Who Are You Listening To?
Posted on 01/20/2008 by Rev. Jennifer L. Faust
TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)
Good morning, and welcome to Abundant Living Ministries CyberChurch. If you're a first-time visitor, we'd like to give you a special welcome, and invite you to click the welcome sign in the foyer before you leave.
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Let's all stand to our feet and begin this morning with prayer.
Lord God, thank you for meeting with us here today, and for what you want to do in our lives. We invite you to have your way with us today. May we listen for and clearly hear your voice.
We pray for Meghan and for her fiance Adam who just broke up with her. We ask that you work in Meghan and transform her daily, from glory to glory, into the image of Jesus. And we ask that your will be done in their relationship, and that you guide them both on the path you have for them.
We pray for Jaide, for her spoken and unspoken prayer requests. Pour out your Spirit upon her, and meet her every need as she seeks you and your Kingdom above all else.
We pray for Noside, who I believe has already gone for a driver's license. We pray again together that you help with this test, for we know that you are not limited by time. Thank you for what you're doing in Noside's life, and continue to guide on your paths of life.
We pray for Jose, that you would bless him in his studies, and that you would guide him and his wife on your paths as you draw them closer together than they have ever been.
And I pray for this service and for all those who have come to worship and seek after you. Speak to us today, and lead us into your Truth.
And it's in Jesus' name we pray.
Click the pulpit for a notecard, and let's worship God together with song.
Lord, we do exalt you. May our every word and deed, and even the meditations of our heart bring you honor and glory and praise.
Holy Spirit, we can feel your presence here with us. Thank you for being here with us today, and for pointing us to Jesus and leading us into his Truth. Speak to us now through your Word, and may we be drawn just a little bit closer to you.
And it's in Jesus' name we pray.
You can be seated.
Today we're going to hear the Word of the Lord through another vessel he has chosen. I want us all to open our hearts and our ears to hear what the Spirit is going to say to us today.
I would like to turn the service over to my wife, Mariposa, under the direction of the Holy Spirit and the authority of this church.
Jen, share with us what the Lord has laid upon your heart.
Inside of each person there are two voices that want to be heard. The one we listen to is the one we allow to come to the surface at any moment. One is my voice, the voice of the flesh. The other is God's voice, the voice of the Spirit.
Every situation is lead by one or the other. Let's image two different scenarios. As I tell them to you, just relax and picture them in your mind. If you wish, you can close your eyes.
The first one is of a man in his early 30s who is thinking about the game at 2pm that afternoon. He thinks hurry up already, Pastor. I can't miss this game. While he thinks this, what does he miss? He misses what God wanted to do with him.
We can't just give a piece of ourselves to Jesus. Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. ALL our hearts. Yes, we say the verse, but are we really living it? Am I? Ask yourself am I really living the verse from Deuteronomy 6:5? Do I love God with that is in me? This is important because once we love God with our whole being-heart, soul and might-then we will want to do God's will and follow His plan.
The other scenario is this. A man the same age is listening to the pastor's every word, sitting on the edge of the chair even. Maybe writing down notes to look over later for himself. He asked God to show him anything that needs changing in his life. God reveals things and the man goes to the altar to pray and asks for prayer.
I didn't use these scenarios to condemn anyone. I wanted to show the different ways people block God out of their lives without even knowing it or they let Him into their lives and they are forever changed. Who is running your life? You? Or Jesus?
Let's look at some people who decided they had everything worked out and under control. Think of Jezebel. She was in control of everything. She killed God's prophets and wanted Elijah killed, too. She was aggressive toward her husband, who was king, but Jezebel was in power. What happened to her? Let's read 2 Kings 9:30-37.30 And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window. 31 And as Jehu entered in at the gate, she said, Had Zimri peace, who slew his master? 32 And he lifted up his face to the window, and said, Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. 33 And he said, Throw her down. So they threw her down: and some of her blood was sprinkled on the wall, and on the horses: and he trode her under foot. 34And when he was come in, he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king's daughter. 35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands. 36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel: 37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.
She is killed. I am not saying God will kill you if you are doing your own thing. I am saying that destruction follows a hard, stone heart. Either you'll get your punishment now or later.
How about Saul who became Paul? He was capturing Christians and taking them to prison. He was a leader in the persecution of the early Church. Every Christian was scared of him. Then what happened? Let's pick up the story at verse 3 of Acts Chapter 9 reading until verse 18. 3And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: 4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? 5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. 6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. 7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. 8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. 10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. 11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, 12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. 13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: 14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. 15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: 16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. 17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. 18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
Sometimes we have to do our own thing before we open our eyes to a better plan-God's.
How about Uzzah? He was walking by the cart which was carrying the ark of God. What happens? 2 Samuel 6:6-8 says 6 And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. 7 And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 8 And David was displeased, because the LORD had made a breach upon Uzzah: and he called the name of the place Perezuzzah to this day. Uzzah wasn't doing anything wrong we would think. It was a natural thing to want to stop the ark from falling, but God saw that the ark wasn't being transported correctly. None of us understand God's plan all the time, but we know His plan is perfect even when we don't understand everything about it.
