I was ambushed one evening while teaching a worship team about the value and the power of hearing the Living Voice of the Living God. We had finished the teaching portion of the evening and had moved into a time of practice. I believe God is always speaking and He is always doing so with intent. So we were being quiet, and asking God what He was saying to us at that moment. Soon, simple yet powerful words were being shared in this room. Then, the leader of the team looked at me.
“Bob”, he said, hesitantly, “I am hearing something, but it makes no sense to me.”
Always the teacher, I assured him that he should risk it, and trust that what he was sharing would mean something to someone in the room. It was then that I was moved from being the teacher to being a child.
“Okay”, he said, “this is for you. I feel that the Lord is telling you to never forget the second service revelation.” He uttered these words and then looked sheepish, because on their own, they sounded vague, unclear, and even a bit religious. To me, they were like a laser beam into my soul. These words to me were specific, and encouraging, while simultaneously revealing a place of real need in my heart.
Two weeks prior, I had been asked to speak in our church services. At the time we had two services. As one of my first times to address a large crowd, I was nervous. During the first service, I stumbled a bit, and walked through the initial steps of overcoming the jitters. I felt I had done poorly. I was very conscious of me.
During the worship time of the second service, I was asking God for help. It was amazing that while I was asking God to strengthen me so that I would do a better job, He actually had a better idea.
“Bob, look at these people as people that I love”.
I sensed these words rising up from the deep recesses of my spirit. My mind put language to them, and I began to see differently in that moment.
I don’t know how you think about hearing the voice of God, but I always describe it as hearing my own thoughts only they are much smarter than I am. When I “heard” these words, many things happened all at once.
Most important, a shift happened inside my heart. When God speaks, He is creating things. He was not just advising me, He was adjusting me. Love began to fill my heart. It was amazing that as I experienced the love of God for others, my self-consciousness disappeared. It was not that I thought of me in such a way as to not think of me any more. It was this awareness of God, and His love for people that displaced all these angst ridden thoughts of me and my potential mistakes. I was not just thinking of people…I began thinking of these people. The people in this room. Those on my right and left, behind me and all around me.
As my compassion rose, not only did I find myself significantly less self-conscious, I felt something else. I felt power. Not the kind of power that makes you feel special, rather the kind of power that makes you feel infinitely prepared. The sense was that all I had to do was open my mouth. Something building in me was just waiting to come out, and it was bigger than me.
I wanted to not be nervous…God wanted to fill me with Him. I like His idea better.
This was the “second service revelation” that my friend had encouraged me to “never forget”. I had not shared this with anyone. He had no way to know of the experience I have described. Just as he could not have known of the experience, he could not have known how small I would have made that experience without him speaking those words to me that night.
“Never forget the second service revelation.” he had said.
The irony is that I would not have forgotten it. I just would have spent it poorly.
You see, until that moment, I thought it had been God’s answer to my prayer. I was asking for help to be competent for a sermon, on a given day at a given moment. And until that evening, weeks later, that is how I received God’s response.
“Thanks God for helping me that day”
How like God, to give me much more than I know to ask for. And how like me to mistakenly only receive what I asked for. Without that evening of prophetic training I would have spent the entire revelation in one place. That night I realized God was offering to help me live that way.
Today, when I stand in front of people, whether one person or a thousand, echoing all around my thoughts is the constant reminder. “Never forget the second service revelation.”
Look at the people around you through the eyes of a loving Father…allow His compassion to fill you, and allow this to be the power by which you operate from now on. Never forget…