We all understand that God speaks through His Word any time it is read or remembered. We should never take for granted that we have the Bible, and it remains to be the most purchased book in the world.
It truly is a supernatural book that can speak to our hearts at exactly the right time over and over and over. It tells us the way to be reconciled to a Holy God. It gives us the big picture of the way God intended to bring the human race back to Him after the fall of mankind. It tells us incredible stories about brave men and women who gave up their lives for the Kingdom of God. It gives us the story of Jesus, what He is like and how He changes us when we are born again. It gives us life principles that can bring fulfillment and happiness into our lives. It tells us how to get through heartbreak and experience inner healing.
But does God speak in other ways? What about people who have never had the opportunity to see or read a Bible? Obviously, God speaks through many ways, including nature, other people, miracles, placing thoughts into our minds, to only name a few. But He will never speak to us in any way that is contrary to what His Word tells us. In John 1 we are also told that the Word became flesh and His name is Jesus. You cannot separate the Word of God and the person of Jesus.
John 10:27 says, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:16 tell us, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold (the Jews), them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice and there shall be one-fold and one shepherd.” Revelations 3:20 tells us, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come into him, and will fellowship with him and he with me. If you have not heard his voice ask Him to speak to you. Ask Him if He is real. Ask Him what He thinks of you.
When I know my identity in Christ and my heart is totally surrendered to Jesus; God will sometimes lead me through bringing my heart alive when I consider a certain direction. He also leads me by putting a check in my spirit when I am leaning toward a direction that is not best for me. I truly believe that when I sometimes ask God, “What do you want me to do in this situation?”; He sometimes says, “What do you want to do?” Proverbs 3:6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (intellect). In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” He is trustworthy! You have been made one spirit with Christ! He lives in you! He speaks and you will know His voice! You can live out of your new heart where He resides.
That last paragraph is concerning for some people. Isn’t the heart deceptive and desperately wicked like Jeremiah 17 tells us? If you look over in the very next book of the Bible, you will find another verse in chapter 36 of Ezekiel. Listen to these words: “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. How do I reconcile these two totally different verses? The verse in Ezekiel is also found in Hebrews 10:12-17; “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God… For by a single offering, he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; saying: This is the covenant that I will make with them, after those days, declares the Lord. I will put my laws on their hearts and write them on their minds.” Then he adds, “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” In this New Covenant we are also told we now live under grace. I want to live from the mindset that I want to follow my new heart. I do not want to live from “I must” or “I have to” in order to be a good Christian. I AM right at this moment a New Creation in Christ.
The scriptures tell us to rightly divide the Word of God in II Timothy 2:15. This means that it is crucial to understand the Old Covenant and the New Covenant and when the New Covenant came into play. This will revolutionize the way you read the Bible. On the night before Jesus’ death, He lead His disciples in Holy Communion. Do you remember what He said? Luke 22:20, “This cup is the NEW COVENANT in my blood, which is poured out for you.” In Hebrews 9 the writer tells us that it takes a death to bring about a new covenant and when Jesus died on the cross for our sins, HE ushered in a whole new way of dealing with us. I believe Jeremiah is describing the heart of an unbeliever. We now can live from our new heart, not a wicked heart. We now can walk into the throne-room of God freely, we do not have to have a priest represent us. We are now under grace and no longer under the law. We are now clean.
But can we truly trust our hearts? Can our hearts ever become deceived? I guess the answer to that question will come as we define the word heart. This will be the topic in my upcoming book, “Your heart matters.” I thought it might be fun to end this blog with a cliff hanger. 🙂