In my almost 50 years in ministry, I’ve found I have to do much the same thing where the voice of God is concerned. If I’m going to follow the instructions He gave in Proverbs 4:20 (“My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.”), I must always be tuned in to what He’s saying to me. I must be continually listening for His words.
In life, just as in the cockpit, that’s not always easy. There are all kinds of voices out there making a lot of noise. But I’m determined not to let them distract me, because God’s voice is the only one I really need to hear. His words are the only ones that can supply me with abundant life, keep me walking in THE BLESSING and get me where I need to go.
As Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
God’s very life is in His WORD!
If you’re saved today, you’re living proof of it. You’ve been “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).
The WORD is the basis of God’s entire kingdom. It’s the key to His whole operating system. Jesus left no doubt about it. During His earthly ministry when people asked Him how He did such mighty, miraculous works, He pointed them again and again to the power of God’s WORD.
He didn’t say, “I can do anything I want because I’m the Messiah and have special supernatural power.” He didn’t say, “Because I’m God manifested in the flesh I can work miracles anytime I choose.” Instead He said things like this:
• I can of mine own self do nothing. (John 5:30) (Not “I won’t,” but “I can’t.”)
• [The Father] that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard [from Him]. (John 8:26)
• I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (John 8:28)
• The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. (John 14:10)
This was the process behind Jesus’ entire life and ministry! First and foremost, He listened for, and heard, God’s words. Then, in faith, He spoke and acted on those words, and the Father who dwelled within brought them to pass.
That’s why Jesus always got 100-percent results. He didn’t just do and say whatever He wanted. He proved that at the pool of Bethesda. When He walked up to that pool, multitudes of sick people were piled all around it. He loved all of them and He must have wanted to heal every single one. Yet He walked right past them and spoke to just one man.
“Wilt thou be made whole?” He asked. “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked” (John 5:6, 8-9).
Christians have read that story for years and wondered why Jesus didn’t just heal everyone. The answer is simple.
He could only do what He saw His Father do and He could only say what He heard His Father say. Jesus heard Him, spoke and acted on His words, and the Father did the work.
The Freest Man on Earth
This was the secret to Jesus’ every success. It’s also the secret to ours because, as His disciples, we’re supposed to operate just like He did. As He said in John 8:31-32: “If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Jesus was the freest Man who ever walked the face of this earth. He wasn’t in bondage to anything—not to the devil or any of his works, or even the natural forces of this fallen planet. He had complete liberty to do anything God wanted Him to do, and nothing could stop Him because He continued in His Father’s WORD.
The same can be true of us. If we listen for the words Jesus is saying to us in every situation, and choose to speak and act on His words, the same truth that made Him free will make us just as free as He is!
“But Brother Copeland, there’s just one problem,” you might say. “I can’t seem to hear the voice of God.”
Why not? Aren’t you born again?
“Yes. I’ve been saved for years.”
Then your problem is solved, because Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27).
“I know He said that, Brother Copeland. But God just isn’t talking to me.”
Sure He is! He’s not an absentee Father. He’s speaking all the time. He’s speaking to you through the Bible, which is His written WORD. He’s speaking to you by His Holy Spirit and fulfilling the promise Jesus made in John 16: “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you” (verses 13-15).
If you believe Jesus meant what He said in those verses, you can come to only one conclusion. If someone has been saved and therefore has the Holy Spirit dwelling inside him, and he’s still not hearing God’s voice, then someone is not listening!
But, praise God, you can make up your mind right now not to be that someone. You can settle this by faith and say, “Jesus is speaking to me, and because I am His sheep I have ears to hear Him.”
Once you have that settled and you tune in to what The LORD is saying to you, you can activate the Kingdom process just like Jesus did. You can hear from Him the words He hears from the Father, and you can speak those words by faith. Then the Father will do the works, and what Jesus said to the disciples in John 14:12-13 will come to pass in your life: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
Beware of the Devil’s Flip Chart
I do want to warn you, however, the devil comes immediately to steal The WORD. Although he can’t actually stop the Kingdom process from working (it’s a heavenly operation so it can’t be changed; like God, it’s the same yesterday, today and forever), what he will do is try to turn the process to his advantage. He’ll attempt to steal the words God has spoken to you and replace them with his stuff.
