1 Samuel 3:1-14

The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions. 2 One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. 3 The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the LORD, where the ark of God was. 4 Then the LORD called Samuel. 

Samuel answered, “Here I am.” 5 And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” 

But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down. 

6 Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” 

“My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” 

7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him. 

8 The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” 

Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. 9 So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 

10 The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” 

Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 

11 And the LORD said to Samuel: “See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. 12 At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family—from beginning to end. 13 For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. 14 Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, ‘The guilt of Eli’s house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.’ ” 


Hearing, Listening and Responding


Today, as in the days of Samuel, the Lord is teaching His anointed to once again hear and discern the voice of the Lord.   The Lord is here to reveal Himself to us and through us in word and in power.  Often we can miss the voice of God to us because the intents of our flesh are so loud that they make us dull in our hearing.  Our hearing is increased as we listen and obey.  Our quick obedience and responsiveness to God’s word to us increases our sensitivity to hear Him and to know His ways.  The Lord is not someone we rush.  He doesn’t operate on our timetable; He operates upon His.  It is not for God to wait upon us; it is for us to wait upon Him.  If we are too busy and occupied to wait, then it is likely we won’t hear a lot from the Lord.  

One of the first principles that Samuel learned when he discerned from Eli that He was hearing the voice of God was to make Himself available.    When Samuel finally discerned the Lord’s voice Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”  Do we know God’s voice when He is trying to speak to us?   Do we make ourselves available to listen and obey?   Sometimes the word that God gives us is a weighty word.  It can have serious implications toward the ones that it is directed toward.

We are not responsible for the words, other than to accurately communicate them the way that God gives them to us, but we are responsible to be available and obedient to what He does speak and direct us to do.  Samuel was reluctant to speak the word of judgement to Eli and his household that the Lord had given him, but he was obligated to do so.  When we become God’s mouth piece and His instrument, then it is not about what we say, or what we think, it is about being true to the sound that God is blowing through your instrument in whatever capacity that is. The soul must step down and give place to the spirit man to release and obey the Spirit within Him.  

Most all of us that have been in the church world for sometime have often seen a mixture of flesh and Spirit in operation.  What we have observed to a great extent has been a polluted anointing.  Whenever our flesh is mixed with Spirit it taints it.  

God wants to do something, in this hour, through each one of us.  He is looking for holy vessels that will be true to His Spirit.  He is looking for a people that have His interest at heart and not their own.  Before God can release through us the fullness of His power and anointing there must be first developed within us the character that is in the likeness of His own.  If our character isn’t true to the Lord then what He would attempt to produce through us will fall to the earth.  There are small things in our integrity and character that God wants us to start paying attention too. We have all justified a lot of things.  We all have our little indiscretion, little lies or dishonesties, but God is calling us now to integrity and accountability to Him.  He has a holy calling before us and it will take a holy character to walk in that calling.  Begin to be extremely sensitive to the voice of the Spirit and conscience in your daily lives.  Become much more disciplined in your listening and responsiveness to the Holy Spirit.  He can lead us into all truth, but only we can be willing to partake of it.  

The Lord will begin speaking to us more and more in that still small voice of His Spirit.   We, like Samuel, must learn to discern that voice and respond in obedience to it in every area of our lives.  God is purposing great things through His people, but He is looking for a church without spot or wrinkle.  That means that He must wash us and with His fuller’s soap and press us with His refiner’s fire till we come forth purified for His purpose and His calling.  Listen for Him, trust Him and obey Him. 

 

Blessings,

kent

His Church

October 3, 2013

His Church

Ephesians 5:25-30
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.

We, the Church, the loving bride of Christ, are taking in our hands the faces of the world’s wounded, downtrodden and outcast. We are the voice of God’s love and good news to those that are looking for direction and purpose in their lives. At some point, I think most people come to the realization of how shallow and empty that life is without God in it. Some would scorn and say we just use God as a crutch, because we aren’t able to think for ourselves and have no mind of our own. I am just so thankful that I have the wisdom to recognize how lame I am without Him. They are right I have no more use for my mind, because I understand how much greater it is to have the mind of Christ. Yes, the world and its spirit will often mock and ridicule us, but in the end what do they have but themselves, a meaningless life and an eternity of darkness. Mock the church if you will, but a least she is full of light and hope. She has purpose for living and being. She is more than just the expression of humanity; she is the expression of God’s redemption working in humanity. Yes, we will find in her many cracks and flaws if we are only looking on the outward vessel, but contained within her is a treasure beyond measure. It is the awesome presence of God’s Holy Spirit and Life. So many and varied are her members, all of them unique and different, but each one reflecting some aspect and dimension of God’s nature.
The Church is the redeemed of the Lord. It is the blood of Christ that now courses through our veins with the life-flow of God’s life, love and forgiveness. His mind is renewing our mind. His thoughts are becoming our thoughts. His eyes are becoming our eyes as we see our world from a kingdom of heaven perspective. As we hear with spiritual ears the world’s voice, we are moved to compassion for the hurting and the weak. We are moved to indignation over the world’s sin and antichrist behavior, but in it all, we are the salt of the earth. We are the ones that season it with the flavor of life and godliness. We are the ones who bring hope and the message of God’s love and reconciliation. Our world is perishing before us as we speak, but are we speaking God’s life and His love? Are we communicating with our world only on its terms, or are we communicating in a manner that our world is seeing something different in us? It doesn’t take us standing on a soapbox, preaching hell, fire and damnation to communicate God to people. It takes living a life that is like His, full of self-sacrifice, compassion, righteousness tempered with humility. It is not about us being lifted up or us being better than others, it is about us rolling up our sleeves and being willing to get down in the mud and dirt so that we lift someone else up. God didn’t place us in the position of looking down on others. He has placed us in the position of servanthood, of being the least that we might serve the greater. People won’t care about what we have to say until they know we really care.
It is sad when see so much of the church caught up in the outward show of things, in crowd appeal, pomp and splendor. You are more likely to find the greater presence of the Lord in some small nobody minister of the Lord who is simply in the fields of humanity laboring for the kingdom. His notoriety is not in the way he dresses, or performs, or orates, it in the likeness he has to Christ and His nature. He stands out the way Mother Teresa stood out. These people are a unique breed who have lost their life in expressing His.
Is that who we are today? How much of our life is still about us? Most of us would have to admit an awful lot of who and what we are is still about us. This is not to condemn us, but it is not in living for us that we will find God’s highest and His richest blessings. We have to become about serving others and that doesn’t mean letting everyone manipulate you into what they think you should do. It is in being humble and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit to direct you in His purpose and His plan.
The Church is a beautiful woman, but she is not yet without spot or wrinkle. It will no doubt take the fuller’s soap to cleanse her and the fire of God to iron out her wrinkles, along with the washing of the water of the word. Each one of us is a part of what makes up God’s church and His bride. How are we living out our part?

Blessings,
kent

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