Hidden Things

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. ~ ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭33:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

IMG_1602Many times as I read the attention to detail God spoke to His servants in the Bible, I find myself longing to hear God as clearly as they did. Think about the detail He gave Noah when building the ark in preparation of the flood; or the detail He gave Moses in building the ark of the covenant. These were definitely examples of “hidden” things … great and mighty things they had no foreknowledge of.

Last week I taught a message on hearing God’s voice to the female inmates at the Duval County Jail. One of the things I told them was that God often confirms what He has told us through other people. The next morning my pastor preached a message at church on hearing God’s voice. While some would consider that a coincidence, I see it as God’s confirmation to me that I was on track in sharing this topic with the inmates. I have had this happen to me repeatedly in ministry.

I seem to hear God’s voice with increased clarity when He is preparing me to share His word with others through writing or speaking. Reading Jeremiah 33:3 stirred my heart this morning to seek God’s revelation in my personal life as much as I do in ministry.

Have you ever had news you were excited to share with someone, but quickly realized they didn’t share your enthusiasm? God isn’t hiding from us. He says, “Call to me, and I will answer you.” I believe God delights in revealing His mysteries to us. Asking for His guidance needs to become our first response, not a last resort.

Could it be that friendship with God is the critical component of such intimate communication with Him? Am I quieting my spirit long enough for Him to speak, or am I simply approaching Him with my requests? What wonderful, hidden treasures have I missed because I was too focused on myself to ask God if He had something to “show” me?

Lord, Your Word says if I call on You, You will answer me, and show me great and mighty things which I do not know. Thank You for this wonderful promise of intimacy. Forgive me for neglecting to seek You with the purpose of hearing Your heart. I know You are no respecter of persons, (Acts 10:34) therefore I believe You desire to communicate with me with the same level of clarity and detail You spoke to those in the Word. How exciting that You would share Your mysteries with mankind! Help me to quiet the world around me and remove the distractions that would steal my focus off of You. I don’t want to miss a single word You speak to me.

Something New

God’s creative genius didn’t end with creation.

IMG_1472What do you want God to birth in your life this year? Whatever it may be, He is up for the challenge.

Need mercy? His mercies are “new every morning”. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Are you broken, or bitter? God promises to replace your stony heart with a heart of flesh. To give you a new heart and a new spirit. (Ezekiel 36:26) It’s easy for life’s challenges to harden our hearts, if we allow them to. Sometimes being healed is as simple as letting go. Trust that God has something better for you.

Need a fresh start? Just as God’s mercy is new every morning, each day brings the chance for a new beginning. When you surrender your life to the Lord, you become “a new creature,” old things pass away, all things become new. (2 Corinthians 5:17) That doesn’t mean you are never going to blow it. But when you do, God’s not waiting to punish you. His desire is to restore you. Run to the Father, confess your sin and allow Him to cleanse and make you whole.

I could go on and on but the point is this: whatever your “something new” is … He is able. God is a good father.  (Luke 11:9-13)

Each year, many churches participate in a 21 day fast. I challenge you to begin now to search your heart and define what “new thing” you want to see God do in your life this year. Don’t just wait and see what happens. Pursue it! As I was just writing this paragraph the Lord gave me a visual of someone waist deep in swamp water, pushing their way through reeds and weeds that were blocking their path. He calls you today, as He did in Matthew 7:7 … 

ASK, and it shall be given you; SEEK and ye shall find; KNOCK and it shall be opened unto you:

Once you have defined your new ask God what He would have you fast for 21 days as you ASK, SEEK and KNOCK your way through 2018.

Join me January 11th. ~ 31st. in prayer and fasting for God to move in our lives and in our nation this new year! 

PRAY: Father, thank You that each day brings a new beginning. As I begin this New Year help me to refine my focus and visualize what I need birthed in my life. Give me a clear cut path to pursue You and Your will for my life in 2018. 




Speak Lord, I’m Listening – Day Five

“Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.” – I Samuel 9-10 NKJV

imageWe conclude our study of I Samuel 3 today with verses 9-10. At last Eli realizes that God has been speaking to Samuel and instructs him how to respond if the Lord calls out to him again. It is important to notice that Samuel heeded the instruction of Eli. He didn’t scoff. He was obedient to Eli, and moving forward he was obedient to the voice of God. 

This was a defining moment in Samuel’s life. It is the moment God reveals his destiny as a prophet. Samuel would later be the prophet who anoints David to be King of Israel, and the same prophet who confronted David with the sin of adultery. 

When God gives us a ‘Word’ it isn’t always going to be pleasant or easy to deliver. Can you imagine how difficult it must have been for Samuel to reveal what God spoke to him that first evening? (See verses 11-14) He loved Eli and served him faithfully.

The true test of the validity of prophecy in the Old Testament was whether or not the prophecy came to pass. It’s also important to note, one of the main purposes of the Old Testament prophets was to warn of impending judgment if the people did not repent. Today we live under the grace of Christ, and He sent the Holy Spirit to reside within us. The Holy Spirit will instruct us and correct us when necessary. He gently convicts us when we sin, leading us to repent. This doesn’t mean we will always escape the consequences of our sin, but we will be forgiven. 

Does it seem strange that the Holy Spirit could speak to you as distinctly as the Spirit spoke to Samuel that night? It is possible if we are willing to listen and obey. Pastor Blake Bennett said, “God’s voice is powerful and personal. The more time you spend with God, the more you learn that you can trust God. When you sit in a chair you trust that it will hold you. You trust it because of experience. Your faith in God grows with experience as well.”

Why is prayer and fasting such a powerful combination?

You are a three-part being. Body, soul (emotions/will) and spirit. Which one of the three is in charge? Are you controlled by your physical appetites, your emotions, or are you led by the Spirit. Prayer combined with fasting disciplines the body and soul to submit to the spirit. We are supposed to be Spirit led. Our spirit becomes stronger when we exercise authority over the body and soul. 

As we mentioned in the introduction post on 1/8/17, there are various types of fast. You should never abstain from all food and liquids for an extended period of time. But fasting over short periods can be very beneficial. When your body starts rebelling and you feel hungry, allow it to be a trigger to pray. Remind your body that you want God more than the food or distractions you have decided to put aside to seek Him. 

Prayer: Lord, I thank You that because the Holy Spirit lives within my I can hear You speak to me directly, powerfully and personally. Help me to train my body and emotions to be led by Your Spirit rather than my physical appetites or emotions. Help me to be faithful to obey the things You speak to me. I long to serve and please You more than anything this world has to offer. Here I am, Lord … Speak, Your servant is listening.