Then instead of God doing His works in your life, the devil can do his.
In Mark 4:14-15, Jesus explained exactly how this happens. He said: “The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.”
Most likely you’ve had plenty of experience with this kind of thievery, so you know the drill. You start spending time in The WORD and hearing what God is saying to you about who you are in Christ Jesus. You’re believing and speaking His WORD and seeing Him move in your life. Then the devil pipes up.
He starts talking to you about some offensive remark someone made about you. “Can you believe they said that?” he whispers. Before you know it, you’re thinking and saying what they said about you instead of what God’s saying.
The same thing can happen in the area of healing. You might hear the voice of The LORD speaking to you from 1 Peter 2:24, “By Jesus’ stripes ye were healed.” You might be faithfully putting that WORD in front of your eyes, in your ears and in your mouth, believing that it is health to all your flesh (Proverbs 4:22).
You’re doing fine for a while, but then you experience some symptoms of sickness, and the devil shows up with his flip chart of alternatives to The WORD. The first one he presents is a picture of a heart attack.
“Would you believe this?” he says.
“No!” you answer. “I’m not having a heart attack. I am healed!”
So he flips to another picture.
“What about lung cancer?” he says. “Would you believe that?”
“Well, what about the disease your Auntie May had? You do have some of the same symptoms.”
That gets you to thinking. Aunt May died of that disease! Maybe I should be worried about this. But then you catch yourself and say, “No, devil. That’s ridiculous. I am healed!”
Eventually, however, the devil comes up with an alternative you’re willing to consider: the flu.
Yeah, I believe that’s it,” you say. “I believe I must be taking the flu!”
Once you speak those words, instead of God’s WORD, the devil can then do the work—the same process, different words. But you don’t have to take what he says. You can stick with God’s WORD and take health instead.
It’s your choice.
What Will You Say?
“Now, Brother Copeland, that’s just too extreme. We can’t just choose whether we’re going to be sick or well!”
Yes, God told us we can. He said in Deuteronomy 30:19: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.”
Sickness is under the curse. Healing is under THE BLESSING. We can have either one. God wants us to choose life and BLESSING but the final decision is ours. We get to choose.
How do we make that choice?
With our words.
We choose the curse by listening to and saying what the devil, our flesh and this world is saying. We choose THE BLESSING by listening for and saying God’s words. By saying things like, “Thank You, Sir, for blessing our bread and our water and taking sickness away from the midst of us (Exodus 23:25). Thank You for giving us Your healing WORD. I take that healing and I say that, as for me and my house, we are healed!”
That’s what our family did on Christmas Day some years ago when my little 11-year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with neisserian meningitis. We chose life. We didn’t say, “Oh, God! Lyndsey is so sick! We’re afraid she’s going to die before morning!” Even though that’s what doctors were saying, we didn’t put those words in our mouths. Instead, we listened for God’s words.
I’ll never forget that day. Gloria and I were away from home when we received the call telling us what was going on, and we immediately inquired of The LORD. We asked Him to tell us specifically what He wanted us to do and say. While we were flying back to Fort Worth, I heard His voice.
He said, ‘Kenneth, as soon as you see Lyndsey, put your index finger right on her breastbone and speak to the anointing in her. Command it to rise up and put this disease out of her body.’
When we arrived at the hospital, Gloria and I put on the required hazmat suits, walked into the room where Lyndsey had been lying, delirious, for over 12 hours, and I said to her exactly what The LORD had told me. Sure enough, He did the work. Lyndsey—who hadn’t said anything that made sense all day—suddenly gritted her teeth and declared, “Papaw, I’m healed in the Name of Jesus.”
That was at midnight. When the doctors came in the next morning she was perfectly well.
“But Brother Copeland, what if I inquire of The LORD in a situation like that and His WORD doesn’t come to me?” you might ask.
It will come. It always does because Jesus promised it would. He said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7).
Believe that and tune in to His voice. Listen for the words He is speaking to you like you’re a pilot listening for your call sign. When you hear Him, respond immediately. Say and do whatever He tells you to, and you’ll land safely in THE BLESSING every time.
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