god talks to his friends - part III


Jesus said he came not to do his own will, but the will of his Father who sent him. To get his marching orders, Jesus listened to his Father. And his Father spoke. This was a very natural exchange between Father and Son. Family members talk to one another - that is how they express their love, and share their lives together. That is how covenant relationships are lived out.

If we’re doing our best to love God with all our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves, why wouldn’t he speak to us to help us on our way? God doesn’t expect us to undertake the mission of serving him while being cut off from communicating with him.

Think about Moses – God spoke to him face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. I can think of few people in the Bible that heard from God more than Moses. Moses had a difficult life-assignment from God – leading a huge group of grumbling people through the wilderness. It didn’t matter how many times God spoke to Moses along the way, he needed ongoing encouragement.

After numerous miraculous revelations and miracles – the command to set the Hebrew people free, his staff that morphed into a serpent, manna from heaven, and water coming from a rock, (just to name a few) Moses asked to see God’s glory. He wanted reassurance that God’s presence was still with him.

Don’t we all need that reassurance, over and over again? We don’t stand head and shoulders above the crowd like Moses did, but we are no less God’s friends. Jesus said to his disciples “I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.”

As a father I am delighted when I see my kids taking initiative to care for their younger siblings. I almost heave sigh of relief when an older brother rescues our toddler from an impending accident. “They’re getting it!” I say to myself. I cheer them on, giving them more reason to keep showing compassion.

Many of God’s personal words encourage me to not grow weary of doing what is right. He lets me know that he appreciates my love and service. On one occasion he showed me a picture of a treasure chest, symbolizing my tithes and offerings. Something like a pleasing aroma of incense was rising from this box of gold – indicating that this sacrifice was pleasing to him. He also showed me a scene of myself taking a crown off my head and placing it on Jesus’ head. My face was lit up with a big smile.

One of the most consistent words he speaks to me is “I have called you here”. I find it very encouraging when God reminds me that I’m in the right city and the right church. Recently I was attending a Bible study, and God’s presence came to me in a beautiful way – I wasn’t expecting it. He spoke these words to me again – “you are in the right place”.

Being a self-employed writer and worship leader, I could move my family just about anywhere in the world. There’s always the “grass-is-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence” syndrome that I need to resist. I don’t know where I’ll be in ten years, but for now, he has called me here, to serve in our local church and to be built into this community. Our reason for moving here was also a series of words and visions in which God clearly pointed the way to Langley. But in the wear and tear of daily life, I really need to hear directly from my commander-in-chief that I am on the right track.

These moments of revelation stay with me for a long time. They merely confirm what the Bible says about the reward of serving God – we receive it both now and in eternity. When God personalizes his word to us – when he speaks directly to us in our spirit, we are powerfully strengthened, encouraged and comforted.