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Hearing God. How do we do that?

Far too often, people hear from God, and then immediately have to ‘back it up with scripture’. However, citing chapter and verse is a straight jacket. Should what we hear from God harmonize with scripture? Yes. But not word for word (and even the original language words are not really the “original” words) or even thought for thought.

Quite frankly, I’ve seen more half-baked teachings that come from taking things out of scriptural context, than from someone teaching with a heart of grace.

Hearing from God usually comes as impressions in our minds. Sometimes a few hear a voice (and there is both scripture for that, and scientific evidence). However, grace is God’s influence on our hearts/minds. This is where He works.

Grace will never contradict the love of God, and will look like the fruit of the spirit. It will never cause us to harm, hurt, or abuse, anyone. If there can be a test, this it. Read the love chapter (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). Grace looks like that, when it is expressed in our lives.

Does He speak through scripture? Yes! But as we walk in grace, He will speak louder than what’s on a page. He is not bound to the page. The pages speak of Him and point to Christ. He is always speaking. He has never stopped.

In fact, we have the New Testament because God spoke through the apostles as they wrote. And they taught in the new churches out of the grace in their hearts. We don’t have a record of all they said. Sometimes I think that is a good thing, considering how we have not understood even what we do have.

We have some of the letters (not all of them!) that were written to address certain churches, and some problems there. The letters were not meant to be rules for all churches for all times. The apostles spoke out of grace, not law.

We speak out of grace for our time. We are well able to hear God through grace, and we do not need to find a verse or two to back it up, each and every time. If it’s God, grace will teach us. We will know, for the Holy Spirit will lead us into truth. Let’s not be afraid to speak what’s on our hearts and minds. God is in it.


From Jim Marjoram once more. Awesome short piece:


I’m not against theology, working out the nitty gritty of scriptures etc, but its only a secondary thing, its not the real issue. The entirety of the gospel is simple and it embraces the heart of a God who IS love – every part of his being is love. Jesus is the physical embodiment of that love and the more we embrace that, the more we bathe in His amazing unconditional acceptance, look into His face, lean on his breast and hear His heartbeat, see the wonders of His creation, experience His comfort in the midst of devastation – we realise that our efforts at trying to piece together who he is by scripture alone, fail miserably. Jesus said it was far better that He go so we could have the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, God IN us, creating our unity with the entire Godhead. We are privy to the heart of Father now, by the amazing redemptive work of Jesus. This alone gives us our understanding of Gods nature, our hearts witness to it, and scripture supports it, not the other way around.

Posted by at 12/08/2011 10:08:00 AM

Guest blogger today…

Jim’s heresy of the day.

2 Tim 3:16 –  “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness”.

Which scripture was Paul referring to? Obviously not the New Testament because it didn’t exist then. So he’s talking to Timothy about the Old Testament. Timothy’s mother was a Jew, father a Greek, but he was raised with knowledge of Jewish traditions and scripture. Paul preached to the Gentiles, Timothy was working amongst the Greeks, they had no Torah nor were they encouraged in any Jewish traditions. So all a bit odd given Paul’s other statements about the law.

I did quite a dig around about the word for Scripture used here. Its a particular form that isn’t used often in the Greek and basically means the entirety of all God’s breathed Word – or something along those lines. Given the context of Paul’s other writings and his emphatic statements about doing away with the law, the only conclusion we can make of this is he wasn’t speaking about a bunch of written laws, rituals and prophecies, so much as the entirety of Jesus, the living word. Seeing as this letter is addressed directly to Timothy he would have been very aware of what Paul was saying and its implications.

Of course, we mustn’t forget  Paul had Timothy circumcised early in the piece, which was totally against Paul’s own teachings. In studying this point, there are a few fumbling reasons put forward as to why this may have been, but we seem to forget that Paul made mistakes (gasp!) and Timothy’s circumcision may have been one.

So going back to a bigger picture, why have we included the New Testament in the same category as the Old. The Old was a strict set of written laws, codes, messages from God to a people who didn’t have the indwelling Christ. They had to have it written down and preserved! The early church had no scriptures! The letters and other documents weren’t regarded as Holy Scripture until many, many years later, they were just letters floating around mostly correcting churches that were going off the rails.

It seems that if we were to have an infallible set of written documents that were to be taken as the literal instructions of God on how to be Christians, Jesus would have organised that before the ascension so there could be no doubt that these instructions were from him! But no, all we have is a set of hodge-podge ambiguous writings that have been tacked together and presented as the infallible Word of God.

Now I know you are looking around for the biggest stones you can find to throw at me… but those documents were inspired by God! Each was to a specific audience – a church in trouble or need, a struggling leader, a group of people in a region needing encouragement, whatever… Were they written to us? Of course not! Are they inspired by God? Yes! Can we learn from them? Yes! Can we apply every little thing in them for our lives? No!

So what de we do with all this? Horror of horrors – we have to have a personal relationship with God, our loving Father, with his son Jesus who by his Holy Spirit lives inside us in all his power and glory. He has to be intimately involved with our very being, all that we are and do. He is our Word, our wonderful living Word. The Scriptures should just support what Holy Spirit is already doing in us.

If we are constantly walking in greater revelation of God in us we are less and less likely to even be sin conscious, less needy of being propped up by an instruction manual – of being less dependant on trying to figure out which particular scripture fits our particular need at any given moment – of finding a promise to hang on to – because the living Word is IN us already.

Just remember those poor old gentile christians wandering around with no scriptures to guide  them, and some of those Jewish christians berated by Paul for telling others they had to live by the Torah. It seems that the last thing Paul wanted was a bunch of scripture fanatics wandering the countryside!

You may have noticed I’ve been on about all this for a while now.  The reason is obvious (to me). Our current understanding of all these things just doesn’t work. We happily say if we know enough scripture and understand it all, everything will all fall into place – but it doesn’t – it just gets worse! More doctrines, more denominations, more splits, more discord, hatred, lies, envy, pride, you name it. And we keep blaming each other’s interpretation of scripture – when will we see that this will never stop until WE stop and realise there’s something wrong with this picture?!

Could it be that scripture was never meant to be used like this???

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