Category Archives: Hearing from God

How Do You Know God is Here?


  • Know God is Here
    Know God is Here

    How Do You Know God is Here?

Well God doesn’t break his promises, and if He has said it, then it is so! After the last supper when Jesus was reassuring the disciples, he said; “My father and I will come and make our home in you”. Therefore, as long as you have taken Jesus into your heart, then you have got the whole lot, the trinity, right inside you. So it follows that whenever two or more Christians meet, God is THERE!

  •  The Still, Small Voice

I believe that the Hoy Spirit of God is manifest in that “still, small voice” that is mentioned in scripture. That is exactly what happens for me, if I seek the will of God. I sometimes get the answer to my prayer as a, “still, small voice”. It works just like my conscience used to work before I took Jesus in to my heart. It is not so much as a loud audible voice, but a conviction that grows inside me, until it takes on the form of words. I need to shut out the world, and concentrate really hard to hear Him.

  •  Listen to Him

The important thing in any meeting of Christians, is to take the time to listen to whatever God needs to say to those present. The most effective way to do this is to go into a time of silence, and let God speak to each individual as He wills. If those present then share their feelings, then the collective outpouring will be the voice of God! This process is known as, “being led by the spirit of God”; and is the only real way for Christians to govern themselves.

  • Let God Run the Meeting!

It is most important to make a point of allowing the Spirit of God to lead us. It is a great temptation to set an agenda, and to go on and discuss the items on the agenda as though it were a conventional business meeting. Do not allow this to happen. To discuss ‘business‘ without praying about it, is to deny God’s will, and impose the worldly standards that govern the rest of society. WE need to cultivate the ‘mind set’ that imposes prayer on every decision.

  •  How Much Do We LET Him Do?

God himself is present at every occasion, and how much He is allowed to do is a function of: “How much do we LET Him do?” God will move in your church if He is invited to, and if the request is made in 100% sincerity. Be careful what you ask for. It is better to let God decide how to answer a problem, than to ask for a specific outcome. Remember, “He is able to do more than we can ask or think”. The answer He provides may well be better than any solution you might have thought about. Only God knows all the circumstances, so it is better to leave the nature of the answer to Him.

  •  It Is Written!

What God has written will never be contradicted, unless God Himself changes it, so this is how we know that God is here: because it is written [John 14:23] in His Word. He said; “MY Father and I will come and live in you”. Jesus also promised that the Holy Spirit, the comforter, would; “come and teach you all things”; and would come and; “Lead you into all truth”. This is how you really know that God is here!

Sins of Omission

What are Sins of Omission?

Sins of Omission
Sins of Omission

That’s easy – Sins of Omission are the things you didn’t do because you forgot, or because you didn’t get around to it; or because you were just plain lazy; or worse, didn’t want to!

  • Why are they Sins?

Case in point: Last Sunday Betty came back to church after 6 weeks in hospital, and didn’t get one hug! She had been really looking forward to getting back to her church family, and swapping notes, and sharing her experience, but for various reasons, nobody actually made contact. (My excuse: I was setting up the sound system!). As a result she fled the service, convinced that nobody loved her.

  • Neglect as a Sin

This was terrible, and made us feel quite guilty when we all realised what had happened. You can see for yourself why our neglect was a sin. I was looking forward to catching up after the service, but that was too late. We have to do things WHEN we are prompted, and not put them off until it is “convenient” to us.  Consider the Scripture for this:

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance ………….

and so on, and so on; and the time to do something is right now when it pops into your head.

  • The Still, Small Voice

It is my belief that the Holy Spirit of God speaks to us by that “still, small voice” in our heads, and it is the FIRST thing we hear that is from God.  The SECOND thing, and the third and so on, is our subconscious, usually offering several rationalizations about why we ought NOT to do it.  Obey that first inner prompting, you will be hearing from God and you will likely cut down dramatically on your sins of omission.

