Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Living Word


The book of Revelation contains critical information concerning the last days and the tribulation which is to come upon all the earth. However, just prior to the beginning of those horrible woes spoken of in this prophetic revelation, there are clear words of instruction given to the churches – warnings if you will. These instructions are plain and yet at the end of each warning there is an admonition given to each church and the leaders thereof. Simply put it says:

Revelation 2:7  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. …”

Revelation 2:11  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches …”

Revelation 2:17  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. …”

Revelation 2:29  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Revelation 3:6  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Revelation 3:13  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Revelation 3:22  "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

One quickly notices that each and every church with its individual problems, concerns, sins or shortcomings, all have the same root problem – and the same remedy – they need to hear from the Spirit of God.

1 Samuel 3:1  Then the boy Samuel ministered to the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.

It was the same way in the days of the prophet Samuel – there was a lack of hearing and understanding what the Spirit of God was saying to His Children. As a result of that lack of revelation, the Ark of the Covenant of God was lost to the enemies of Israel and captured by the Philistines. The very presence, power and glory of God was no longer with His children all because they did what was right in their own eyes and did not honor God.

During the later portion of Jesus’ earthly life and ministry He also had some similar concerns about His followers. We read one account in:

Matthew 16
13  When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?"
14  So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15  He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"
16  Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
17  Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Notice that Jesus singled Peter out of the crowd of disciples as one who was not simply idling along through life making decisions based on his knowledge, his experience or what others said. He told Peter that he was receiving revelation directly from the Spirit of God.

I trust we have all had that experience when we are reading along in the Bible and suddenly we read a word, a certain scripture or a particular passage, and it ceases to be just a general word which God spoke to some other person at some other time in history about some other event in their life … and the Word rather jumps off the page, down through your mind and into your heart as a Living Word of God spoken directly to you.

That, in spirit-filled terms, is called a Rhema Word from God. A current, living Word that releases every spiritual force necessary to cause that Word to be more than sufficient to accomplish the will of God in your moment.

These are the words which we see, for example, in the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. When the angel told her that she, having never known a man, would nonetheless conceive a child by the Holy Spirit who would be born the Son of God, the promised Messiah of the Jews and Savior of the World … she simply said,

Luke 1:38 Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to your word. And the angel departed.

Why did the angel depart? Because the word had been delivered and the word had been received. Mary knew nothing but had received revelation above her knowledge and experience. Mission accomplished …

In the days when the prophet Daniel set his heart to hear from God, he began to pray and fast. After 21 days of prayer and fasting the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and delivered to him the answer he sought from God. Although it took 21 days for the answer to arrive, the angel told Daniel:

Daniel 10:12  Then he said to me, "Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.

In each generation God has found men and women, boys and girls who would open their ears to hear more than what others around them were saying; more than what the current gossip concluded; more than what their own experiences or personal knowledge proved … rather God has found in each generation someone who would open their ears to the Holy Spirit on a spiritual level and hear what the Spirit of God was saying.

This may seem uncommon most, but in each generation we can find one or perhaps a few whom we believe truly heard from God for their generation, However, it was not meant to be so in the beginning. God created man with the desire and ability to hear Him above all else – but something went terribly wrong and today … few can or will hear the Holy Spirit, few receive revelation, few open their ears to God in this hearing of faith. Many only hear the voice of their lusts, fears, the devil or this world.

In Genesis we find that when God created Adam and Eve He came to walk and talk with them in the Garden of Eden in the cool of the evening. In that context we understand that the evening was not the end of the day, but the beginning of the day according to the Word.

Genesis 1:5  God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.

By the time we get to Chapter 3, the serpent, that sneaky snake, enticed Eve to reconsider what God said and open her ears, mind and heart to other voices. She of course listened to the devil, she listened to herself, she considered her fears, wants, and desires and made her decision based on the best information her knowledge could provide. But then that evening …

Genesis 3
8  And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9 ¶  Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
10  So he said, "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
11 ¶  And He said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?"
12  Then the man said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate."
13  And the LORD God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
14 ¶  So the LORD God said to the serpent: "Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life.

You see, all of God’s creations, including the serpent, were created to have a daily walk and a face to face talk with God.

This was the first example of a person partaking of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Since that time mankind has contended with varying voices to make up his or her mind on what is best for them.

Everything is considered, counsel is sought, voices entertained, evaluations completed, scriptures compared, decisions made and lives lived so often without the one thing which makes everything right … the revelation of:

“Thus saith the Lord”

The Fresh Word; The Rhema Word; The Anointed Word; The Living Word of God directly to you. Despite circumstances, situations or counsel – never violating the written Word of God or the principles set forth in the Bible.

Instead of revelation people give reasons – why? Because all too often the reasons provide cover and justification as to why the Word of God had to be reconsidered in this case …

Sad to say that mankind has become like children who do not know the sound of their Father’s voice. Instead we as a people have made rules, given reasons, exalted knowledge, bowed to experiences, followed fears, pursued lusts, chased dreams, ran after riches, danced with the devil and embraced all manner of carnal desire, all the while a Holy God daily speaks His loving and living Word to us but we have failed to cleanse our hearts, renew our minds, commit our lives and open our spiritual ears to the Revelation of God. Many who have been called to be sons and daughters have rather servants and hirelings simply looking for a better job, a richer family instead of living their lives by the revelation of God.

For that reason God knew the world would come to times of trouble and tribulation but yet once more we hear the admonition of the Lord as though He was beseeching us one more time:

“He who has ears, let Him hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying to the Churches.”

I know that God spoke to me recently and gave me a promise. Without regard as to who, what, when, where or why He had ever spoken that same Word to anyone else in history, he spoke it to me and I have received a Living Word from Him which contains a promise worth our effort.

God said to me:

2 Chronicles 7
14  If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

The Life Shape Plan
        A Call to the Nations
                Prayer and Discipleship

Beginning Wednesday, January 2, 2013 – A year of calling the nations to prayer & discipleship.

Our nation and the nations of the world are not too far gone that God will not spare the judgment He has already prepared. If we will but humble ourselves before Him and let Him build His Kingdom in and through us.

Life Shape 2013

“If My People Will …”