gracetidings:with dr doug mamvura
As I was growing up as a young believer, I used to find it very strange to hear people say, “God told me that I should do this, that or the other.”
I often wondered how this could happen. It appeared unbelievable to me and I used to think it was only “Super saints” or the so- called anointed ones who God could only speak to. Little did I know that God speaks to any believer and is a respector of no persons.
As long as you are born again, God can speak to you.
One of the greatest benefits of our salvation has to be that of hearing God speak to us personally. There can be no intimate relationship with our heavenly Father without it. But, as easy as it is for us to speak to Him, the average Christian has a hard time hearing His voice, like I used to do. This is not the way the Lord intended it to be.
Learning to clearly distinguish God’s voice is invaluable. Instead of going through life blindly, we can have the wisdom of God guide and protect us. The worst marital problem is one word from the Lord away from a total turnaround. If you have sickness or disease, one living word from the Lord will instantly heaal you. If you are in financial crisis, the Lord knows exactly how to turn your situation around. It’s just a matter of hearing His voice.
The Lord constantly speaks to us and gives us His direction. It’s never the Lord who is not speaking, but it’s us who are not hearing. Jesus made some radical statements about hearing His voice in John 10:2-3. He was speaking about Himself as the Shepherd of the sheep and the only way to enter the sheepfold.
“But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the door keeper opens and the sheep hear his voice and calls his own sheep by name and leads them out”
He said in verse 3, His sheep hear His voice. He didn’t say His sheep can hear His voice or should hear His voice. He made the emphatic statement that His sheep do hear His voice. Most Christians would question the accuracy of that statement since their experiences don’t line up. But it’s not what Jesus said that is wrong; all true believers can and do hear the voice of God; they just don’t recognise what they are hearing as being God’s voice.
Radio and television stations transmit 24 hours a day, seven days a week; but we only hear them when we turn the receiver on and tune it in. Failure to hear the signal doesn’t mean the station isn’t transmitting. Likewise, God is constantly transmitting His voice to His sheep, but few are turned on and tuned in.
Most Christians are busy pleading with God in prayer to transmit when the problem is with their receivers.
The first thing we need to do is fix our receivers — believe that God is already speaking and start listening. However, that takes time, effort, and focus. The average Christian’s lifestyle is so busy, it isn’t conducive to hearing God’s voice. Most of us are in a hurry accelerating into a parking lot.
It’s in stillness, not busyness, that we tune our spiritual ears to hear the voice of God. The Lord always speaks to us in that “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:12), but often it’s drowned out amid all the turmoil of our daily lives.
Second, and this is very important, most often we mistake the voice of the Lord for our own thoughts. That’s right. I said the voice of the Lord comes to us in our own thoughts.
John 4:24 says: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
This is saying that communication with God is Spirit to spirit, not brain to brain or mouth to ear, the way we communicate in the physical realm. The Lord speaks to our spirits, not in words, but in thoughts and impressions. Then our spirits speak to us in words like, “I think the Lord wants me to do this or that.” The Lord doesn’t typically say “You do this or that,” but He will impress your spirit to do something, and then your spirit says, “I think I should do .
. .” Therefore, we often miss the leading of the Lord, thinking it’s our own thoughts.
Every one of us has done something stupid and afterwards said, “I knew that was the wrong thing to do.” We didn’t feel right about our decision, but we followed logic or pressure only to find that our impression was actually the Lord speaking to us
Psalm 37:4 says: “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
This verse has often been interpreted to mean that the Lord will give you whatever you want and has been used to justify selfishness, greed, and even adultery.
But it doesn’t mean that the Lord will give you whatever you want; it means that when you are seeking the Lord, He will put His wants or desires into your heart. He will make His desires become your desires.
One of the most important decisions of my life came in 2015. I had gone through a series of business challenges in my life associated with fraudulent behaviour by my then partners some of whom are currently state guests at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison. My life was so miserable, it was unbelievable. I was asking God what I had done to deserve such misfortune in my life after having done so well in my corporate life.
My challenges resulted in me being very religious. I was advised by a friend that it was important for me to wake up at exactly 12 midnight because that was the time the devil started operating. Whenever I woke up a minute after 12 midnight, I would feel guilty and defeated because the devil would have beaten me to it. I would have long morning prayers and at times I would go to a well-known mountain in Mashonaland Central province and spend the whole day praying there.
Unfortunately, the more I did that the more the situation got worse and this confused me.
One day God just spoke to me through a pastor friend that I needed to visit Charis Bible College where his wife was studying. This couple had gone through a series of mishaps, lost their daughter, found their house burnt on Sunday after coming from church, had also lost a huge investment with one of the financial services providers and yet they were very peaceful. I was amazed by their calmness.
The moment I got to the college, I was introduced to the teachings of Andrew Wommack, I bought a series of CDs and books and decided to enroll that very day.
I started listening to the CDs and it was like drinking sea water. The more I drank, the thirstier I became. That marked a turning point in my life. I was there for three years and ever since that day, my life has never been the same after having been introduced to the gospel truth, not religion.
In my third year, I concentrated on courses on Marketplace Ministry and in that year I learnt so much about running a business compared to my five years work of doctoral studies at one of the top universities here in Africa. That obedience to God’s voice resulted in me having a total transformation of my life.
I am convinced that our gracious heavenly Father speaks to every one of His children constantly, giving us all the information and guidance, we need to be total overcomers. There isn’t a problem with His transmitter; it’s our receiver that needs help.
l Dr Doug Mamvura is a graduate of Charis Bible School. Feedback: firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @dougmamvura