Seeing Him in His Word
Today, let us fellowship upon the matter of Samuel and the two ways that he heard from the Lord, namely the inward voice and the word of God. But our study here today will major on the second way that Samuel heard His voice. Because His word will far outlive our own experience and far outlast any “words” we’ve received from the Lord.
Let me give an example of something to show the two sides of a truth. Just yesterday, one of the brethren asked me the difference between prophetic prophecy and regular prophecy. I used my own “poetic prophecies” (which are poems I write under inspiration) to teach this illustration to this person. Prophetic prophecy is when a prophet of the Lord speaks God’s mind directly to a group of people, or to an individual, and this can be found in Acts 11:28 (group of people), and also in Acts 21:10 (individual) and the divine principle of it is found in 1st Cor. 14:29 which says, “Let the prophets speak…”
But my “poetic prophecies” are not prophetic prophecy, but regular prophecy. Listen to what 1st Corinthians 14:3 says, “But he that prophesies speaks unto men for 1) edification, 2) exhortation, and 3) comfort.” So then, I was able to teach this person that my poetic prophecies are not prophetic prophecies at all, but regular prophecies. Now Paul said that he wished that all prophesied because it edified the entire Church (v.4) and he went on to say that it was greater to prophesy so that the Church may receive edification. So then, we know that Paul was referencing regular prophecy, which is only for the building up of the body.
Now, here’s how it really helped this one: I showed them that regular prophecy was greater than prophetic prophecy, because it ministers to all “unto edification, exhortation, and comfort.” So this person was then able to see that just because one prophesies for edification, exhortation, or comfort for all; that it doesn’t make one a prophet. A man is a prophet if he meets 3 or more qualifications from 1st Cor. 12:7-9 (another teaching for another day).
Now, with this little illustration in mind; we can now see that the Lord speaking to Samuel from His word is actually greater then the Lord speaking to Samuel in his heart. Because our heart can lead us astray, and it will lead us away. But God “has magnified His word above all His name.” Psalm 138:2
I want you to notice something very revealing and powerful. In 2nd Peter 1:18-21 you will find a deep teaching that most miss. In v.18 he deals with a “voice from heaven” but he then goes on to say that the scriptures are “a more sure word of prophecy…the word of God” (v.19)
When Samuel was a lad, the Lord came to him one night (1st Samuel 3) and spoke to his heart (from without – but yet within. v.10). It was so loud that he really thought it was coming from outside him and from another room. He arose 3 times to enquire of Eli as to what he needed. You see, Eli had forgotten himself what that still-small-voice sounded like. Eli instructed Samuel in what to do the next time this happened.
But the Lord wanted to teach Samuel an even deeper truth then what he had heard as a boy. And my prayer today is that you also would learn this deep, deep truth. A truth that will keep you from all error, from all wolves in sheep’s clothing, from all excess, and that will prepare you now to live in eternity then. Here it is…”And the Lord appeared again in Shiloh: for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord.” 1st Samuel 3:21
So then, how did the Lord “appear” and “reveal Himself” to Samuel? “By the word of the Lord.” Can you see this deep truth brothers and sisters? Does God speak to our hearts? Of course He does. But His best way is through His word which will confirm what we think we may have heard in our hearts. For brethren, “God is greater than our hearts.” I do not take away from His sovereignty. I know of a man who was running from God’s call for many years, and the Lord had to come to this man in person and speak to him to get him back on course. So then we know that these instances happen, but they are the exception and usually not even for the benefit of the one but for the benefit of the many.
In speaking with Christian people everyday, and even ones who have walked with the Lord for many years, I have observed a phenomenon that is unprecedented. A great lack of understanding of God’s Word and in hearing God’s voice. These two go hand-in-hand. Jesus said that all error (and this doesn’t just mean doctrinal error, it also means to “lack in the knowledge of”) is based upon “NOT knowing the scriptures.” Matt. 22:29. You cannot experience the second part of Matthew 22:29 (“the power of God”) without first having the “knowing the scriptures” part down.
Satan will do anything, cause anything, and invent anything to do one thing: and that is to keep you out of the scriptures. Anyone can “read” the bible. But if you want to really begin to move in deeper places in Him, then you will have to learn to “search the scriptures.” This takes time, dedication, commitment, and sacrifice on your part. Oh, the blessing that will come. You wouldn’t believe it if the half were told you. It will change every aspect of your life. You will see what it is to live in eternity today (Ecc. 3:11 “He has set eternity in the hearts of men.”)
The word of God will answer every single question, every need, every concern, every struggle, or temptation. The word of God will become your very life. Without even knowing, you will began to speak His word out of your heart and it will bless others and minister to others. Smith Wigglesworth only read the bible and the Lord used him to raise 23 people from the dead. There is so much power in the word of God. I encourage you to read Psalm 119 very slowly and I BELIEVE you will began to see something that may have been overlooked.
What did Ezra prepare his heart to seek in Ezra 7:10? “The WORD of the Lord.” Not the voice of the Lord, not the person of the Lord, not the face of the Lord…but “the word of the Lord.”
“Father, how can this little teaching do the smallest justice to the truth of what I have said here today? If only one can see it and run with it, then it will have been worth it. Oh God, take this little manna and bless it and break it unto them that they may give it to the multitudes sitting down waiting to be fed. And let there be some left over for them also. I believe in them, I uphold them in my prayers and in my heart. Let them began to love Your word more then all else in the world or even in their own lives. I leave it and them to Your hand, for it is all from You, by You, and then will return back to You. Show them Your glory Father, by showing them Your word.” Amen, and grace to them and grace back to you Lord.