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Monday
Jan092017

A God Secret—Drop the Rope!

During my middle school years, there was a lot of “tug-of-war” between my younger sister and me. I was under the mistaken impression that being a year older gave me certain rights. Our conflicts often ended in her walloping me. After one such incident, I remember a picture came into my head. It was of a tug-of-war game when, suddenly, one person simply dropped her end of the rope. Ah-ha, I thought. Game over.

The next time we got into a fight, I thought of that tug-of-war picture and decided to try it out. I simply said, “Okay.”

“You can’t do that!” she insisted. I asked her why, and she said, “Because it’s not fair.”

Fast forward six years, I became born again as a college freshman. I read John 10:18 where Jesus was explaining this same “drop-the-rope” principle as it related to His laying down His life: No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” Later in John 19:10-11 (New King James Version), Pilate said to Jesus, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?” Essentially, he wanted Jesus to pick up the other end of rope and struggle with him. Jesus simply said, You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above.”

In Hebrews 12:2, Paul wrote that Jesus “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” His heart was fixed. He had learned not to get in a power struggle with anyone’s flesh. Instead, He kept His purpose and His Father’s will before Him. He had prepared to succeed.

You may be thinking, That was Jesus, the Son of God. Of course, HE prepared and fixed His heart! However, Jesus wasn’t the only one who was prepared for difficult circumstances. Joseph, when propositioned by Potiphar’s wife, said, “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Gen. 39:9). He had obviously hidden God’s Word in his heart because it came up like a force field to protect him.

And then there was David. Saul was trying to kill David—he had been for years after David had been anointed king in Saul’s place. In 1 Samuel 24, David could have killed Saul, believing God had delivered his “enemy” into his own hands. But David’s heart was fixed (Ps. 57:7). He penned it himself in Psalm 105:15: Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

In his How to Prepare Your Heart teaching, Andrew says that King Rehoboam “did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord” (2 Chr. 12:14). Andrew explains that when people don’t prepare their hearts before they are faced with a circumstance, they respond to their situation based on how they feel at the time.

Joseph and David prepared for success, and they weren’t even born again. They sought God and hid His Word in their hearts long before they faced their trials. If you recognize that you have been unprepared and have ended up in a tug-of-war in some of your circumstances, then Andrew’s How to Prepare Your Heart series will change your mind and give you the practical wisdom you need to prepare for unforeseen obstacles that may come your way.

Please consider sharing your experiences of when you may have been in a tug-of-war with your circumstances. Comment below.

Monday
Jan022017

When God Speaks

Shame is a great silencer. But it doesn’t just shut people up—shame drowns out the still, small voice of God.

Sometimes, when God wanted to convey an important message back in Bible times, He sent an angel to that person. Chances are, an angel is not going to appear to you in response to every question you ask Him. So, how are you supposed to know it’s God speaking when your own thoughts and emotions seem so much louder?

In Andrew’s How to Hear God’s Voice teaching, he says,

“The primary way that God speaks is not through the spectacular, not through an audible voice, not through an open vision. He can do all of those things. He has done it. I believe He still does miraculous things like that. But the primary way that God speaks to us today is just in this still, small voice, and it can be drowned out by other voices around us.”

One way you know you’ve heard the voice of God is when fear dissipates and a fresh boldness rises up in your spirit. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (English
Standard Version
).

Another way to discern the voice of God is through hiding the written Word in your heart (Ps. 119:11). While developing a mental understanding of the Bible is good, the goal is a heart change. This requires more than memorization. Andrew continues,

“The Bible isn’t written to your brain. It’s written to your heart. You[’ve] got to read the Bible with your heart, not just your head. God will speak to you through the Word. But the natural man, either a lost man or a Christian who doesn’t have their mind renewed and is listening to the Holy Spirit, cannot understand ‘…the things…of God…they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned’ [1 Cor. 2:14]. And I’m telling you this is why so many people read the Bible, but it doesn’t do anything for them. And they don’t understand it because they are reading it with their intellect. You can’t just put information in your mind. It’s got to be quickened to you by the Holy Spirit.”

