Month: March 2013

Hearing precedes obeying

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If one wants to hear “well done” on That Day we need to hear God today – so that we can obey.

If my children don’t hear me they can’t obey what I have asked of them.

Yet many, including myself, will testify that at times they battle to hear God’s voice.

Just the other day I sat with a man in my offfice who needed to hear God for a workplace decision, last weekend good friends needed to hear God’s guiding voice again to make a decision about their future and that of the church, just today a young woman I know asked for prayer that she’d be able to hear from God and that He would guide me in the direction He wants me…

And yet in John 10 Jesus has an expectation that those who are His will not only hear His voice but will know it, recognise it as His.

John 10:3-4 & 27 ESV
…The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (4) When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice…(27)My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

So what do we do when our experience doesn’t line up with the clear reading & interpretation of Scripture?

Two options present themselves:
1) Alter our interpretation of Scripture to fit our experience or
2) Believe Scripture and so pray for our experience to change.

God does speak, I believe He’s speaking all the time, so why not start today by deciding in your heart that you are desiring to hear God your Father so that you can obey, why not start praying daily that you’d recognise His voice.

God speaks in many varied ways (creation, Scripture, other people, a peace or unease in our spirit or conscience, through something that happens or something we experience, through something written, sung, painted…) how exciting to go into every day with a sense of anticipation knowing your Father is speaking, you just need to discover & discern His voice!

Do you find your default, when you think you might have heard God, is to disbelieve that it was God?

If you believe God your Father wants to speak to you in everyday life, why not decide now to err on the side of belief rather than unbelief. Next time you feel like God’s speaking, why not believe that He is?

Hearing God, is essential for daily living, we need to get out of the bad habit of only seeking God, trying to hear God when facing big life decisions. If developed a practice of hearing God in the daily little things, we’d surely find it easier to recognise and therefore hear God’s voice in the big moments of life.

Join me in this adventure of hearing God & obeying what He says, not doing more than He told us to, not doing less but obeying quickly.

Imagine that life… It’s your inheritance as the child of God.

Lazarus – a picture of the saved yet stuck believer (John 11:44)

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When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
Lazarus here reminds me of salvation, he is raised to new life but comes out looking more like an Egyptian mummy than a person!  He is still bound up, unable to move, see or talk freely…  Jesus doesn’t just raise him to new life though, Jesus says to those watching on in amazement, unbind him, and let him go.

This for me is a picture of the total salvation that Jesus purchased for us on the cross.  It would have been ridiculous for Lazarus, having been given new life to keep his grave clothes on!  Yes he has been given new life but he needs those things taken off to really allow him to enjoy his new life.

Lazarus is a picture here for me of someone who is saved yet stuck.  Stuck with the things that weigh us down, the things that hinder us and the sin that entangles us (Hebrews 12:1-2),  restricting our freedom in Christ.  Jesus’ concern is for Lazarus to be totally free (Luke 4:18-19) and so he said to…
Interestingly Jesus does not tell Lazarus to unbind himself.  I presume that’s because he was so wrapped up that he couldn’t help himself free.  So Jesus tells those around Lazarus to unbind him and to let him go, let him be truly free.
We need others to help us walk into our own freedom in Christ, Jesus raises us from the grave of sin and shame, Jesus gives new life and Jesus’ desire is for us to walk in total freedom – and yet we need others to unbind us so that we can enter into our freedom that is in Christ.
  1. In what ways am I saved but stuck?
  2. Do I have grave clothes still restricting my freedom that was given to me in Christ?
  3. Who in my life right now has Jesus said to me; “Unbind them and let them go”?
  4. How do we unbind people (get them unstuck)?