My ability to hear His Word
is proportional to the measure
of my heart’s willingness
to do His Will
My ability to hear His Word
is proportional to the measure
of my heart’s willingness
to do His Will
“For John was not yet cast into prison”
John did not know what lay before him. The verse preceding this one tells us “and John also was baptizing in Ænon near to Salim…”. He was active and occupied with doing the will of God. Time is deceitful; its passage is swift and determined. There is never a moment like the present to be about our Father’s will. Slumber and apathy are thieves of the religious. The slothful one betrays their own heart with whispers of tomorrow or another day.
Just as John did not know what lay before him, neither do we. This precious gift of life is only available to us today; it is in making the most of each day that we experience the fullness of His call and purpose. The Son knew His time and filled it to the full in doing and being about His Father’s business. John testifies of the Son at the close of his Gospel:
“And there are also many other things which Jesus did,
the which, if they should be written every one,
I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the books that should be written”
How can we who claim to hold Him in our hearts be unlike the One who in 33 years accomplished so much? Even at the age of twelve Jesus was engaged in the will of His Father.
“He said to them,
“Why were you looking for me?
Did you not know that I must
be doing the works of my Father?”
Is it possible that we have muted the voice of the Father by the busyness of the world, the cares of this life and the religious attitudes of not being ready or worthy?
“And the one having been sown among the thorns, this is the one hearing the word, but the care of this present age and the deceit of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful” Matthew 13:22
“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
The day of acquiescing with the words and teachings of the Kingdom is coming to an end. The time of the disciples walking, learning and hearing of His words ended abruptly in His crucifixion. Within the scope of ONE DAY everything changed. These disciples now must become Apostles. The truth of Emanuel (God with us) must give way to the Christ within (God IN us). He must go from being our teacher to being our Lord. We must go from needing bread to being bread. This is the day of substance and reality. He is coming for our words, our vows and our hearts. In the dawning of His Day the hearts of all men will be revealed. It is not a day to boast in our knowledge or zeal, it is a day to tremble and to humble ourselves under His mighty hand.
“The lofty looks of man shall be humbled,
and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down,
and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day,
and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet”
In spiritual things hearing is the fruit of relationship. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them…” The issue of today is one of relationship and obedience. John prefaced his introduction of the great unveiling of Jesus Christ with a glimpse into his own walk and relationship with the Lord. In our daily walk, as we live and abide within the awe of His Holy Spirit, there is an ability to hear the “great voice” of God calling us to higher and deeper places in Him. It is the precursor to the seeing of greater things. A true walk in the Spirit of God cannot produce pride or self-sufficiency; the fear of the Lord is the atmosphere and the very nature of any heart that is alive in Him. There can be no real touching of His Spirit while walking contrary to the wonder of His Life.
“…but to this man will I look,
even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit,
and trembles at my word”
“And Simon answering said unto him, Master,
we have toiled all the night, and have taken nothing:
nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net”
True living faith will never be conditioned by experience. Faith, to be faith, must always find its dependence in God not ourselves. Though experience says one thing the cry and purpose of faith must remain undaunted. “Nevertheless” is the word of a man who sets aside his own resources, strengths and abilities and believes God in the moment. This faith must birth a doing in the now. “Nevertheless” is a word that gives way to the doing of a thing regardless of our past experience. It is a word that comes to those who believe, and by that believing there is a response in the now of our life. It is not the “faith” of Mary who said Lord I know “… in that day…” something will happen, for the Christ stands in our midst speaking “I AM the resurrection and the life…”
Let this word “nevertheless” speak to us of better things than what our experience would teach us; for those who listen and regard their experience cease to walk and live by faith. “Today if ye will hear HIS voice…” is the creed by which we must live. Men who don’t do won’t hear. The Word is to those who “have ears to hear” for with every hearing there must be a corresponding act of doing and obeying HIS WORD.
The Spirit of God is HERE to press us beyond our circumstances, our former experiences, and our own resources into the glorious provisions of a God who is constantly calling us to deeper waters, a higher vision and a greater dependency upon HIM. How good is our God! How gracious are HIS ways; the thing we are confronted with is HIS doorway into greater things in HIM!
Faith, to be faith, must always be fresh, living and beating within our hearts. Faith IN a teaching or an idea will eventually become stagnant and dead; the faith of the living Son is active and real! It is never static for it is always moving from one faith unto a greater faith (Romans 1:17). Every living thing grows and everything static and stagnant remains the same. Obedience is the evidence of faith.
“So David went on his way,
and Saul returned to his place”
1 SAMUEL 26:25
Two men; one ever moving on in the WAY of God the other returning to “his place” of stagnation and disobedience.
“Belief is truth held in the mind;
faith is fire in the heart”
J. Newton (1880–1950)
“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
In other words, who will represent Me (God) in godliness, righteousness and show forth my character in all their ways. It is one thing to have a dream, a word or a gift. It is another thing entirely to reveal the very character of God Himself.
