Over the past few days I have been writing a 6 part teaching on hearing from God... When I began this I thought it would be around 3 parts, cut and dried... but the Holy Spirit showed up and it is ever expanding. I decided to combine the first 6 parts so this is lengthy, but there is some very important Biblical truths here.... THis writing is based on scripture, my inner response to the call from God on my heart as Ive been studying Ephesians, and attending some very wonderful prayer events at Jim Tarter's home... He hosts our local Intercessor's for America prayer group, has led many Bible Studies in our city, and much of it is based on a book written by my very brilliant Bible teacher and author of many books found on www.lulu.com for free download. Just look up his name in the seach bar. James Tarter. I asked him to please review what ive written in these 6 parts and reminded me how very important the coming dayof the Lord is to the overarching theme of this writing.... so In part 7 I will be taking up that key component!
Hearing from God part 1I recently made a life changing purchase.So many friends were recounting to me the very same thing... that Sarah Young's devotional, Jesus Calling, was having such a powerful impact on their lives, so I finally bought my own copy. Upon some research on Ms. Young I learned that she and I shared a deep appreciation for our quiet time with the Lord... and she, like I, enjoyed journaling our experiences... but she had taken her experiences to a deeper level.. writing what she felt the Lord speaking to her and these writings became the basis of her devotional.
It was September 23rd when I bought and started my devotional journey and right away I understood why so many felt inspired by each day's postings... I understand that the Bible is God's inspired Word to us, but surely, in the manner in which Ms Young recorded her experiences with God through and including scriptural references, her devotionals really do express each day a heaven sent word that seems to heal a broken spirit or quell an uneasy heart.
Even as a long time Christian who is fully connected in the local church, as well as community ministries, more than ever lately, I needed these simple yet dynamic messages. On September 23rd and on every other page since, the theme was and is seek the presence of God....for in life's circumstances great and small His presence is all we need.
For me, I was becoming inwardly a bit unhinged. With all the depressing news, terror extremists, turmoil in the world, prophetic disasters looming on the horizons, catastrophic storms, blood moons, etc. My mind seemed to be swept up in a tornadic maelstrom that interrupted my sleep and even my relationships.. to say I was edgy was an understatement. I couldn't even fully enjoy my precious visit with my daughter and her family, including our 2 year old granddaughter, whom we actually visit a handful of times a year, ...for my psyche, but really the devil, was whispering to me "This may very well be the last time you'll be able to get together with your family".... isn't it funny for the devil can sound just like yourself in your head...and also funny.. how .. and I knew this from all of my years of seeking God through Bible studies and Church activities.... I knew it, but after that first read on September 23rd, and especially successively ever after, the reminder that God is always present really is the most wonderful good news of the gospel for the believer!
Tomorrow I will share how I started hearing from God.
As a believer, my God, my heavenly Father, Abba, Daddy, is sovereign over all things... all power.. all nations.... all storms..... all bumps in the night and He has me by the hand and He'll never let me go. There is no extremist plot that could ever take Him by surprise. There is no medical report that He couldn't see me through.. There is no tomorrow or future trial, that He doesn't have the resolution for because He is already there working every single thing in my life and all believer's lives for our good. Oh, to be able to rise above our daily circumstances and see our lives from His perspective. But that is what faith is all about. Even though we can not see, we still know and believe, and expect good gifts, loving kindness, mercy, grace, and love from the one and only God, the lover of our souls, our Abba, Father God! ....because He is the manifestation of all those things.. His attributes are love...mercy... loving kindness,.... justice.... faithfulness....patience.... gentleness ....compassion... Just so we could better know Him he sent His son as an exact replica of Himself. For Jesus only did what he saw the Father doing....
