“There the Lord made a decree and a law for them, and there He tested them. He said, ‘If you listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His eyes, If you pay attention to His commandments, and keep His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:25b-26
I remember being in college toward the end of the spring semester. It was so hard to stay awake during those late afternoon classes. The more the professor lectured, the more my mind drifted. Then, as if called from a great distance but rushing swiftly into my consciousness, I heard my name, “MR. WIGGINS!”.
It was the voice of my professor. Noticing I was drifting away, he asked me a question…several times. Everyone laughed, and I was embarrassed to 1) not know the answer and 2) not even know the question!
The Lord wants our FULL attention. Just as He directed the Israelites fresh out of Egypt, so He directs us to listen carefully to His voice. What does that look like?
The apostle Paul told the believers in Corinth, “Pursue Love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” 1 Corinthians 14:1
Teaching is to recite tradition. Preaching has an urgent or evangelical bent. Prophecy is a personal revelation from the Lord. For example, as you read the Bible, the Lord will open your eyes to understand the Scriptures on a whole new level. That is prophesy for us believers. Paul said we should desire prophecy and share God’s revelation with others. To be clear, the type of “prophecy” that Paul describes is NOT predicting future events. It is simply the Spirit revealing the truth of God’s Word in such a relevant way that it changes your values and how you live out your calling.
It has been my experience that when the Lord starts moving among His people, He doesn’t just tell one guy. He tells a bunch of people. Then, He brings them together so there can be agreement and focus on their efforts. That’s when powerful stuff starts happening! That is also what the church is designed to be. Church has become a place where people come to learn the Bible and get saved. But church should be the place where people who are independently and diligently seeking God’s Word gather at times during the week in agreement. It should be as much a BASE of worship as a PLACE of worship. Church should be less a finish line for people who happened to make it through the week without seeking the Lord and more of a starting line for believers to go out and work towards the Great Commission within their communities next week.
We should listen for God’s voice as we meditate on His Scripture. Ask for His revelation. When His people obey this command, the Lord reveals His deep knowledge. He heals our theology, our personal relationships, and our emotional and physical conditions as well. Then, we faithfully respond to His call, experiencing His faithfulness.
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