Thursday, 16 October 2014

The Master's Voice

"Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." 
(Hebrews 12:3)

So we ride the weather roller coaster. After more than six years, it should not surprise or derail me anymore. We have seen four seasons in a day, thirty plus to sub ten degrees maximum overnight, perfect sunlight to thick mist or even snow in less than an hour. The day we moved into our shiny new cabin, I drove up the bumpy road with the sky a brilliant blue dome through the windscreen of my VW Beetle. I walked up the garden path with a cat basket in each hand - opened the back door and gently tipped the kitties out onto the bed. (The only piece of furniture in the house at that point). When I turned back toward the window, there were delicate white flakes floating down onto the surface of the deck. It was the first day of Spring. And it was snowing. It was like an anointing on our home. The rest of the village did not have snow that day. A friend recalled looking up toward our cabin, which can be seen from the bluff on the opposite side of the mountain. She saw the white frosting on the roof and had to squint to make sure that it was not a trick of the light.

Such is life on the mountain. Challenging. Surprising. Tough. Gentle. Scary. Tranquil. But certainly not dull. You learn to accept. Surrender. And listen. Not question so much. And listen some more.

This morning I read a message that my husband forwarded to me, and this is the first sentence: "One of the greatest blessings a true believer has, is hearing and knowing the voice of God". At times I am so caught up in praying for things to change, or giving thanks for those that are a blessing, that I forget to listen. I do hear God in Scripture. But right now, I wish to hear the voice of my Lord all the time. Like a disciple at His feet, drinking in His words, and living them out. I believe we can, if we learn to discern his voice; and if we dare to be still.

The introductory line I quoted earlier, is from a blog by an evangelist called David Wilkerson, a message very relevant for our time.

David Ray Wilkerson was the Founding Pastor of Times Square Church in New York City. He was called to New York in 1958 to minister to gang members and drug addicts. His story has been told in the best selling book (and movie), The Cross and the Switchblade.

In 1987, he returned to "the crossroads of the world" to establish Times Square Church. As a pastor of the church, he faithfully led this congregation, delivering powerful biblical messages that encourage righteous living and complete reliance on God.

The next few paragraphs carry the content of the message I referred to. I have been drawn to Hebrews 12 about four times over the past week, so it must be important... I would like to encourage you to read Hebrews 12, to understand the whole context more clearly.

"One of the greatest blessings a true believer has is hearing and knowing the voice of God. It is possible to hear God’s voice today as certainly and clearly as Abraham and Moses did—as clearly as did Samuel and David—and Paul, Peter, the apostles, and John on the Isle of Patmos! God has promised to make His voice clearly known for one last time during these end days. He has given us a promise and a warning about hearing His voice. God is going to bring together a holy, separated remnant into spiritual Zion and make His voice known to them. “But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands of thousands of angels in joyful assembly” (Hebrews 12:22).

God has this message for all who have been called out: The voice of God that has shaken the earth in past generations, will be heard in power again in one last shaking! “At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.
(Hebrews 12:26). Here is God’s warning to His holy, believing children. “See to it that you do not refuse him that speaks. For if they did not escape when they refused Him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven” (Hebrews 12:25).

Why is God gathering together a people out of the dead churches? Why is the Spirit crying, “Come out of Babylon, my people! Partake not in her sins”? It is because God must have a people (a Zion people) in these troubled last days who are not confused by false doctrine. These are sheep who do not follow false teachers, who know their Master’s voice. God speaks to them clearly and certainly, and they live by His voice! They are directed by His voice, comforted by His voice, guided in all things by His voice! The one great characteristic of a holy people is that they are not mistaken about God’s voice. They know it—they hear it—they are governed by it. It is sure, steadfast, and unmistakable!"

Like an infant who turns her ear towards her mother's voice, let us turn back to the unmistakable voice of God. It is, as He is, the same yesterday, today and always. True children of the Way do not compromise or doubt. True children of the Truth, throw of every hindrance that slows and sin that entangles, and run with endurance the race marked out for them. True children of the Life keep their eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.

We have an invitation to join the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. We shall come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. We shall be one with the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect. What we will receive is a Kingdom that is unshakable. And so our faith should be.

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