  • Obedience to God

Listening to and obeying that inner voice is the key too to knowing what God wants us to do.  When we ask Him a question in the form of; “Oh Lord, what am I to do here?”.  The FIRST thing that pops up will be the spiritual answer.  As in the sentence above, the next thing that pops up will likely be one or more reasons not to do it.  You can bet that those negative reasons are from the subconscious, and are our selfish reasons NOT to obey. The scripture promise is that the Holy Spirit will be in us, so there is no time lag from asking a question to getting the answer.  Mostly the answer is there before we have finished forming the question. If we can form the habit of instant obedience, then we are more likely to stop those “sins of omission“.

 

Oh Lord – It’s Hard to be Humble

Oh Lord – It’s Hard to be Humble

 It's Hard to be Humble
It’s Hard to be Humble

 

That was the punch line of a song from my youth, “Oh Lord – it’s hard to be humble; when you’re perfect in every way!”  Today I had to think hard about being humble in the face of today’s text (Micah 6:8) for the days sermon which went; ” He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy  and to walk humbly with your God.” So how exactly does one walk humbly with one’s God?

  • Walk Humbly With Your God

Seems to me that the elemental meaning in “humble”, is deference to another or others. You can’t be humble without deferring to the other party.  So to walk humbly with your God is to listen carefully to what He wants and to be obedient to that.  This brings me straight to Psalm one where it says that happy is the man who meditates on God’s law both day and night. To be doing that would be to be attending humbly to God. It would be one way to know how to act in deference to God. You would in fact be “hearing from God

  • Fundamental Rule For The Christian

This then is a fundamental rule for the Christian.  Simply live out Micah 6:8, and act justly, (as God would have us act); show constant love, (as it says in the Good News Translation); and walk humbly, (in constant attendance) with your God. You can’t go wrong if you are listening to Him ALL day! This puts a reluctant truth to the line of the song above.  It IS hard to be humble, and we have to work at it because acting in love, acting justly, and being fully attentive to God are NOT natural acts for your average sinner.  We have to train ourselves  to do this; so don’t expect to instantly get it right!

  • Forget One-upmanship!

This humble stuff is not restricted to God – when we walk “humbly”, we can treat our fellow man with the same polite deference that we treat God.  I can say that most of the real truths that I have learned in life has been taught me by my fellows, by the people I interact with every day.  I have learned a heck of a lot by listening to, and watching the people around me.  If we are into “one-upmanship”, or any other kind of “scoring off” our acquaintances, then we will never learn anything from them, (apart from how silly we really are!).

  • Just Do It!

So think about the old song; “Oh Lord – it’s hard to be humble; when you’re perfect in every way!”  And try walking humbly with your God!

Good or Bad Decisions.

  • Do Good and Evil Have the Same Face?

Good or Bad Decisions
Good or Bad Decisions

Our Sunday reading was the Genesis account of Abram and Sarai, and I was totally struck by the aptness of the story toward this point: We can act in our own understanding (As Abram and Sarai conspired to produce their son Ishmael from Hagar the serving woman) or we can act on God’s understanding, (as the renamed couple later did when Isaac was miraculously born to 90 year old Sarah and Abraham).

  • Two Decisions, Two World-Changing Consequences

From Ishmael sprang the 12 Princes that became the Arab nations, the prophet Muhammad (Mohammed or Muhammed), and the whole of Islam.  From Isaac came down the 12 tribes of Israel, Moses the OT prophet and law-giver, and the line of King David which led to Jesus Christ, and to the whole of Christendom today.

  • Islam vs Christendom

Present world conflict consists largely in the Jihad, or holy war that Islam appears to want to impose on Christendom: The ongoing Taliban conflicts in Afghanistan; the never-ending Palestinian battle; the September 11 outrage and its endless aftermath of copycat terrorism and skirmishes with Al Qaeda. These are the visible outworking of that fundamental conflict.  Hardline Muslim clerics  preach endless messages themed around “death to Christians”; and the saying, “that the only good Christian is a dead Christian”, is usually attributed to the followers of  Islam.

  • Good Thoughts or Bad?

