Thanks Tracy, for hosting this week's round of Kingdom Bloggers! I love your blog, and enjoyed my last guest post quite some time ago - like 2010!
This week you'll be hearing personal stories from the Kingdom Bloggers about how God speaks to us. They are personal as our relationship with the Lord; no pattern, no formula, no cut and dried, sure fire way to know that it is God. However; as His sheep, we grow accustom to hearing his voice.
Here is what happened to me:
Many years ago, sometime in the early 1980s I got fired up about Jesus. Some how I was set on fire in my spirit and started to devour the Word of God. I bought a set of Moody Bible Institute study guides, along with Unger's Bible Handbook, a Concordance and a Lexicon. I set to work to learn all there was to know about God! Although I had a genuine conversion experience and would close my eyes and feel the presence of God, I hadn't really heard his voice - yet!
My relationship with Jesus was using him as a spiritual bellhop, asking, asking, asking, but never expecting to hear him. I did all sorts of Bible stuff, went t seminary, and then Bible School. Still, asking, asking, asking, and not hearing. I have a relationship with the book, and I could one-up most folks in Greek, Hebrew and traditional Christian Doctrine; and I had a bad case of spiritual smugness along with a dose of intellectual elitism.
Growing up was tough, because the church never really discipled anyone. They just rammed Bible down our throats and asked us to work our way into a personal ministry which was mostly setting up chairs, or making coffee. The praying and preaching was done by the professionals.
There was one man who believed in me. He invited me to do a talk about study on a men's retreat. he knew that I had read hundreds of Christian books, and watched me go through the Bible studies and school. All of the talks were reviewed by a peer group. It was tough going for me and my feelings were easily hurt, but I persisted.
After months of prayer and preparation for the retreat, there I stood with 60 men in front of podium. They had an intercessor in the chapel praying for me, for the talk, and for the me to receive it. I started - and some where about 3/4 the way through I felt inspired to talk about my conversion, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and my comical view of the woman taken in adultery.
It was all unscripted, but God moved in a way I had never seen Him.
When it was all over, one of the priests gave me a hug, and then I heard the voice of the Lord. "I am calling you to ministry." Simple, clear, and certain, that I was heard. It is pretty cool that God speaks Anglican, because I thought it would be in the Episcopal Church. I was wrong, and God was right. I would be over 10 years before I really heard God on a regular basis in so many situations I can't name them all. It is common place for this Christian, and the key to fulfilling my destiny!
How about you, can you look back see that God was in control of your destiny?