Tuning in to God's Frequency
By Craig von Buseck
CBN.com Contributing Writer
- Because God is love, He is a communicator. In fact, God is always
communicating with us. But are we tuned to His frequency? I like to think
of His communication with man like a radio station -- WGOD.
Over the years I've been a disc jockey in varying capacities. I remember
when I did the graveyard shift at the college radio station during my
sophomore year. I had to set my alarm for 2 a.m., and then I spun the
'platters that mattered' until the morning drive jock came in at 6. That
was how we kept the station on the air -- seven-days-a-week, 24-hours-a-day.
It might blow your mind to learn that God communicates with His people
all day, every day -- just like my college radio station. But we have
to have our ears tuned to His frequency to catch the signal.
So how do we tune in?
In order to understand how God leads us today, we need to know how He
has led his people throughout recorded time. Theologians would say that
we need a proper understanding of general revelation, special revelation,
and subordinate revelation.
God has chosen to reveal Himself to mankind because of His love for us.
Any knowledge that we have of God and His ways comes as a result of Him
revealing it to us. God is the One who gives the revelation of Himself
as He wills -- when, where, why, how and to whom He wills.
As C. S. Lewis put it, "When you come to knowing God, the initiative
lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will
enable you to find Him. And, in fact, he shows much more of Himself to
some people than to others -- not because He has favorites, but because
it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and
character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has
no favorites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as a clean
What can be known about God -- His eternal power and deity -- can be understood
by everyone because God has revealed it within them.
Through the creation of the universe God has revealed Himself. This is
called the general revelation of God. Romans 1:20 says,
For since the creation of the world
His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that
are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.
Robertson has taught over the years, "We can deduce clearly from all the created
things that there has to be a Creator. As we see the sunsets, the regularity of
the seasons, the laws of nature, we are drawn to the fact that there has to be
an intelligence behind all of it."
Because man in his fallen state is
evil he doesn't want to believe what he clearly sees.
Since man is made
in the image and likeness of God, he is a mirror or reflection of God. So, in
man himself God is also revealed. Dr. Robertson continues, "The law
of God is written on the hearts of men. Through this moral sense, God also reveals
Himself. Man is a being that worships, prays, builds churches, temples, shrines,
and other places of worship, and seeks after the meaning of life and the existence
of God. In all these things, God draws man to Himself."
God is also revealed
in the activities of man throughout history. Through the rise and fall of nations
and peoples, God’s hand can be seen over time. We recognize God's righteousness
in the judgement or blessing of nations as they either reject or revere God.
God, in His love and grace, has chosen to reveal
Himself to man through the people of the Bible -- and primarily through his chosen
people, the Jews. Dr. J. Rodman Williams writes, "God has come to be known
through His dealings with the people of the Scriptures. This was an ongoing, unfolding,
evolving revelation of God in Biblical history. He was revealed as the same holy
and loving God throughout -- He is never changing. But mankind is growing
in our understanding of who God is as He reveals more and more to us in each generation
-- with an ever deepening and enlarging declaration of both His holiness and His
God revealed Himself through the Old Testament prophets and holy
men and women first. These special people were spokesmen for God. They were God-appointed
communicators of His special revelation. It's important to understand that under
the Old Covenant the Holy Spirit did not indwell any person on an ongoing basis
because mankind had not yet been redeemed from the fall. And so the Lord chose
special individuals -- primarily the prophets, priests, kings and other rulers
of Israel. It was upon these people that the spirit of the Lord would descend
to reveal the love and grace of God to the world.
A dramatic example of
this is found in the life of Israel's first king, Saul. This physically-strong
young man was emotionally weak. After the Lord revealed to the prophet Samuel
that Saul was to be king, Samuel relayed the message to Saul. The young man's
response to the Old Testament prophet was, "Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest
of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe
of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?" Samuel wasn't moved by
his response, because the Lord had already made it plain that this would be the
The next day Samuel took a flask of oil, poured it on Saul's
head, kissed him and said, "Has not the Lord anointed you a ruler over His inheritance?"
Then he began to foretell the events that would unfold during the coming day.
After giving him many details of his coming journey, Samuel declared to Saul,
Afterward you will come to the hill of God where the Philistine
garrison is; and it shall be as soon as you have come there to the city, that
you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with harp, tambourine,
flute, and a lyre before them, and they will be prophesying. Then the Spirit of
the Lord will come upon you mightily, and you shall prophesy with them and be
changed into another man. It shall be when these signs come to you, do for yourself
what the occasion requires, for God is with you.
And you shall go down
before me to Gilgal; and behold, I will come down to you to offer burnt offerings
and sacrifice peace offerings. You shall wait seven days until I come to you and
show you what you should do.''
