This is a teaching from Clare given on June 24, 2015
This is a teaching on getting your own word from the Lord. And you know, our channel is not just about intimacy; it’s also about learning to hear from God on your own. Just about every other e-‐mail or private message that comes to us from our different sites is requesting a word from the Lord. But, He has asked us to keep our focus on teaching you to get your own words.
Nothing mysterious about it, Seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given to you. Matt.7:7 And the Lord is really up for this, guys. He’s got His Grace right there ready to give it to you, if only you’ll exercise your faith muscle and use it.
When I first became a Christian, the church I was attending was doing a Bible study by Evelyn Christenson, on a book called Lord, Change Me. It was then that I learned to listen to the message within a message. In this very simple book, you are taught to read a section of Scripture and listen for the Lord’s voice in a personal way, guiding you in everyday circumstance. That is called a Rhema.
There are different levels of training, and as you mature, the Lord will take you into deeper waters with this practice. But for now, let’s keep it simple and start with the basics.
There are two Greek words that describe Scripture which are translated word in the New Testament. The first, logos, refers to the inspired Word of God and to Jesus, Who is the living Logos.
In the beginning was the Word [logos], and the Word [logos] was with God, and the Word [logos] was God. John 1:1
For the word [logos] of God is quick, and powerful. Hebrews 4:12
The second Greek word that describes Scripture is “rhema”, which refers to a word that is spoken and means “an utterance.” A rhema is a verse or portion of Scripture that Holy Spirit brings to our attention to address a need for wisdom and for direction. So, when we are reading our Bible, all of a sudden something on the page catches our attention and is quickened by Holy Spirit for a current life situation. If we are listening very carefully, we hear the Lord’s wisdom for us. It’s kind of like, reading between the lines. And that wisdom is right for the moment. It just takes a little practice to get the hang of it.
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word [rhema] that proceeds out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4).
Jesus said, “The words [rhema] that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).
When God gives a rhema for us to act upon, He often confirms it by a second and third one, that “in the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word [rhema] be established” (II Corinthians 13:1).
“So, then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word [rhema] of God” (Romans 10:17).
When the angel told Mary that she would have a child: “Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word [rhema]” (Luke 1:38).
Jesus told Peter he would deny Him. “Peter remembered the word [rhema] of Jesus, which said unto him, ‘Before the cock crows, you will deny me three times’” (Matthew 26:75).
This is how we get our confirmations from the Lord. Our opinions about things don’t matter, it’s God’s opinion that matters and when we want an ‘outside of ourselves’ confirmation, we pray and open the Bible and begin to read. But, rather than using the entire Bible, we use a little book, called the Bible Promise Book by Barbour Publishers. This book that has Scriptures sorted by different topics, so when you open it you’re immediately in the midst of Scriptures about a topic like Brotherly Love, Help In Troubles, Marriage, Parent’s Duties, etc. As we begin to read, some of the lines will begin to really resonate deeply in our spirits. At that point, we stop and linger, soaking in the anointed words and allowing them to minister to us. When we’re reading, the Lord anoints certain things. And when you read it slowly, like I said – kind of ‘reading between the lines’ in a letter – the anointing; you’ll feel it. You’ll feel the anointing on those words, just for you in that situation.
So, the way we receive guidance from the Lord is to simply pray for guidance. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith not doubting. James 1:5-‐6 and My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27
And you can really hear the Lord’s voice between the lines. It takes a little practice, but it really does work. That Voice has a resonance in our hearts that no other voice can duplicate.
We approach this like an innocent little child: Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Matt 18:2-‐4 We really do – we come to the Lord as little children. That’s the safest way to approach Him. Not only is there the greatest wisdom in doing that, because it’s His wisdom. But the greatest protection, because the Lord protects the little children. It’s the “big” people who think they know it all, and they can protect themselves who are really in trouble. If you come to Him innocent like a little child, without pride, in humility seeking wisdom, He’s going to give it to you.
