God is speaking and He’s not contradicting Himself. Are your spiritual ears open and ready to receive everything the Lord is saying or are there filters that are preventing you from hearing Him clearly?
The Lord has been stressing to me this critical aspect of being able to clearly and accurately hear the word of the Lord in this season. It’s not simply a matter of desire, nor is it necessarily dependent on the amount of time we spend with the Lord. Our spiritual senses will only pick up what we are tuned into. What we believe is important will determine what we hear – or not.
“This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13, NIV)
For example, if I believe that God’s ultimate goal is LOVING OTHERS, everything I hear will come through that filter. If I perceive something to sound “unloving”, I will interpret and apply it as such. If I believe that Jesus is coming back within the next six months, everything I hear will go through that filter and I will not be open to anything that contradicts my belief. Our beliefs and values are the basis of our spiritual hearing – not necessarily our desire to. This is one reason why, I believe, so many people are getting offended at one another in recent months, especially in regards to the political process. We all think – and hope – we have “heard from the Lord” and yet we all carry differing values and belief systems that have acted as filters in our hearing. Do you think it’s actually possible for us all to hear the same thing!?
I have been challenged with this personally as the Lord continues to show me filters in my own mind and heart. Sometimes it’s not even a wrong belief but an old one. I have clung to an old word or promise and that season has passed – it’s no longer relevant. If I continue to hang onto that belief (or word), it actually filters out what God is saying to me in THIS season.
Another filter we hear through is our personal vision or sense of purpose. If you are primarily focused on your family’s health and well-being your worldview will be fairly limited, as will your hearing. If you are focused solely on the Church and what is happening inside the four walls of your congregation, you will miss a larger perspective of how the “kingdoms of this world” factor in. If you are called to evangelism and focused on the lost, your hearing will be primarily tuned to their cry and not necessarily to the many other sounds coming from heaven. Obviously, God’s vision is a lot bigger than ours and our constant challenge is to allow Him to enlarge us so we can see what He sees, hear what He hears, and learn what our unique role is in the bigger picture of redemption.
In the months ahead, it is IMPERATIVE that we each hear the full counsel of the Lord. I believe this counsel will entail both positive things as well as “negative” things. In other words, we may need to be challenged or corrected. I am seeing a trend in our pursuit of the “goodness of God” to avoid words or exhortations that might actually be a rebuke. Yes, we can do it in a positive way, but have we been riding the Love Train for so long we don’t know what Tough Love might sound like? Can we get over being offended in order to receive some needed correction along the way? (Remember, it might not always come in the way you expect, or like. Think Balaam.)
I believe there is coming a time very soon where the ONLY thing we will be able to stand on is God’s RHEMA WORD. This will not be just His written Word, but that living, active, personalized word that reflects His heart and purpose for us, individually as well as corporately. Without knowing exactly what He has said, we will depend on circumstances and other voices to determine what the Father is doing – and it will be sorely lacking. It is His written Word that is the foundation of truth and the Holy Spirit is the Filter from the Father’s heart to ours.
“When the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father – the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father – He will testify about Me.” (John 15:26, NIV)
Take a risk and ask the Lord if there are any filters in your hearing that are preventing you from receiving His full counsel. Determine to not fall into offense when hearing a possible rebuke or correction. Challenge your own belief systems to make sure they are up-to-date and in line with His greater purposes in this hour. Ask the Holy Spirit to filter everything you hear in order to get to the Father’s heart.
God is speaking and He’s not contradicting Himself. Even if we each just get a “part”, let’s pray that, together, we can hear the same sound and agree on what He said.