Listen to the message
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Series: A Hearing Ear
Sunday am 25 October – Kobus Swart
(2 Cor. 3:6); (Phil. 2:13); Rom. 8:14; Acts 10:9-16; Acts 9:3-7;
Dan. 10:14-18; James 1:22-24; Heb. 4:2-3; John 4:7-18;
I want you to answer a question in your heart. Does God have your attention? Or is your attention on many other things and other voices? Every now and then, you and I must check that we are connected to the correct frequency. Whenever God speaks, what you hear comes through a certain filter in your mind and it determines how you hear and interpret what God says. God does speak, but it is how we hear Him, how we interpret what He says and what we do about it. There are monks in monasteries in certain parts of the world who know the Bible from cover to cover but they have never met the God of the Word; because the letter kills but the Spirit makes alive (2 Cor. 3:6). Make sure that when you read the Word that you connect with the Spirit.
When I say, “God spoke to me”, it is not limited to me; “me” includes you. God has my attention like never before. I want to encourage you to get to that place. You will know when you hear God because it will impact you. It is an encounter with that Word; it hits you, arrests you; apprehends you.
When God wants to build afresh, it may mean for some of us on different levels, individually and corporately, that certain things may have to be uprooted. Certain things may have served their purpose and we need a change. When God brings something fresh, He does not want to build on inaccurate foundations or structures that may be in the way. We owe it to God and to ourselves to lay ourselves at His feet and say, “Speak Lord”. Every one of us, including myself, has areas of our lives when we say, “It cannot continue like this”. Why do we continue like that? Spend time with God! “Lord wherever I need to be reprogrammed and adjusted, here I am!” If we study history and you do not learn from it, history will repeat itself. Apart from studying Church history, also study your own history. Look at your life – what keeps on repeating itself? You struggle with the same little problem areas in your life year after year. Stop! Make adjustments! Listen! You have been on the wrong frequency.
Where do you see yourself in five years? God? There are areas in our lives that unfold without planning but it unfolds if you walk connected to the plan of God for your life. It is God who is at work in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). We must get to that place where the prompting we feel and the desires we have must come from Him. The sons of God are those who are led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14). You pay a price when you do it your way.
Peter was a devoted disciple, he was an apostle but over the years a mindset formed, he was stuck in certain concepts of the Old Testament. God wanted to get his attention. While he was praying, a word came to him, he heard a voice. It said, “Kill and eat”, but he is stuck with a certain mindset, and frame of reference. Three times God had to tell him “eat” trying to break a mind-set (Acts 10:9-16). How often God must speak to you and me to break a certain understanding, a certain formula before we listen?
Just make sure the environment that you create for yourself is conducive and inviting to the Holy Spirit; and worship is a key. What you listen to could interfere with the voice of the Holy Spirit. As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one (Acts 9:3-7). The people around him heard a sound and they were shocked, but Paul heard a word from the Lord. It is true that there is demonic interference when the word is on its way to you like in the case of Daniel. He prayed and he waited 21 days for the word to reach him. (Dan. 10:14-18).
Here is a warning. Many people hear word from the Lord but do not do it. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was (James 1:22-24).
The Samaritan woman is another example of someone looking for fulfillment in all the wrong places. He said to her, “Go, call your husband and come here.” The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly” (John 4:7-18). We sometimes look for the voice of God to come to us through our five senses. Many have gone beyond the five senses into the psychic (or soothsayer) realm. The Samaritan woman went beyond the five; Jesus exposed the sixth as not her husband and then she encountered the Seventh Man, Christ Jesus. This woman was never the same after that, she became an instant evangelist.
He who speaks to you is the “I Am”. Listen carefully to the Lord. Here is the final warning. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. Is God speaking? Yes! Are you on the right wavelength? That is what you must find out. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” We are in that time! God is shaking everything that can be shaken until only the unshakeable kingdom will remain. This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. All those things that can still be shaken will be shaken. Expect it. Lord, let it work for good so that my life can be shaped into the life of Your Son. Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire (Heb.12:25-29).
He is a consuming fire! God has my attention; does He have yours?