How God Teaches Those Who Have an Open Mind
One of my greatest shortcomings is my tendency to hold on to what I believe a little too tightly. I treasure my theological and political views a bit too much. On many issues, I don’t have an open mind. Although being too open-minded can lead us into error, being too closed-minded can also work against us.
I have many friends who have embraced a particular theological view as a result of reading a book written by a well-known teacher. Although they’ve repeatedly urged me to read this book, so far, I’ve resisted. I’ve justified my obstinate behavior by telling myself I already know what the writer’s viewpoint is. I’ve studied the subject. I know the arguments. I even engaged the author in a lengthy online discussion a few years ago and heard what he had to say.
Well, some of what he had to say.
On this issue, I have very little interest in hearing different views. And that is unfortunate, because God speaks to me most when my mind is not made up on an issue. When my views have been cemented firmly in place, there’s no room for Him to teach me. But when my views are flexible, when I have an open mind, there’s room to receive instruction. This is what James meant when he wrote, “If anyone lacks wisdom, let them ask, and God will give to them, freely.” If we want to be instructed by God, we must first admit that we don’t have the answers.
The first step (for me) in receiving instruction from God is knowing what He wants to talk about. I’ve found that when I assume that I know what’s on His mind, I’m often wrong. On any given day, I don’t know what He wants to teach me about. So when I want to find out what’s on His mind, I expose my mind to a variety of subjects and let Him pick the ones that are most important. Let me illustrate what this looks like:
When I first became interested in healing, I listened to messages by Bill Johnson, Randy Clark and others who had success in healing. After listening to one of these messages, I’d often have a dream where one of these men would appear and teach me something.
Last year I attended a meeting where a prophet was speaking. I was interested in hearing what he had to say and I was certain God would confirm his message. He nearly always does that (for me) through dreams. (The way in which He teaches and confirms things for you may be different.) After listening to the prophet I went to bed expecting to receive a dream of confirmation, but I didn’t receive one. In fact, I haven’t had confirmation about any of the revelation spoken by this prophet. Now this doesn’t mean he’s a false prophet, but it does suggest that his message is not one that God wants me to focus on.
Many times I’ve had a discussion with someone during the day and that night God gave me a dream revealing the truth about something that was said or some aspect of their character He wanted me to understand.
Not long ago, I began reading Michael Van Vlymen’s book Supernatural Transportation. The night I began reading it, Bruce Allen and Michael visited me in a dream and gave me a message.
The Republican National Convention was held this week. I listened to some of the speeches each night and on three of the four nights God gave me dreams concerning Donald Trump. I was not a Trump supporter when I began having dreams about him. But I was determined to keep an open mind toward the candidates, so that I could hear God speak about them if He chose to.
What God confirms is generally (though not always) a product of what I expose myself to. On a typical day, I might be exposed to 10 different messages. I read articles and books, watch videos, listen to podcasts and interact with people. Then I go to sleep and let Him speak about the issues that are important to Him. Sometimes He confirms a message, but other times, He doesn’t. Occasionally, He’ll speak about something that was not on my mind that day. The way in which He confirms things may seem “hit and miss” but that’s how I’ve found it works best for me.
I brought up traveling in the spirit and politics because I believe these are two areas where this principle can be applied right now. I’d like to share an illustration of each:
Because there are some good books today being written on traveling in the spirit from a Christian perspective, there’s been an explosion of interest in the subject. The problem is, many of us have had our minds filled with teaching that is untrue—both those who are for and those who are against spiritual travel. And I’m as guilty as anyone. Over the last few years I’ve had to set aside what I thought I knew to be true about spiritual travel so God could teach me the truth. As I learned, I realized that what I believed only a few years ago was not true. Spiritual travel is a subject about which we, as a group, are terribly ignorant. If we hope to learn the truth about it, we must set aside many of our current beliefs.
Some have written off this year’s presidential election as a battle between the lesser of two evils. From a human perspective, that’s exactly how it may appear. But because God is not a man, He may have a different perspective. If you’re curious to know what God thinks about the election, you might set aside your beliefs and allow Him to show you His perspective. In my message on why people are having dreams about Donald Trump, it became apparent that many who have had these dreams are not very involved in politics. That is to say, they have an open mind and they can be taught.
