Thursday, April 25, 2019

Hearing God Speak

Hearing God Speak  (This message was given at our Praying Over our City Meeting)

Hearing from God comes in a variety of ways. The inward witness is the most usual, but God can and does speak in an audible voice at times. He also speaks to us in dreams, visions, and by circumstances that cause us to know we must make new decisions. Many times God speaks to us as we read and search scriptures from our Bible.

Understand that as we read scripture, the life giving words from the pages of our Bible often can be related to us personally. As we read this portion from Jeremiah chapter one; please consider how these words can be applied to you.

The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying: Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I set you apart and appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Ah, Lord GOD,” Jeremiah said, “I surely do not know how to speak, for I am only a child!”

But the LORD told him: Do not say, I am only a child.’ For to everyone I send you, you must go, and all that I command you, you must speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.

Then the LORD reached out His hand, touched my mouth, and said to me:
Behold, I have put My words into your mouth. See, I have appointed you today over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and plant.”

As we search over what we have just read; What can we learn? First, God speaks; In this case it probably was an audible voice because Jeremiah no doubt would not have paid attention to the inward witness. Next God tells Jeremiah that he is set apart and known by God even before he was born and God has good plans for his future and for his ministry.

Does Jeremiah say, “oh good, that is great, thank you God?” No - - he begins to make excuses. (Does that remind you of anyone else? Perhaps someone in the Bible who was hesitant to obey what God was asking? Perhaps some one like Moses or Gideon for example, and of course not me or you.)

Then God does a teaching message of correction. God says: Watch your words Jeremiah, Don't say those negative remarks about yourself, because it is important that you follow through with what I am commanding you. Do not fear or be afraid of those who will hear you, because I am with you to deliver the oppressed.

It is interesting that God found it necessary to say, Do not fear; and Jesus also had to say over and over again, DO NOT be AFRAID . . . FEAR NOT, because I am with you.

Finally God does something that we all must be ready for Him to do onto us as well. For you see, it is not enough to hear God's voice and for him to tell us how special we are and build up our faith and give us goose-bumps because we are in His presence . .
No it is not enough simply to hear from God. We must take the Words that he puts into our mouth and speak them out with boldness and with declaration power.  God says, I will bring to you words to share . . . so speak only what you hear me telling you, because there are kingdoms and nations that must be uprooted and torn down and overthrown - - and then we will build and plant with newness.

In our city, there are kingdoms of darkness and wicked spiritual ancestries that must be removed and destroyed before God can build anew thing. Yes, our God is at work and Seeds are being planted here and there, and they are growing in many, but never-the-less, there are still battles that must be won. Often we fight with our prayers, other times, our words become a sword cutting into the quick of those who need to make changes.

Be faithful to listen to what God is saying to you, and then be quick to obey and go forward in the power of the Holy Spirit using the words that God places in your mouth to bring about change in our city, our state and our Nation. 

Please Note: I am having trouble accessing my blog "A Joyful Noise" but was able to log in to my other blog: Chewing God's Word - - so Watch for a new blog soon  where I shall post my Series "Who is Jesus?"   My other blog can be viewed, but as it's author, I am not able to post to it.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sweeter than Honey

What is Sweeter than Honey?

In Judges chapter 14 there is a story about Sampson killing a lion: “ So Samson came to the vineyards of Timnah; and to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him.  And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. But he did not tell his father or his mother what he had done.

 After some time, when he returned that way and saw the carcass of the lion. And behold, a swarm of bees and honey were in the carcass of the lion. He took some of it in his hands and went along, eating. When he came to his father and mother, he gave some to them, and they also ate.” And they were energized.

Psalms 19:10 The words of the Lord are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.
Psalms 119:103 How sweet are Your words to my taste! Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah said, “Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word became to me the gladness and joy of my heart” (Jeremiah. 15:16)

The Lord Jesus said,“Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Again  Jesus said, “The words which I have spoken to you are spirit and are life” (John 6:63). The words of God are food for us to eat in our spirit and soul.

There is a story in 1 Samuel 14, about Johnathan, the King's son who was fighting the enemy with the army. The king has said, no one is to eat anything until evening after the battle is won or they will be cursed. But Johnathan had not heard this. And the men entered the forest, and there was honey on the ground.  When the troops entered the forest, they saw the flow of honey, but none of them ate any of it because they feared the King's oath. 27 However, Jonathan had not heard his father so he reached out with the end of the staff he was carrying and dipped it into the honeycomb. When he ate the honey,  he had renewed energy.28 Then, one of the troops said, “Your father made the troops solemnly swear, ‘The man who eats food today is cursed,’ and the troops are exhausted.” 

But Johnathan did not agree with his father, because eating the honey, he was revitalized. - - Our message today is about God's word and how taking it into our spirit as sweet honey, it becomes energy to us spiritually. Sad to say, in some lands it is forbidden to read God's Word or even own a Bible. We in the United States should not take for granted our Bible, but we need to partake daily of God's Word because it is food for our spirit and for our soul.

The Prophet Ezekiel had an interesting vision where the Lord appeared to him with God's word written on a scroll, and Ezekiel was instructed to physically eat the scroll. Ezekiel 3 The voice from heaven said to me, “Son of man, eat what I am giving you — eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to your people.” So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll. Fill your stomach with this,” God said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth.

God continued to speak to his messenger: And he speaks to us today as we testify to our citizens. God says, I am not sending you to foreign people who speak a different language than you, but if I did send you to a foreign people, they would listen to you . . . But I am sending you to those who speak your language, your neighbors and fellow citizens of your city and many of them will not pay attention to you anymore than they listen to me. However do not fear because I have given you a hard head to withstand their evil looks and statements even if they are rebels. Then the Lord added, “My child, let all my words sink deep into your own heart first. Listen to them carefully for yourself. Then go to your people and say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says!’ And Do this whether they listen to you or not.” Do not give up.

Understand that as we pray over our families, our city, our nation, that God is at work and our citizens are beginning to listen. Some are tired and worn out like the army that was fighting. They need to taste and see that the Lord is Good and that His mercy endures for ever. There is honey in the rock and that rock is Jesus our salvation, who is the Word of God. We are taking the honey of God's word to our neighbors and citizens, so do not despair, take courage and eat a little honey first for yourself for your own strength and enlightenment.