By: David Stewart
Growing up, I use to go metal detecting with my dad. He would take us to lakes and school grounds a lot so we could play, and he could metal detect. For those not familiar with metal detecting, I will try to explain. My father purchased a machine that could detect any metals that were buried under the ground. You had to become familiar with the settings and tones or the whole thing would become very confusing and leave you with the same empty pockets you had at the beginning. My dad became an expert, he knew this tone meant a nickel, this tone a quarter, one tone was possible jewelry while another was junk and not worth the efforts. My dad, the expert, never left with empty pockets!
I also grew up with this dad who knew the Bible, he could quote so many scriptures and still can. We found ourselves in church every Sunday morning and night, Vacation Bible schools every summer, and a fear of the Lord that was very real. If God spoke, it was through his Holy word and usually centered around hell, repentance, and do not sin because God is watching. Looking back now I wonder… how this man I called dad, become such an expert in searching for hidden jewels beneath the ground but struggled to hear the tones of an interactive God, who had so much to say about the details of our lives. I guess the settings needed adjustments and the knob that reads, communication, needed to be tuned in a little more.
I will lead you to buried treasures, secret caches of valuables-Confirmations that it is, in fact, I, God, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
Isaiah 45:3 (the message)
Over the last seven years of my life, I have discovered God has a lot to say. I have also discovered we have to pay attention to how he is saying it to us. If God knows you better than anyone else, it is fair to say he knows how to communicate with you better than anyone else. If a father has a child that loves sports, he might drop the named of Michael Jordan, or Babe ruth to pique their interest. If a child was really into academics, then the best way a father can reach them may be through trips to a local Barnes and Noble. God wants to speak to us through ways that he knows we can understand, so why does so many have struggles hearing from God? I believe it is because we expect God to speak one way and his tones are much different than our expertise.
God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you; therefore, you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It is that simple. That is the substance of our Message.
Colossians 1:27 (the message)
This verse is one of my personal favorites, it reminds me that Christ is in me because he wants to be a part of everything I do. He genuinely wants to walk with me, and talk with me, and tell me I am his own. My job is to learn how he communicates internally so I can manifest that externally. Yes… it takes time my friends, to dial in these messages coming forth, that’s why time with the father is important. Would you expect a third string quarterback to come off a bench in the middle of a game and perform at a Superbowl level? The quarterback needs time with the players, he must learn the plays, get familiar with the pace of the game. How God speaks with me is probably not the same as with someone else. We must create space and time with God to fully hear how he wants to create signs and wonders with you.
In the Bible, there are examples of God speaking in an audible voice, there are examples of visions and dreams he speaks through with others. In one example, God spoke to man through a donkey! We must understand that there are no limitations to how God will speak, but we can put limitations on how we listen.
A few weeks ago, my executive director and I went out to a neighboring community on the island here that experienced flooding. We had no plan or any idea what we were going to do, we just knew God wanted us to do something. We prepared hundreds of bags of food and off we went not sure of anything. Shortly after we arrived, we got a phone call from Pepsi (the corporation) who randomly decided to donate to us a pallet of water. We had them drop it off at a gas station parking lot as we had no idea how to handle this. Anyone who know me knows I love Pepsi, I mean if I have a vice that would be it, so the fact that they randomly called and donated to us stood out to me. I told My boss, that I feel like this Pepsi thing is something more than just Pepsi. We distributed what we could throughout the day, but it was getting late, and we had half a pallet left in someone’s parking lot. We decided to just load it up and take back to the mission where we worked. When we arrived, a lady was there loading it in her truck! We spoked to her and she seemed rattled and stated she was the parking lot manager. She did not know what it was there for and called her boss and they told her to remove it. This lady was in her 50s and loaded all that Pepsi water cases in her truck by herself. My boss called her boss and told her what happened, but we still had to remove the water. Then God internally told me, “it’s not about just Pepsi”. I asked the woman that I think us meeting is not about Pepsi. Then a boldness came over me and I said…” Is there anything in your life happening now that God would send both of us to be in front of you in this moment…Do you need a miracle?
The women looked at us and asked. Do you really want to know? That started a long conversation, that led to us praying for her, that led to a word of knowledge about a need in her life, that led to her crying that God heard her prayers just the day before. That led to us blessing her financially, which led to her still connecting with us today. All this because of a random Pepsi donation to two guys in a field. I have never seen Pepsi drive to the middle of nowhere in their truck and drop off a pallet of water to two unknown guys. What stood out to me was how much I love Pepsi, and no one knew that but God! God used something I cared about to reach someone he cared about, and he informed me of what he was trying to do.
This example is one of many of how I detect God. Albert Einstein once noted down, “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous”. I love that. Things that seem like coincidence or randomness could be God telling you…I want to get involved. My advice is to spend time with your father, let him express things to you through things you already know and love. He chooses to communicate in these ways because Christianity is not all about being good or going to hell. Sometimes it is more about listening well and experiencing heaven! So in all your going and comings…pause, listen, and you will discover God is Love! Love is Aloha!