Forthright Magazine

Letting God speak to me

The Bible gives a glimpse of God’s mind and heart (1 Corinthians 2:10-11). It has “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3). Wise men will listen to what the Almighty says and grow wiser (Proverbs 1:5; 9:9).

We learn the importance of knowing and obeying God’s will from Abraham. The rich man in Jesus’ story asked that Lazarus be sent back to earth to warn his five brothers lest they join him in torment. Abraham told him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them”. The rich man evidently did not think they would pay attention to the written word, but did think they would heed the words of one returned from the dead. Abraham said, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead” (Luke 16:19-31, esp. 27-31). Clearly, the word of God is vital to those who would live in heaven!

The Bible can teach me to fear God (Deuteronomy 4:10). God instructed future kings of Israel to make a copy of the law, read it and learn to fear (Deuteronomy 17:18-20). The people were, likewise, to participate in a reading of the law every 7 years so they and their children could learn to fear the Lord and keep His commandments (14:22-23; 17:14-20; 31:9-13).

The word of God contains counsel that will stand forever (Psalm 33:11-12). “Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause. Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your path” (Psalm 25:3-4). David saw learning the Lord’s will as being closely tied to protection from his enemies (27:11).

The longest psalm is dedicated to meditations on the excellencies of the word of God. Eight verses were written for each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet! Repeatedly, Israel’s singer referred to his need and desire to learn the will of God (Psalm 119:7, 12, 26, 33, 64, 71, 108). The Lord commanded Moses to teach Israel “statutes and judgments, that you might observe them in the land which you cross over to possess” (Deuteronomy 4:14). When Israel returned from captivity, one of her most powerful leaders was Ezra. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel” (Ezra 7:10).

Letting God speak to me through his word is essential for me to learn what is pleasing to him. Paul’s greatest desire for the Christians he taught was that they could grow in knowledge of the will of the Father (Colossians 1:9-11).

Knowing God’s will is essential to those who would abide with Him eternally since, “those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:8). In his own ministry, Paul asked, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10). To please God, I must have faith, which only comes through hearing the word of God and walking in His commandments (Hebrews 11:6; Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 4:1).

Each child of God should make pleasing him their primary purpose in life. We must focus on the will of God, not the world’s distractions (2 Timothy 2:4). We should be like Jesus who always sought to please the Father (John 8:29).

“Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:9).


Gary C. Hampton
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