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Summary: There is more and more talk about the Spirit in our day, and a shifting of emphasis upon what makes a spiritual leader.

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THE SPIRIT

7. Does God Speak Today?

If I told you that God speaks to me, would you be offended, amused, intrigued?

Well, does not the Scripture teach that His Spirit is to live in us? Then should it not be assumed that He will speak? You say, He already spoke, through the Bible. Yes, He did, and in that Bible He points us to a living relationship equivalent to a branch being attached to a vine. If we reduce “abiding in Him” to the reading of a Book, we do Him and ourselves a disservice, in my opinion. He lives, right? He lives within me.

Consider the following. It came to me as I was quiet before the Lord, listening. You will see in this collection of thoughts a little Scripture, some C.S. Lewis and even more. You could say they are “my” thoughts. My thoughts received in various places and situations. But my thoughts, organized and drawn out by a loving God to speak encouragement to me at a given moment. It may even bless you. Some call this “prophecy.” Some do not. Here’s what I heard in my inner man…

“Be still. Stop talking. Listen. Trust Me to put the right thoughts in your brain. Stop trying to ‘feel’ delivered and healed. Stop trying to heal yourself. Listen. Listen to my thoughts from this day. Your own thoughts and efforts will fail. Your wife and all her efforts will fail. Your job will fail you. Your friends will fail you. That new Bible class will fail you. The arm of flesh will always fail you.

“But I will never fail you. Listen hard for My thoughts. As much as lies in you, think nothing of your own, but wait for the Spirit to bring His message to you. Wait. Listen. I have heard your prayers again and again. I have answered you. You will see. Now listen to My “prayers.” Answer Me. I have been waiting for you to be quiet long enough for Me to speak. Are you ready?”

Yes, Lord.

“Listen. Real men listen. You want to be a real man. Begin by listening. You are whole. No longer claim the imperfection. Claim the completeness. [You are complete in Him. Colossians 2:10.] Don’t rely on the philosophies of men. All of God is in Jesus and all of Jesus is in you. You have everything that you need. I the Lord have healed you. Enjoy your health and walk in it. Let it manifest daily more and more.

“Be careful of vain repetition when talking to Me. Be sure you are in agreement with the words from your mouth.

“Relax and rejoice in My creation. All is well in My Kingdom.

“Unnecessary chatter will weary you. Let not your thoughts or your words race.” [Ecclesiastes 5:2]

So, what think ye of this? Was I merely encouraging myself in the Lord? Was God actually talking? Was there anything said that can be contradicted by the original Word of God?

I offer this “word” and the accompanying questions as a springboard from which you can dive into the serious matters facing the church in this day regarding the nature of revelation and what God is and is not doing. I know of no more serious subject.

8. What Can I Expect From the Spirit?

I have said it often and will always say it: God’s people must be a people of the Book. I am not intimidated by that. I do not consider a “Word” person to be Old School, Pharisaical, or legalistic. The Word is good. All of God’s “good guys” have been men of the Word. No Word, no Church. Read my lips.

Nevertheless, we must also, at the same time and in equal measure, be a people of the Spirit. It was the Spirit who spoke to our fathers the apostles, gave them the foundational truths. The Spirit is not changing His mind.

And the greater secret is out. The mystery that some never hear. God wants to pour out His Spirit on anyone thirsty. God is no respecter of persons. He gives the Spirit to those who obey and ask for it. He wants to come and live Himself inside of you. God.

When people hear of such a thing, they want to know what to expect. Jesus gave the eleven disciples a taste, a down payment, of what to expect, when He breathed on them (John 20:22) and told them to receive the Holy Spirit. This was before Pentecost. But God is not bound by our perceptions of timing. The Spirit has been involved in true believers’ lives from the days of Genesis when Enoch walked with God. Is it possible to walk with God without the Holy Ghost?

He spoke through David and all the prophets, and of course found His fullest expression in Jesus. All of this before Pentecost. So you will not be surprised to know that the disciples were given a sip or two of the new wine. Reminds me of how dogs are given a sample “whiff’ of a particular substance they will be hunting so that they know when they have found it.

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