It is apparent to me that if we act in our own understanding we run the risk of making decisions with possible far-reaching and terrible consequences – likewise if we act on God’s understanding, we court the possibility of doing acts that can have equally far-reaching consequences, but they will be the outworking of God’s love in the world, as we obey.

  • 4000 Years on…..

Abram’s own decision, the one that produced Ishmael, taken 4000 years ago, is continuing to have a major impact on the world events of  today.  This is a very clear illustration of the promise God later made to Moses that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the later generations.  It is a chilling reminder that we are called to bear the consequences of ALL we decide to do; and it is a timely reminder to be very sure that what we do do, is in direct response to the will of our Loving Heavenly Father!

Which Version of the Bible Should I Buy?

Which Version
Which Version

Which version of the Bible should I buy? This is pretty much the same question as is dealt with in the previous post, “Which version of the Bible should I Use?”  It is almost the same as which version of the Bible is the best.

  • Be Comfortable with it

Given that the Bibel is the inspired word of God, and as Timothy says; “….all scripture is God-breathed; and is useful for correction, instruction…” etc; then it doesn’t matter which version you use, so long as you are comfortable with the language in it.  What is important is that you use a version that has English (or whatever language) usage that doesn’t confuse you with old fashioned, or obscure terms.

  • The Best Bible is the nearest one!

Buy a version that uses language you understand.  It is that simple! To be blunt: the “best” Bible is the nearest one! What does matter is that you use it, and of course it is important that you use it prayerfully, so that the Holy Spirit of God can minister to you while you read and thereby enrich your understanding.

  • ‘Hear’ God Talking

One preference that matters with me, is using the same version as my local fellowship.  I believe that this matters, because people will more easily recognize quotations, if they all come from the same version.  Identifying scripture passages as ‘coming from the Bible’  is helpful because we can ‘hear God’ talking to us if we have identified a given passage as being from the Bible.

So if you ask yourself which version of the Bible is right for me? You can be assured that that it is an easily answered question.  Just pick one you like the look of and start in and use it!

Which Version of the Bible?

Which Version Of The Bible
Which Version Of The Bible

Which Version of the Bible should I use?  This question comes up from time to time, and there are as many different answers as there are different versions of the Holy Bible.

  • King James Bible version

Some will argue that the original King James Bible version is more accurate, and some will argue that the King James Bible  language is so out of date as to be almost impossible to understand. Americans tend to stick to the ASV(American Standard Version) which names God as “Jehovah”, rather than the slightly confusing “Lord”, so prolific in other translations.  It contains some archaic word forms, but is still much easier to understand than the old KJV.

  • Bible online

I tend to use the online Bible today because it is so easy to copy and paste anything I want to refer to later on. Having the Bible online is so good when it comes to searching for some text you can’t quite remember where to find.  I used to have a disk with a lot of different translations and versions, but it took up a bit of space, and didn’t always work properly.  Today there are many sites offering the Bible “online”, and it is faster to click their icon on my desktop, and start right in browsing.

  • Bible Commentarty, School, Lessons and Studies

Bible study with the  World Wide Web is so easy when you can use any Bible commentary you fancy, attend Bible school, and do any Bible studies, take any Bible lessons  you want – all on line, and all FREE!

  • All Scripture is God-breathed

However, to get back to the original question: “Which Version of the Bible should I use?” Here is the answer.  It is quite irrelevant which version you use, provided you allow the Holy Spirit of God to illumine the Word as you read.  Our God is perfectly able to make you understand what He means, regardless of your reading ability, or what version you use. As the Word says in 2 Timothy 3:16; “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…..”  If you take that on board, then it follows that however you may be sampling His Word, IT WILL WORK!

  • The Secret Revealed!!

So this it what you do…. “then grab your Bible [any Bible], and head for your quiet place and just ‘wait on Him‘; and His Truth will be revealed to you. By all means buy a Bible version or Bible translation that you are comfortable with, but don’t worry about whether it is ‘accurate’ or not – the only thing for you to be concerned about is your own understanding of what you are reading therein. If you are being ‘helped’ by the Holy Spirit of God as you read, your understanding will be perfect!

