“As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you.” Job 17:10
Have you ever argued with God knowing you will never win? Or making promises in the Spirit that your flesh refuses to fulfill? Well, a crazy thing happened on the way to eternity. I lost an argument with God. Can you believe that? There I was in the back of my semitrailer, making a delivery, and arguing with God. Attempting to negotiate terms with Him knowing quite well He doesn’t play that game.
I was trying to negotiate the terms of dating my checkout girl at the grocery store. I had been going there buying one item at a time to talk to her. Never having the nerve to ask her out I just kept going in hoping God would open the door. He might give me the backbone to pursue this desire. I tried bargaining with Him explaining how great of an addition she would be to His kingdom and I would help bring this about for Him.
The argument with God in my semitrailer had us both standing our ground. Telling Him I was going to ask her out the next time I went shopping, and God was saying absolutely, NOT! As we went around and around, I stepped off the back of my trailer, landing on my back. Looking up to heaven, I heard His still small voice saying, “Do I have your attention now?” He did; however, there are differences between hearing, listening, and doing.
Many times, my flesh pondered, “how can I live for the Lord and still get my way?” Short answer, I can’t! Nevertheless, I still disobeyed Him by going to see her, and this time, I would ask her out.
Upon my next visit, she was so excited to see me, which encouraged me to ask the question. Though her delight was not because of me, it was her last day at work. She was moving back east and just wanted to say goodbye. So much for our future together. God decided that if I would not listen and obey Him concerning this temptation, He’d remove it from my life. His ways are not our ways, and the sooner we surrender to God’s will, the easier and quicker it is to receive the right promise.
In contrast, back in 1976, a friend invited my girlfriend and I to attend a spiritual revival. She didn’t know the Lord, but she was looking for Him, and her excitement melted my heart. Even though I was still hiding from God and my heart just wasn’t ready to surrender, we attended.
Talk about a spiritual jamboree! With thousands of people, TV news crews, and the Holy Spirit moving, we took our seats. The stage was jamming with believer after believer being slain-in-the Spirit, prophecy spoken, and an audience full of enthusiasm.
I’m not proud of this part of my story. However, full disclosure would have me share to show how ridiculous and deprived my thinking had become. With the Holy Spirit descending on the crowd and nudging me to go forward, I told my girlfriend I’d be right back.
The walk to the stage was long enough to have another argument with God. I needed to repent, but my hair brain idea was to stop smoking. I needed deliverance from my sins and not just my bad habit.
Arriving on the stage, a pastor stuck a microphone in my face and asked me one question. “Son, do you know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior?” My reply was one word, “OOPS!” That microphone was very loud. A couple of pastors gathered around me, prophesying over me, praying and laying hands on me.
As the crowd began praising the Lord and praying me into the kingdom, I found myself handing them my pack of cigarettes. As they tossed them aside, it was decision time. So embarrassing, such a disappointment in myself, I just wanted to flee. But the show must go on.
God worked through my foolishness to fulfill His will.
Anticipating my slain in the spirit descent, looking over my shoulder for the safety net I went down. Now my dilemma was not knowing how long I should remain slain. So much stress, I just wanted a cigarette. Picking myself up, heading for the parking lot to have someone give me a smoke.
Once outside people recognized me being the one that gave my habit to God. Feeling like Peter denying Jesus, I quickly inhaled and rushed back to my seat. To my delightful surprise, my girlfriend was on stage, receiving Jesus Christ as her Savior. There you have it; He had a plan for her and worked through my foolishness to fulfill His will.
On the ride home, I explained to her the importance of the decision she had made. How much God loves her and how perfect His plan is for her. I then shared the following Scripture: “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14).
The word confused would be an understatement. I went on to explain why God would have me break up with her. Telling that since she was born-again, and I was still living in sin, it would be in her best interest to concentrate on her new life with Christ. Even though I was far away from my Lord, I had enough conviction not to hinder a child of God.
How could I obey God in my backslidden state but disobey when I was seeking Him with my whole heart? I’m sure it has much to do about listening. God chastens us because He loves us and wants us to return to our first love. God will work through us for His glory no matter the condition of our heart. The scriptures are full of examples of how He used evil and sinful men for His Purpose.
Often God has tried to speak to me through a still small voice, and I didn’t listen. Such the case with my argument with Him in the back of my trailer. Subsequently, He brought the hammer down on me to get my attention. All because His whispering didn’t penetrate my heart.
Sometimes God speaks through earthquakes, wind, and fire. We remember those times and expect Him to always talk in those ways. But most generally, when God speaks to us, He speaks in a still small voice. If we are spiritually sensitive, our hearts will hear the voice of God.
Concerning my crush on my check out girl. Some plant, some water but it is God that gives the increase. We are to testify of the salvation in Christ and let the Holy Spirit draw them to God. We cannot save anyone no matter what our motive is, good or bad. Until a person is ready, no amount of argument or desire from us will convince them we are right.
We cannot push anyone into the kingdom. Only the conviction and drawing of the Holy Spirit will achieve this.
Additionally, God has no desire to answer our requests so that we can consume it upon our flesh.
By not being silent, we often miss the voice of God because we are expecting Him to speak in some great thunderous tone. We need to get our hearts quiet before God. We must believe the still small voice of God within guides us assures us of His love and assures us of His Purpose.
It’s that still small voice within needing our attention and obedience. Then we will receive the strength and help from God when He speaks to us.
“And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.” (1 Kings 19:12)
JESUS IS THE WORD, AND THE WORD IS JESUS
“Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.” Proverbs 28:26
LISTENING: Whether through His written Word or by an inner “still small voice” from the Holy Spirit, God speaks to praying Christians. But we must take time to listen. Listening is different from both waiting and meditation.
God’s Word is much to do about everything. In fact, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35).
When Jesus finished telling His parable of the Sower, He cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” – (Matthew 13:9). Clearly, from the explanation of Jesus Himself, we learn that not all those who have ears to hear, really listen!
It’s vital we actively listen to the spoken Word of God, for this is how we obtain faith. Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” A person cannot believe unless they hear. It is through the revelation of Scripture that we come to know Him. Thus, by knowing God, we come to believe and trust in Him. The Word of God is essential for the development of faith within our hearts, minds, and lives.
When one “knows the truth,” they will more likely “bear fruit”; but the key to understanding is having a “good and humble heart” that is willing to listen, study and meditate on the truths we hear.
Knowledge is the Apprehension of TRUTH in one’s mind, but Wisdom is the Application of TRUTH to one’s life.
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).
The Word is a powerful piece of armor, “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17b). This sword is our offensive weapon, and it protects us from lies when we trust in the truth of God’s Word.
We use the sword to attack our enemies with the Word. Also, it’s the only weapon we used OFFENSIVELY AND DEFENSIVELY. Find a passage of Scripture that pertains to your need, apply its principles to the promise, and stand firm in the faith. In using this spiritual tool, we will become more like Jesus as we put on the mind of Christ and reflect His Image from glory to glory; AMEN.
THE GOAL OF THE WORD: To “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”(2 Timothy 2:15).
THE PURPOSE OF THE WORD: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
THE QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE WORD:
THE PROMISE FROM THE WORD: “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you” (John 14:26).
“Thy WORD is a Lamp unto my Feet and a Light unto my Path” (Psalm 119: 105).
GOD’S PROMISE TO YOU
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
Written by, Brad Wyrick