Reminder: I am clarifying the five questions in Listening Prayer. By the third question, “Lord, why”, we press in to know the purpose of God’s disclosure to our heart. For a quick, one-page printable overview of all five questions, click here: https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://clearwaterfc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/1.-Hearing-the-Spirit-Five-Questions-2018.pdf&hl=en
When we ask, “Lord, what?”, and then “Lord, really?, we may be stunned at what happens inside us. Our God has more to say to us personally than we ever thought. His answer, His voice, is wonderful, healing, convicting, awe-inspiring, and sometimes overwhelming in scope. After all, God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
Be amazed at this one example of how Jesus communicates to the listening spiritual ears of His saints: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” (Revelation 2:17)
Hidden manna! A secret identity stone! God’s promise of spiritual nurture and purposeful identity. Overcomers are given entrance to a wonderland of intimacy with their Lord at the level of their deepest longings; for security and significance, for relationship and relevance, for intimacy and investment, for worship and witness. Wow.
I am affirming that listening prayer is a joyous journey into friendship with God. It takes time, but it is so worth it. We ask, “Lord, what is on Your
heart?” We wait in focused attention to catch the slightest facial impression, the loudest vocal proclamation as God discloses and confirms His heart to our heart.
And so, God gets through to our spirit, our minds, our feelings. His voice has become recognized and He has graciously given us confirmation. What He has said to our spirit may gladden or sadden. It may comfort or convict. It may issue rest or restlessness. But we know in our “knower” that we have been given a striking glimpse into the heart and will of God. He has invested a living sense of His truth by His indwelling Spirit of Truth. His written Word has been “quickened,” that is, has come alive within us.
Here’s a principle: God speaks His truth to us purposefully. It is important for us to step back a moment, and ask the next question, “Lord, why?”
More to the point – “Lord, why did You tell me this? What is Your intention in blessing me with this disclosure of truth? What do You seek from me in response? Is it to inform me? To convince me? To motivate me? Or to inspire me? Lord, why?”
Responding correctly is essential. James says, “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. (James 1:22-23) He is speaking primarily of the written Word of God, and I am applying this to the Spirit’s promptings that are confirmed and clarified by the Scriptures. (See “Why Test a “Prophetic Word?”)
How we respond depends on the answer to the question “Lord, why?” This third question in our experience of “listening prayer” may be answered in a whole range of ways. Here are some:
This may be new to some of you. Personally, I discovered this important step in listening prayer one night in Oregon in a profound way. I will share this story in a clarifying posting next.
Until then, please be excited that God purposefully opens His heart to those who have ears to hear Him – like you! He is so eager to share with you more of His fullness.