To hear God, we need someone to preach to us, to teach us. Someone who has been there and done that. Preacher, Pastors, Ministers, whatever they are called in your church, have been given an assignment from God to teach us about him and how to live for him. There are A LOT of them and thank God for each and every one! But, much like different translations of the Bible, not every preacher, pastor, minister etc. will have the same level of impact on your life. Choosing who you listen to on a regular basis can be one of the most important decisions you make as a Christian.
There are some really practical things to consider when you are choosing who to listen to. The following are three key questions to ask yourself when deciding on who to learn from:
- Do they preach the word of God? If they do not back up what they preach with Bible, be very careful!
- Look at their life. Do they have the qualities, experiences etc. that you want in your life? You want to choose to listen to people who can take you where you want to go and people can only take you where they have already been.
- The connection factor. Sometimes you just connect with some people and others you don’t. That gut feeling, spiritual connection, soul connection, whatever it is, is real and it matters. Pay attention to it.
When I finally got serious about living my life for God, I was led to a GREAT church and an amazing Bishop who taught me how to live for God. The way I got there was one of those “coincidences” that you know has to be God.
I was at a really low point in my life. I was passively suicidal. I wasn’t ready to slit my wrists, but I lived with a constant thought that I would be better off dead. I drove home from work everyday on I-70 and I often thought, “Wouldn’t it be easy to just keep going straight when this interstate turns up ahead and drive off the overpass?” Day after day, nothing but gray depression.
Then one night, I turned on the tv and there was this blond preacher. I went to quickly change the channel because the last thing I wanted to hear was another preacher spout off about how I needed to send him all my money. But, just as I was getting ready to change the channel, he said something, and I wish I remembered now what it was, but I don’t. Whatever it was, it made me think, wait a minute, this guy has something to say. And he did have something to say.
He taught the Bible in a way I hadn’t seen before. He made it practical to my life. He gave me steps and skills to try out and when I did what he said, my life got better. Now as I learned more of the Bible, I began to understand that everything Bishop was teaching was directly out of the word of God (Yes to Key question #1) and that is why it worked; but at first, I just learned to trust what Bishop said because it worked.
After a couple of months of watching him on tv, he got to the end of the program where he would talk directly to the tv audience and he said, “TV can’t be your church. If you’re in the Denver area, get into HCC.” Well, that was pretty weird because I had made tv my church and I did live in the Denver area and it seemed like he was talking directly to me!
So the next Sunday, I drove to the church and sat in the parking lot. I didn’t even know if I was going to go in. But as I sat there, I watched all of these different people go in. Some were black, some were white, some were Hispanic, Korean, Japanese, all kinds of different people and they all had one thing in common, they were smiling! They were happy to be going to church. I had never seen that before. After awhile, I decided to go in.
From then on, I was hooked. I saw Bishop’s life, the things that he accomplished, the relationship he had/has with God and said, I want that too (Yes to Key question #2). Then finally, I just liked him, connected with him. Not something that I can explain, but at some kind of gut level, I understood him. (Yes to Key question #3). HCC remained my church for the next 12 years and was the home that taught me how to know God, hear God and live my life for God.
Throughout the years, I have found many other amazing preachers, pastors, ministers, evangelists, prophets and people without titles that have all taught me so much. Below are some of the people that really have helped me to know and hear God. There are many more that I don’t have listed but this is a place for you to start.
Take a look, apply the three questions to each person and see what you think. The main thing is, fill your life with people who can teach you about God and help you connect with him. You won’t be sorry!
In Alphabetical order:
- Pastor Darlene Bishop: http://www.darlenebishop.org/
- Evangelist Arthur Blessitt: http://www.blessitt.com/
- Bill and Marsha Burns: http://ft111.com/
- Evangelist Jesse Duplantis: http://www.jdm.org/jdmDefault.aspx
- Bishop TD Jakes: http://www.tdjakes.org/
- Pastor Bill Johnson: http://www.bjm.org/home.html
- Bishop Dennis Leonard: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bishop-Dennis-Leonard-Official-Site/297837263649
- Pastor Mark Leonard: http://pastormarkleonard.com/
- Dr. Joyce Meyers: http://www.joycemeyer.org/
- Pastor Perry Stone: http://www.voe.org/
- Pastor Joe Wood: http://reverbchurch.com/