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How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hearing HIM---Are You HIS?

A man of God I know said something to me after church the other night that so resonated in my Spirit, it sent me digging in the Word. He said the Lord had spoken to Him and told him if we weren't walking close enough to Him to hear His voice for ourselves we wouldn't hear the trumpet sound, either. I was immediately convicted and the Holy Spirit bore strong witness with my spirit that this was true. As I began to search the Scriptures, He drew my attention some things I want to share with you.

In John chapter 9, Jesus has been confronted by angry Pharisees because He healed a blind man who was born blind on the Sabbath day. The blind man worships Jesus when he learns who healed him. In the Word, I have learned the word blind is often indicative of ignorance, and the word 'see' often means 'to know or understand'. He begins in John 10 and there are Pharisees there daring Him to say they don't understand "Are we blind also?" (Joh_9:40). Their righteousness is based on the accomplishments of self inside religious paremeters. But this is what He says:

Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.
Joh 10:2
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
Joh 10:3
To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

Notice in verse 3 He says the sheep HEAR HIS VOICE. They hear, they understand. They consider what He says. They learn from Him. They give heed to His Word. In the Greek this word "hear" is akouo (G191) and that is what it means. It doesn't mean they hear just the sound of His voice. They hear with consideration and comprehension. They hear Him call them by name, and that means character, authority. His holiness, His complete otherness than what we are, calls to us, draws us to Him, so we can be like Him. His sheep hear, understand and are drawn to Him.

Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
Joh 10:5
And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

Next, they follow Him. They join Him, become HIS, and go where He goes. They side with Him every time. They learn Him, they become familiar with and dependent on Him. The word for know here is 'ido' (G1492) and it means this: if a stranger, a strange voice tries to talk to HIS sheep, they cannot understand and will not be able to pay attention for the stranger will not be able to hold their interest. They will not regard or care for the voice of a stranger.

Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

This word "know" is different. It's G1097. It means to be intimately familiar with, to understand with an increasing certainty. This is the same word used to imply intimacy between a husband and wife. He says I am intimately familiar with my sheep and they are with me. We have a special, close relationship with each other a stranger is not part of. That means there is a fidelity involved. Faithfulness.

Joh_17:3 says "this is eternal life that they may know YOU God, and Jesus Christ". This means there has to be an unbroken connection for when the connection is broken, the oil leaks out and the sheep dries up and withers.

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

He summarizes this carefully: My sheep hear me, they understand me, they are intimate with me, and they follow where I go, they go. Now, I had to examine myself. Do I hear the voice of the Lord speak to me, yes, but not nearly as much as I want and need to. My fault, not His. Do I know Him as well as I want to? No. Again, my fault, not His. Do I always follow Him? I'm striving to, even when flesh doesn't want to. Have I been guilty of drawing back, battling unbelief and fear? You betcha. Thank God for the cross, the blood, and forgiveness. But you see how clearly He defines the relationship He has with those who are HIS and I ask you how many Christians do you know who fit in to this description JESUS gives of His own? He doesn't mention their status, age, race, or position in life. He doesn't mention whether they are smart or successful, or pretty or popular. He says they focus on HIS voice, they refuse strange voices, they know HIM and follow HIM. They follow Him because they have learned Him and desire Him, not things from Him, not other things besides Him. 2Ti_2:19 says He knows (same word) those who are His own and let those who profess His name remove themselves and cease and desist from deliberate sin, from that which is unjust, and wrong. The Scripture says we are the temple, or house of the Lord-His dwelling place. He sends His Spirit to live in us, to guide us, teach us and prepare us to meet Him. We are part of Him, members of His Body.

1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

That oneness means complete agreement-there is no division or dissension. When we are joined, literally so totally united-glued to HIM, we think like Him, we talk like Him, we act like Him, we work like Him. This is what it means when the Scripture says as He is in the world, so are we. We are to be here in His stead, behaving as He would if He were here physically. Doing His will not just mentioning His name. That requires a deliberate effort to spend time with Him in prayer and the Word, learning Him. This requires a rejection of those things within and without that would cause a separation of fellowship with Him. This requires removing ourselves from whatever thing would seek to drown out His voice. In Joh_5:39-40 He warns there are those who search the Scriptures for IN THEM you think you have eternal life-but it's not so. He says you won't come to ME that you might have life. The Word is to teach us, confirm to us and strengthen us, to comfort us. But it's also to point us to HIM for it is in His presence we find LIGHT that shows us our need, our problem areas that need cleansing. In Isaiah 6 you have an illustration of a God-called prophet who has been preaching repentance to an apostate people, and rightly so. Yet, when he determines after the death of his uncle, king Uzziah, to seek God, and gets a revelation of the Lord, he sees his OWN need of repentance. Had he not gone to seek the Lord, he could have went on the basis of Scripture only, and missed the mark and ended up lost. I know that sounds like heresy to some but you have to combine reading the Word with talking to the Author and waiting on Him to hear from Him. He said if we called He would answer! (Jer_33:3)

2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

This time we spend is an investment. We invest our time in seeking Him, seeing Him in the pages of this Book, praying and asking for understanding, the Word comes alive and the Holy Spirit ministers to us and shows us who He is, this lovely, incomparable Christ we are supposed to serve, and are betrothed to. Don't forget that. We are betrothed to HIM, not ourselves, not the world, not temporary passing things that we think we need now or we'll just die. The more we spend time with Him, the more like Him we become. Ever heard the saying "you are known by the company you keep?"

