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John David Hicks, Evangelist / Bible Teacher • Spring 2015 • Volume 17 Number 4 

A Letter to a Devastated Christian

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him” (Colossians 2:6).

By John David Hicks

My dear brother in Christ,

Your question about hearing the voice of God has more to do with the assurance of your salvation than it does with divine guidance. Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize that “the just shall live by faith” (Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17). Your faith is based on the trustworthiness of God’s Word. Trusting God’s Word during a time of devastation or solitude in your life will build that relationship. So hang in there and trust God’s Word.

Here is the key to God’s abiding presence: “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him” (1 John 4:16); “…those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:17).

Because God is love, only those who know they are loved and by faith have received the gift of righteousness can live in the presence of God. Satan’s temptation to Jesus and to you is to doubt that you are loved and accepted. “If you are a child of God,” he says to you, “prove it.” God has said to you that you are His beloved son. “To the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:6 NKJV). In Ephesians 3:19, Paul prays that you may “know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).

Our part is to abide (John 15:5). Abiding brings the branch into a loving and accepting relationship with the vine. The branch is completely dependent on the vine and because of that is made righteous and fruit comes forth. Jesus said, “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love” (John 15:9 NASB). “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Heb. 13:5). Thank the Lord that you are loved, accepted, and held fast in His abiding presence. Be aware of it. “Keep yourselves in God’s love” (Jude 21).

Like Jesus, you don’t have to prove you are a child of God. Jesus’ answer to the devil’s temptation was based on faith in the Word of God (Luke 4:4). The assurance of your faith is not the absence of adversity. It’s knowing the presence of Jesus in the midst of your circumstances and that is only experienced by faith.

Your prayer for divine guidance starts with the fundamental understanding that God will speak to you. “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 NASB). Jesus promised in John7:17, “If anyone chooses to do God’s will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” God will bear witness to His will. By faith you have the assurance that God will speak to you.

When I speak on this subject, people have asked me, “How do you recognize God’s voice?” I answer them: When my phone rings and I answer it and it’s my wife, I don’t have to ask, “Who is this?” I recognize her voice because I know her so well. You recognize God’s voice the same way. Because God is love He will communicate with you. When you get to know God’s character, you’ll know His voice. Jesus made it clear that to hear His voice and follow Him was a matter of relationship. The sheep cannot follow the shepherd unless they hear his voice. According to scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments, that’s the way sheep relate to the shepherd: “The sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice” (John 10:3-4). “He who belongs to God hears what God says” (John 8:47). “God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (1 Cor. 1:9).

“For he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice…” (Psalm 95:7-8). “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).

Throughout history Christians have said that when God speaks you will have the confirmation of two witnesses: peace and conviction. This is a knowing or conviction and peace in your spirit.

Paul speaks of this conviction in Romans 9:1, “My conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit.” James 1:6 also confirms this knowing in your spirit. Jesus says that peace is the witness of the Holy Spirit (John 14:27). Philippians 4:6-7 also suggests that we are “…not [to] be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard (umpire) your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Wait quietly as the Spirit guides your thinking with spontaneity that is without effort and unplanned. Enlightenment, illumination, and revelation will come as you wait on the Lord. “For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13 NASB).

You may also explore the discipline of journaling. For example, this is a discipline of writing down what God is speaking to you. When this “God communication” takes place, you will find that it will be verified by Scripture, your own spirit, and through the confirmation of other Spirit-filled brothers and sisters. Out of the mouth of two or three witnesses, let every word be established (2 Cor. 13:1). This gives accountability in two ways: in discerning the fact it really was a word from God, and it keeps me accountable to actually doing what I have discerned I am to do in obedience to God’s Word.

I thank Him for speaking and for the opportunity to personally ask Him more questions. With a paper and pen I write down the impressions that God has put in my heart. God told Jeremiah, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you’” (Jer. 30:2). “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 3:3). As you write down the impressions the Lord gives you in your journal, you will become more responsive to God’s voice.

David says in Psalm 68:19, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!” (NKJV). If you are not experiencing God’s blessing daily, you must be loading at the wrong dock.

To My Prayer Partners

May you daily hear God’s voice like you would your best friend and experience the same fellowship and divine guidance as Jesus had with the Father.

Your Brother in Christ,

John David Hicks

Prayer Requests & Report

I want to thank you again for your prayers. I’m told it will take from six to nine months to completely recover from quadruple bypass heart surgery. I understand that now. Yet, I am still trying to minister, write, and preach some.

Last week on Palm Sunday I ministered at the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon. There were 98 men present in chapel, and 35 made first-time decisions; 30 made recommitments to Christ. The second hour almost all the men stayed for follow-up and 50 asked for prayer for healing in body, soul, or spirit. The chaplains would like me to come back. They are working to arrange a permanent ministry for me there.

On Easter I will show “The Cross” DVD at the Donald (Oregon) Spanish Church. At the Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission in McMinnville, every quarter I show Billy Graham’s “My Hope” DVD to the homeless people. Please keep me in your prayers.

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