I was recently having a conversation with a friend of mine about pastors teaching, and he said, " so many pastors tell you why but never really teach you the how." I know I need to listen to God but how?
Today I want to share with you the HOW. How do you know that God is giving you a fresh vision for your life? In Acts we see a story of Peter and Cornelius and both had encounters. During Peters vision, he was told to kill an animal but he refused to because he was living under the pretext of old revelation. His words were, "not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." Under the old way of doing things Peter never should have even spoken with Cornelius. During that vision God set the stage to change Peter's life.
Here is three things about How To Tell if God is communicating something fresh into you.
1. Supernatural Revelation. God expands Peter Horizons during his vision when he tells Peter that what God has cleansed is neither unclean or common. God gave a fresh revelation to Peter. God will give you a fresh revelation that will help to see outside the box. He will give you a new education that will lead you to new conviction. Peter became convicted and convinced to speak as a Jewish man to another man from another country. His conviction allowed him to redefine what is possible, as he was no longer constricted to the rules of the old way. When you receive a fresh revelation about what is possible in your life that is from God.
2. Supernatural Invitation. God sends associates of Cornelius to invite Peter to enter a new scope of ministry to the Gentiles. God will invite you to a new area of ministry by bringing new people into your life. When you begin feeling drawn or connected to the new it may be your supernatural invitation.God is looking to give you a new exposure, with new people, to create a new compassion.
3. Supernatural Conformation. God confirmed this enlarged vision he gave to Peter with a receptive Cornelius and signs following his conversion. God will confirm a new vision in your life by the new experiences that lead you to a new commitment.
When God wants to draw new obedience from His servants, He almost always communicates fresh vision. This is exactly what Peter got.
If there was one person other than Jesus who experienced God more than any other I would have to say it was Moses. Moses spent so much time with God that his face shinned so much the people couldn't look at him. Talk about a relationship with God! Moses experienced God personally, witnessed God work in his favor personally, talked with God personally and God responded to him personally, saw God personally, and spent intimate time with God one on one personally.
As a pastor I am often asked, "How Do I Experience God More? I want to get deeper with my relationship with God." Surprisingly I seem to hear this more from Christians who have been in their for some time now. They have reached a point in their walk with God that sunday morning sermons are no longer cutting it anymore. My response to this question is this...YOU DO WHAT YOU SEE.
Moses demonstrated this truth. The people watched him as he spent time with God, interceding for them in intimate personal communication with God...and it changed them more than any sermon could have. If you want to enjoy an intimate relationship with God, as Moses did, you must practice what he did.
Moses 5 Steps To A More Intimate Relationship With God.
1. Separate Yourself Regularly. (Ex 33:7) You have to set time apart from people. How much time are spending alone with God on a regular basis? Do you have a spot where you are able to meet God? Moses had tent of meeting with God. He had a dedicated spot where he could be alone to meet with God. (Numbers 7:89)
2. Seek God With All Your Heart. (Ex 33:7) You must pursue truth over popularity. If God told to you in order for you to encounter him more you had to first release your friendships would you? If you have any hesitancy at all in answering that question you are more worried about your popularity than you are his truth. Even Jesus had to become unpopular in his own home town. Had Moses choose to focus on being popular over following God's truth, the people never would have experienced God. His popularity never would have been able to lead the people as they encountered hardships. There were numerous times the people doubted Moses the man, but the one thing they couldn't do was doubt Moses and his relationship with God.
3. Be Watched By The Public. (Ex 33:8) You must be willing to take a risk, even though it feels intimidating to be watched and to lead. Jesus said, "The harvest is plenty but the workers are few." He never said the harvest is plenty but my followers are few, no...he said, "The workers are few." One of the most difficult steps in our Christian faith is to take the step that steps out. It's easy to serve and greet and usher and work with sound, lights or video production on Sundays. It's easy to teach kids, because they don't scrutinize you the way an adult does. It's easy to join a small group...so long as someone else is leading it! As long as someone is doing the hard work...it's easy then to do the simple work. (Please don't misunderstand me...I am not putting down any area of service work on Sundays.) God doesn't want you to live a life sitting on the sidelines never becoming a star player. He is in you and wants to do a great work thru you.
4. Learn To Listen And Obey God's Voice. (Ex 33:9) You must learn to practice the patience of silence and submission. Notice...The Lord Talked with Moses. Not that Moses talked to the Lord. When God speaks we have to learn to shut up. It's not easy being silent and submitting to God, but it's necessary to learn as you will one day spend the rest of eternity doing it.
5. Enter A Covenant Partnership With God. (Ex. 33:10-11) You must be faithful and committed, just was Moses was a trustworthy partner with God. The Bible tells us that that Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to a friend. God wants to use you and partner with you to achieve his will for your life. What stops us from experiencing all that God has for our lives is not God, but us. We lack the character to be faithful and committed. The truth is we are not a trustworthy partner. We look for the easy way out. We look for the promised land to be established already instead of realizing that our life may be spent on the journey to the promised land, and that the promised land is for our next generation, for our legacy to leave behind.
I have personally experienced this the most when it comes to Christians and church. Majority of Christians fear partnering with a new church because the new church doesn't have or do what the old church or what others have or do that are more established. So it's easy to see God working and then abandon the opportunity to partner with him in new work for the sake for trying to experience him work that has already been done.
God is moving all around you, waiting for you to partner with him. The thing about the promised land was during the entire journey to the promised land, God was working behind the scenes...setting up the promised land to flow with milk and honey. One of the greatest steps you can take in your relationship with God is to see where HE is starting a NEW WORK and choose to partner with him with a no matter what it takes attitude. At one point in time God had worked in Egypt. By the time Moses came into the picture, the work was already done. The opportunity to truly experience God in partnership in Egypt had already passed. Moses relationship with God never would have been the same had he not partnered with God in God's new work...setting his people free.