Hearing God’s Voice – What do you see? Pt. 9

God communicates to us in many ways. But are we listening? 

There is the Bible or the written word of God. But God also communicates through the Holy Spirit’s thoughts, impressions, dreams, visions, and encounters. We often wait for a loud, audible voice, but God is most often speaking to our inner person in quiet ways. 

Our natural, logical minds process information through reason, analysis, and logic. But God most often speaks in realms that involve pictures and symbols.  

I’ve discovered anyone can learn to hear God’s voice if they open their hearts to this truth—My sheep, Hear my voice! (John 10:27)  

Read on as I continue this important series on Hearing God’s Voice. 

Jeremiah, “What do you see?” God speaks and “reveals.”  

4 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born, I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  

6 Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.”  

7 But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. 8 Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord. 

9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me: “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant.” 

11 Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Jeremiah, what do you see?” And I said, “I see a branch of an almond tree.” 

12 Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.”  

Jer. 1:4-12 NKJV 

I’ve read this passage often, but years ago, I saw a connection between his ability to see, which released his faith in God, enabling him to receive God’s promise and fulfill destiny.  

Vs. 11 “Jeremiah, what do you see?” “I see a branch of an almond tree.” Vs. 12: “You have seen well, for I am ready to perform My word.” 

Ready also means “watching.” The almond is considered the “waker” in Hebrew thought because it, of all trees, blossoms early, watching diligently for the opportunity to bloom.  

Jeremiah would have known that this symbol of the almond branch meant God was ready to release him in His calling and to do the word He had just spoken to him. 

He could “see”, which took him into God’s realm of existence, possibility, and faith. 

But he had to look to see. 

Habakkuk also expected to hear and see from the Lord: 

Hab. 2:1 “…I will … watch to see what He will say to me…” NKJV 

Habakkuk would start looking for vision as he prayed. He would open the eyes of his heart and look into the spirit world to see what God wanted to show him.   

The most obvious prerequisite to seeing is that we need to look. Daniel also expected to hear and see what God was revealing:  

Dan. 7:2,9 Daniel saw a vision in his mind and said, “I was looking…I kept looking…” 

As born-again believers in Jesus, we have received the Holy Spirit at new birth. Through our new life in Christ and the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence, we have also been given “spiritual eyes” to hear and see what God is revealing.  

But we must position ourselves to listen, look, and believe what God reveals to us—no different than Jeremiah or any other people God called in the Bible or through Church history. 

Revelation enables us to embrace what God is offering.  

I love this promise in Deuteronomy:  

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. Deut. 29:29 NKJV 

Only God knows secrets. But God desires to release other things to those who will walk with Him and wait faithfully upon Him to reveal His direction and purpose.  

Once God gives you an understanding of a truth, vision, or dream, you can revisit it forever! Revealed truth and direction will even affect subsequent generations. 

What do you see? If you can see it, it’s attainable; God is making it available to you. 

Revelation will move you toward purpose and destiny. It opens new realms of living, possibility, and faith. Living an everyday Christian life is impossible without receiving regular revelation from God. 

The prophet Hosea states an important truth: 

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” NKJV 

He is speaking of revelation knowledge. The Bible doesn’t say, “My people perish for lack of miracles, or lack of money, or bad relationships or anything else.” Faith comes by hearing God’s word  

For example, consider the promise and truth revealed in Mat. 6:33:  

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”  

This verse promises provision as we walk with God. Revelation of the truth is needed to receive the benefits of God’s promise by faith. Faith comes by hearing God’s word (Rom. 10:17). 

Another example is a lack of knowledge of our identity in Christ. A wrong identity inhibits our Christian growth, weakens our faith, and can deny us the truth of God’s promises.  

Similarly, Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint.” (NKJV) Again, revelation knowledge. God’s understanding comes from revelation.   

A better rendering is, “Without a prophetic revelation, the people go unrestrained, walking in circles, having no certain destiny.”   