So now as I have gained a deeper insight into my own spiritual walk with God, I seem to be able to hear His voice a little clearer. Recently, in a prayer session( at James Tarter's home) as we worshipped then listened for His still voice, I clearly heard the word "anchor". When I shared the word with the prayer group I was told by one of the Bible scholars there that the word "Anchor" was actually the first symbol for Christ before the symbol of the cross became evident. I found that of great interest, but for me personally it really brought a sense of stability.. a sense of security a truly solid foundation on which to rest my weary soul, as I saw myself anchored on Christ,.
Oddly enough, I couldn't think of a time when I had given any thought to an anchor except as I watched the hull of the Titanic upend. I couldn't remember even seeing the word written in print in a long time. I know I didn't just think up the word. It just popped into my head, suddenly, just as the worship music stopped and we were asked to wait on the Lord. Well, I didn't have long to wait. Plop there it was!
I didn't dwell on it that much in the coming days, but then within the succeeding 2 weeks the word "anchor" started coming up probably over a dozen times. As a small group leader in Priscilla Shirer's study The Armor of God the word has been used in conjunction with each of the spiritual weapons of our warfare. And each time I see the word I take pause to contemplate for myself what significant thought the Lord had for me specifically.
Because God had already begun a work of prayer leadership in my life through an interdenominational prayer ministry that my small group of prayer ladies were led by the Spirit to initiate in our community... I am believing that the relevance of the word anchor and it's repetitious use in the prayer warrior study that I am partaking of at this time, that God is broadening my assignment... to be a more diligent prayer warrior.
I feel He is calling out to me in another way as well.... and This time I have to confess I have been hesitant in launching out... until He got my attention... More to follow!
part 3 please read on
So during that very same prayer event as we were discussing the state of the the nation and our woes of the community... we were each sharing how we could see where God was at work and come along beside Him in that effort... and it was if everyone around the group had the same message.l. at least in my mind I was hearing
"Prepare" "Prepare" "Prepare"
"Be prepared" "Be prepared"
Wow! Isn't this exactly what had been bombarding me in my circle of friends... "OH how much food are you hoarding? How many gallons of water do you have on hand? Have you gotten your generator yet? No, what do you recommend? The same rhetoric that had been driving me many sleepless nights!
But NO! Knowing this group as well as I know them, they aren't into that kind of preparedness! Praise God!
So I went home that night thinking about "prepare" and there it was a gentle nudge from above... reminding me of a study I had done about 10 years ago.. on a book written by the actual host of the previous prayer event... entitled God's Cure for the Post Christian Syndrome by James Tarter. I highly recommend this book! But beware he is brilliant, deep, and goes into great explanation about who God is, who we are and what the church should be doing instead the the lukewarm mess that it is today!
At any rate, I remembered that the premise of the book was that just as the Ministry of Elijah fell on John the Baptist to prepare the way for the coming of the Lord, Jesus, which is prophesied in Malachi, so too, in the last days, there will be that same calling on the church to prepare the way of the Lord for His second coming. I felt I was receiving a call to prepare ye the way....
and in my waywardness I was a bit paralyzed is the only way to describe how I was... Immediately the enemy gave me the image I remembered seeing as a child of an old rough looking man carrying a sign that said Prepare the Way of the Lord on it.... and I remember hearing people say, 'Look at that crazy old man? with ridicule and haughtiness..... I am ashamed to admit that but it was probably my very first experience of witnessing christian persecution here in our own land and I shamefully didn't recognize it as that at the time.I immediately turned to God with repentance in my heart, but at the same time I did not immediately go searching for the book or even read Malachi to refresh myself... I allowed other things I 'needed' to do get in the way. But God wouldnt leave me alone... it wasnt exactly like a prodding, but I felt His fingers on my back and suddenly the last couple of days an old malady came over me that plagued my gut so much in recent past.... and I was horrified it was coming back on me... then I had the thought.. Ok, I dont really feel like doing this now, Lord, but with you I will read the book and get started on the message you want me write. That was last night.... and even before I fell sweetly asleep my gut issue had subsided. I can only think that as I do not ever believe in coincidences, God has put a rush on me to get this done, whether it is just for my sake or the reader's, as well.
