Stop, Look and Listen

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Today’s slice of the Bread of Life, the Word of God, comes from Romans 8:12-14:

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

The warning to the Church is: We need to keep our focus on Christ and be led by the Holy Spirit of Truth. We cannot just run after teaching, we must focus on the Teacher.

Picture a little boy breaking free from his father’s hand and running across the street without looking. What he saw on the other side of the street got his attention and he just went for it. Across the street was a bicycle placed at the curb, as if it was discarded and waiting for trash pick-up. The boy, being young and immature, had his eyes on an empty hope and lost focus of what is important. I feel this was is warning to the Church. We need to keep our focus on Christ and be led by the Holy Spirit of Truth. We cannot continue to run after teaching; we must focus on the Teacher. We must simply do as the title of today’s message says. One of the first safety rules children are taught when they are very young is to stop, look and listen. Once this simple children’s poem is learned, it serves as a guide the remainder of their life:

Stop, look and listen – before you cross the street.
First use your eyes, then your ears, before you use your feet.

STOP! I believe God is calling us to halt from our efforts, rest in Him and be led by the Holy Spirit of Truth. We are called to live by faith in Him and lean not on our own understanding. We have been motivated by our soul instead of being led by our spirit in oneness with the Holy Spirit. My favorite verse of the Bible is Proverbs 3:5-6:

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct thy path.

LOOK! We must perceive with attention what the Holy Spirit is doing by keeping our gaze upon Him at all times. In doing so we will stay on the right path and be prepared for what the Holy Spirit is saying as we wait expectantly.

LISTEN! When we rest from our labors and set our gaze upon Him, then we are prepared to receive what the Holy Spirit is saying. As we hear the voice of God we will be motivated by love to step out in faith and obedience.

Teaching is great because we need to be taught by the Bible. No one knows that any better than I, having been an industrial instructor in the secular world and now a Bible Teacher. But the Body of Christ must move beyond the teaching of the Word into an experience with the living God. “Experience, Bro. Dick?” Yes, experience, or involvement, or understanding, or know-how. We will only achieve this by coming to the end of our effort and resting in Him. We must keep our gaze upon Him and wait expectantly for His direction.

Hebrews 6:1 Amplified says:

“Therefore let us go on and get past the elementary stage in the teachings and doctrine of Christ, advancing steadily toward the completeness that belong to spiritual maturity”

In this coming season we move from death of the old way into the new life. It’s a new beginning. All I’m saying is that it’s the end of our soul being in control of our life and the beginning of the spirit-man taking over our mind, will and emotions. My friends, this is not my will; it is God’s…

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