Very simply, we earnestly pray for an answer and open the Bible or the Bible Promises and start reading. As we read, one of the Scriptures written there will come forth and stand out. And you know, I’ve seen it where you have to read two or three times before ONE particular Scripture really caught my attention. That’s Holy Spirit making that word come alive in our hearts and minds, or a Rhema -‐ a present-‐time utterance of Holy Spirit directing us according to our needs.
We prefer to get three Rhemas in a row in order to clarify and establish the Lord’s train of thought. So, we take a little more time with it. We also have learned that we need to pray over the Bible Promise book before we open it to receive a word from Holy Spirit. The enemy, also -‐ and don’t ask me how, ‘cause I don’t know how he does it -‐ can manipulate the pages to bring up a reading counter to what God has for us. So we simply say, “In the Name of Jesus, we bind a Lying spirit off this book.” Believe it or not, we have many times caught the enemy infiltrating our readings! So now, for safety’s sake, we always pray that prayer along with, “Holy Spirit, please guide me through this book.”
Some would accuse us of fortune telling, but I’m afraid they just aren’t familiar with drawing lots, as it is used by the prophets of old as well as the Apostles, who drew lots to choose the replacement for Judas in the first chapter of the book of Acts. In that particular prayer, Peter said, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen to take over this apostolic ministry”…. then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles. Acts 1:24.
So, when you cast lots, the choosing of that “lot” is totally done by Holy Spirit. And when you open the Bible Promises, again the Bible Promises is opened by Holy Spirit. Now, when we use the Bible Promises, we are asking the Lord (who knows everyone’s heart) to reveal what is necessary for us to make the right decisions.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5
We have walked some VERY crooked paths in our own wisdom, and we’ve learned that our own wisdom is absolutely a detriment. Always seek the Lord’s wisdom before you do anything.
It is SO much easier to do it right the first time, than to plunge headlong into our own wisdom and make a choice not pleasing to God -‐ and in the end, costing everyone a great deal. I would much sooner act like a five-‐ year-‐old child, throwing myself on the mercy and wisdom of God than to receive a precise report prepared by a human -‐ who at best has limited knowledge.
In the past, coming to God seeking wisdom was called an ‘oracle’ in the Old Testament. Bible scholars call oracles ‘Communications from God’. The term refers both to divine responses to a question asked of God and to pronouncements made by God without His being asked. In one sense, oracles were prophecies since they often referred to the future; but oracles sometimes dealt with decisions to be made in the present. In the Bible, communication was from Yahweh, the God of Israel.
However, in times of idol worship, Israelites sought another word from false gods (Hosea 4:12). Many of Israel’s neighbors sought oracles from their gods. THIS you could call fortune telling.
Why were oracles given? To help God’s people make the right choices. There were “decision oracles” and “pronouncement oracles.” Decision oracles came when people asked God a question or sought His counsel. For example, David needed to know the right time to attack the Philistines -‐ so he asked God. The answers he received were oracles (2 Samuel 5:19, 2 Samuel 5:23-‐24 ).
Saul, the first king of Israel, was chosen through an oracle (1 Samuel 10:20-‐24 ). In that case, the communication from God was through the casting of lots. The falling of the lots was considered an oracle from God. So, this is a well-‐established practice from the holy prophets and patriarchs in Scriptures. This is not some “new age” or fortune telling thing, not at all. This is serious business, this is seeking an oracle from God.
When we come to the Lord prayerfully to be instructed through His Word, we must remember that He is God and not a slot machine. He may choose to bring up something totally different than what you asked Him. There may be things in your life that He has been waiting to address for a long time and when you ask about one
thing… you may very well get an answer drawing your attention to another thing. I can’t tell you how many times that’s happened to me! Especially when He’s drawing my attention to a fault or a shortcoming. It’s like, I want to ask Him something, and He draws my attention to my fault.
And I’ll say, “Yes, Lord – I know, I know I have that fault…but can You just tell me what I need to know?” And again He’ll draw my attention to the fault.
It’s as though He’s saying, “I’m not going to tell you what you need to know, until you really, seriously deal with what I’m talking to you about!”
As you can see, it can get kinda conversational, too, with Him!