But I do think the message is super important.... as it was 10 years ago when I first read the book, but even more so now with the world and nation in the place it is in.
The intent of the book is to demonstrate how that just as in the days of Malachi, the people were so arrogant and self seeking they had turned their back on God. They grumbled about seeing no purpose in serving God, they saw no personal gain in it for them, so in their complaining they ignored Him ( sound familiar?) and in so doing, it created a spiritual wilderness in the nation. Grumbling gave way to arrogance, hypocrisy, and judging. These very same features are found in our post Christian age in which we are living...today here in the US. We, like they, are spiritually sick and blinded to God...the ultimate, just judge of all. They had lost sight of God as judge in their ungodliness.
So too our churches today are weakened through the lack of solid Biblical teaching.. preachers' sermons seem to be ala carte.. they pick and choose from the menu that either they themselves think need to be taught because they they have set themselves up as judge , or they tickle the ears of the their flock. Many have their services so micro managed down to limiting each part of the service to the number of seconds.. leaving absolutely no room for the Holy spirit to show up. And He doesnt. Thereby, sin becomes excused, God's Word becomes irrelevant for life today, leadership becomes corrupt, goaded by power and greed. So the people are perishing in the wilderness of the own making. Treachery becomes commonplace in society, sin escalates alarmingly, and the people grow weary living in a barren wasteland.
My next portion will be taken from Malachi 3 and 4. if you are following... you really ought to read the book of Malachi... it is a great read!
The Faithful Remnant ( I beleive those who have ears to hear and eyes to see are part of today's remnant- for there are many who jsut dont really care or not interested to ahve read this far!)
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked (Prayed and talked together about thehir first love) with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
This passage is key to the cure for our times.. for this devastated society that calls evil good, and good evil... a cure when God's people finally come together and pay heed to his Word, and work together in unity....
In a huge nutshell, before the coming Day of the Lord, there is a call from God on the church to do as was done in Malachi when the ministry of Elijah was foretold.. of one who would come to prepare the way of the Lord, That such a one, of course, was John, the Baptist, who prepared the hearts of the people as they watched for, and received Jesus, as Christ.
Today we see another great Day of the Lord on the horizon... He is approaching with greater and greater signs and wonders... as end time prophetic words are being acted out before us... on God's great stage.... His nation, Israel! Teachers of the prophetic books of the Bible teach that God is calling the church to do the Ministry of Elijah in our day, as well... Our assignment is to prepare the people for the Lord's second coming when He comes with holy justice to a spiritually barren land. I have heard many theologians speak of the**** coming judgment of God on the nations*****.... and no nation is any more worthy of his judgment than America.. But the remnant spoken of previously exists all a round this nation.. where pockets of groups are believing 2Chronicles 7:14, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. I just noticed the similarity to Malachi 3:16-19... he heard and wrote a scroll of remembrance over them because they were seeking after Him!I love His Word!!!
Prayer groups like Intercessors for America meet all over the country, I attend one every first Friday evening and we lift up our nation before God our Judge and Abba Father in one! Congressional prayer groups meet on the steps of the Capitol, some churches still hold real prayer meetings when a handful of committed take time to come together to pray...our Christians United to Praygroup that 5 of us ladies from our church started 3 years ago meets every other month around Roanoke to bring any who will pray together from every denomination... our goal is to unite God's peopele breaking the bonds that divide us by worshipping, praising and praying to the One who unites us. In 3 years our group as grown to over 50-70... and we praise God for the increase.... our hope is to fill the civic center one day! Yes, prayer is an important element. .. but, not the key to the cure of the sickness that plagues us..
The church must be fulfilling the ministry of Elijah by manifesting the ****true nature of Jesus and God to the world****. The lukewarm church has not been exhibiting the nature of Christ in the world. They have hidden their light under the bushel...!