1Co 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

His Word is like a mirror, it's an enigma, a mystery that we learn a little at a time, as we invest our time. But one day, I will know (G1921) epiginosko, fully and thoroughly understand everything accurately-there will be no missunderstanding. Full revelation, full understanding.

2Co 4:5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.
2Co 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

It's not about us, it's all about HIM and the way we live and conduct ourselves is a message to those around us. God commanded the truth to light up chase away our darkened minds, our darkened understanding and that glorious truth lit up our understanding and helped us know that God sent His glory-His Son, to us, to live by His Holy Spirit in us. Since it is HIM that has the power, the goodness, the Truth, the Way, the Life, then HE is the Treasure within, and we can boast of nothing but our need for and dependence on Him. Only then does God get the glory.

1Jn 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

What wonderful love the Father has given us to call us His children! This is why the world doesn't understand a true Christian at all. They don't understand and aren't acquainted with HIM so they don't understand us that are. Beloved, we are His children, and it's not apparent right now exactly waht we will be like when He comes for us, literally, but we understand that when He appears, when He makes Himself known to us, we will be similar-like Him, in appearance, character and behavior and speech, because we will see Him just as He is to be revealed. He manifests Himself to us by the Spirit, and as we understand more of who He is, it changes everything about us. It will change how we talk, how we act, what we do and how we think and how we treat others. But there's coming a day when He will descend from heaven for His Bride.

For the Lord HIMSElF shall come down from heaven with a command, a cry that will stimulate and incite or rouse His Bride from whatever she is doing at that moment..and she will be taken by the force of His power from this earth to meet Him in the air. His power will lift us up and draw us to Him and our eyes will see HIM, our Beloved, the One our heart longs for.

To those who look for Him shall He appear...that means they are expecting and waiting and watching for Him. Those who are watching for Him will see Him. Those who have that expectation. That word 'salvation' in the Greek means 'deliverance, rescue'. Those who know this earth is not their home, they are only passing through for they look for HIM who is their hope of glory.

2Pe 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

We know this world has been condemned, marked for destruction by the owner. There is no reason to put down roots here, to put all our hopes and dreams here. There is no reason to invest time and money in the things here when it is not necessary. Of course we need food and clothing and shelter and must pay our bills. But we are commanded not to lay up treasures down here. We aren't to store up things for self. We are to preach the Gospel, however and whenever we can. Whether it's from a pulpit, or by the life we live. We are all epistles seen and examined by those around us.

1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

A moment is an atom of time. How very small. Smaller than can be seen with the naked eye. The word is 'atomos' ...moment. An atom of time. How small is an atom? I don't know but I know that means I better be ready when that moment comes. In an instant, the final trumpet will sound, and what is mortal will become immortal. So, if this is the final trump-when is the first trump? Some of the Scriptures indicate that His voice will sound like a trumpet. In 1 Thess 4:16 it doesn't say the trump of God will sound, it says The Lord is bringing the trump with Him, but it stands to reason if He brings it, He's going to sound it.

Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

I used to panic and battle fear when I heard that Scripture read. It still tries to bother me-and sometimes it does. I realize now, I need not fear so long as I just make sure I stay in the Word, yielded to it, by the power of His Spirit (Zec_4:6) totally depending on HIM to make the promises real and effective in my life as He said He would, and talk to Him as much as I can, and listen even more than I talk, for if my mind is always on HIM then He will keep me in perfect peace. The more we direct our hearts and thoughts toward HIM the more He will direct HIS toward us. This is how we get prepared to meet Him. The Spirit is there to convict us if we do wrong and we are to be zealous and repent right then. He gave us a wonderful promise so we need not fear:

Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

We have to keep ourselves reminded He loves us-He is our Beloved, and we are His. We have the Holy Spirit so He can teach us how to pray-how to let Him pray through and in us, which will build up and increase and strengthen our faith, as we guard the knowledge that no matter what happens God loves us, and we have been promised mercy of the Lord and grace at His appearing. We can learn to walk in the Spirit and overcome ourselves, the world and the devil. God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think-we just have to spend time with Him, learn what He wants to teach us, and follow Him where He leads. He can make us, take us, guide us and use us to help others follow too. Hallelujah. But if we don't know His voice, we will be misled. If we don't take time to get before Him, become intimate with Him, then we will fall away and be running with no oil in the midnight hour. There are many seducing spirits operating right now, deceiving many. Jesus repeatedly warned "be not deceived".

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

If we focus on HIM and don't waste our time on things that don't matter, we are wise. He said if we seek first HIS kingdom, and HIS righteousness, everything else would be taken care of. Don't be lured by the enemy's temptation that you need to know knowledge of good and evil by studying the end times, the last days, the beast and all this other stuff-he just seeks to draw you away from the Tree of Life-and that is Jesus Christ. If we know Him, He knows us, and He won't deny His own. Knowing HIM is the most important and necessary thing a Christian can do.

Pro 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish:

That word 'vision' means understanding, or revelation. Think about it. On that day, nothing else will matter but does He know you? Can He look at you and see the reflection of Himself the way we look at our children and see ourselves? If we know Him, it will change us. It will save us. Lord, You alone our life, may we be hid in you, having in our hearts and minds forsaken ourselves and this world while the choice can still be made.

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