True Leadership in God’s house exists when His call is fused with character and quality of being. Had David rejoiced in Saul’s death he would not have been a “man after God’s heart”. Had Moses, when God tested him to stand aside while God destroyed Israel to make Moses a great nation, agreed to such a proposal he would have utterly failed to represent God’s heart. Had David slain Saul when God presented the divine opportunity to seize the Kingdom by carnal means he would have failed to represent the heart of God. Those who are called to places of authority will know of such testings and it is in knowing His heart that the approval of God is gained. The Gifts of God without the character of God will always lack His authority and His approval. The gifts may bring a vessel honor and fame in this world but they will never gain the approval of God. There will always be an emptiness which will haunt the disobedient and gifted one.
Within God’s House there are vessels of honor and dishonor.
“But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth;
and some to honor, and some to dishonor”
2 Timothy 2:20
In the verse preceding this one Paul states… “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. This is the true test of the authentic vessels of the Lord. Saul prophesied and Balaam prophesied an infallible word of God yet they were perverse in heart and spirit.
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”
These are blemishes within the assembly of God’s people. They may function in gifts, ministries, and places of leadership and yet be utterly false in the eyes of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23). They may see and hear right things but it is by their fruits they are known; how they conduct themselves and whether or not they seek the welfare of God’s people even in the face of adversity and rejection.
“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” 2 Corinthians 6:3-10
The true ministrations of God approve themselves by their conduct in all phases of life.
“Who will go for us?”
This is a far more penetrating question than many realize. It is a question which has more to do with who we are than what we do or say.
“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall SEE God”
“God’s plan is to make much of the man,
far more of him than of anything else.
Men are God’s method.
The Church is looking for better methods;
God is looking for better men”
― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,
and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will,
shall be beaten with many stripes”
A Word to those who feel secure in being part of the remnant. The remnant are they who prepare themselves for the DAY that is upon us. The remnant are they whose obedience is full; for Obedience is the revelation of our submission to Him! God is not interested in what we know or think we know; HE covers those who hide themselves in HIM.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
2 Corinthians 5:17
The depth of our being in Him is correspondingly expressed by the new life which is exhibited in our daily living*. This is a word to God’s people. This is a word concerning today. Somehow we have to come to think that being born again is like a “get out of jail free” card; we no longer have responsibility or accountability for how we live our daily lives. The context of this scripture is one that should cause us to radically consider our ways and our concept of what it means to be His own.
“But and if that servant say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” LUKE 12:45-48
From these very words we can clearly see that HE REQUIRES MORE of His people than of the world. The more we know of HIS Kingdom the more shall be required of us. Greater understanding brings greater accountability. Rather than being puffed up with knowledge we need to be sober and filled with fear and trembling as we walk before Him. The “fear of the Lord is the beginning (chief part) of wisdom”. Men who do not fear Him do not know Him. Men who seek and desire preeminent places of standing, who seek recognition and favor from others, know not God. It is a day to walk lowly and humbly before our God. It is a day to prepare ourselves for the fury of that which is about to break forth in our land.
The Greek word used here for prepare** is the same Greek word translated in the Gospels when speaking of John the Baptist’s ministration as a fore runner to prepare the way of the Lord. It is a warning to us that we are to be prepared. In the Greek it is an active verb which means it is incumbent upon us to be ACTIVE in the fulfilling of this word. The judgment comes to those who do not PREPARE themselves and they who know and do not are in greater judgment than those who knew not. Let us take heed to this. Let us know that our boldness in the day of Judgment is determined by our likeness to Him.
“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness
in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world”
How we are in this world determines our day of Judgment. The Day of preparation is all about the heart. It is about right motives and intentions; for it is the PURE IN HEART who shall SEE GOD. Our greatest need in this hour is to SEE HIM for that is the only hope we have of becoming like HIM (2 Corinthians 3:18). Malachi prophesying of our day speaks of Him coming to His people as a refiner’s fire…
“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire,
and like fullers ‘soap: And he shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver…”
The DAY of HIS appearing is unfolding before our eyes. The distress of nations is upon us. Fear is beginning to grip men’s hearts. The very foundations of society are being removed and men do not know where to put their trust. It is for this Day that the scriptures warn us to be a people who ARE preparing ourselves and are warning those around us as to the day and the hour in which we are living. It is not the Day for business as usual. This is no time for routine Sunday sermons and fire-less prayer meetings; casual Biblical discussions that do not bring conviction, the fear of the Lord and a stirring of the heart unto love and devotion to Jesus.
Many will say in that day “Lord, Lord…” to which Jesus will respond “I never knew you…”
May God stir our hearts afresh to be vigilant and sober that we be not overtaken by the slumber and apathy of this hour.
“Prepare ye the Way of the Lord”
“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”
It is in view of these truths that I am sending this out to anyone anywhere who desires to meet together, seek His face and cry out unto Him for change, purity of heart and to be found completely HID in Him. Many are seeing the apathy all around us but somewhere we MUST come to a new abiding place in Him. A knowing of a fresh new faith which brings His resources to us in order that we may live beyond our own abilities. There is a call going forth to gather ourselves unto Him even as Anna and Simeon who spent their days in prayer for they KNEW HE was coming; and they saw HIM!
