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Podcast 1.03 Letting Jesus Speak

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Episode 1.03 Letting Jesus Speak

(Musical intro)

Intro: Welcome to the Encounter Jesus podcast, also known as the ‘feel like Jesus is hugging you today’ podcast. I’m Elizabeth Ellynshaw, and today we will be talking about… Letting Jesus get a word in edgewise, or, you don’t have to do all the talking in prayer!

I said in the last episode that using my imagination when I pray was my favorite key to enjoyable prayer, but it might actually be this one. Today we are going to let Jesus talk.

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Prayer: Lord, I invite You to speak today. Even as the person listening is hearing my voice today, I pray they would be distracted by Your voice. I pray that conversations would start between You and Your children where You get to say everything You want to say. And if it’s the first time, I pray it would be the beginning of a lifetime of living in dialogue and conversational companionship with You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Content: So when we imagined a boring prayer meeting and how it would have been different if we could have seen Jesus in the room with us, one of the things I’d imagined we’d do differently is that we wouldn’t talk the whole time. We would ask Jesus questions and listen to Him. Maybe we would ask Him questions like, what are You thinking? What are You feeling? Maybe He would have led us to ask Him things like what do we need to repent of? Who do we need to forgive? Who do You want us to pray for today? How do You want us to pray for them? What do You want us to do next? But whatever we walked about, we would want to hear from Him more than we wanted to talk to Him. Way, way more. We would be ravenously hungry to hear His heart towards us.

I used to feel that hunger but not believe prayer in this life, at this time, could actually satisfy it. I didn’t realize I really can ask Him those same questions and He can so easily whisper the answers into my heart. I believed the lie that I have to do all the talking in prayer because in this age where Jesus is in heaven and has left me alone on the earth with the Bible, He can’t talk.

The Bible itself doesn’t actually say that though. I thought I was honoring the Bible, but I was actually contradicting the Bible. The Bible doesn’t say that Jesus left me alone on earth with the Bible. The Bible says Jesus said He would never leave His children alone, and so He was leaving them on earth with the Holy Spirit. And the Bible says that Jesus said the Holy Spirit is a helper and a comforter who pulls alongside each and every one of us. And the Bible says that Jesus said that this Helper-Comforter can talk.

Let’s look at the verbs Jesus used to describe what the Holy Spirit would do.

In John 14:26 Jesus said “But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”

So the Holy Spirit teaches, that sounds like talking, or giving thoughts, and He reminds, that sounds like talking, or giving thoughts.

And then Jesus goes on in John 16:12-14 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.” So Jesus while He was still on earth, wanted to talk and say more, but He couldn’t yet. So what’s His solution? “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth.” Well, guiding usually involves talking, it’s definitely communicating. “He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard.” OK, now we’ve got it for sure. This Helper-Comforter will speak, He will tell. “He will tell you about the future.” There again, He will tell. “He will bring Me, [Jesus] glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.” Another ‘tell.’ Through Him we will hear from Jesus. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’” So the Father gives to the Son and the Son gives to the Spirit and the Spirit will tell us. Through the Holy Spirit, we can hear our Father speak, we can hear Jesus speak, we can receive thoughts from God.

Now my thoughts usually come in the form of either words or pictures, or sometimes both. Thoughts from the Holy Spirit can also come in the form of either words or pictures, just like all our thoughts can. For example, if I ask the Holy Spirit a question, like, “Lord, is there anyone I need to forgive?” A person’s name might come to my mind, that’s a word-thought. Or a person’s face might come into my mind, or a memory of when and how they hurt me. Those are picture-thoughts. Or it could be a combination of both.

And whether the Holy Spirit gives word-thoughts or picture-thoughts, they usually feel like flowing words and flowing pictures. Because one of the things that Jesus said the Holy Spirit feels like is rivers of flowing water gushing out of your own innermost being. Now, He didn’t mean the source of this flow is our own innermost being, because first Jesus said we had to thirst, feeling our lack and need. Then we need to come to Him and drink, and He said that drinking Him means believing Him. But then, when we’ve felt our need of Jesus and we’ve come t believe in Him, like drinking, Jesus says—this is all in John 7—that He gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe in Him, and He describes it as if you drink some water, the Jesus water, and then that water you drank turns into a non-stop fountain or river that keeps bubbling up and flowing out of your heart. And that water that keeps flowing is the Holy Spirit. And I again thank Mark Virkler for the insight that one way this teaching of Jesus plays out in our experience is that the Holy Spirit feels like flow. Experiencing the Holy Spirit feels like something flowing. Praying in the Spirit feels like a ceaseless flow of prayers where He keeps giving you what to say next. Dancing in the Spirit feels like a ceaseless flow of movements where He keeps giving you how to move next. Speaking in the Spirit feels like you’re flowing and being carried along in a river of what He’s giving you to say. And hearing or receiving thoughts from the Holy Spirit feels like flowing word-thoughts and flowing picture-thoughts.

So if I ask God a question in prayer, I usually receive the answer through flowing word-thoughts and flowing picture-thoughts. But what kind of questions can I ask Him?

I enjoyed reading a book on this subject by Brad Jersak called Can You Hear Me?, and he said that we all have great faith that God will speak to us if we ask Him what is wrong with us. That’s why usually we’re afraid to do it. We all believe that if we prayed, ‘Lord, where am I sinning, what do I need to repent of, what do You want to work on next or change in me?’ we believe God would answer us then! But Jersak points out that inconsistently we don’t have the same faith that God would speak to us if we asked Him what He likes about us, if we asked, ‘Lord, what do You love about the way You made me?” Or “Lord what am I doing well right now?” Or “Lord how do You want to encourage me?” We are way less confident that God would answer. And he challenged the reader to think, what does that say about my view of God, that He would be willing to communicate with me to correct me but unwilling or less willing to communicate to affirm and comfort and sustain me!

Oh, He is willing, so willing to speak to us.

Later I heard a preacher named Leif Hetland give the challenge to journal and ask God, “how do you see me?” Every day for 30 days and write down the thoughts that come into your mind, the flowing thoughts and flowing pictures, when you ask. So I accepted that challenge and did that, and it was life-changing. I am still, years later, seeing myself as and living out of some of those 30 answers He gave me. Because prayer is so, so powerful when we just let Jesus get a word in edgewise! And more than a word, when we wait on Him and listen to Him and quiet our hearts before Him and ask Him for as much as He wants to say about whatever He wants to say.

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Question: So today I invite you to imagine Jesus standing before you and saying to you personally, ‘if you are thirsty, come and drink Me, and My Spirit will become rivers of living water gushing out of your heart.’ Imagine bringing Jesus an area of life in which you feel thirsty. Imagine Him holding out a cup of His living water to you, and imagine drinking it. Thank Him for being an amazing Savior in that area, and for what He will do. Take the cup and sip and swallow it, feel the water from Jesus going down your throat. Ask Him to fill you and your need with His Holy Spirit again. And then feel that water you just swallowed beginning to bubble up inside you like a fountain and gush out of you like a river. Ask Him Lord, what do You want to say to me about this area of my need? And then receive whatever flowing words or flowing pictures He gives you. You may even want to write down the thoughts He gives you. Treasure what He says, and let it keep flowing.

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  1. Julia Sensenig Julia Sensenig

    Powerful podcast!
    May I hear Jesus’ heart toward me and recognize His voice of unfailing love for me. May the springs of living waters flow from my heart to others…

  2. Tib Tib

    Dear Elizabeth,
    How encouraging and wonderful. God bless you for pointing us to Jesus.

    Thank you.

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