There is a learning curve in hearing the Lord’s voice through Scripture. We have to slow down our thoughts and restfully read the Scriptures. At first, you might say, “What in the world does that have to do with my question?” When you get an answer, asking the Lord for wisdom and you open the Bible Promises and it’s on a totally different topic – and you’re wondering, ‘What did this have to do with what I asked?’
Well, I don’t know. That’s for YOU to meditate on until Holy Spirit illuminates it for you. There are no shortcuts. We all have to suffer through the toddler stage. It is painful – but SO worthwhile!
For instance, if I get seriously ill with something unusual, and it hasn’t yielded to anointed prayer, I may ask the Lord, “Why am I feeling so badly? Did I do something wrong, was Your protection lifted because I strayed out of the corral?” If He gives me the chapter on ‘Salvation’ or on ‘Parent’s Duties’ or ‘Eternal Life’ from the Bible Promises and I read those Scriptures, it is safe to assume that, right in this hour, someone’s salvation is hanging in the balance and my fast offering is going to tilt the scales. In which case, I will be happy and receive it like Simon ‘s cross.
However, if He gives me readings under the ‘Guilt’ chapter, or ‘The World’ -‐ I’ll know immediately the devils have been allowed to sift me for an indiscretion.
Let’s say I’m invited to a conference with a speaker I really like. I come to the Lord and ask Him if I should go and He gives me the chapter on ‘Joy’ and ‘Loving God’. I’ll take those as a confirmation that He will bless me if I go. However, if I get ‘Lust’ or ‘The World’ or ‘Lying’, then I will not go. I’m serious about this – this really does direct our lives. And we’ve found it to avoid SO many pitfalls.
Let’s say I was nosey on the internet and found something that caused me to fear – like reading the news. It was something that could possibly hurt us, and I gave in to fear. If I prayerfully ask Holy Spirit to tell me -‐ if this is something I should be concerned about, I might get the ‘Help in Troubles’ chapter, or ‘Guidance’ – which I always take as, “I’m speaking to you about this…” Then I would say it is something we should be prepared to deal with, that there’s going to be a problem.
However, if I get the chapter on ‘Lying,’ or ‘Fear,’ or ‘God’s Faithfulness,’ I could relax and not worry about it. Because, you see, in the chapter on ‘Fear’,, they’re all “Do not be afraid” Scriptures – “I’ll deliver you, I’m with you.” I use these Scriptures to repeat back to my fears. If a fear should jump up, I’ll use the Scriptures, the Sword of the Spirit to cut it off, so I’m not enmeshed in the net of fear. So, these become tools. Once a
Scripture’s been isolated that really speaks to the situation, you can claim that Scripture and stand in faith. And that will bring you through the storm in one piece.
As I said, it takes time to interpret what the Scriptures mean. Not everything comes easily. In fact, there are many times when we just don’t know what to think and we have to put it on the shelf and pray for better discernment. This is a learning process and Holy Spirit is your teacher. Each day you will learn more and more and more about how God thinks from moment to moment, and in different situations,, because you are constantly going to Him for advice.
There are some people who are too ‘grown up’ for this kind of discernment…they must find their own way. But we’ve been using it for 35 years and we can testify -‐ it works.
One thing to be aware of, in all discernment situations: if you are attached to a certain outcome, or you want things to go your way, you’ll have a very hard time understanding your answers. You have to be willing to completely yield to God’s wisdom in everything. Ouch! There are times when you might as well not ask, because you know you’re not going to obey Him, anyway. Let’s be real honest here: when we want our own way, we’re not willing to yield to God’s way. And rather than pretend that your readings were confusing and you weren’t sure what He was saying…well, better to not ask, because you’re so attached to the outcome and so set on the outcome, that you can’t hear anything else. In that case, a good prayer is, “Lord, I am willing to be MADE willing to be obedient.”
So, this is just a primer – something to get you started. I think you’ll find that Holy Spirit will be working with you very, very closely, and you’ll grow very quickly with this method of what God’s heart and mind is about a particular topic.