To continue with my story, upon asking God what was wrong with me, I began to learn the many ways in which the Lord speaks to us. Sometimes He speaks through a sermon, sometimes a book, often a friend. We have to learn how to open our spiritual ears. If we ask something of the Lord, we have to put ourselves in position to hear Him. In other words, we don’t ask Him things and then sit for hours in front of carnal or ungodly television shows, hang out at the bars or do whatever else we know to be displeasing to Him and then expect to hear Him.
His Word says,
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”
So to hear His “still, small voice,” the Lord requires that we read His Word, read Christian books, listen to godly sermons and counsel with Christians who walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
Remember in I Kings when God spoke to Elijah,
“Then He said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still, small voice.”
I Kings 19:11-12
So we can surmise that the Lord will not talk over carnal television; He will not interrupt our babblings to friends and all who will listen to us, as we go about receiving counsel from the ungodly and forsaking the only One who has answers to our dilemmas. We must learn to get “still and know that He is God,” and it is He alone who is the answer and can give the needed counsel to get us through our many crises.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”
The Lord is a gentleman; He only knocks—He doesn’t break the door in so He can dine with us. He only fellowships with us if we open the door of our hearts and let Him in. We do this by spending quality time alone with Him, sitting at the Master’s feet, and also by fellowshipping only with those who walk closely with Him.
God gives us great wisdom through godly counselors, but it is by our decision to “study to show ourselves approved” that we might rightly divide the Word of God. In other words, you can only know that it is godly counsel by your having knowledge of the entire Word of God and by His Spirit within you bearing witness to this counsel. Of course, we are to minister to the lost, but our fellowshipping should only be with those who desire to walk closely with Him.
“Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits.” (I Cor. 15:33)
The Apostle Paul also said,
“Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?” (2 Corin. 6:14)
If your ultimate friendship with the ungodly is not for the purpose of ministry, then you can rest assured your flesh will be no match for the devil. You will be corrupted by this ungodly fellowship.
Let me tell you about Tommy, a man I met in 1988. A friend of mine had asked that I minister to Tommy, as he had just been released from prison and was very hungry and desirous of growing in the knowledge of the Lord. My friend felt I could offer encouragement to him to “wait upon the Lord” and to not be anxious about God’s timing in establishing him in his ministry and in his life in general. After we met, I knew why the Lord had sent him across my path.
Tommy had a tremendous call on his life. God had gifted him with a charismatic personality that seemed to command an audience, and he was receiving great revelation from the Lord. Before being released from prison, he had great influence with the men. Tommy knew his call was to minister at halfway houses, and the Lord was opening doors for him even upon his release. However, Tommy had one problem. He didn’t understand what endurance was all about.
He wanted a wife, and he wanted everything in his life turned around immediately. I shared with him that he had to endure and wait upon the Lord, as the Lord had much to reveal to him. My life was an example to him of how God carries one when one becomes weary in the wait—as I was in my late 30’s and still waiting for God’s plan to unfold in my life. But many times, I expressed to Tommy how the Lord gave me peace and joy even in this long wait. Tommy saw the peace that I walked in—God tried to encourage him through me, but Tommy was unwilling to wait.
The long and short of his story was he found out once again how “evil corrupts good habits.” He met a woman in witchcraft, and eventually he was back on drugs. He would go back and forth—walking with God—turning away. Tommy died in 1992 (four years from the time I met him) around the age of 35. He possibly died of aids-related problems due to the use of infected needles. We talked a few days before his death.
As I had just gotten married, he was able to see the blessings of the Lord in my life as a result of “waiting” on the Lord. My heart was grieved for Tommy, for I knew his life had been cut short. If only he had fellowshipped with those who could have helped him grow spiritually, he would have become strong and would have become the spiritual leader God had called him to be; and I’m sure the Kingdom of God would have been much increased by his labor. We must be spiritually strong wearing the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-18) and know that we have ministry purposes for those continued “fellowships” with the ungodly. Instead of Tommy helping those who were lost, he became corrupted by the evil working in them. Obviously, Satan had the victory over this precious soul and took his life prematurely.