There are many stories in the Bible about people who follow God's plan. Now, we will look at some of those. We will begin with the story of Noah. Noah is told by God to build an ark for the rain is coming, a huge flood to fill the earth. I am sure that the neighbors were laughing at Noah as he and his sons were building this big boat when there were no clouds in sight. But, guess what? the rains did come. Let's read about it. Genesis 7 starting at verse 4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. 5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him. 6 And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters was upon the earth. 7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. 8 Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls, and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, 9 There went in two and two unto Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights. Noah and his family and all the animals that went into the ark were safe from the rain. God made a promise that he would not flood the earth again.
The next story is of Job. He did follow God's plan in that he knew God would be faithful even though he lost everything, his wife was badgering him, and his friends weren't with him. Job was very patient. He never gave up and looked to God for all things. When his children were killed, Job said 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.' (Job 1:21) May we also say this no matter our circumstances. 'Blessed be the name of the Lord'.
Third story is about Joshua and the wall of Jericho. God told Joshua to march the children of Israel around the wall of Jericho. I am sure as they marched the inhabitants of the wall were laughing and mocking them, saying things like 'why are you doing this? There is no point. Nothing will happen. What do you think is going to happen?' To which I would say, those who laugh and mock will find out soon enough. Let's read part of the story in Joshua Chapter 6 verses 1-20. 1 Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in. 2 And the LORD said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. 3 And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. 4 And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. 5 And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat, and the people shall ascend up every man straight before him. 6 And Joshua the son of Nun called the priests, and said unto them, Take up the ark of the covenant, and let seven priests bear seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD. 7 And he said unto the people, Pass on, and compass the city, and let him that is armed pass on before the ark of the LORD. 8 And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams' horns passed on before the LORD, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the LORD followed them. 9 And the armed men went before the priests that blew with the trumpets, and the rereward came after the ark, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 10 And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall any word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout. 11 So the ark of the LORD compassed the city, going about it once: and they came into the camp, and lodged in the camp. 12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams' horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days. 15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they rose early about the dawning of the day, and compassed the city after the same manner seven times: only on that day they compassed the city seven times. 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. 17 And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. Yes, just like for Joshua, powerful things can be done when we follow God's plan.
The final story is about Mary and Joseph, the earthly parents of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let's start with Mary. Mary was a young woman, probably in her mid to late teens and she knows the laws of her people. If she 'knows a man' before she is legally married and found pregnant, she could be stoned to death. What does she tell Gabriel when he tells her the news? Luke Chapter 1 beginning at verse 26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.
Let's go now to Joseph. He is espoused to Mary who tells him of this miracle birth. Joseph can't believe this and is planning to divorce Mary quietly, but he has a dream and is visited. We read from Matthew Chapter 1 starting at verse 18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. 19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. 22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, 23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. 24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: 25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.
There are many many more of these stories where people answer the call of God and follow His plan and not their own. Think what would have happened if these people had not obeyed God. If Noah had not built the ark and gone into it, there would be no people on earth. If Job had not be tested and was patient, we would not have a great man to strive to become. We know we can ask God questions and that God is faithful in all things. If Joshua had not lead the Israelites around the wall of Jericho, it would probbly still stand and the history of Israel would be different. If Mary and Joseph hadn't believed God for His Promised One, we would all be lost to a future of separation from God. There would have been no Calvary, no cross, no resurrection, no Jesus to come and show us the way to Heaven.
There are people, myself included, who wonder how we know that it is God's voice we hear. Well, for me I know it is God telling me something that I need to do when I get conformation. I have gotten that from people, the Bible, during prayer, and many other things. After awhile I say "Okay, God, I get the hint." Three timse is the afformation for me.
God doesn't just want you to do His will. He wants it to be what you want to do. And God wants to give us the desires of our heart and He will if they line up with what He has in mind.
God already has a plan for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11-13 says For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. 13And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
All we need to do is pray and seek His face. He'll show us what we ask.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the word that You have given to us and that we can ask anything in Your name. We ask, Lord, that You open the flood gates of Heaven and pour out Your Spirit here in SL and in RL. We need Your presence, Lord. Guide our steps that we follow Your will and Your plan for our lives. We can't make a difference in our world without You, Jesus. Lord, we come to seek Your face and to lay all that we are and all we hope to be at Your feet. Lord, we cry out for more of You! Nothing else matters! JESUS! We want more of You. You are all we want. Nothing else. oh Jesus...begin to cry out to Jesus in Your own way! FATHER GOD! Heal this land...the land of America...the land of Europe...the land of Africa...Asia...every single land that makes up the earth. Glory to God. JESUS! We want more of You!! Hallelujah!....continue praying and praising Jesus.
If you need prayer for any reason, please message a person on the Ministry Team. You can come to the altar to pray or go to the prayer center. You are free to go and have a conversation in the fellowship room to your left. Please respect the atmosphere that is here in the sanctuary. Thank you for coming and have a wonderful day.