"When God Speaks, How Do You Respond?"
By Jason Hooper
The Lord woke me up audibly on a recent morning as He spoke into my right ear, "I pray that you may prosper in all things and be
in health, just as your soul prospers. What you choose to give yourself to in your thought life sets the course for what you will then inherit in every other area of your life."
Here are a few thoughts
for us to consider regarding our thought life, along with the contents and condition, or prosperity of our souls.
How We Think
What we think and "how
we think" are so crucial to how we live, move, and have our being. When we allow God's thoughts toward us to be the thoughts we think about our present and our future revelation, resources and real revival are attracted to us, and in turn, flow through us!
Jeremiah tells us that God's thoughts about us are GOOD and not evil, to give us a future and a hope. Paul said in Romans 10, faith comes alive in us when we hear God's voice and discover His heart about someone or
How We Hear
Jesus encourages all of us to be careful not only in what we hear (Mark 4:24), but also "how" we hear (Luke 8:18); and with
everything that is happening today in the world around us, those are two excellent reminders for how to steward the capacity of our hearts.
If what we are hearing is not producing faith, it isn't God speaking,
and if it isn't God speaking, we, in turn, should not be listening (Proverbs 4:20-23). Growing up, we were all told, "You are what you eat," and while we know that to be true on a physiological level, it is even more so on a spiritual level (Isaiah 55:2-3)!
When Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father in John 14, He responded, "If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father." Jesus could say this not only because He was the Son of God, but even more so because He was
with His Father (presently acquainted with and growing in intimacy with the knowledge of how the Father saw Him and what He said about Him)!
Proverbs 23:7 tells us, "For as [a man] thinks in his heart,
so is he" (emphasis added). What we think about a person, a problem, or a place partners with and reveals one of two fathers; the Father of Lights (James 1:17) or the father of lies (John 8:44, Luke 11:15).
How We See
What we think is the result of what we see and how we see. We see a great example of this with the 12 spies that Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land. 10 came back saying, "We were like grasshoppers in OUR OWN SIGHT (how they saw and what thought
about themselves), and so we were in their sight" (Numbers 13:33, emphasis added). The simple truth here is what we perceive (think), we project (faith or fear; prosperity or poverty) and what we project we will attract (inherit, agree with and walk together
Joshua and Caleb instead pointed everyone back to what God had said because that was how they chose to see (think). Josh and Caleb encountered the same giants as the other spies, but their expectation
of what God had said was greater than what their natural eyes had seen. This is why they were "of a different spirit" ...a spirit of faith and not fear, a spirit of prosperity and not poverty, a spirit of victory and not victim-hood.
How We Walk
How we walk is the external manifestation of our internal meditation or thought life. John, the beloved, wrote: "Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health,
just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth" (3 John 2-4).
It is not enough to simply hear the truth, that is a great start...but we must walk in and walk out that truth as we pursue the increasing "knowledge of God" that truth is meant to bring us into. This is where we are renewed in the spirit of our
minds, where the thoughts and ways of God become our thoughts and ways as well (Isaiah 55:8-11). Only then can God's Word accomplish what He desires and prosper (produce fruit) in and through us as we allow His Kingdom to come and His will (thoughts and desires)
to be done in us as they are in Heaven.
I believe that even though King David lived under the Old Covenant, He had experienced a glimpse into the New and the freedom that God desires both His children
and the earth to experience (Romans 8:19-21). This is why David penned the words of Psalm 103, as He intentionally commanded every part of who he was to remember Who God was and what God said in a way that even his "soul" could rejoice in its portion!
In fact, reading, meditating, and speaking Psalm 103 over yourself and your circumstance is a great first step toward cultivating a prosperous soul! Try it and watch how you begin to see what you see through a more
Living from the Inside Out
What we think internally we will manifest externally. Another way to say that would be...what we
spend time with on the inside will always produce on the outside. This is the difference between knowing the truth and hearing the truth. There are a lot of people who have heard truth and it produced faith in the moment, but because they did not partner with
what they heard, they have yet to experience the freedom God desires for His children.
Jesus said in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John pointed out that
the joy God has when His children walk in the knowledge of this truth, revealing this truth to others not only in word but in action (walk in truth).
The Greek word for "know" (ginosko) in John 8:32 is
a much deeper term than simply having information about something or someone; it instead points to the inspiration and influence that received information is able to reproduce as the result of intentional intimacy with what you have previously heard and are
committing to presently walk in.
You Were Created to Hear
How we think is shaped by what we believe. Some people question whether God speaks like
this today or even wrestle with their "ability" to hear God, but I want to help you put that wrestling match to rest...you were created to hear. In fact, if you can "hear" this...your hearing has more to do with God's ability than yours. He is the Word, so
He obviously has a lot to say. Our job is simply to remain "in tune" with His Spirit.
Silencing the Static
While many of us stream our own playlists
these days, an AM/FM radio would be a great example of God speaking and our hearing. Before radios became digital, we had to dial in the station we wanted to listen to by turning a knob a little bit at a time until we got past the static and were able to clearly
hear the station we were searching for.
Hearing clearly what God is saying often begins with recognizing those things in your life that have become loud and distracting and choosing to take captive the
thoughts connected to those things (2 Corinthians 10:5). This is often the first step in tuning into what God is speaking to you, and just like once you find that station on your car radio, you can then lock it in and set it (Habakkuk 2:2-4).
Once you eliminate the static and find the right frequency, a lifestyle of hearing is the result of simply remaining present and attentive throughout your day. If you find your attention beginning to wander and static
beginning to creep in, simply taking a moment to quiet those distracting thoughts and still your mind while remembering that Who the Lord is, and what He says, is all it takes to get back to your favorite "soul station."
A Listening Lifestyle
While this can a great listening posture in the natural, it is a listening lifestyle that produces supernatural results in the spirit. Solomon, speaking for wisdom, unpacks
more of what it looks like to hear in this way in Proverbs 8:34-35: "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoever finds me [wisdom] finds life, and obtains favor from the LORD" (emphasis added).
Solomon points to the power of expecting to hear when we listen, see when we look, and receive wisdom when we spend time with God. Choosing the still small voice of God over the current chaotic condition of current
events means that we value what God is saying more than what we see.
Isaiah 50:4-5 says, "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned [taught/discipled], that I should know how to speak a word
in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning; He awakens My ear to hear as the learned [taught/discipled]. The Lord GOD has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away" (emphasis added).
Expect God to speak. Listen to what He says, and He will teach you how to prosper (have success) in all He has called and created you to do.
What do you "think"?
By Jason Hooper, Senior Pastor
King's Way Church
528 Ellsworth St. SW
Albany, OR 97321