"Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches." Revelation 2:29
Once, upon readying to depart for one of our denominational gatherings, I, feeling a particular need for Him, prayed, "Lord, I'm not much interested in hearing what our group's focus points are. I'm not much interested in hearing the thoughts and desires of men. Lord, I want to hear from you. I want to hear the voice of the Spirit there. I want to hear what You're saying." As I prayed that, the above verse from Revelation 2 came immediately into my mind. I knew it was placed there by the Holy Spirit. It's an exhortation to the Church from the Holy Spirit through the apostle John the on his prison island of Patmos. It's an exhortation the Spirit continues to speak today. It's spoken to anyone who is willing to hear. Are we, you and I, willing to hear what the Spirit is saying not only to the churches, but to us?
In the chaos of the times we are living in, God is speaking. Are we listening? We tend to look for the thunder of His voice, but I think He most often whispers. To hear Him we have to "strain" spiritually. There's no place for casual listening. All other voices, and the noise that can go with them, have to be shut out so that only His voice is heard. It seems countless books are written on how we can better to learn to listen to each other, and we've become very skillful at learning how. So much so that everyone knows what the current spiritual "superstars" are saying, but so few seem to know what God is saying. We identify problems in the church and in individual fellowships, and then we hold long discussions about what to do about them. We may pray before the discussion and ask God to be present, but then we generally consign Him to a corner and proceed to put forth our ideas on most everything. What would happen, if, on every level of the "organized church," we became a lot less organized, and just "shut up" and listened? What would happen if leaders and laity alike would lay down agendas, and ourselves along with them, and just lay before Him....listening to what the Spirit is saying to His Church?
In the Old Testament, it was said that, "Word from the Lord was rare in those days. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes." How near to that are we living today. Despite what we say, what do our actions, decisions and choices really reveal? What do our gatherings, our "worship" times say? Whose voice is really being heard? Ours.....or His?
Let us read anew, with open and seeking heart Revelation 2:29. Then let us go to Him and in surrender simply say, "Lord, please speak. I, we, are listening. What are you saying not just to Your Church....but to me. Right now"