I have been sensing this call on my life even though it has been 10 years since I did the study on Malachi, I am hearing more and more God saying " The time is now! Prepare the way for the Lord.... we must let God prepare us...
Do I think that Jesus is about to step out on a cloud and gather his remnant away.... no, not yet, but soon... first, there comes a great Awakening.... when His Spirit is poured out on the church and lives are completely changed... Might this come because the remnant has stepped into their calling and lives are changed.... or could God determine to get the world's attention.. that the awakening may come with a great shaking of terrible magnitude ... But an Awakening is coming and God is saying , Church, it is time to step up in Elijah's place and demonstrate the difference in good and evil to this world..
Thankfully, as I continue part 5 I will begin to discuss the steps we personally need to take to activate a cure from heaven!
I have been writing about the Lord's call on my life to prepare..... or basically to open myself up to allow Him to prepare me so that in my life I will be preparing the way of the Lord in His Second coming. I have referred to a magnificent book that studies the book of Malachi which is about how very far Judah had turned away from God... Even the priests were self seeking.. saving the best of the sacrifices for themselves and offering God the lame and sick of the flock. IN the arrogance of the people they had forgotten the attributes of God... They actually gave him little mind at all, forgot his tender mercies, never thanked Him, and especially forgot that he is a just God of judgment. God tells us in His word that all will be judged... but before that judgment day, there is another judgment.. "The Bible is clear that God is the Judge of all nations but just because He hasn’t judged a nation doesn’t mean that He won’t. Clearly, God is over all the earth and this includes all nations as Psalm 82:9 says “O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!” Eventually “He will execute judgment among the nations, filling them with corpses; he will shatter chiefs over the wide earth” (Psalm 110:6)." I am borrowing from the website here. Continuing"
Reasons God Judges Nations
We surely know that God abhors violence and so we know that abortion will bring God’s judgment upon a nation but what are some of the other things that happen where God will surely judge a nation? Isaiah 2:6-12 clearly reveals what constitutes reasonable grounds for God bringing judgment on a nation:
“For you have rejected your people, the house of Jacob, because they are full of things from the east and of fortune-tellers like the Philistines… Their land is filled with silver and gold, and there is no end to their treasures… their land is filled with horses, and there is no end to their chariots… Their land is filled with idols; they bow down to the work of their hands… The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled… For the Lord of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up—and it shall be brought low.”
Notice that the land is full of horses and chariots which today might be cars and truck. The land is full of fortune-tellers today which are an abomination to God. They have their own idols and these idols might not be carved images but they are idols nonetheless. These idols might be money, positions of power, family, status, music, Hollywood, the Internet, and most of all, our own selves. These nations that God judges are also full of people who are full of pride and instead of humbling themselves, they are proud and lofty. Does this nation sound familiar? God has promised to judge nations such as these.
What did God do to these nations that did such things? He “scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. In accordance with their ways and their deeds I judged them” (Exodus 36:19). Could this happen to America? Yes! It might be a financial captivity because the U.S. is already in such heavy indebtedness to other nations that we are really “slave to the borrower” (Prov 22:7). This judgment could be where “people will die of the plague or perish by famine [and/or] fall by the sword [and be] scatter[ed] to the winds and [be] pursue[d] with drawn sword”(Ezekiel 5:12) and He may “hand them over to their enemies” (Ezekiel 39:23)."
I borrowed this because it is said so well and I am hoping that the message is apparent... God judges the nations individually based on how they respond to Him.. and we can clearly see the US like Judah in Malachi has turned its back on God in government, in education, the media, the military, in the law of the land, broken God given covenants like marriage, the corruption that is deemed alright like the killing of the unborn for profit. I could go on and on... but the outcome is the same ... the question is what would a biblical judgment on the U.S. look like? How could we tell if God is going to judge America or if He already is?
