Do All God Asks Of You!

Genesis 6:22 “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.”

Life is complex! Complexity seems to grow the longer one lives. Everyone at some point in their life feels overwhelmed by the complexity that exists, not only in our culture but in our personal lives. Noah, the great patriarch, found himself alive at a time when the complexity of man’s wickedness was at an all time high. Every intention of man’s heart was perpetually evil and God decided to hit the reset button of humanity and start again. However, Noah was an exception. Noah found favour with God and walked with him all the days of his life. Noah became the patriarch of a remnant that would begin the re-genesis of humanity but it required uncompromising obedience. God asked Noah to build a huge boat to preserve a remnant of humanity and the animal kingdom for the rebirth of the planet. Without any evidence of weather patterns pointing to rain or any historical context to aid his boat building directive, Noah did everything God asked of him and ended up saving the future of the world. Noah is the original superhero. The complexity of your life will only be eased when you settle firmly in your heart the Lordship question. Who is Lord over my life? Am I Lord or is God my Lord? When you surrender your heart to God and live for the audience of one, you resolve 10,000 problems all at once. Why? Because your hearts affections and directions are shaped solely around one primary thing, obeying God without reservation. Selah!

God Is More Than Able!

Romans 4:20-21 “No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”

The Apostle Paul writes of Abraham’s relentless faith in the face of contradiction and delayed fulfilment of God’s promise to him. God was more than able to do what he had promised Abraham but for Abraham to receive the fulfilment of the promise, he had to hold steadfast his conviction in God’s goodness. God doesn’t promise you something if he doesn’t intend to bring it to fulfilment. If you’ve received a promise from God, hold steadfast to your conviction and do not waver. Press through the obvious obstacles in faith and keep giving glory to God, being fully convinced of his goodness toward you and his faithfulness to His word in your life. Selah!

Here Am I, Send Me!

Isaiah 6:8-9 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” And he said, “Go, and say to this people..”

God is looking to and fro across the earth for people he can use to accomplish specific assignments in the building of his kingdom. Before Isaiah became a prominent prophetic voice to Israel, he firstly was an everyday believer in God who made himself available. Availability is the first prerequisite for being used mightily by God. Isaiah 1:19 says, “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land“. To answer God’s call on your life, you must be first willing and secondly obedient. Not only did God call Isaiah but he counselled him in what to say. Too often we are attempting to come up with something inspirational that will connect with people, rather than simply sharing out of the well of what God has already revealed to us. If you want God to call you and use you mightily, first examine your heart and ask, “Am I available? Am I willing? Am I going to obey what he’s asked me to do? Selah!

Follow the Cloud, Not the Crowd!

white-clouds

Exodus 13:21 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night.

Wow! I love this verse of scripture. Here is a beautiful picture of God leading his people through night and day seasons by going before them in a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire. The people weren’t left without a witness to follow and this must have been so encouraging for Moses in his leadership of what sometimes was a group of very difficult people to lead.

In our lives, we can too easily get distracted by the opinions and voices of the crowd. The crowd can have far too much influence in our lives than what God wants or intended. There will always be someone out there who thinks they know best for you and who has a wonderful plan for your life.

It’s in these moments, that you and I need a conviction that heaven has spoken and that God is going before us to make a way in both dark and light seasons of life.

What about you? Are you following the crowd or the cloud? God loves you and wants to lead you in such a significant way. Stay focused on the cloud before you.

The Oracle!

Be Still and Know God

Psalm 46:10 ‘Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’

Being still is a lost art and therefore must become a spiritual discipline that we employ on a regular, if not daily basis in our lives. I’ve been a very busy person all of my adult life. Running here, heading there. Meeting this person, going to that event. Some of it was very productive, some of it was a waste of time.

In the midst of all the busyness, there is one thing I’ve never regretted and that is being still and listening to God. In fact, I would go so far as to say, my most defining moments have been directly shaped and influenced by what has happened in these God conscious moments.

Early on as a young Christian and pastors kid, I observed and embraced the benefit of a traditional ‘devotional time’ with God. However, even though I enjoyed it, it became more of a chore to be completed rather than something I longed to do. Not the healthiest place to be spiritually.

There is something missing in our lives when we just read the bible to find something to pass onto others or to make ourselves feel better about ticking it off the list. I think we should develop over time a growing passion to actually just sit and be still with God and learn from him.

He is longing to spend time with you. He is longing to tell you some special things about yourself and your life that you actually need to hear. Will you make time today just to stop and listen to his voice or will you put it off again until tomorrow. Have you discovered that tomorrow has a funny way of turning into next week, next month and next year.