How Do You Seek First The Kingdom Of Heaven

  • Seek First The Kingdom
    Seek First The Kingdom

    Seek First The Kingdom

This was the question asked here this morning; “How do you seek first the kingdom of heaven?”  It’s an easy thing to say; “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God“; but not so easy to understand, and harder still to put into practice!  It is a companion verse to Psalm 1: Verse 2, that says;”But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night“.

  • Simple Dialog with God

My understanding of this text is based on this assumption: That I can, and do, have constant dialog with God [How Do I Pray] as I perform my daily routines. This being so, it is not so hard to consult with God about everything I do. Prayer, which is no more than conversation with God, need not always be formal, but can be frequent simple [mental] communion with Him, and in this way, it is quite easy to get His guidance on anything we might feel led to do, and as we do it, we will indeed “seek first His Kingdom“. This is exactly what is meant by the expression to be led by the Spirit of God.

  • Developing Mind Patterns.

If we cultivate the habit of constantly referring everything we do to Him, then it will become a habit  of mind, a behavioural pattern that will shape our lives and eventually fulfill the two texts above that speak about seeking first the Kingdom of Heaven, and meditating on His law both by day and by night. You too then, can be led by the Spirit of God.

  • The Payoff

Why bother, you might ask?. I’m so glad you asked this question, because it goes to the root of our entire Christian motivation. Check out Psalm 1 “1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” where in Verse 3 it describes the life style of a person who does this – Wow! This is some promise, where you are guaranteed that everything you do will prosper!  And again in the other scripture from Matthew 6: “25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. where the promise is that all these things [food, clothing, etc] will be added unto us. Wow again!

  • Hallelujah Country

It is perfectly splendid to have everything you do prospering and to have “all these things” added unto you;” but the real pay-off, the “double whammy”, comes in the side effect of your obedience, the fact that you will be living in near perfect obedience, and thereby living a wholly fulfilled Christian live. Hallelujah!  You will in reality, be led by the Spirit of God! Hallelujah again!

Scriptural References to Armor and Armor Bearers

  • Old Testament Armor Bearer
Armor Bearer
Armor Bearer

All Old Testament references to armor refer to actual armor as worn by soldiers in battle. Here are are some typical references. Judges 9:54-56   Abimelech – his  armor -bearer.

1 Samuel 14:6  Jonathan- his young  armor -bearer.
1 Samuel 16:21 Saul – David became one of his armor -bearers.
1  Samuel 15:5-7 Goliaths Armor – 5  He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale  armor  of bronze weighing five thousand shekels (about 57 kilograms);  6  on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back.  7  His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.  (about 7 kilograms) His shield bearer went ahead of him.
1 Samuel 17 38   Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of  armor  on him and a bronze helmet on his head.
1 Samuel 31:4 Saul – his  armor bearer refused to execute him.
1 Samuel 31: 10  They (the Philistines) put his (Saul)  armor  in the temple of the Ashtoreths…………..

  • Metaphorical Armor – Armor of God

The New Testament references to God’s armor are all metaphorical, where the item of armor represents some tool or weapon used by a spiritual warrior in God’s kingdom, and becomes part of the armor of God. In Romans 13:12 12 The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14 Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Paul likens the “light” to armor and further suggests we “clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ“.

In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul is listing the characteristics of ministers of God and he refers to righteousness as armour* – 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left….

Then in Ephesians 6 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints Paul is likening  the separate items of armor to each of the main characteristics of a spiritual warrior. The full set represents the whole armor of God.

  • Spiritual Armor

It is from the Ephesians chapter about God armor that we get the concept of a spiritual armor, where a spiritual warrior is clad in the breastplate of righteousness, the helmet of salvation, the belt of truth, bears the sword of truth, which is the Word of God, and goes forth with  feet shod with the  gospel of peace.

  • Spiritual Armor Bearer

A spiritual Armor Bearer therefore is one who carries such armor, and is ready to come to the aid of a spiritual warrior as required and when needed.

