'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' Jeremiah 33:3
Brad Jersak, author of “Can you hear me? Tuning into a God who speaks” says that Jeremiah 33:3 is God’s phone number. He tells us that we can call on our Shepherd and we, the sheep, can hear his voice. He talks about real conversational prayers with the Lord, rather than the phone messages we are used to leaving on God’s answering machine.
The first time I heard him speak in 2002, I was totally mesmerized. (I’m listening to it right now and it’s still great!) It was the refreshment to my soul that I had been searching for all my life. It seemed too good to be true. “Am I aloud to believe this?” I thought. Until this point in my spiritual life, I had never heard that I could expect the Lord to talk to me on an intimate level. Oh, I had heard it theologically speaking in a “don’t try this at home” kind of way, but this was real and it made sense.
The seminar was two days and it was sooooo juicy! Brad gave us exercises to do and they worked! It was really faith building. For instance, he had us get a partner, someone we didn’t know, and ask the Lord “if that person had a banner over them, what would it say?” Well the woman who prayed for me reported that my banner said “Joy”.
This was a deeply personnel message because the Lord had been speaking to me about joy for a few years. A scripture about joy would pop out, or a person praying for me would sense something to do with joy. This had happened enough that I knew it wasn’t a coincidence. In subsequent years, God has still been speaking joy over me. He has specifically told me that I am “a faithful servant marked by joy”. In my life, this joy was elusive at first. Years went by where I had pockets of joy but it was not in abundant supply as the Lord had promised. However, I can testify that in the past couple of years I have realized much joy as I have walked in greater freedom and I am sure there is more to come. However, I digress……
The next exercise was to ask Jesus what He would say to us if we met Him in heaven. I found this to be a bit of a stretch as I sat, eyes closed, straining my brain to hear something. But then I decided to relax and just go with it. I imagined myself walking into the throne room, and saw Jesus standing in a white robe. This is where my imagination stopped and the vision kept going. Jesus was really tall, almost twice my size. He came over to me and hugged me with a warm embrace. In surprise, I exclaimed, “You know me!” And He replied “Oh, I know you very well”.
This encounter touched me deep in my spirit. It was like I was waiting to hear those words. To know that he had heard all those answering machine messages I had left and he really did know me! He met me in a place in my heart where I had always felt lost in the crowd…..overlooked…..an unmemorable plain jane. As a single tear streamed down my cheek, Brad looked at me from the front and asked if I would share what I got since it was obvious that it had been meaningful. When I shared, he said that Jesus often tells us something that we need to hear now. I think that’s true.
Over the past few years, I have learned to hear God’s voice in a greater measure. It’s not quite as conversational as Brad reports but it’s definitely there. I have learned to recognize how God speaks to me.
I share these stories out of the abundance of my heart. It is my desire to encourage you in your faith not to brag or be all pie in the sky. God doesn’t play favorites. He knows us all intimately and longs to let each of us know what is special about us and who he has made us to be.
Try it………..ask Jesus what He would say to you if you met Him in heaven today. Let me know what happens.