Why is it important to hear God’s voice?  

So, we can discern His leading, guidance, vision, and strategies. We need His roadmap to reach the destination. Keep in mind that the journey is part of the destination!  

Revelation is essential in our lives to release faith and appropriate God’s promises. Unfolding prophetic revelation expands our capacity to see from God’s perspective.  

Without seeing your present circumstances from God’s perspective, His promise will be unfulfilled.  

Consider Elisha’s promise to the widow in 2 Kings 4:1-7. She has debt she cannot pay. The prophet asks what you have, and she says a little oil. He tells her to get empty vessels, so she sends her sons to get empty vessels. The oil keeps flowing, filling all the vessels, and he tells her to go and pay her debt.  

She had to see her circumstances from God’s perspective and believe His promise through the prophet to have her needs met.  

New Covenant Realities 

We must learn to lean into revelation and vision and let it unfold. Jesus lived out of this divine communication: 

19 Jesus answered and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.  John 5:19-20 NKJV 

Revelation and vision may seem unusual to a rational 21st-century mindset, yet the Bible demonstrates them as central teachings and experiences. Remember the promise in Acts 2:17: Holy Spirit poured on all flesh … prophesy … dream … visions.    

It’s possible to grasp truth intellectually without changing how we live. Revelation, given by the Lord, is vital to receiving truth.  

Let’s go deeper by looking at Christ’s finished work. 

When believers understand the finished work of Christ and the essence of our union with Christ – walking in the new person – all things become possible.  

Paul describes our identification and union with Christ:  

5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6 For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. 7 So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. Eph 2:5-7 NLT 

First, Christ died for our sins. Second, as we progress in the Lord, we begin to understand by the Spirit that He died to deliver us from the power of sin. Third, we may get a revelation of His resurrection and how we can live above the forces of this world. Fourth, we see His enthroning in heavenly places; the Spirit illuminates that we are seated with Him—it’s a reality now—and a position from which we can operate. 

With our spirit person enthroned with Christ, we can discern what God reveals by the Spirit. What we perceive by revelation empowers us to experience. Faith apprehends what grace freely offers. 

Look what Paul writes to the Corinthians:  

9 That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 10 But it was to us that God revealed these things by his Spirit. For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets. 1 Cor. 2:9-10 NLT  

Sense knowledge faith verses faith through revelation.  

Our five senses often influence our mind, will, and emotions. Circumstances can affect our soulish realm, moving us away from the reality of what the Holy Spirit is revealing or what God’s word has revealed.    

For example, our position in Christ, seated with Him, is a spiritual reality, but our senses or minds may say, “No!” 

Sense or knowledge faith can cause us to doubt or fear what the Lord has revealed.  

What do you see? What is the Father revealing? 

Do you see yourself as an overcomer, a new creation in Christ? Do you see yourself fulfilling your purpose and destiny in God? Do you see yourself as a supernatural being or a mere person?  

If the unfolding revelation of your life is that you are endowed with His power, all things become possible.  

Vision starts with identity and purpose.  

Through a revelation of our identity in Christ, we can think with divine purpose.   

As Jeremiah saw himself from God’s perspective, he could embrace his purpose. When God calls us into our destiny, He doesn’t remind us of our smallness; instead, He speaks to the treasure within us or a city or nation. 

Gideon sees himself as small, but God calls him a “Man of Valor.”   

In Philippians 3:13, Paul said, “I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” (NKJV) Paul’s understanding of His new identity in Christ moved him in purpose and calling. 

Focusing on your past instead of your new life and future in Christ will hinder your vision. 

Since Pentecost, the Church has entered a season of supernatural revelation and miracle power, which are the norms for the body of Christ if we believe.  

What do you see?  

Call to the Lord, ask Him for revelation, and ask Him to reveal mysteries and strategies for you. He is ready to speak and reveal His leading and direction in your life! Then, surrender, trust, and obey what He is revealing!  

Bob Sawvelle

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