Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hearing the Voice of God, Part 1

The Bible says in John 8:26-29 "I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him. (27) They understood not that he spake to them of the Father. (28) Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. (29) And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him."

What does it mean to hear the voice of God? If you have a personal relationship with the Lord, you have already heard His voice; it was that inner leading that brought you to Him in the first place. However, most of us, after that initial salvation experience, really struggle hearing His voice. I believe that hearing the voice of God is the basic right of every child of God. God doesn’t want us to simply go through life guessing what God wants from us. Eph 1:18 “The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” I want to share some things that I have learned over the years in “Hearing the Voice of God".

1. Don't Make Guidance Complicated

I’ve learned that it’s actually hard not to hear God if you really want to please and obey Him! John 15:21 “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."”

If you are trying to obey God, He promises to show Himself to you. If you stay humble, He promises to always guide you. Proverbs 16:9 “A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.”

Here are three simple steps that have helped me to hear God’s voice: A. Submit, B. Resist, and C. Expect.

A. SUBMIT to His Lordship.

James 4:7a “Submit yourselves therefore to God." Submit means to “to yield to the action, control, and power of another.” What this means is that you and I must submit in seeking God’s guidance.

In other words, before we go into our prayer closets, we need to ask God help us to submit to His predetermined will in this particular situation. It’s also a good time to ask Him to help silence our own thoughts…desires…and the opinions of other people, which may be filling our mind. II Corinthians 10:5 “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;”

Even though we have been given a good mind by God…at this point, we want to hear the thoughts of the Lord…and not our own. Proverbs 3:5-7a “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes:”

B. RESIST the enemy.

We must resist the enemy when seeking God’s guidance. Our enemy is clever and he wants nothing more than to deceive us. James 4:7-8a “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

Notice that the prerequisite for being able to “resist the Devil” is by submitting ourselves to God! That means in every area of our lives, not just the ones that are convenient, but the ones that are not. I.e. Money, resources, time, etc…

The word “resist” means to “withstand; oppose; fend off; or to stand firm against.”

C. EXPECT an answer.

After asking the question that is on our mind, we must wait for God to answer. He will! John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:”

I believe that many times God is answering our questions; it’s just that we’re not listening! Listening to the voice of God takes patience and practice.

Psalm 69:13 “But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O LORD, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.”

So, first, don’t make guidance complicated, but simply resist, submit and expect an answer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Suffering vs. the Triumphant Christ

A baby wrapped in swaddling clothes (Luke 2:12)

A King clothed in majestic apparel (Ps. 93:1)

The wearied traveler (Jn. 4:6)

The untiring God (Isa. 40:28-29)

He had nowhere to lay his head (Lk. 9:58)

He will become heir of all things (Heb. 1:2)

He was rejected by Israel (Jn. 1:11)

He will be accepted by the nations (Isa. 9:6)

Wicked men threw stones at him (Jn. 8:59)

Wicked men will cry for stones to fall on them to hide from Him (Rev. 6:16)

Clothed with a scarlet robe in mockery (Lk. 23:11)

Clothed in a robe dipped in the blood of His enemies (Rev. 19:13)

Wicked soldiers bowed the knee and mocked (Mk. 15:19)

Every knee will bow (Phil. 2:10)

Wore a crown of thorns (Jn. 19:5)

Will wear a crown of gold (Rev. 14:14)

Feet pierced with nails (Jn. 20:25)

Feet will stand on the Mt. of Olives (Zech. 14:4)

Hands pierced with nails (Jn. 20:25)

His hand will carry a sharp sickle (Rev. 14:14)

Had no form or comeliness (Isa. 53:2)

He will be beautiful (Ps. 27:4)

He delivered up His Spirit (Jn. 19:30)

He is alive forevermore (Rev. 1:18

He was laid in a tomb (Mt. 27:59-50)

He will sit on a throne (Heb. 8:1)