The following is from Bob Yarbrough—a man who has "dug down deep" (Luke 6:48) concerning the inner life of intimacy with the Lord. He served many years as a missionary and pastor. He is the founding pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Manassas, Virginia and is deeply respected by those who know him. He no longer the pastor, but is still lovingly referred to as Pastor Bob—and he has much to offer the body of Christ through his writings. If you are a pastor in the body of Christ, I highly recommend that you prayerfully invite Pastor Bob to minister to your congregation.
As I write this, I am lost for words to adequately capture or express the depth and quality of this man's life and ministry. In fact, I'll let Bob's words speak of his heart for the Lord.
This is part one of two part series.
HEARING HIS VOICE AND KNOWING HIS MIND
“The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:15,16)
“The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’” (Acts 8:29)
A few books from my shelf deal with a subject of universal interest:
Does God Still Guide? By J. Sidlow Baxter: “Countless hearts today keep asking, “Which is the right way? What’s at the end? Is there a sure guide? Does God still guide? How may I know? The Bible answer is : Yes, there is guidance. God offers it to godly men and godly nations: and they may live safely in it.”
You Can Hear the Voice of God by Steve Sampson: "Countless Christians are tired of fleshly hype and hoopla, and desire to hear the Master’s voice. Sincere Christian leaders involve . . . baby Christians in church activities, quickly giving them a job title, doing special projects, and have them immersed in all manner of religious busyness. Yet Nothing is being done to train those spiritual babes to exercise their spirit by listening to the Lord…The simple truth has been forgotten. It is the most basic New Covenant principle."
“None shall teach his brother, saying, ‘know the Lord, for all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest” (Hebrews 8;11).
The Sound of His Voice by Kim Clement: “The Bible says, ‘Let everyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying’ (Rev. 2:17). Our great concern should not be how the Spirit has directed us in the past, but what the Lord is saying now.”
How to Recognize God’s Voice by Graham Fitzpatrick: “When you are born again, your human spirit and the Holy Spirit become one with one another. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says: ‘But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one Spirit with Him.” Therefore, since your spirit becomes one with the Holy Spirit, your human spirit can very easily find God’s will.”
I seek to bear witness to the rising revolution of the manifestation of sons of God who are led by the Spirit of God. I have been assured that before it is over a purified Bride will gladly hear the voice of her Lover and obey His heart. For now, there must be those willing to be “heavenly misfits” who are an affront to culture’s religious ideas because they are living a life suited for “a new heaven and a new earth”—the suitable home of righteousness. Listening to heaven’s drumbeat, they walk “out of step” with the multitudes who live surface lives.
Thus we escape “the degrading slavery of being a child of this age” (Chesterton).
Proverbs 23:23 “Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”
Bargain conscious Christians will buy cheap imitations at cut-rate prices. There are many slick salesmen ready to offer short-cuts to the palace of wisdom. Discipline is the expensive element missing in all such imitations.
Philip is our example of a normal believer hearing the voice of the Spirit. Look at Acts 8:29
THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT
He speaks. (“The Spirit told Philip...") The Book was not intended to replace the Voice.
Hebrews 12:25 “See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.” (Acts 13:1,2 corporate guidance)
He speaks specifically. ("Go to that Chariot and stay near it." See also v. 27 “so he started out…”) Guidance is personal and progressive.
He speaks specifically to obedient servant spirits. (Philip ran…)
Jesus indicated that this would be the assignment given to the “Counselor” (John 16:13). Why are such incidents of guidance rare? Not because the Spirit is not speaking, but for lack of listening ears and intimacy with the “Counselor.”
THE EAR OF THE DISCIPLE
Isaiah 50: 4-4,5 “The sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious.”
There is a mysterious balance between a “Sovereign Lord” who alone opens ears and a listening heart willing to be “wakened morning by morning” and “not be rebellious” but “putting the Word into practice” (James 1:25). Listen, hear, obey!