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-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

Author: Teresa Seputis ts@godspeak.net http://www.godspeak.net
Editor: Bob Hawley

How To Hear The Voice Of God In A Noisy World, by Teresa Seputis ISBN 0-88419-7557,
published by Charisma House Publishers, 1-800-451-4598

Ways God Speaks To Us

Lesson 3
God Quickens Scripture for Specific Situations

By Teresa Seputis

Our last lesson talked about how God has already communicated many things that we need to know for successful living through the Bible. It addresses many things outright, such as standards for holiness, how we are to approach God and how we are to treat each other. When we need to hear from God on an issue or situation, we really should look at what God has already said on that subject from the Bible.

There will be times where we need to hear God for a specific situation. God will sometimes take a passage of scripture and quicken it to us for our specific situation.

Let me share an example of how God used scripture to meet me in a very difficult situation. In 1996, I participated in a three-week missions trip to India. We were to leave three days after Thanksgiving. My parents, both unsaved at the time, came over for Thanksgiving dinner. Dad looked unusually tired, but I had no idea that his health was that bad. We had our usual brief discussion where I invited him to receive Jesus as Savior and he declined.

The next morning, during devotions, the Lord instructed me to go to Psalm 21. So I went there and began reading. Verse 2 said, "You have granted him the desires of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips" (Ps 21:2 NKJV). God stopped me right there and asked me, "Teresa, what are the desires of your heart?"

That was easy, I had just seen my unsaved parents the day before and my husband was not saved either. So I answered Him, "Household Salvation, Lord. Please don't let anyone in my immediate family die without accepting Jesus first." The Lord told me to bring the desire of my heart to Him in prayer and He would grant it. Then the Lord and I spent quite a bit of time that morning praying and discussing this request for household salvation.

I got on the airplane two days later and headed to India. We were in a very rural part of India, that could not receive international calls. One night, late into the trip, we received a phone call from our message center. My father had died a couple of days before, and my husband had been trying to reach me for two days to tell me the news. He finally got through to the message center and left a message for me. They were passing it on.

I was in shock. Could that possibly be correct? My unsaved father dead? The message said he'd died unexpectedly from a heart attack, instantly and probably painlessly, and with no advanced warning. But just days before, I had been praying for household salvation. When I'd last seen him, he was unsaved and unreceptive to the message of Christ. I recommitted my allegiance to the Lord no matter what happened and then I began to cry. My dad was dead? Living conditions where we were staying in India were very crowded, but they made space for me to be alone for a bit to give me time to pray and process. I asked the Lord what had happened to my father. Had he accepted Jesus? Was he in heaven or in hell? But I was emotionally distraught and unable to hear God clearly. So I waited on Him for a bit and then I grabbed my Bible. I had no idea what I wanted to read, but I suddenly felt impressed to read John chapter 14.

It started with, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me. In My Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you" (John 14:1-2 NIV). It seemed like the words were custom made to my situation and I drew great comfort to them. The Holy Spirit kept directing my attention over and over to the phrase, "If it were not so, I would have told you." I did not understand what He meant by it, so I asked Him. Suddenly Psalm 21:2 came flooding back into my memory. "You have granted him the desires of his heart and have not withheld the request of his lips" (Ps 21:2 NKJV). The Lord reminded me of the conversation we'd had just before I'd left for India. In that conversation, He'd asked me what was the desire of my heart and I'd replied "household salvation." That verse, Psalm 21:2, said that God had granted him (me in this case) the desires of his heart. Then the Holy Spirit brought back John 14:2 again. "If that were not so, I would have told you." I felt like He was saying that I could count on Him to have answered the prayer that He led me to pray that day. He seemed to be reassuring me that He would not let any of my immediate family die without accepting Jesus first, or He would have told me. That would mean that my father had accepted Jesus before he died and was in Heaven right now.

The thought was very comforting. But it seemed in direct conflict to the information I'd been given. I knew Dad was not a Christian the last time I saw him, and that he'd died instantly and unexpectedly. Right about then, God broke clearly into my thoughts and said, "Teresa, the information you got in the message was wrong. He did not die unexpectedly; he knew he was dying and he accepted Jesus and is in Heaven." As in confirmation, one of the Indian pastors came to me with a prophecy that he did not understand. He assumed that since I was a missionary, my parents were both saved. He was surprised to hear God tell him to give me this message, "Rest assured that despite how the circumstances may appear, your father is with Me in heaven." I received a final confirmation when I got home. It turns out my father had seen his doctor after having some tests, and was told he needed another heart bypass surgery, or he'd be dead in two weeks. He elected not to have the surgery, and decided not to tell my mother about this. He knew for almost two weeks that he was dying and had plenty of time to get right with God.

Neither Psalm 21:2 nor John 14:2 were written to deal with the question of "Did my unsaved relative accept Christ before dying?" But the Holy Spirit used these two verses to communicate an assurance of my father's salvation to me. And then He brought independent confirmation afterward through the prophecy and through the doctor's report.

The Holy Spirit sometimes uses a few verses like that to communicate something specific to us. Or, He may quicken an entire passage of scripture. Or He may suddenly flood us with scriptures along a given theme. For instance, one time God wanted me to go on a long fast and pray for my city. In a two-week period, I tripped across just about every passage on fasting in the Bible. And the verses on fasting seemed to practically jump off the page at me. I finally got the idea that God wanted me to fast and pray for my city.

Perhaps you have had this experience: You are reading a passage you have read many times in the past. But this time it suddenly comes alive and you have an in-depth understanding of what it means. You see things in it that you had never seen before. That is probably the Holy Spirit quickening scripture to you because He is trying to communicate something to you. He likes to do that.

Part of the Holy Spirit's job description is to quicken scripture to us and to bring it to our remembrance (e.g., help us recall it). We see this in John 14:26, which says, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all things that I have said to you" (John 14:26 NKJV). Of course, for the Holy Spirit to bring something to our remembrance, this implies that we've put it in our memory in the first place! This means that if we want God to speak to us through scripture, we should facilitate the process by spending time in His word, reading it, studying it, memorizing it, etc.

We have discussed how the Bible is the inspired word of God and therefore is reliable to lead us and to give us a standard by which to judge all else we believe God says to us. We have seen that the Holy Spirit will sometimes quicken passages of scripture to us or recall them to our memory. He does this when He desires to communicate something specific to us through scripture.

God also has other ways of speaking to us in addition to speaking to us through His written word, the Bible. We cover them in subsequent lessons. When we study these, please remember that God will NEVER say something to us directly that contradicts what He has said already in the Bible. So if we think we hear God tell us something that contradicts the Bible, we have heard wrong, God will never do that. The Bible is the absolute and reliable word of God, and it is our standard by which we judge and evaluate everything else we hear.

-- © GodSpeak International 2002 --
-- Do not republish without written permission from <copyright@godspeak.org> --

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