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HOW TO "STUMBLE" INTO HEARING GOD'S VOICE
Steve Shultz
The Elijah List
www.elijahlist.com 

Hearing His Voice

Those who know me well and listen to my teaching on "Hearing God's Voice" quickly learn about my favorite way to "hear" God speak -- I love it when He speaks through "Divine Appointments"! I usually "stumble" into hearing God speak. That is, I have fulfilled his prophetic words to me accidentally more often than on purpose.

When these "stumbles" happen to all of us, we often never hear a voice, either in our mind or in our ears. We didn't feel an angel guide us from one place to another. We simply walk out our lives, and God orchestrates everything.

It seems David finally figures this out when (in Psalm 139) he exclaims:

" . . .your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!" -- Psalm 139:16-17

But we know -- or we are just learning -- that we couldn't be apart of these divine appointments unless we'd actually heard many things directly from the mouth of God and "obeyed" them -- all along the way.

I feel urged to continually remind readers that if you are Sheep, (and most of us are God's Sheep of His Pasture and in His Pasture) then as a sheep: We all DO hear his voice -- no matter how long and hard we protest that the opposite is true.

"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me." -- John 10:27

God Sequences

I seem to regularly have these "coincidences from Heaven" or divine appointments -- what I call "God Sequences" -- whether I try to experience them or not. Usually, I don't try. They just seem to happen.

One time, I complained to God that a particular ministry trip I was on didn't "feel" prophetic.

God simply asked me, "Who told you it had to 'feel' prophetic in order to 'be' prophetic?" It turned out to be one of the most potent, sent-from-God appointments with a person on an airplane that I'd ever experienced.

Just now, as I write this, the sun is dipping down in the west, and the world is aware that the Jewish people are beginning their Yom Kippur Holy Day. Yom Kippur is probably the most important holiday of the Jewish year. The term "Yom Kippur" means "Day of Atonement," and that pretty much explains what the holiday is. A time on God's calendar to re-dedicate our lives to Holy and obedient living.

Just 10 days ago, as these holidays were about to come into being, my wife and I flew to and visited downtown New York City, while staying in a hotel in Queens she'd located on the Internet. We were there to drop off our 21-year old for an intensive seven-week training school.

Integral to the story, our ministry, The Elijah List, has for several years been one of the official sponsors of the Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem. But as with many of these events that we sponsor, because of our crazy schedule, we were unable to become involved this year in the Israel Prayer. Our trip to New York was pretty much all-consuming; so I forgot about it, even though we'd advertised it extensively all over the world.

In fact, I no longer even remembered the exact day of this "Day to Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem." Perhaps to my shame, this particular year, I just "blew it" and forgot about it.

But God had plans for me anyway.

The First Vision

We flew out and checked into our Queens hotel, and as I normally do, I attempted to discover how quickly I can hook up my laptop to the internet since our growing ministry is based almost solely on email and web publishing.

One of the first emails I opened was a vision that was sent to me by a woman I'd met in Connecticut months earlier. This was now her second vision for me; so I decided to pay special attention because her first vision was amazingly accurate to a degree that is rare.

Months earlier in August, she'd seen this and sent it to me. I'm leaving out most of the words except for this pertinent part to this story:

"You (Steve) were standing alone in front of a large building with your briefcase in your left hand, looking up at the building. It was very tall and appeared to be among several other tall buildings. I got the impression that you were debating whether to go in. Suddenly, the large front doors opened, and the Holy Spirit in the form of a large, white dove flew out to you. He rested upon your head for a while. Then he turned into what appeared to be a conductors baton or bow and was placed in your right hand. It looked like it was made of a fine bone, honed to a point with a handle on the end. You began to wield it in your hand, but seemed unsure of quite what to do with it. Then you became comfortable or settled with it and held it with confidence."

This lady had no idea at the time (I'm 50 now), but when I was just 18 years old, my senior high school annual read that my "secret ambition" was to be an orchestra conductor. Of course, I had that baton in mind. While it sounds a bit corny to me now (though it's an honorable profession), it was actually an interest I once had. The Lord knew this and gave this woman this vision.

The Second Vision

Fast forward to just 14 days ago -- the day I landed in New York. As I opened my first emails in Queens, I was sent another vision by this same lady. I'm just including the pertinent part to this vision, as well as, some of which is personal:

"[I saw] A large cemetery with Steve kneeling before the Lord. He was weeping, looking up to heaven with his palms facing upwards. . . he remained in grace and humility in a difficult situation before the Lord. He didn't understand why he was here, but he trusted the Lord in the midst of it. I then saw the Father smiling down at Steve as he watched him worship. . . He was pleasing His Father as his prayers came up to Him as a sweet-smelling savor unto His nostrils."

What this lady didn't know was that the day she sent this to me -- a Wednesday -- we had arrived at the hotel my wife had found on the internet. Directly across the street was the largest Jewish Cemetery I'd ever seen in my life with virtually every grave marked by very large and beautiful headstones.