God’s Word to me the other day…
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
This was Noah’s portion BEFORE the Flood.
“Come together, make everyone come together, O nation without shame; Before the Lord sends you violently away in flight like the waste from the grain; before the burning wrath of the Lord comes on you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes on you. Make search for the Lord, all you quiet ones of the earth, who have done what is right in his eyes; make search for righteousness and a quiet heart: it may be that you will be safely covered in the day of the Lord’s wrath”
Zephaniah 2:1-3 (BBE)
1. To make ready, prepare
2. To make the necessary preparations,
get everything ready
3 Metaphorically drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before Kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable (Isaiah 40:3-4)
To prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings.
BLB Greek Lexicon
“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.
Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.
Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.
“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived”
2 Timothy 3:13
Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.
Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without
Fruit is not religious works. It is the result of the power of His Life within producing the fruit without.
“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit”
His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:
“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
“Come down, and sit in the dust,
O virgin daughter of Babylon,
sit on the ground: there is no throne”
It is a day of the humbling of nations, a day in which authority will fail and, in the rejection of all that is right, just and holy, we will see the result of men’s choices. Every form of wickedness contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.
“And he cried mightily with a strong VOICE, saying,
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen,
and is become the habitation of devils,
and the hold of every foul spirit,
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
For all nations of the wrath of her fornication,
and the kings of the earth have
committed fornication with her,
and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich
through the abundance of her delicacies”
Revelation 18:2 -3
The man tormented by the legion lived in the graveyard; every living thing seeks out an environment in which it is comfortable. The reason Babylon is inhabited with devils, foul spirits, unclean and hateful birds is because there was provision made for them. In the rejection of the light and the choosing of darkness men provide a dwelling place for such things. God’s judgment is to simply give men over to their own ways (Romans 1:18 – 32). In the midst of the declaration that Babylon is fallen we hear “another voice” crying out…
“And I heard ANOTHER VOICE from heaven,
saying, Come out of her, my people,
that ye be not partakers of her sins,
and that ye receive not of her plagues”
It is the calling out of God’s people unto righteousness and a sanctified life. To be numbered as one of God’s people yet to remain in Babylon WILL NOT SAVE US from the judgments of our God! Positional truths will not circumvent an unrighteous life. If we partake of “her sins” we will most assuredly partake of “her plagues”.
“God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he reap”
That VOICE IS SPEAKING TODAY, calling out to the people of God to COME OUT and be separate unto our God. A separated life is an obedient life; not a life lived unto itself. It is a life poured out unto the development and raising up of the BODY OF CHRIST! It seeks (like Nehemiah) the welfare of the people of God. To live unto ourselves, to choose our own way and to secretly love the things of Sodom is to ultimately partake of its plagues.
“Remember Lot’s wife”
“For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God”
The things which are true in Jesus are to become true in us. Jesus being the LIFE of the New Testament has come to live in us. His Words are to become ours via the rule and reign of His Spirit within our hearts. The power and the authority that resides in Him are to be ours, in a corresponding measure, to the degree of our submission unto Him. The verity of our submission is revealed in the words we speak.
Many years ago the Lord showed me that words are mere containers; the real value of a word is not in itself but in the power contained in the Word. The religious world is filled with many words that carry within them agendas, purposes, and voices to woo and call people to one thing or another. Those who hear words only and do not “feel” the weight, the power and the voice within the word will always be perplexed and mislead. Two individuals may share the same scripture; yet one is empty and void of life or power while the other is pulsating with the Life and Call of Jesus. Without a sanctified ear one will not know the difference. There is an inability to distinguish between that which is Holy and that which is lifeless and dead.
“For the ear trieth words,
as the mouth tasteth meat”
The sanctified ear hears and discerns the voice of God in the words which men speak. It is attuned to the Voice of the Almighty. This is a day of great confusion within the religious world as many voices are calling out to His people. While these voices may speak great things, they seek the heart, the affection and the very souls of men to join their cause or organization and to come under the “covering” of some apostle. We must seek Him and prove His voice within our hearts. It is a day to taste and see that the Lord is good whereby we can know whether something spoken is of Him or the voice of another.
Jesus said “…the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63) It is to this end we must develop within our own hearts a deep and experiential knowing of His Spirit and the character and manner of His Life. In so doing we are exercised in the ability of discerning Him in all things. It is to those who have been so exercised that God opens the “strong meat” of His Word.
“But strong meat belongeth to them
that are of full age,
even those who by reason of use
have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil”
God will not entrust His word to those who use it casually. He will not open understanding to one who will use the precious things of God for their own purposes. Many may quote and teach things that other people have seen and heard but the actual power and authority will be lacking. The words may have the form of something right but they are the empty, plagiarized words of others. Real truth must proceed from those who have first seen and heard within their own lives. These are truths begotten in God by relationship; personal relationship with the author Himself. The sanctified ear hears the voice of Him who is the sanctifier. It cannot waste time in the meaningless debates of the religious world, the speculations of the learned and the surmising of those who would rather know a thing intellectually than Him who is the Truth.
“Blessed is the man that hearth me”