Just stop and be still. The world will keep on spinning. The bills and demands will be there tomorrow but this moment with God won’t be. The only thing you’ll carry into eternity is your relationship with God or lack of. It’s not what you do that matters but what you do out of what God has put into your heart to do. How will you fully discover that if you don’t stop and be still and know that He is God?

I leave you with the eloquent oracle of the Lord through the prophet Jeremiah 33:3 ‘Call to me and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.’

The Oracle!

Hearing the voice of God!

Jn 10:27 ‘My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me.’

Jesus always speaks the truth and he cannot lie because he is truth. If Jesus says, his sheep hear his voice, then this is exactly what will happen. On the other hand, the devil is a liar and tries desperately to convince us that God doesn’t want to speak to us and that hearing God’s voice is too hard cause he is so distant from us. Refuse to accept this lie.

Believe that you can hear the voice of God. Hebrews 11:6 exhorts us to approach God with faith because without faith it’s impossible to please God. We must believe that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him. Everything in the kingdom of God is received by faith.

God’s people will hear his voice, know his heart and follow his ways in the context of an intimate relationship with Him. We must give ourselves space to make mistakes along the journey of learning to hear the voice of God. I remember when my kids took their first step on the journey of learning to walk. I didn’t get angry at them because they only took 1 step and fell over again. I rejoiced and kept persevering with them, knowing they were going to walk very soon. We can be so hard on ourselves and yet God loves us and perseveres with us and rejoices that we are taking baby steps towards hearing his voice.

It’s important to discern the source of the voice you are listening to. There can only be 3 options: 1) Voice of the Holy Spirit; 2) Voice of the Flesh; 3) Voice of Satan.

Professional bankers detect the counterfeit bills by studying the authentic true bills, not the other way around. I know my wife’s voice very well because I’ve been in her presence for 18 years. Voice recognition increases the longer you spend time with someone. I worked with someone in the Police Force many moons ago who investigated a cop-killer for an entire 2 years, listening to phone taps and hearing his conversations during the day. He said that even though the investigation was years ago, if the cop-killer called up today and talked on the phone, the investigator would recognise his voice in an instant. That’s voice recognition. The best way to discern the truth is to spend time with the truth. You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free. Discernment is sharpened by knowing the truth.

Test the Word. After you walk with God for a while, he gives you a witness of his spirit in your heart that is like a knowing in your spirit what the right thing to do is. However, it’s important you test the word. The bible doesn’t say, ‘put the word on the shelf’. It says test the word, otherwise you become defiled by it, if it isn’t from God. Is the word in alignment with the general revelation of Scripture or does it contradict it? Is there a witness of peace about the word and have you sought counsel with some trusted and spiritually mature leaders? Does the light of Christ brighten in your heart as you consider outworking of the word in your life or do you feel oppression and darkness? Important questions to consider.

The presence of God is worth committing to. No other pursuit in life compares to walking with God. Get a place or room where you can spend time with God. Train yourself to walk with God. Invest into your relationship with him. God doesn’t want you to perform for him through legalistic spiritual duties but he does want a deeper relationship with you and for you to have one, you will have to invest into it. Start today by opening up your heart to God, reading his word and being still in his presence.

The Oracle!

Don’t Miss God’s Voice!

Acts 13:27 ‘For those who live in Jerusalem and their rulers, because they did not recognise him nor understand the voices of the prophets, which are read every Sabbath, fulfilled them by condemning him.’

Have you ever thought about how much of the bible is made up of prophecy? Approximately 50% of Scripture is prophetic literature. A lot of OT prophecy is contained within the Gospels themselves, with Jesus quoting the prophet Isaiah, more than any other OT prophet.

For believers who are planted in a local church and hearing God’s Word regularly preached, are we really hearing God’s voice and obeying it or are we so distracted by our own stuff that we, like Israel, miss His voice?

There is ‘The Voice’ in the prophets which may be missed, a meaning not apprehended. The ‘voices of the prophets’ in Acts 13 implies something just beyond mere words but the very voice of God. It’s the ‘VOICE’ of the prophets we need to hear. Big things hang upon hearing God’s voice above all the other voices.

Failure to hear may lead to irreparable loss, such as it did for the Jews when Paul announced in Acts 13:46 that he was turning to the Gentiles, due to the hardness of heart in Israel. The Gentiles response in Acts in V48 to Paul’s announcement is indicative of that fact that it is a great thing to hear and obey God’s voice.

I personally believe that the most important word in the bible isn’t love, faith or grace but ‘HEAR’. Everything in the kingdom is predicated upon how and what you HEAR. The Parable of the Sower emphasises the central importance of HEARING God’s Word.

Are you hearing his voice or are you present bodily but absent spiritually when the prophets are being proclaimed from the pulpit? I pray that God would give us an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church in this generation.

The Oracle!