Friday, August 28

How To Hear From God

As a matter of practice, we do not turn to just anybody for advice, at least not if we really want help. What determines whom we consult? We get a good inside look from Saul and his servant prior to Saul's being made king. The issue was simple, his father's donkeys had escaped, and Saul along with his servant were to go find them. But after failing to do so, Saul became very concerned that his father might be worried as to their whereabouts and planned to return home. But the servant stopped Saul saying he had heard tale of a prophet in the area from whom they might gain advice:

But he said to him, “Behold, there is a man of God in this city, and he is a man who is held in honor; all that he says comes true. So now let us go there. Perhaps he can tell us the way we should go.” (1 Samuel 9:6)

In this one verse, we get a sort of inside look at what kind of man one might seek out if he wanted godly advice--the kind that will really help.

FIRST, he should be a "man of God". A man of God is essentially a godly man. And according to Thomas Watson, "‘Godliness is the sacred impression and workmanship of God in a man, whereby from being carnal he is made spiritual.' When godliness is wrought in a person, he does not receive a new soul, but he has 'another spirit' (Num. 14:24). The faculties are not new, but the qualities are; the strings are the same, but the tune is corrected." Samuel was clearly a man whose heart had been "tuned" to heaven, and he welcomed the heavenly strummer to make music with his soul.

SECOND, he is "held in honor". In other words, he is respected because how he lives comports with what he believes. "Let your life speak even louder than your sermons. Let your life be the life of your ministry," said Robert Murray M'Cheyne (19th C. Scottish Pastor).

THIRD, He is right; "all that he says comes true". One hundred percent accuracy is the test of a true prophet of God (Deut. 18:22, When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him). We do not typically seek help from someone who seems perpetually to come from "left field." We look for common biblical sense.

FOURTH, one must "go there," or put his foot in the path. Knowing the truth is not enough. And knowing whom to contact isn't either. Acting on it is necessary. But the truth is more convincing than that isn't it? When we are convinced someone has helped others and can therefore help us, we have no problem "going there" to receive the help.

FIFTH, one must move in faith, "perhaps he can tells us the way we should go". Nothing is lost in the attempt is it? "It can't hurt," we might say. We put confidence in those whom we trust. Perhaps he can show us the way. Why? He has shown himself to be faithful in walking in God's way. He's the one we want to follow.

The kind of help, or advice we all need, and should want comes from God. Obvious, you say? Perhaps on paper. But only experience proves its reality. "Follow me as I follow Christ," Paul encouraged the Corinthians. In this sense, Paul and Samuel were comrades in God's service. Seek out those who seek out Christ!


Phil Livermore said...

Often the advice I want to seek is that which will merely support my opinion. Yet if we want advice from godly men as described in your post we must be ready to hear things we won't like but will be most beneficial.

Dave Nelson said...

Can I say it, words of wisdom there, Phil! Thanks.