Building People of Substance for Works of Power
I remember very distinctly the first time I heard the audible voice of God. At least it seemed audible to me. I was at my first Kenneth Hagin Campmeeting in 1980, accompanied by the three ladies who had recently led me into the baptism of the Holy Spirit. My recovery from addiction was less than a year old, and I felt like a fish flopping on the bank. My church experience was nil, my bible knowledge paltry, and I was sure all these saints around me could tell I was not really one of them. My non-inebriated personality was prone to walk stoop-shouldered, avoid eye contact, and generally try to stay unobtrusive. In this alien environment, those tendencies were even more pronounced.
During one session, Kenneth Copeland was the speaker, I had to visit the men’s room. I did my best to sneak out. The concourse of the assembly center was deserted and I was relieved. As I began slouching my way back to the auditorium, dreading the process of climbing over people to reclaim my seat, I was startled by a very clear, strong voice that seemed to be coming from over my shoulder, “Stand up straight, boy! You are the righteousness of God in Christ.” I stopped and leaned on a handrail while I thought on the experience. I knew it was God, and I knew what He meant. I took a moment to pull myself up to my full height and headed off with a new outlook on life. Transformative!
In this unusual case, I needed a jolt. Without that supernatural boost, my confidence level would never have allowed me to leave my good job and support systems to move to Tulsa two months later. Thanks to a rather startling manifestation of the Spirit, I stepped out into this adventure in ministry I have been in ever since. I can count on the fingers of one hand the times this audible voice has spoken to me in the last 39 years, yet I know God has led me every step of the way. Though He can and does speak to us in spectacular ways, that is not the norm. It seems to be reserved for when difficulty lies ahead or when great shifts in attitude, even basic personality, are needed.
Somebody Said: “Is it possible that what we perceive to be relational, emotional, and spiritual problems are actually hearing problems — ears that have been deafened to the voice of God? And it’s that inability to hear His voice that causes us to lose our voice and lose our way.” ― Mark Batterson
Scripture Reading: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT)
Here’s the Point: God has promised to guide us. Sometimes He does so in quite astounding ways, but those are reserved for special situations and needs. He is busy arranging circumstances, prompting you in your spirit, revealing Himself in His Word every single minute of every single day. Don’t diminish the wonder of your day-to-day supernatural life while waiting for the occasional spectacular.
Pastor Virgil Stokes
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
For many more resources, visit me at www.pastorvirgil.com.