reach for first thing in the morning, put them on, so that you can see clearly all day, every day?” He immediately began to weep and ask God to forgive Him. I put my arm around Him and told Him that it was OK God does forgive Him. As I was getting ready to leave I asked him if I could pray and he said yes. I prayed and thanked God and asked God to open the jail doors like he had done for the Apostle Paul. This was Saturday morning. Monday morning I got a call from his girlfriend. They had released him, glory to God!
God is speaking to us if we will just be faithful, trust Him, pray and ask Him, and listen for His still small voice!
TO GOD BE ALL THE GLORY!