As I write this the most catastrophic hurricane ever recorded is bearing down on our neighbor Mexico... any day our 17 trillion dollar debt could catapult us into a financial collapse far worse than the great depression... and at that time people were much more self sufficient than we in this generation. Yes, I believe that over the past 60 years (since prayer was removed from schools and then Roe vs Wade) I have been seeing God's hand of protection slowly being lifted finger by finger giving us over to ourselves and look at the mess we've made of it...
The good news (and praise God His gospel is full of Good news...)but if you are a child of God He has a plan for His own to keep them.. go with them and ... for we, none of us truly know what will be, but with God we are safe in the cleft of the rock whatever may come. But what about our neighbors, our unsaved family members. coworkers, the grocery checkout lady,.. people we see each week and know well enough to nod hello.Do we really care enough about them to speak Truth to them... to open the door of opportunity to ask them about their faith and plant a seed at least?
This has been a long introduction for today's post .. but now I need to go to my own prayer hour .. Be back soon !
Continuing Hearing from God part 5
So the previous introduction to part 5 is pretty grim.... but Christians do seem to be somewhat befuddled about who God is.... and it all boils down to the symptoms discussed in the Post Christian syndrome... I don't know about you, but cold chills go all over me every time I even think of Post Christian anything... I mean "post______" means " after_______ " like post war etc. Yet we are living in the Post Christian era.. I mean just look how much more Christian persecution is happening now, not only the world, but here in the US. Christians are losing their voice. Everyone else has the right to speak and expect government and society to cater to their belief system.. or lack of one, which in itself is still a belief system. But Christians more and more face an uphill battle in the marketplace or in the media .... because we are deemed not tolerant, we are not accepting.. we are out of the main stream thinking, therefore our voice is to be opposed. Why has this happened? We've allowed it, firstly... we have given in to pressure.... we have given satan license to control us. And he appears to be winning. Well, when we are faithful children of God... we can not be tolerant... He is the One true way.. there is no other! His Truth is absolute! We stand on His word alone, no matter what society or government says... Because God is the highest authority. This corrupt world has turned itself over to immoral, corrupt, deceptive, satan who is our enemy, and that puts us out of the main stream, but we still must stand for Truth, righteousness, and the Way. But for far too long the church has been silent. We have been inactively hiding the light of Christ under our basket so that the darkness has taken over our communities, our states, our nation! Is it too late? I pray not.. for as long as God still speaks to His children, chides them, to do something.. testing them to see if they will follow through and actually do something, there is hope.As I have been writing this section, I am realizing there is no formula to make things better... wouldn't that be great if you could cook up a recipe and things would be different... but change is possible, but it isn't a physical change in the true sense... it all begins internally. for unfortunately there are rotten potatoes in the bin.... me and you! We need healing and transformation from the inside out before we can truly create a change by the power of the Holy Spirit. I am going to leave here now because if you re following along with me.... I think we both need to come to grips with our own rottenness. What should I have done that I didn't do? How could my life during the last several years made a difference for God. Until each one of us can admit our own folly in this nothing with change.. because what we must do to begin this internal work is not going to be easy, but we've got towant it more badly than anything we've ever wanted. Spend some time in soul searching and prayer until next time!
One of my favorite passages in the NT is Ephesians 1:18- 23~ ~Paul's prayer 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He (God) has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in his Holy people, 19 and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 He exerted when He raised Christ from the dead and seated him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the church, (Authority)23 which is His body, (the church) thefullness of Him who fills everything in every way. This, as many other passages, explains what we need to fully understand.. first of all,Paul prays that we who believe and are called the children of God can see clearly and that our hearts will be enlightened so that we may KNOW the hope in Which God has called us.... the passage goes on to relate the immeasurable inheritance we gain through Christ.. such a powerful truth than many pastors will simply pass right over this section.. for perhaps only the Holy Spirit can truly enlighten us to the power, the riches, the authority is ours because since the days of Paul even until the ages to come... Because there is so little teaching on this many Christians read it with wonder then wander aimlessly through life perhaps knowing it in our minds, but not truly believing it in their hearts and applying its truth in their circumstances.