"Wow, what a huge cemetery," I thought. It even went under the freeway to the other side -- it was so extensive.

On Sunday, four days later, I finally had an hour or more to myself. I decided that would be a good day to try to find an entrance to this cemetery. After all, the vision had shown me on my knees, hands lifted up, and praying. I wasn't going to ignore such a specific vision when it was in my ability to "risk obedience."

The Jewish Cemetery

I went out to the main street along the cemetery and our hotel and headed up the hill. Surely if there was a gate, it would be "up there somewhere." Within 50 yards, I ran into a woman and her husband. They asked if I knew where the gate was.

"No," I said, "I was going to walk up the hill and find it."

"We've been walking up there forever," the woman said. She looked tired. "No entrance! You know, this is a Jewish cemetery?" she said.

"I know. I was fascinated by it. Are you Jewish?"

"No."

"Well, I love Israel and am a great supporter of Israel. I'm fascinated with the cemetery. Maybe I'll turn around and go around the corner by that alley. Maybe there's an entrance over there."

We went our separate ways, and I didn't see them again. Sure enough, rounding the corner, within 50 yards or so, I found the entrance and was soon walking inside this massive cemetery. The rows were so even that I could find no place to be unseen by others if I were to kneel and pray. It took about 15 minutes, and I found a unique section where the headstones formed a square where I could be "invisible" on the inside of a group of headstones that formed a secret place -- and I saw no one anywhere near.

Prophesying to the Dry Bones


I knelt within this hidden square, facing one direction for no particular reason and lifted my hands and began to pray. I prayed for the Jewish people. I thought of the vision months earlier of the baton made out of bone, and it reminded me of the vision of prophesying to the dry bones -- a prophecy about Israel.

So I prophesied to the dry bones right there in this cemetery according to Ezekiel:

"Then he said to me, 'Prophesy to these bones and say to them, "Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD!" This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: "I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life."' -- Ezekiel 37:4-5

I didn't know what it would accomplish -- whether it was literal or symbolic -- for Israel or what? But somehow, I felt it would accomplish something by prophesying to those dry bones.

Then I began to pray for the Peace of Jerusalem. It seemed the right thing to do in a Jewish Cemetery.

I looked at the headstones of this one family I "happened" to be kneeling in front of. The name on most of them was "FINKELSTINE" (also spelled Finkelsteine at times, I'm sure). It occurred to me that there would still be living relatives of this generational family line.

God had Other Plans

So as usual, I do what occurs to me at the time. I began to prophesy life and blessing to the living relatives of these who were buried here with the last name, Finkelstine.

I also began to prophesy to THEIR dry bones, and I began to cut off family curses that were on their generations still alive today and that they would come to know their Messiah. I somehow felt that I was truly accomplishing something important.

After awhile it felt done, and I quietly and reverently walked out of the cemetery.

On the plane flying home from New York, it suddenly hit me. I got my computer out and looked it up. Sure enough, the day I prayed in the cemetery WAS the scheduled day -- THE DAY TO PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM -- the day I'd "forgotten" to PRAY for that very thing.

God had other plans. He took care of it through an internet connection of a hotel, a child going to school on the east coast, a set of visions about a baton made out of bone, and about me kneeling in a large cemetery -- delivered to me on the very day I arrived at the hotel across from this Jewish cemetery.

Accidentally Accomplishing the Will of God

By "accident" I had accomplished the will of God. I had prayed for the peace of Jerusalem on the day that prayer was planned. And I prayed for the Finkelstine family. Whoever and wherever they are, those members of the Finkelstine family alive today have a new blessing assigned for them that they may or may not have prayed for. But God chose that place and that time for me to play my part in blessing Israel -- from Queens, NY (Even though I'm a country boy from the west coast of Oregon, 3000 miles away) -- at just the right time in history to pray it.

You see, we ARE HIS SHEEP, and we DO hear His voice. My wife heard His Voice when she chose this site on the internet. This woman heard it when she chose the time to send her vision and the earlier vision she'd already sent me. I heard it when I decided to choose Sunday (the very day the prayer was planned) to walk through this cemetery. And I not only heard it when I chose to pray for the peace of Jerusalem and that the dead bones needed to come to life, but I heard "His silent Voice" as a thought in my head say, "Pray for the living Finkelstines, who are related those buried right here."

So I did. I believe God was pleased. And I was once again excited about the possibilities of obeying the Voice of God and praying the right prayer, even when we don't think we've "heard" a thing.

"And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." -- Romans 8:26-27

By the way, the name Finkelstine (Finkelsteine), I've been told by several Jewish friends, finds its meaning by understanding Yiddish. Finkelstine simply means "Sparkling or precious stone."

So the Lord was not only prophetically calling me to prophesy to dry bones -- but also to precious stones!