Many years ago I realized that one of the most important skills a leader must develop is the ability to hear the voice of the Lord. If you are not hearing God’s voice, how can you lead the people who will be following you? Since all of us (at least the majority of us) are leaders in various areas of our lives such as parents in the home, employees in the workplace, and leaders in the church, etc. we need to develop the ability to hear God’s voice.
Recently, Carl Anderson, a former student of our ACTS Bible School, presented Dorothy and me with one of the first copies of a book he has just published entitled Love Speaks: 21 Ways to Recognize God’s Multi-Faceted Voice.
Best-selling author Shawn Boltz wrote of the book, “Love Speaks completely took me by surprise. I read books about hearing God all the time and am always encouraged, but they don’t grip me the way ‘Love Speaks’ did.”
I have long taught on the subject of hearing the voice of the Lord, for as I said, I believe it is an absolutely critical subject to study. As a result, I too was pleasantly surprised to find a fresh, unique and biblically based presentation written, as Carl puts it, “For everyday followers of Jesus.”
WHAT’S UNIQUE ABOUT THIS BOOK
What was so unique about Carl’s presentation? Firstly, the way he differentiated between:
- Seven very common ways the Lord speaks
- Seven common ways the Lord speaks
- Seven uncommon ways the Lord speaks
Often the emphasis starts the other way around with people being directed to what is sometimes the spectacular, yet uncommon, ways God communicates. This in turn can often discourage people from believing that God can speak to them, as they do not see themselves as able to reach that level.
Secondly, Carl breaks it down, identifying how each member of the Trinity has His way of communicating with people. Included are chapters on the established Word and the living Word of Jesus, followed by three chapters on the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. Carl goes on to introduce us to the Father speaking through all creation and nature, through the oceans of His love and providential outward signs and circumstances. I found it quite refreshing to see this subject presented in this way.
Lastly, ‘Love Speaks’ grips you as “Carl shares so many stories, along with some great illustrations of teaching that just help the reader connect to God’s voice in a variety of ways. A picture is worth a thousand words, and there are so many word pictures in this book that will help you, the reader, advance in your journey of hearing God’s voice.” (Shawn Boltz)
COMMENDATION FOR THE BOOK
J.Lee Grady, the former editor of Charisma magazine, wrote the forward for this book, in which he begins by sharing his experience, “When I was in my 20’s, I was praying about whether I should enroll in graduate school. Then one morning in my devotional time, I came to Psalm 32:8 and it seemed to be flashing like a neon sign. It said, ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go.’
“The Holy Spirit was emphasizing to me that God would teach me and that I didn’t need additional schooling. That’s not to say graduate school is wrong for everyone else; it was just not God’s plan for me at the time. And God used a Scripture to clearly show me what path I should take.
“The Bible promises that God will guide us. But many Christians find it difficult to hear God’s voice. And in some charismatic churches, we complicate things when we try to make guidance mystical or weird – as if you have to hear an audible voice from heaven about what color shirt to wear. That is why I am so glad that my friend Carl Anderson has written this insightful book, Love Speaks.
“God’s guidance should not be difficult for us if we truly know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants to direct our lives.”
A FINAL STORY
Let me finish with a story from Carl’s book that involved my wife Dorothy and myself going all the way back to 1967.
“Two of my wonderful mentors, Alan and Dorothy Langstaff were at a particular juncture of their ministry and seeking God’s will and direction in Australia. Due to extenuating health circumstances in their family, they were requesting a year’s rest from their Methodist denomination, which was granted them. However, this decision brought them no peace inside.
“The following Sunday morning they prayed together, ‘Okay God, we’ve had no peace about this decision to take a year’s rest. If we’re wrong, we need to take another pastorate instead. Would you please show us whether we are to stay or go? We need to know your will today!’ After that prayer, they went off to church. There was a guest speaker that morning. Here’s what they shared.
“‘We had a guest speaker visiting our little church, and he was sharing from the Old Testament about Abraham. He began his message with the arresting words, ‘Go, and take little with you.’ Already an answer seemed to be arriving in our ears, delivered through the anointed preaching of the Word.
“We nudged elbows and glanced at one another excitedly,’ writes Dorothy. ‘This was God’s answer to our dilemma. He wanted us to leave home and take an appointment. As the sermon progressed, it was as though the preacher had received a dossier on our specific circumstances and had prepared his sermon just for us. It was clear God was personally speaking to us through this message.’
“The decision to go and not to stay and rest totally changed their lives. So in this case, God utilized the anointed preaching of His Word at a pivotal moment of decision. Alan and Dorothy’s whole course of ministry opened up before their eyes as they ‘went forth’ like Abraham once did.”
TO PURCHASE THE BOOK ‘LOVE SPEAKS’
If you are interested in purchasing the book Love Speaks or if you would like to know more about Carl Anderson’s ministry visit http://www.borntoblaze.com
THE PASSING OF C. PETER WAGNER
On Friday, October 21st, C. Peter Wagner left this earthly life and is now rejoicing in heaven. He was a general in the army of God, an apostolic leader, a great teacher, and author of over seventy books. It was a privilege to know him and to acknowledge the influence he had with so many of us. He will be sadly missed.