Exploring Prophecy #2 – Hearing God’s Voice:
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John 10:27).
What is the purpose of prophecy? Why do we want to learn to recognize God’s voice? Why can’t we just read the Bible and follow the commandments that are written there? We see the short and simple answer to that question in our Scripture above. The Lord Jesus Himself said that His sheep hear His voice, and HE KNOWS THEM. This speaks of an intimate relationship. The reason we want to hear God’s voice is so that we can have a personal relationship with Him. Christianity isn’t about just following a bunch of rules in a book that was written 2,000 years ago. It’s about having a personal friendship with King Jesus now, and following Him as we hear His voice. Paul prayed, “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Ephesians 1:17). The purpose of the spirit of wisdom is to give us a revelation in the knowledge of God. To reveal the Lord to us. As we learn to hear His voice, we get to know Him better. This is the foundational reason for learning to hear God’s voice, and exploring the gift of prophecy—intimacy with the Lord! But there is a second reason why we desire prophecy:
“Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy…But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.” (1 Cor. 14:1,3). In these Bible verses, we are given some specific commandments from the Lord. God requires of us that we (1) pursue love, and (2) that we desire spiritual gifts, but as we’re desiring the spiritual gifts, that we especially desire the gift of prophecy. Why is there an emphasis put on this gift? Because it builds up, strengthens and comforts and people. This is why God wants us to desire to prophecy—so that we can communicate the heart of God to His people.
There is a debate in the church today as to whether or not God still speaks to His people through prophecy. However, when you read through the Bible, you quickly discover that the supernatural was natural to God’s people! From the beginning of Creation, up until 2,000 years ago, God’s people have always had a personal encounter with the Living God. Adam and Eve heard the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day. The Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to His friend (Exodus 33:11). Elijah heard God’s still small voice on the mountaintop. Angels appeared to Abraham, Jacob, Gideon, David, Elijah, Daniel, and Zechariah, not to mention Zechariah, Joseph, Mary, the shepherds, Peter, Philip, Cornelius, Paul and John in the New Testament! (Psalm 34:7 tells us that The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them). Our God is a living God who speaks.
The whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation is about God’s pursuit of mankind, and His desire to have fellowship with us. If you’re not convinced that God desires for all of His children to hear His prophetic voice, then consider these last two Scriptures. “And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your young men shall see visions, Your old men shall dream dreams.” (Acts 2:17). “For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged.” (1 Corinthians 14:31). God wants to pour out His Spirit upon all people, so that we can prophesy, see visions and dream dreams, and learn to hear God’s voice, and encourage one another. Tomorrow, we are going to look at the different gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Chris Jordan