Hearing God #20: Faith Comes by Hearing (C)

Hearing God #20: Faith Comes by Hearing (C)

We have looked at: 1) The Open Ear; 2) Hearing His Voice; 3) Your Will and His; 4) His Knock at Your Door; 5) The Spirit and the Word Agree; 6) Setting Your Mind; 7) Taking Thoughts Captive; 8) Test All Things; and in parts 9-13, we looked into the various means God uses to communicate.
 
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We saw external communications include: signs and wonders; putting out a fleece; dreams, vision and prophecy; circumstances; church “gifts” or governments; theophany; and angelic visitation. God’s internal means of guidance includes: the inner witness, the conscience, and the peace of God ruling over all as the final umpire in the heart.

In parts 14-17 we looked at achieving the fullness of the hope and future God has planned for you as you test everything and hold fast to that which is good, being careful to get objective confirmation for what you get subjectively. Now we are completing the last major theme of this series with focus on the walk of faith, for those who are doers of the Word. (e.g. obedient doers of what they hear).

We left off at James comments on faith requiring corresponding actions and also had looked at the faith heroes’ hall of fame in Hebrews 11. It ends with a notation that these all lived and died in faith and sets up the exhortation that opens chapter 12.

Heb. 12:1-3 1Therefore, we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  

Don’t do as Peter did while walking on water and look away. Keep on looking at Jesus.

Jon. 2:8 8 “Those who regard worthless idols forsake their own mercy.

Don’t look into the perfect law of liberty and then forget. Gaze steadfastly and continue on until the blessing is seen. Don’t look away from God because He is your mercy. Don’t regard the worthless vanities of the heart lest you forsake your mercies and lose heart.

Wisdom Will Build Your House

Prov. 24:3-4 3 Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; 4 By knowledge the rooms are filled With all precious and pleasant riches.

In addition to “putting legs on our faith”, we also grow in wisdom which in Hebrew thought is more than sagacity; it is the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course of action. We have been building the house of the Lord by growing in response to His voice. Now we can expect the Lord to be building our house.

In Proverbs 8, wisdom is personified and we know from the New Testament (esp. 1Cor.2) that Jesus is Wisdom. Hear these words as if they came from His lips:

Prov. 8:12-36 12 “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge and discretion. 13 The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth I hate. 14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am understanding, I have strength. 15 By me kings reign, and rulers decree justice. 16 By me princes rule, and nobles, and all the judges of the earth. 17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently will find me. 18 Riches and honor are with Me, enduring riches and righteousness. 19 My fruit is better than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver. 20 I traverse the way of righteousness in the midst of the paths of justice, 21 That I may cause those who love me to inherit wealth, that I may fill their treasuries. 22 “The Lord possessed me at the beginning of His way, before His works of old. 23 I have been established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth. 24 When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no fountains abounding with water. 25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills, I was brought forth; 26 While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primal dust of the world. 27 When He prepared the heavens, I was there. When He drew a circle on the face of the deep; 28 when He established the clouds above; when He strengthened the fountains of the deep; 29 when He assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His command; when He marked out the foundations of the earth. 30 Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him, 31 rejoicing in His inhabited world, and my delight was with the sons of men.

32  “Now therefore, listen to me, my children, for blessed are those who keep my ways.

33 Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it. 34 Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the Lord. 36 But he who sins against Me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate Me love death.”

 

As you seek to hear God, make this your prayer: “Lord, I have found You who have come that I might have life and have it abundantly.” “Make it so, Lord.”

When Maureen and I desperately needed miracles for our children…our friends meant well but told us to prepare for the worst. The doctors said, prepare for the worst. The circumstances said, prepare for the worst. We found the grace to prefer God’s advice over all others.

2 Cor. 4:16-18 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

We do not look at the things that were made by the word of God; we look at the God who made the things. Outwardly things are perishing, but inwardly the God who gives us a future and a hope is renewing us all the time. What my natural man can see is temporary, but God’s Word is established forever, and though heaven and earth pass away, it stands. Note that glory is being worked for us while we do not look at the things seen naturally.

Your Journey Is The Highway Of Holiness

Isa. 35:8-10 8 A highway shall be there, and a road, and it shall be called the Highway of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for others. Whoever walks the road, although a fool, shall not go astray. 9 No lion shall be there, nor shall any ravenous beast go up on it; it shall not be found there. But the redeemed shall walk there, 10 and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Today we end this series but not our journey. We can rejoice in our growth in hearing God and we can be thankful for the advances He has given us individually and corporately, but we cannot slacken our pace or change our focus. We are on a Highway of Holiness and it will take us where we need to go. As the redeemed we “shall walk there…with singing, with everlasting joy…and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”

The key to your miracle is to stay focused on Jesus and the Word! Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! If we keep our eyes on Him and listen more to the Word of God than to another word we won’t lose heart or deceive ourselves.

Gal. 3:1-6 1O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? 2This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? 4Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?   5Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? — 6just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Abraham did not waver at the promise of God. He gazed steadfastly upon it and did not give undue attention to his and Sarah’s natural state. No, he grew strong in faith as he gave God the glory by believing that He who had promised was also able to perform. God had spoken and though He calls things that are not as though they were, Abraham believed…and acted… God had made His move and it was Abraham’s turn.

We dare not turn back, veer away or be distracted from our journey. Paul saw this happen to the churches of Galatia and wrote a strong reproof. His language denotes progress hindered by someone strewing their path with rocks or stumbling blocks and, in context, points to the legalistic crowd trying to move them away from their liberty in Christ. Never let this happen.

Gal. 4:8-9 8But then, indeed, when you did not know God, you served those which by nature are not gods. 9But now after you have known God, or rather are known by God, how is it that you turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage?

Gal. 5:5-8 5For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love. 7You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8This persuasion does not come from Him who calls you.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, your feet firmly planted on the Highway to Holiness, and your complete trust in Father’s love. Keep your ears open and your heart ready.

Gal. 6:15-16 15For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. 16And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

Today, in Christ, God has made His move. It is your turn. You need to do something. Think as if the Word is true… act as if the Word is true… live as if the Word is true.

His Word says He saved you…

His Word says He healed you…

His Word says He became poor for you…

His Word says many things. The point is, you must do something; it’s your turn!

 

As we close our study, make this your prayer: “Lord, in You I am a new creation. Old things have passed away; behold, all things have become (and keep on becoming) new. Lead me in newness of life. (2Cor5:17) I choose to have an “open ear”, hear what the Spirit is saying, and, in Your strength, be a doer of Your word.”

 

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