DOES GOD SPEAK TO YOU?
by Ethel C Pechman
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Terror overtook me. I suffered a panic attack. I had read in the Bible, wolves come in sheep’s clothing. I thought God was telling me I was a wolf. I remember I had been drawn into cyclical visions of what I was experiencing.. These same terrifying visions engulfed me in a situation from which I could not escape. I lived in terror. My breath became rapid, the panic attacks more frequent. I could not eat. I prayed ceaselessly. I implored God to show me the truth.
Are you able to remember the time He spoke to you? Is it really possible to hear God speak?
There are accounts in Scripture that elicit experiences people have had when the Lord spoke to them. Just about everyone knows that Moses talked with God many times. The five books of the Old Testament, written by Moses, relate the conversations they had had together. Whether or not you accept the accounts as set forth in Scripture, it is your prerogative to believe or not believe what has been written.
One of the many persons God spoke with was Samuel when he was a young boy. God called to Samuel while he was asleep. God awakened Samuel three times before Eli, the priest who Samuel served, explained to young Samuel that it must be God calling him. Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down and if He calls again, say, ’Speak, for your servant is listening.’”
Samuel obeyed. Then the Lord spoke again to the boy and said, “Son, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.”
God gave further instructions to Samuel. Everything God told Samuel eventually came to pass. Perhaps you might say, “That was in the Old Testament. I do not think the Lord speaks to us today.”
Some experiences appear to be credible when details are revealed; others appear to be false and lack the assurance of the Holy Spirit of God. Experiencing God can cause many doubts when you do not have the assurance that comes from close contact with God. I am afraid I did not have enough knowledge about religions; therefore, when the “wolf” came to my door, I was unable to discern what the Lord was telling me.
I want to relate a true experience I had. Listen to what happened to me!
In 1950 there was a remarkable snowstorm that began Thanksgiving Day. It snowed all day, all night and into the next day. Snow piled up as deep as six feet and higher in many places because of the unrelenting wind. In fact, it was so bad the young fathers in the neighborhood got together and shoveled the snow off the street for a good 300 feet, so that they could drive their cars on it to go to the store to buy food and milk for their babies and children.
Even two days later, the snow was so high everywhere, we could not drive our cars. We stayed home. That night was a momentous night for me. It was the night when I heard God speak to me.
Before I tell you the rest of the unusual incident, however, let me explain what transpired a short time before that traumatic, memorable night.
At that time, the weather was mild. A few weeks before the eventful “Thanksgiving,” I heard a knock on the back door of my house. When I opened it, a man stood there and said, “I have come to tell you about Jesus!” I opened the door wide and invited him in. We talked about Jesus. The man said, “I believe you are one of Jesus’ sheep.” I was elated to hear him say this.
He handed he a book entitled, “Know the Truth and the Truth Will Make You Free.” I did not hesitate to accept the book. He said he would like to come again. I agreed to see him again.
He asked me to read the book so that we could talk about it the next time he came.
I began reading it at different times of the day. I kept it on top of my refrigerator. Every time I passed the refrigerator, my thoughts gravitated to that book, and I would read from it. Eventually, I became somewhat confused. I was looking for truth concerning God, and I thought the book had the answer. After all, had not the book said, “Know the Truth…?
I wanted the truth, but the truth eluded me and I did not know why. One night I went to a church Bible study, but there were no clues there that helped me with what I was seeking. When I got home, the man who had given me the book was there. H was talking with my husband and children. I asked him to say a prayer. When he said he would not pray, I prayed and asked God to give us wisdom.
Still, I did not give up reading the book. Now, more than ever, I wanted truth. Back to the book; it said there was the Father and the Son, but the Father was God, Jesus was His son. The words seemed to indicate there were two of them, not just one God. I believe in one God, the Trinity, but I was not sure about what the book actually meant, and I remained confused.
The time of the Thanksgiving snow arrived. The holiday was over, but my panic was not. When I was asleep, like Samuel, I was awakened late that night by a voice that called, “Ethel, Ethel, wake up and burn that book.”
I wakened and then remembered the deep snow. I talked to the Lord, I said, “There is no place I can burn that book. We have no fireplace. There is no place in the basement I can burn it. I will wait until tomorrow.”
I went back to sleep. Again the voice wakened me, “Ethel, Ethel, get up and burn that book.” I prayed and said, “Jesus, there is no place for me to burn it. I will do it tomorrow.” I went back to sleep.
The third time, God spoke with vigorous authority: “Ethel, Ethel, get up and burn that book, or it will forever be too late!”
I shot up out of bed. I talked to the Lord and said. “Lord Jesus, you want me to burn the book. I do not know where to go to burn it. Please help me. I know of no place, but I will go down to the basement. Maybe you will find a place there for me to burn it.”
On the way down, I picked up the book, along with some matches. I was terrified, but I knew I could trust Jesus. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, what greeted me? I saw the cleanout door for the chimney. My husband had burned papers there a few days before.
I placed the book, along with another one written in Bohemian, that the man had given me for my mother-in-law. I lit a match, applied it to some papers to help burn the books and watched as the flames licked around the books. They were devoured completely by the flames.
This experience taught me to test what I was being led to believe by the Word of God, the Holy Bible. I learned to escape the web of false doctrine and learned that only Jesus is the Way, the truth, and the Life.
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This is a very strange article. Many people have strange experiences about God "speaking to them" and the only valid way to discern whether it is really God or not is through His Word -the Bible. God is a True And Faithful God Who cannot lie, and He gave His Word as the only source of wisdom and guidance. By reading His Word, "living and active, sharper than a double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul ans spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12). Error dissolves when exposed in the light of God's Word. Read it and keep it in the heart, it will "renew your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - His good, pleasing, and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)
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