The Word is like gasoline. Not until a lit match falls on it will it combust into rivers of flame. You could be filled with the Word, even have whole books of the Bible memorized, but it will not ignite a fire in your heart until the Holy Spirit comes in contact with it. When the Holy Spirit quickens the Word in your spirit—WHOOM! You know exactly what to do, how to do it, where to go, and what to say. The old ways of thinking and believing—shame, unbelief, and fear—are burned away, and God replaces that with His ways.

Let the Holy Spirit light His written and spoken Word in your heart with Andrew’s How to Hear God’s Voice teaching. It’s available in CD format. You can also watch Andrew teach this on the Gospel Truth broadcast. This teaching will help Psalm 34:5 become your reality: “Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed” (ESV).

Post a comment below if this has blessed you.

Monday
Dec262016

Pay Attention!

 

My husband and I are in the middle of a big decision right now—a decision that could literally change our lives. Although things would change for the better, this decision also has some serious risks attached to it. We don’t know what to do. We need to hear God’s voice.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like God is talking.

However, I know God speaks to His people. Psalm 25:14 says He “confides in those who fear him” (New International Version). Isaiah said God directs us with His voice (Is. 30:21). Jesus said His sheep know His voice (John 10:4-5). But some days it feels like we’ve been in this place forever.

So, I started listening to Andrew’s How to Hear God’s Voice teaching. He said, “God is speaking to you constantly, but our hearts can become hardened toward God so that we have a hard time hearing Him.” He went on to say, “One of the reasons that we struggle to hear the voice [of God] is because the clutter and the clamor, the noise of this world, drown out the
voice of God.

And then I remembered a time my oldest son showed me exactly what Andrew was talking about.

“That’s not fair!” my son said as he stomped into the kitchen. “You didn’t ask me. You asked Josh and Kayla, but you didn’t ask me.”

On this particular day, I had all the makings needed for two different meals. My husband was gone, and I didn’t have a preference; so I let my kids vote on what they’d like for supper.

“I asked all of you,” I calmly replied, hoping to diffuse the sounds of war. “But you never responded.”

“No, you didn’t! I would have heard you.” This was coming from the same boy who’d once been so caught up in a music video at a friend’s birthday party that he actually missed the pizza and cake they’d served.

Remembering his weakness for electronics, I asked him, “What were you doing just now?”

Of course, I already knew the answer. My son didn’t answer my question because he’d once again become so engrossed with a video game that everything else just disappeared. I had asked, but he didn’t hear me. However, this was a skill we’d been working on—learning to let the important voices break through the noise. Voices like mine and Daddy’s, like his teachers’, like God’s.

“I was playing on Daddy’s tablet,” he said. “But you told me I could.”

Hearing the defensiveness in his voice, I said, “You’re not in trouble, son. But I don’t understand why you’re angry. I asked each of you to vote on what’s for supper. Your brother and sister responded; you didn’t.”

“But I don’t want to eat that tonight,” he said.

“Well, I’m only making one thing for supper,” I answered. “Maybe next time you’ll pay attention to my voice.”

Proverbs 4:20 says we have to “attend” to God’s voice. Andrew says that this word attend means to prick up the ears. He says it’s like a deer that hears a sound and then lifts and turns its ears toward the sound to focus on it. He says, “God is speaking constantly, but we have to tune our hearing. The sad fact is, most of us are tuned to the voice of this world. We spend more time listening to the clamor [and] clutter…than we do God. The voice of God is drowned out [by] the volume of this world.

God doesn’t yell at us. He doesn’t get in our faces. He isn’t rude. If we’re going to hear His voice—if my husband and I are going to hear His voice—we have to learn to break through the noise. We have to pay attention.

I’m ready to tune in to God’s voice. Are you?

Please leave a comment below if this has blessed you!

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