2008-01-02 / Religion

"Let's Hear From God this Year!"

(by: Pastor James Scarborough, Donalsonville Assembly of God)

God wants to speak to each of us: to those who are outside of Christ and in sin, He speaks the message of salvation that can be received by faith in Christ; to those who have received Christ and have been born again, He speaks words of comfort and guidance.

As God communicates with us, He desires for us to seek to press ahead in Christian maturity; He wants us to have hopes, plans, and goals that include Him. In order for this to take place it is essential that we take time to hear from Him. Among the many things that we might plan for this year, I am convinced that having hearts that are receptive to the voice of God is a must if we are to be successful in the sight of God.

One individual who heard from God in a rather strange and unique way was Jacob. The Bible records in Genesis 28 that Jacob fell asleep and had a dream that revealed a ladder that extended from heaven to earth. Angels were coming up and down the ladder, and God was at the top. In this dream God spoke words of promise to Jacob. This encounter, needless to say, affected Jacob very strongly--take note of several ways it touched him.

The dream affected Jacob's intellect. The Bible says, "When Jacob awoke from his sleep," he thought, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it" (Genesis 28:16, NIV). When we allow God to speak to us it changes the way we think; we become more aware of His nearness and presence. May we listen to God and allow Him to take control of our minds.

The dream affected Jacob's emotions. Scripture reveals that his first emotional response was fear (verse 17). It is a fearful thing to come into the presence of God: it reminds us of our sinfulness and His holiness, it reminds us of our limitations and His supremacy, it reminds us of our weakness and His power. Closely connected to Jacob's experience of Godly fear was the response of awe; he described the scene as "the gate of heaven." Notice an important balance: God is holy and must be revered, but He is also a God of love that allows us to come humbly before Him and experience a taste of His awesome presence.

The dream affected Jacob's heart--he poured oil on the stone pillar upon which he had reclined as an act of dedication and worship. When we hear from God and He touches our hearts, the only reasonable response is to worship Him and dedicate ourselves wholly to Him.

You probably will not have a dream equal to the one Jacob had, but God does want to communicate with you. If you are not living for Him, He wants to speak to your heart and draw you to Jesus Christ. If you are living for Him, He wants to speak to your heart and give you an increasing desire to serve Him more diligently. He desires to place a dream in your heart that will give you great hopes, plans, and goals in your Christian service. When He speaks, it will affect your mind, emotions, and heart. Ask Him to help you to hear from Him more clearly in 2008 than ever before!

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