If you want to know what God’s heart is on a particular issue, you may need to surrender your theological views, your political talking points and sometimes, even your moral convictions. All of them can be misguided. Give God permission to teach you the truth and when He does, don’t question it. Accept it and allow it to become your new paradigm then watch as it transforms you into the person He wants you to be.
p.s. One of these days, I’m going to read that book my friends have been raving about and if He teaches me anything from it, I’ll let you know,
Great word! I’m laughing because I’ve not been able to read a book about eschatology (maybe it’s the same one…lol) and I still don’t know what I really believe because I believe things from a couple different streams that don’t seem reconcilable to me. I am praying for God to teach me what to believe because I want to know the truth and to base my life on that.
Thanks for sharing!
Could be the same one 😉
Wow, do I ever appreciate you!!
I ARRECIATE YOU TOO, AND WHAT GOD SHOWS YOU ABOUT AN,OPEN MIND….I,TOO HAVE TO SEEK GOD,ABOUT THIS.. WHAT COMES TO,MIND IS, ” GOD’S WAYS,ARE HIGHER THAN,OUR WAYS” GOD BLSS TRISH.
Great word! I have never thought about it that way! I think I may need to go back to some areas & open my mind up so God can speak to me about it! Thank you 🙂
thanks PM…good reminder for me… 🙂
Keeping an open mind seems to me to require sacrifice 🙂 Time comes to mind initially. I love the comment by Graham Cooke that God is not a human, why do we expect Him to act like one. Sometimes I sit here and just wonder. And when all is revealed in Heaven when we get there, how surprised will we be? Maybe God will have Himself a good laugh at our assumptions as we see Truth. No matter where I go, or what I hear, it’s still me and God. I’m glad I have come to this place with Him. And yet I feel it necessary to be mindful of leaven. And watching Him guide me so carefully in that regard makes me feel very special to Him. And loved.
Shalom ~ Spiritual travel is beyond the meat and potatoes of most Believers’ theology. Except at least four instances in Sacred Scripture Scroll give us a different Truth of a full meal deal. Enoch and Elijah in the First Covenant are the green leafy endive on the plate. Philip and Rabbi Sha’ul in the New Covenant are perhaps the purple and red beets.Perhaps the list (minus food metaphor)could be expanded by others, especially from red-meat Revelation. Certainly ADONAI and His Angels, as spirit beings, travel. How awesome to be transported for a GOD-assigned purpose that touches others for the Kingdom. When our prophetic team, Kehilat Nahar Zerach River Rising Congregation of Messiah Y’SHUA, travels we are led by RUACH HaKODESH (Holy Spirit) to encourage and equip a person(s) we have never met before. It is a Spiritual Treasure Hunt that requires we travel outside our comfort zones. We simply pray Proverbs 12:5, the thoughts of the Righteous are right, and then ask HaShem to download one or two of the thousands of thoughts He is having about this person we have traveled to Bless. We write the thought down, pass it on to the person receiving the Blessing and watch what GOD-Adventure will unfold before us. Frankly, I can not recall a time when those who risked writing down the GOD-given Thought, have missed, even after 6-8 years of doing these Treasure Hunts.
Thanks,,i will have to be open minded let go and allow him teach me all i need to know.
I get the feeling the book people are urging you to read is called Raptureless. People who feel it is right are pretty insistent that other people read it and agree with them.
Wow, interesting. I definitely ask God for an open mind on this rapture subject b/c I have always believed in a pre-trib rapture b/c that is what I was taught. But, I have to admit that I haven’t seriously studied the issue. What are your thoughts Matthew?
Thanks again for an honest, from the heart, post… Yes, I agree about open mindness [not enough or too much]…This is sadly one thing that caused my recent marriage breakdown, not just my self but my dear husband too. I,really appreciate how you make things easy, simple to understand. ..TO GOD BE THE GLORY ALLWAYS! Trish Hale.
I like what you wrote a lot! I myself was born and raised in East Germany, that is under atheism, humanism, and whatever else I chose to expose myself to. In 1988, at the age of 19, I had an encounter with God where I accepted that Jesus had paid for my debt (but didn’t know anything beyond that). Later, as the German borders opened, I got entangled in the New Age for a few years, and after I got saved officially, got entangled for the same number of years in cessationist baptist circles. But in 2008, God had me finally in a place where I allowed Him to take me on a spiritual journey of His choosing — which mostly meant that He would point out a ministry to me that I would listen to via internet for as long as “water was coming out of the tap.” When there wasn’t any more “water” coming from that source for me, I’d go to the next “tap.” And more often than not that meant that all of a sudden I had to listen to a minister who wasn’t crossing every “T” and dotting every “I” exactly the way the previous minister had done — and yet I knew God had lead me to both of them. So, first of all, I had to learn to not judge by the “letter” but extract the spiritual life from their teachings. And, second, I had to learn to listen for what part of their teachings actually was fresh revelation from God and what had just been a result of their religious background they were still carrying around and mixing under fresh revelations. And also, a lot of what I heard I didn’t even know what to do with, other than stashing it away.