* English spelling of armor = armour. (as used in KGV Translations above)

How to find Spiritual Excellence

  • How to Define Spiritual Excellence
Spiritual Excellence
Spiritual Excellence

Knowing how to find spiritual excellence is a great comfort, because there is a reassurance therin that gives us the confidence to keep on. We need some form of reassurance to bolster our faith, else we feel we are just whistling in the dark, and sometimes lack the courage to go on along our chosen path.

  • How to Define a Job Well Done

I had considerable dialog with a friend about what constitutes spiritual excellence, starting from the point that we well knew what constituted excellence in our daily round of work. The ‘Job Well Done’;  the ‘satisfied client’; the feeling of accomplishment at the end of each task.  The challenge was to transfer those criteria across to the spiritual realm and come up with a blue-print for ‘spiritual excellence’.

  • We Need to know BEFORE Judgment Day

Of course, we could just wait till the ‘end of the film’, then read the ‘credits’, but somehow that didn’t satisfy us, we needed to define some standard that we could apply to our everyday spiritual walk.  We need  to KNOW that we are in His will and that what we are doing is meeting approval within the ‘throne room’.

  • OK Lord, I Did It Your Way

So the answer we devised was this: Spiritual Excellence consists in being able to go to bed each night, and at ‘sign-off’ time, to be able to say; “OK Lord, today I did everything you asked!”  What more is to say? You can’t do better than that!

How to Know Preaching is from the Spirit

  • Recognize The Spirit
    Recognize The Spirit

    How to Recognize The Spirit.

This is How to Know Preaching is from the Spiritwhen you hear conviction ringing out from the words of the preacher, and when you are riveted to the edge of your seat by the RELEVANCE and FRESHNESS of what you are hearing you know you are hearing from God.

  • God is Never Boring

The eternal, one true God who created the universe and everything in it, is capable of infinite variety.  Consider the magnificent sky-scapes, freshly painted minute by minute while you gaze in awe! With every resource of creation at His fingertips, He doesn’t need to repeat himself. So it follows, that if a preacher is led by the Spirit of God he will be given suitably fresh material to use. A spirit led preacher will be talking about things that have happened to him, or are happening in the NOW; not using anecdotes from the life of some other missionary to the middle of darkest Africa last century.

  • The Kingdom of Heaven is HERE AND NOW.

When you are ‘born again’ you are birthed as a brand new spiritual being into the the Kingdom of Heaven – therefore you must be living in that place RIGHT NOW. It follows therefore, that a spirit led preacher MUST be preaching from conviction gained from his present and past experience, and must be sharing from that. So, such a preacher has to be basing his testimony on what he believes right now – testimony gained from living the Christian life and interacting with God and his fellows. A rule of thumb – any preacher who starts off like this; “A funny [or interesting, or significant,] thing happened to me this week…….”; is most likely to be led by The Holy Spirit, simply because the  Spirit of God will have purposefully put such an experience into that preachers week, just for this purpose; and if he goes on to share a ‘Kingdom’ experience, you may then be quite sure. Any preacher who builds his narrative around someone Else’s experience is selling you second hand goods!

  • This is How You Recognize The Spirit

John said, in his [1 John 4:2-3]2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.. first epistle, “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God;” so it follows that a spirit led preacher must be preaching about the ‘crucified’, ‘resurrected’, ‘ascended’ Christ.

  • God Knew You Were Going to Go to Church

– and for that reason, some part of the address will speak to you! There will be parts of the message that will minister directly to you. We are each in a different ‘place’ and various words will react differently on each of us, but a spirit led message will contain something especially for you. This is part of the ‘daily bread’ that God provides and it is part of the assurance we have that He loves us and provides for ALL our needs.

  • The Compelling Word of God

God is totally consistent, so any Holy Spirit led preaching must accord with what He has already said in His recorded Word – the Bible – Ergo,  preaching must be based on and agree with the Bible – so the authority for what a preacher is testifying must rest in God’s Word; and because it is Bible based it is both authoritative and credible – and that is how to know preaching is from the Spirit!