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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Straight From the Horse’s Mouth (11/14/13)

TITLE: Listen Closely...
By Richard Hicks
11/21/13


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1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NKJV) Many of my more recent years as a Christian have been spent in a Charismatic church where all nine gifts of the Holy Spirit were taught on a consistent basis. During my Christian walk I have received certain prophetic words from those in leadership that have not come to pass. I have been a Christian for over thirty years now; so at times this has made me wonder if I had lost my way. Because of all of this I thought, 'Have I missed the direction that God had prepared for me to pursue; the calling which He had bestowed?’ The result was that the enemy crept into my mind telling me lies that both discouraged me and left me hopeless. I began to think that I might never fulfill the call of God upon my life. I was depressed and felt condemnation by listening to the enemy of my soul instead of listening to God. It caused me to be confused about my identity and my future calling.

Initially I thought that God was calling me to be a pastor. I knew I would give my whole heart to God in whatever ministry I was placed in, however, things got to a certain point where whenever a prophet would come to minister at my church for a service, I was no longer the first one in line to try and 'get a word.' So, I backed off from getting prophetic words altogether and eventually left the church and didn't go anywhere for a while. I am not saying that prophecy does not have its time and place. I know a ‘sure word’ can give direction as well as greatly encourage us, 1 Corinthians 14: 3, 12, 24, 29. The enemy may have caused me to miss a blessing in 'backing off from prophecy,' but God taught me a lesson through it all; and that lesson was to learn to hear from God for myself -- not being distracted by the devil's lies, no matter how right they may sound. Jeremiah 14:14-16 (NKJV)

I realized that even though I still feel that God has a calling on my life; I am not letting it discourage me if it doesn't come to fruition right away, or the way that I want it to. God prepares us with everything we need and in His timing those doors will open. Habakkuk 2:3 (NASB)

I am praying that God will give me the discernment I need to hear His voice correctly so that I may fulfill His calling for me in my old age. In the meantime, I am learning to come to God to let him lead me. The only thing that I know for sure I have heard from God on is my writing, and I am thankful that He has opened that door in order for me to minister to others. And this word, my friend, came straight from the horse's mouth!

The advice I would give would be to test the words of whoever you may be listening to so that you will eventually know if they came from God. The word of God says there are false prophets out there, and they will attempt to tell us what we want to hear, not what we need to hear. I John 4:1 (NKJV)

Spending time getting to know God through His word, as well as spending time in His presence by getting in tune with His Holy Spirit, is our responsibility as a Christian. When we receive God's word through the prompting of His Holy Spirit then we should move ahead with what He has told us to do, not listening to the voice of others. For a truly prophetic word will always line up with scripture.

I learned a valuable lesson in this and I pray that this testimony will keep someone from having to go through what I did. I believe that God talks to us in ways that we understand, and He would never lead us astray. His word is very clear and should paint a beautiful picture of a glorious hope and future for us when we stay close to His ear. Yet the enemy is never far behind to try and steal God's precious word from us. We have to be sober-minded and vigilantly defend the word that God has deposited into our hearts.


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Member Comments
Member Date
lynn gipson 11/22/13
I am praying that God will give me the discernment I need to hear His voice correctly so that I may fulfill His calling for me in my old age. In the meantime, I am learning to come to God to let him lead me. The only thing that I know for sure I have heard from God on is my writing, and I am thankful that He has opened that door in order for me to minister to others. And this word, my friend, came straight from the horse's mouth!

Forgive me for copying that paragraph but it is exactly how I know God is working through me and it blew me away when I read it. Your writing is a fine ministry to God and others who are looking for Him

Excellent!
Larry Whittington11/22/13
You have spoken from your heart and have written it well.

Your conclusion would stand the test of the Bible. When others would speak of something that differs from the word of God, you can know it is not the truth.
Study God's word and then check out different churches to find one that sticks with the word in points of relevant doctrine.

Continue writing from your heart what the word and the Spirit of God provides.
Frankie Kemp 11/23/13
I hope you keep writing. It is good to offer your God-given wisdom. Sometimes, I think, that is in itself a form of "prophesy." What is the purpose of prophesy, anyway, but to point to the message of the Truth of Christ?

I do not mean to go on too long in my commentary, here, or distract from your writing. Your piece is well-written, and it clearly communicates your message that we must hear the Lord best from His Word. But, I want to encourage you to test what I tell you here by examining scripture. Don't we all--every single one of us who is a blood-bought follower of Jesus--have a calling on our lives? Every time we interact with another person we are vessels of His love, grace, truth, mercy . . . No matter what your vocation or where your feet find themselves on any given day, you are a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him--set apart to be used by Him whenever He so chooses to use you. This is why we must always be ready to give an account for the hope that is within us. I didn't list all the scripture references to back me up here, but I suspect that you can recognize them anyway. Keep writing.
Camille (C D) Swanson 11/23/13
Amen! Excellent job with your devotional/entry. The word of God...our armor..is so important in all aspects of our lives. Knowing Him and His word makes it so easy to know "false ones" and "false preaching" when we hear it and see it!

The Lord certainly guided you into writing this pertinent piece.

Great job.

God bless~
Camille (C D) Swanson 11/29/13
Congrats! God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/29/13
This is beautiful. Your transparency touched my heart. It's not easy to be so honest, but the Holy Spirit was working in you when you wrote this. Congratulations on ranking 5th in your level and 21 overall! Happy happy Dance! (the highest rankings can be found on the message boards).