Voices   Leave a comment

Several years ago, a financial advisory company called E. F. Hutton had a clever advertising slogan that was so catchy, everybody knew it.  The slogan was this, “When E. F. Hutton speaks, everybody listens.”  Or was it “people listen”?  See, I’m old enough now to start forgetting all of those things that I swore I’d never forget.  For their TV commercials, a conversation in a crowded room would be underway when one of the characters would say something like, “Well my broker is E. F. Hutton, and he says…”, and then the room would become still and quiet.  People would stop everything and put a hand to an ear to hear every whispered piece of wisdom from E. F. Hutton.

I was reading Acts chapter 13 this morning when it dawned on me just how attentive to the voice of the Lord Christians used to be.  Several were gathered at the church in Antioch fasting and worshiping when they heard the Holy Spirit speak.  How distinctive was this episode?  Enough that when Luke was writing this work several years later that his investigation led him to an actual quote; “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

Now we can dance around the issue of whether or not this is an actual quote anytime we have opportunity to do so.  But for my purpose today, please notice just how awesome an event this had to be for those in attendance.  The church’s response to this was more prayer and fasting, then laying their hands on the two missionaries and sending them on their way.  They worshiped and sought the Lord, found and heard from Him, then responded to His clear leadership.

That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

Having experienced an epiphany of my own with my call to ministry, I can speak from experience what it is like to hear a direct word from the Lord.  My experience was audible.  The text of Acts 13 certainly appears to be the same.  Oh how I wish that this is how the Lord would communicate with us all every moment of every day! 

Jesus reminds us that when we diligently seek the Lord, He will be found.  Ask, seek, and knock and you will be heard and responded to accordingly.  I think that this is where many Christians have simply forgotten or were never taught how to receive the Lord’s response.

I personally believe that this is where our closeness to God is the key.  We all have direct access to the Lord through prayer and meditation.  We are all equipped with the ability to hear from Him regardless of what format He chooses to use to respond to us.  What lacks at times is our honestly seeking His answer.

God answers all prayer.  Sometimes “yes”; sometimes “no”; sometimes “not now.”  He communicates His answers to us through any number of channels such as direct revelation, through scriptures, other Christians, the church, circumstances, etc. 

What is required of us is to sincerely seek His answer instead of our own desired answer.  Fasting is a wonderful thing to do when earnestly seeking God’s answer to prayer.  The condition of your heart dictates your readiness to hear from Him.  I must confess that on many occasions in my walk with the Lord that I have put a request before him and then continued to pray for the answer I wanted Him to give me.  I was only tuned in to one channel and ignored the other possible responses from God.  You have probably done this too.

Be ready to hear from the Lord when you make a request of Him.  Perhaps if your heart is in the right place and properly prepared, you may just hear a voice that is perfectly clear with God’s answer for you.

E. F. Hutton was heard and remembered and people would set aside everything in their world to hear his advice.  How much more should the people of God do to hear, understand, accept and obey every word given from our heavenly Father’s mouth!  

Posted September 11, 2008 by David N. Peppler, Sr. in Closeness to God

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