Then it happened when he turned his back
to leave Samuel, God changed his heart; and all those signs came about on that
day. When they came to the hill there, behold, a group of prophets met him; and
the Spirit of God came upon him mightily, so that he prophesied among them. It
came about, when all who knew him previously saw that he prophesied now with the
prophets, that the people said to one another, ""What has happened to the son
of Kish? Is Saul also among the prophets?'' (1 Samuel 10:5-11).
the Old Testament we see where the Spirit of the Lord came upon men and women
and they declared the word of the Lord. This was primarily true of the prophets.
The last of these Old Testament prophets was John the Baptist who announced
the coming of the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. And so
the climax of God's personal revelation is Jesus Christ Himself. In Him, "the
Word became flesh and made it's dwelling place among us" (John 1:14). Jesus
was God come to earth. He came in fulfillment of two thousand years of Jewish
history, and His coming was precisely as foretold by the prophets. He came down
to man and showed us what God is like, so we could know Him better. In the person
of Jesus Christ, God was confronting people immediately and decisively. Jesus
Himself declared in John 14:9, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father."
affirmed the full authority of the Old Testament as Scripture, but He made his
own words and deeds equally authoritative and promised the apostles that the Holy
Spirit would remind them of his ministry and teach them its significance.
New Testament apostles were the third method of special revelation. The apostles
provided the special witness, declaring the whole counsel of God from the New
Covenant perspective. Through the apostolic witness this special revelation could
be canonized in its ultimate dimensions and final meaning.
At the Synod
of Hippo in 393 AD, the church fathers listed the 27 books of the New Testament
after a long, drawn-out debate. The five general questions asked before a New
Testament book was added were: Is it authoritative? Is it prophetic? Is it authentic?
Is it dynamic? Did the people of God use it? After reviewing the usage and authority
of these books, the council concluded that these books were already recognized
as having authority in the church, and so the canon was closed, giving us the
New Testament Scriptures as we know them today.
Theologian F.F. Bruce rightly
observed, "Authority is determined by God; it is discovered by man."
The canon of the New Testament consists, then, of the authoritative record
and interpretation of God's self-revelation by Jesus Himself. As C.S. Lewis explains,
"The closing of the Canon by limiting it to apostolic books arose out of the recognition
that God’s revelation in Christ needs no improvement."
In the New Testament Church God reveals Himself
to the Christian community in a manner that is secondary to the Scriptures. This
is done for the upbuilding of the Church -- to strengthen saints to take the Gospel
to hurting people around the world. God has given the Church ongoing revelation
as a part of the New Covenant. This revelation is given through the manifestation
of the Holy Spirit -- to our hearts and through the gifts of the Spirit.
C. S. Lewis put it, "the one really adequate instrument for learning about
God, is the whole Christian community, waiting for Him together. Christian brotherhood
is, so to speak, the technical equipment for this science -- the laboratory outfit."
coming of the Holy Spirit, the birth of the Church, and the writing of the Bible
did not eliminate the need for the prophetic voice of the Lord; in fact, it intensified
that need. The apostle Paul emphasized this truth when he told the church at Corinth
to "covet to prophesy" (1 Corinthians 14:39).
It must be understood
that prophets and prophecy are not on the same level as the Scriptures. Prophecy
provides illumination and it gives specific direction to the believer for a specific
situation -- it does not provide any further revelation than what the Bible has
Remember, the ideal means of communication is the Holy
Spirit speaking directly to each individual through the Scripture and by His Spirit.
Even this, though, needs to be confirmed in the mouth of two or three -- something
that prophecy and the other keys of God's guidance can do.
not be a substitute for a person learning to hear God's voice for themselves.
Yet many cannot or will not take time to listen for the voice of God. Some Christians
don't even believe that God is speaking to His people today. Others are under
so much emotional strain when faced with an important decision that they aren't
sure if they're hearing the voice of the Lord or not. Personal prophecy, along
with the word of knowledge and the word of wisdom, is a means for God to communicate
with these people to bring edification, exhortation and comfort (1 Corinthians
It is good to note that "God manifests the Spirit through each person
for the good of the entire church" (1 Corinthians 12:7). There are seven
keys to hearing God -- and many times the Lord will use several or all of
them all to communicate His message to us. If you need to hear God's voice today,
you are not alone. Make sure you're plugged in to a good, Bible believing local
church where you can receive from other mature Christians.
God is speaking
today, but we must be tuned in to His frequency. To do that we must be walking
in holiness, walking in forgiveness -- and we must be a part of a local fellowship
I go into much greater detail in how to tune in to God's frequency in my book, Seven Keys to Hearing God's Voice. Order your copy from Shop CBN
Seven Keys To Hearing God's Voice
of the Spirit
Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Nature and Purpose of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit
Other articles and
interviews by Craig von Buseck
Used with permission. © Hensley Publishing.
I want to hear from you. Share your testimony of how you have grown to know
the voice of God. Are you having trouble discerning God's voice from the other
things you hear? Did you know that you could hear God's voice? Send
me an e-mail with your comments.
Craig von Buseck is Ministries Director
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