Without being cynical I have heard a lot of testimonies in my life from people ‘hearing a voice’ which has been for some prospering of their life. They are going to have a greater, bigger, better future. It is wonderful! Who knows how accurate their experience was, but they for a season were filled with hope.
I have not heard many testimonies from people where the voice has told them to do something that is counter cultural, or that is against their norm. Or that is quite frankly, offensive.
I have paused for a moment on one sentence the Apostle says regarding knowing God’s will. Not only is He not as loud as I think, He is also not as obvious as I think.
Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Ephesians 5 v 17
Isaiah took off his clothes and preached naked for 3 years.
Jeremiah hid his underwear under a rock and then after a long time went back for them! He also attached a cattle yoke to his shoulders for a season.
Hosea married a prostitute.
Ezekiel ate a scroll. He lay on his side for 390 days and then rolled over and repeated the action for a further 40 days.
But it is interesting that prophets acted out their messages. It was not because as some think that prophets are strange, off-the-wall kind of people. But at the centre of their lives is the core message that consumes their whole life. Their actions are the symbols for the truth.
The nudity of Isaiah was a sign that the Assyrians would make the Egyptian and Ethiopian prisoners march naked into captivity.
Jeremiahs soiled underwear shows God’s thoughts on the worthlessness of His people who went against His word.
Hosea’s marriage decision shows God’s relationship with unfaithful Israel.
Ezekiel laying on his side was to show the years of the nation’s sin, 390 years for Israel and 40 years for Judah.
The prophet lives out the word that is in their hearts, they are more than preachers. They show us this that the Word of God can so consume our lives that it disrupts our behaviours and transforms our actions.
And they did all of these actions because God told them to. The ultimate embodiment was that of the coming of Christ who is the Word of God made flesh. Just like the prophets Christ’s behaviour seems eccentric as he spits on people and throws mud in their eyes, casts demons into pigs and promises to rebuild the temple in 3 days to name a few.
We need to let the Bible overwhelm our lives. It is not a reading book, a text book, a study book. It is the Word of God. We need to demonstrate how totally life-changing the Word of God is. People need to see the message of God in us. Some will never read the Bible but they can read us. If the Spirit is leading then show this. “I’m just the messenger. Don’t shoot the messenger,” is not good enough. Be more than the messenger, be the message! Be Christ’s letter of love! This is what it means to understand the Lord’s will.
May it be so for us today.