Then there is Ephesians 2:6 And God raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, SO there we are right now with full access to the throne room and the ear God through and because of Christ's death on the cross.. to win back all that the enemy stole from us in the garden when sin came into the world... The very same authority God had given to Adam and Eve was relinquished to satan and it wasn't until Christ 's death and victory over the grave that theauthority was won back . Then Jesus was caught up to heaven and he left that authority with us when he gave out the great Commission... to take the authority and use it to reclaim what the enemy tries to take from us, to empower us to walk boldly on earth spreading the gospel, healing the sick... delivering people from the throes of the enemy... when we wield that authority in the precious name of Jesus.. we can speak to the storm, we can lay hands on our friends and family in prayer.. and when we pray in His name it is actually praying in his nature... as he would pray.. Then we are praying in his will. IN His nature?????? Doing what we saw Jesus do,... loving, merciful, kind, compassionate, just, humble, full of grace, giving, caring for the poor, the sick, the wounded, the lost, those who needed deliverance.... and he only did what he saw the Father (The Invisible God) doing... so He is the exact replica of God on earth... and after Jesus went to be with the Father we were to grow into the fullness of HIm so that we might reflect the true nature of Christ to the world to win souls and shine away the darkness and light up the earth! where is your light now... Are you beginning to think about removing that basket!
Wow, we really have to know Him well to pray like that don't we... to fully know His nature. Let's look back for a moment.. at the moment of our salvation....according to
Romans :16-17 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. So when someone asks you how do you know you're a child of God... it is because the Holy Spirit testifies to us that we are....we simply usually say, well, I know that I know that I am.... because if you are a believer, you know it. If you have prayed the believer's prayer, repented and given your life to Jesus, don't let satan rob you of the knowledge that you are a child of God . many find it easier to listen to satans lies than the truths of the Spirit.
So true believers are called, they are children of God and joint heirs with Christ, they are seated in heavenly places right now with Him and with God the Father!
However, there is another important component.. see if you glean the concept from these scriptures.
1 Peter 2:9 - But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
1 Peter 2:4-10 - To whom coming, [as unto] a living stone,disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, [and] precious, (Read More...)
Revelation 1:6 - And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 2:5 - Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9-10 - But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (Read More...)
Revelation 5:10 - And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
Exodus 19:6 - And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These [are] the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.
Lest we be fooled by satan's whisperings.. remember we are grafted in to the nation of Israel... so Exodus 19:6 also relates to the church...
What do we make of these references to priesthood...
What did the priests do.. They prayed over the temple, God's holy place, they offered sacrifices... They bled the blood of perfect lambs, goats, doves, for atonement of sin for the people.
Now we don't do this today, the Jews don't even do this today.... but Paul went on in Romans 12:1 to say,"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship."
Where do we do this... at the holy temple.... that my friend is none other than in our hearts... through praise, worship, and prayer.. intercession... .. When I imagine those priests of old I always see fiery altars ... our heart, as a holy priest, should be a flame for God... and we shouldn't let the flame go out. Now I ask you, reader, as I ask myself... has my flame been continually burning? Have I been pleading the blood of Christ over my circumstances, my unsaved friends, my community. our nation! if I'm a royal priesthood and all the believers that I know have that same calling well then wouldn't our churches be on fire for God..???? Wouldn't the light of Christ be burning so brightly that the darkness would flee into the pit from whence it originated.?????
Believers, I fear we have dropped the ball here... We cannot have the royal standing before God in heavenly places yet be a silent, unholy priest here in our realm of influence... I don't think that pleases our heavenly Father, who in His mercy is patiently waiting for us to get with the program... But how patient is He....that is the question... I think I have laid some ground work today... there is so much we need to know about our holy fire... and it may not always be easy to endure it... it will be a refiner's fire that we must be willing to endure to begin that internal transformation that is so desperately needed! I don't know about you but I feel the need to do a bit of repenting now!