Sometimes God wants us to use our anointed logic to assess the voice of God. Our renewed minds become an aspect of God’s voice. It is unfortunate that the church at large thinks that thinking and reasoning are unspiritual. For us to understand this concept, I want us to do a case study on the life of Paul the Apostle.
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) 3 concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: 5 by whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: 7 to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are clear here and if you study the life of Paul you will note his calling to be an Apostle. It was permanent, it was binding. God says I have called you to be a light to the gentiles. When you study his whole life you discover that God’s voice was clear, and distinct and he was committed to that. So that call was binding and it came as a direct revelation from God as he was on his way to Damascus. Remember the experience was so dramatic that not only did he hear the voice of God but he also fell down and he was clear of who was speaking to him that’s why he said “who are you Lord?” and Jesus said “I am the one whom you are persecuting.” That dramatic experience was so miraculous, so supernatural, so clear, so distinct that the bible tells us that he became blind. Now when you experience God like that you will never forget it, there is so much clarity. Jesus commissioned him in no uncertain terms. So he knew the calling and commissioning of God. As if that was not enough God also sent Ananias to confirm what God had done and said. So he knew beyond a shadow of doubt that he has been called to be an apostle. So whenever he was attacked and things happened he knew the encounter of God that he had had. He had heard the voice of God, seen a vision and experience God in such a mighty way that he had not doubt. And that became an unchallengeable fact in his life. God sent Ananias to confirm who prayed for his eyes to be opened, for him to be filled with the Spirit and Ananias said the “Jesus Christ who has appeared to you has also appeared to me and commissioned me to come and confirm what you have experienced.” So he had had a number of encounters with the voice of God and the call of God. So that was a binding permanent call. And you find when you study the life of Paul that he was committed to that voice throughout his life. But when you move on and we meet in Acts 16:6, 7
6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. 8 And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them.
Now see they have come to that area with an apostolic commission to preach the gospel, an irrevocable call to be a witness to the gentiles and now here Paul is trying to obey that call and he is forbidden by the Holy Spirit. Then he attempts to go to Bithynia to preach the gospel and the Holy Spirit forbids him again. Even though you have a mandate and a call from God there are things that God will forbid you to do. That is why you have to listen to the voice of God continuously. You have to continue having an experience with God because the call of God and the manifestation of the voice of God can unfold different things.
Now listen, they have had an encounter with the voice of God, they have seen a vision from God and Paul has experienced that vision with a call to Macedonia. And then they said we concluded! What does that mean? It means they sat down as a party and analysed that vision, and that dream. They had a discussion which meant engaging their minds. You don’t discuss with your spirit. So when people say don’t listen to your mind, listen to your spirit they are mistaken, because you don’t discuss with your spirit. So after discussion they said “we” concluded, not the Holy Spirit concluded. We concluded. If they had not made that conclusion, if they had not had that discussion they would have not gone to Macedonia and they would have not had reached Europe. So when you encounter the voice of God it should be able to withstand mental inquiry. God is not intimidated by intelligence, the bible says He is omniscient. He is all knowing. He has a sharp mind and I have a feeling that He does use it. So why are we ashamed of exercising our minds.
If you had a vision were a man came to you and said “Come and help us in Macedonia.” that sounds very clear to me. But they still sat down to discuss the vision. They still had to make a conclusion. Now, you would literally believe that because they have had an encounter with God through a vision, when they get to Macedonia they are going to see a man who is preaching who will say “I am the one you saw in a vision, now come and help me.” But in actual fact they did not see or meet any man in Macedonia. Instead they met some ladies who were praying at their usual spot. Paul saw the opportunity to minister to these ladies. Later after persuasion he went to Lydia’s house and started ministering in that place, yet there is no Macedonian man. There is a Macedonian call, but no Macedonian man! How clear is the voice of God? I mentioned earlier that the voice of God is as clear as mud. So if you were Paul, would you pack your bags and say I have misunderstood God so I walk away? So when Paul accepted Lydia’s offer they started ministering there and they stayed for a long time and they continued ministering and people were being born again, the church was planted.
One day a demon possessed girl started following them shouting, “People of Macedonia hear these men. They are servants of God.” The Bible says she kept following them day after day. For a while Paul didn’t do anything. He ignored the lady until one day when he was exasperated and turns around and casts out the demon, not because the Holy Spirit has said so, but because the demon was a nuisance. Having cast out the demon, the owners of the demoniac were so angry because they made money out of her. So they had Paul and Silas arrested. While in jail that’s when they had the midnight experience where they sang praise and worship till God opened the prison doors. That supernatural experience shook the whole prison leading to the salvation of the jail keeper. Because they interpreted the voice of God using their minds, they experience God in unusual places. But anywhere this guy gets born again, the gospel is preached and God is glorified.
Now, follow this with me, they have received a vision from God, they have been sent to Macedonia, they have preached the gospel in Macedonia and because of preaching the gospel they are put in prison. In prison they encounter the working of God, the prison warden and his family are saved. What a supernatural experience! And then the citizens of the place come and say “Now that you guys are free we can’t control you. Since we cannot stop you or arrest you, we want you out of our city.” If it was you and I we would have said, “No brother I am not going anywhere. God gave me a vision. A Macedonian man called me and said “Come to Macedonia and help us.” so I am not going nowhere brother. Until I locate the brother who issued the Macedonian call, I am not leaving. What? With all these signs and wonders around? I am not leaving. After all God has validated the voice we heard.” But they were told get out of our city and they analysed the situation and believed that they had finished what God wanted them to do and they moved on.
Now, if Paul, having had an encounter with God understood that the voice he heard did not bind him and commit him to stay where God had placed him, but he had to engage the environment, he had to look at practical realities, he had to get new insight and he realised that his practical insights were as valid a form of God’s voice as the vision that he had. That’s why Paul moved. If it was the demonic asking him to move, Paul would not have moved. There is somebody who is staying put because God placed you somewhere and now it has become abusive and wrong. God told you to get into a certain job and you are stuck and you are saying it’s because I saw a vision. But that vision did not say stay forever. The situation may have changed. The dynamics may have changed. If you are going to wait for confirming evidence you will wait forever and you will miss the will of God. If you got into a relationship, and you suddenly realise that your boyfriend has become abusive and you say because God spoke to me I will stick with him. Think again. Use anointed logic or a renewed mind to assess the situation. Or else you will suffer the consequences and then blame God. Where are you stuck and you think because God has spoken?
There are some people who feel guilty, because when you felt called to a certain church and had an experience with God. Over time things changed and you began to feel that this is the wrong place for you now. God never said anything and out of frustration you moved on and you still feel guilty. And somebody maybe manipulating you by saying, “Because God called you, you had an encounter with God therefore you are out of God’s will because you have moved.” This will liberate you. If the circumstances change and you begin to feel God is calling you elsewhere, it’s your decision. Don’t feel guilty. Paul encountered the voice of God, and having encountered the voice of God he still had to interpret it, by assessing current realities.