But now I actually find that God is using some of these things like pieces of a puzzle to form bigger pictures. For example, last autumn I finally came to understand that through Jesus we were taken full circle back to the Garden of Eden, just like Adam and Eve were before they sinned. (Before that, I had somehow assumed salvation just added in a linear way to my life.) Then God took me through a phase of showing me what I really had my identity fixed on. And then He started me on a learning process what it means to have been created in His image — that’s when I realized that just as glory is an important part of who God is, it must also be an important part of my true identity. Then I found Bruce Allen’s “Gazing into Glory” and came vagabonding in your “neighborhood”. 🙂 — Anyway, God was still teaching me on the subject of the Garden. And as I listened to every teaching by Bruce Allen I could find, I also heard him mention just very briefly about the Garden and that it is actually in Second Heaven. During my quiet time, God reminded me of that remark — and of a teaching on that subject by Dennis Walker I had heard 5 years ago. And things made click, click, click in my mind and I got a much better picture than what I had 5 years ago.
In a parallel development, I had frequently heard a teaching by Perry Stone on Sid Roth’s ISN-channel, but always just the last few minutes of it — the part where he was talking about the seven(!) churches in the Book of Revelation (which are near the Taurus Mountains) being of that number because of the seven(!) stars of the Pleiades star cluster that is right next to the Taurus the Bull star formation. — After I had come across this intriguing piece of information several times on ISN, I finally wanted to know what else Perry Stone shared about in this teaching. After I had listened to the full one-hour teaching, I was impressed how he had “proved” that the seven seals will be opened only after the rapture. But when I checked it for myself in the Bible, I said, “God, this just doesn’t make sense!” So God immediately reminded me of a sermon by Johnny Enlow I had listened to about 5 years ago where he had explained how the seven seals had been opened already, exposing what was going on in important areas (the seven mountains) of society. So, that settled this for me. “But still,” I said to God, “that part about the Pleiades and Taurus the Bull corresponding to these seven churches near the Taurus Mountains, that was good, wasn’t it?” — And so God had me realize that the Book of Revelation actually has a lot to do with Second Heaven. Bringing all into the picture that I had been picking up from Bruce Allen lately, and the other puzzle pieces God was bringing to my attention, I realized that: Eden is in Second Heaven — it’s the garden of our souls (from where we can step both into Third Heaven or into the natural realm), every believer has their own garden, where we don’t work by the sweat of our brow but just say and it is done — and what’s done supernaturally in the garden will have a natural manifestation on earth (“what you bind in heaven, is bound on earth …”) — and what’s most important: Second Heaven is NOT the abode of the devil, but it was actually ours to begin with, got redeemed by the Cross, and the devil got kicked out (s. Rev. 12:9-12); only believers must start to each claim their gardens and start working on them.
So, long story short, yes, I think it is important AND possible to have an open mind toward God and let Him decide what to take in and what to discard. But I also started praying for leaders in the Body of Christ to only communicate what they heard themselves or at least had confirmed by God and not pass on so much that’s just cultural baggage, so to speak. 🙂
Anyway, thanks for the great word! 🙂
I AM BLOWN AWAY BY ALL OF THE WISDOM NUGGETS IN YOUR POST!! I would love to connect with you!
Thank you, David Joseph, this makes sense. I was recently listening to Kat Kerr on You Tube and she has shared that God says, “My ways are strange, I am not a man”. So at times the answer to our prayers can be so out of our realm of understanding just like our current Presidential race. I was also listening to Doug Addison, who mentioned that our next revival will be different than previous ones and we have to be careful not to push away the outcasts coming into the Kingdom, since God is doing a new thing. I thank God that when we seek answers from the Him, He is gracious to give it to us and He is gracious to remove wrong thinking that is not of him….great article, I really enjoyed that one…..
So true. I relearned so much on eschatology, tongues, prophecy, healing, and spirit travel. It was all God. I just sought Him and the truth and the Holy Spirit changed me. I ran across you on youtube and have been growing in healing and seeing visions ever since. I’m a youth worker so i’m spreading the truth of sonship to my church. It freaks people out when they are healed instantly or i give them a word of knowledge that is dead on. I love introducing them to Jesus. Thank you for the teaching Praying Medic.