Saturday, March 24, 2012

who's really speaking?

The reason many of us miss the miracles is that we aren’t looking and listening. The easy part of prayer is talking. It’s much harder listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. It’s much harder looking for the answers. But two-thirds of praying hard is listening and looking.
Zondervan, (2011-12-13). The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears (Kindle Locations 1659-1661). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Praying hard starts with listening to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. And if you are faithful in the small things and obey those little promptings, then God can use you to do big things.
(Kindle Locations 1735-1736).

"The still small voice of the Holy Spirit". So, anyone out there, please, can you show where the Bible says that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in a "still small voice"?

I know, I know, you may point to Elijah. And I can point out that, contrary to what seems to be popular view of that passage, nothing in that passage supports the contention. God spoke in what some translations of the passage call "a still small voice", but the point is that God spoke in an audible voice to the prophet. Elijah heard with his ears a real voice, not something inside himself.

But this is so popular now. There are so many teachings out there about how to "hear the voice of God", or the voice of the Spirit, or however it may be phrased. Sit in a circle, sit in silence, straining with your 'spiritual ears' to hear some kind of rather faint and indistinct inner voice. Stop being so busy and try to get impressions and leadings. Look around and see what message the Spirit is giving you through the license plate numbers in the cars around you.

But I have to wonder...if the Bible says nothing about the Holy Spirit speaking to us in some kind of still small inner voice, and it doesn't, then what or who are we listening to when we try to hear this still small inner voice.

Because if one thing is becoming clear, it's that these "listen to the still small inner voice" types of people are simply looney. Ok, maybe not all, but it certainly seems an unhealthy majority of them are, especially the popular ones, the leaders, the ones who appear on television and talk about hearing God's voice telling the listeners to send their money to the person on television, or making claims about seeing someone who's watching and that God is healing them of something or another.

It's quite well known that modern-day prophets are notoriously inaccurate. One could expect more accuracy from the carnival palm reader or crystal ball gazer. The charismatic types have not been able to hide this fact, and so instead they have concocted excuses--being inaccurate is a good sign, God doesn't mind such inaccuracies and even expects them, and you people out there should submit to these prophets even though they can't absolutely guarantee that they are accurate. It's one of the biggest crocks out there.

So, is God lying? Is God giving them bad prophecies? Or, is it that they are not really hearing God speak? Does God really speak in a such an obscure, indistinct manner that people can so easily misunderstand HIm? But if they are hearing something speak, then what? What is speaking to them?

Charismatics, Pentacostals, all the "spiritual gifts" types of churches, have been an unmitigated embarrassment. There is no nicer way of saying it. When people like Robert Tilden and Jim Bakker were accepted without being rebuked until they openly fell (their false teachings were obvious even before then), when people like Benny Hinn and Creflo Dollar and T.D. Jakes are still accepted today, when the airwaves of so-called "Christian" TV and radio stations are filled with money-mongerers, false teachers, false gospels, inane and sacchrine music, all designed simply to make peole feel good and to give money, all because these people display certain 'spiritual gifts', then something is bad wrong. When things like the idiocy at Toronto and Pensacola are accepted without rebuke, when obviously fake healers like Todd Bentley are encouraged and promoted, then charismatics have more of a need to cry in repentence then brag about any real spiritual gifts they may or may not have.

I'm not one who goes so far as to say that God cannot use things like dreams to direct us, I see no reason from the Bible to say that it cannot happen and there are examples I can think of. But there is a lot of nonsense out there about how God supposedly speaks to us. For example...
The Lord birthed one word in my spirit during our annual corporate fast last December: Transition. Many of us kept seeing 11:11 everywhere and would hear confirmations of this from the mouths of prophets and leaders across the world. Although there is a constant and daily transition for every living believer from “glory to glory” (2 Cor 3:18), I felt like 2011 would be a year of significance as God aligns and shifts us into a place for an outpouring in the season ahead. We experienced this reality in our Burn 24-7 family from physical moves (new homes, cities, nations) for many of our leaders to a change in jobs to much more! Globally this word took root as entire regions of the world were literally transitioned and shifted overnight (ie. Middle East)!

We also helped launch the “Global Day of Worship” on November 11th (11/11/11) where we trumpeted every major city on the earth to host 24 hours of syncopated and unending worship to God!
The Lord has been impressing prophetic voices all over the world with the numbers 11-11. In response, a Global Day of Worship has been mobilized for 11/11/11. BURN Hill Country, along with other BURN furnaces and worshipers from around the world will be participating in this day!

We will begin at 11:11pm on Thursday, November 10, 2011. We will worship for at least a full 24 hours through November 11, 2011.

(I wonder if they contacted Greenwich to make sure that their clocks were set exactly right so they could certain to start exactly at 11:11PM? Or would it hurt the prophetic impact to have started at the wrong time because your clocks were a bit fast or slow).

So, because a bunch of people kept seeing 11s around in the year 2011, they thought God was telling them something? Oh, actually, 11-11. Yeah, like so many people weren't thinking it would be cool to do something cool on 11-11-11. So, I guess 11-11-11 was like the spiritual version of Y2K--a great non-event. It's been a few months, and wow--nothing's really happened. I do remember some movie being released on that day, Immortals I think it was, but that was about it. And from what I've heard, it wasn't even all that great of movie. Though I do wonder if some 'prophet' gave some 'word' about the 'prophetic significance' of a movie called Immortals being released on that date. I think that would be justification enough to not take them seriously.

It's time to stop abiding this nonsense. The fruit of this tree has done beyond being merely rotten, and has become putrid. It's time to stop practicing unbiblical practices, like these attempts to hear a still small inner voice. You're not hearing the Holy Spirit when you do that, if you hear any spirit at all it isn't a holy one. Mark Batterson, and the many others who teach this, are misleading you.

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