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Synopsis of Stepping Into the New by Hearing – 2013
Good and joyful morning to all Christian brothers and sisters on this the day the lord has made. Pull up a chair, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, or milk, or whatever is your favorite…. We’re about to slice a piece of the bread of life, the word of God.
Isa 43:16 Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; 17 which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; They shall lie down together, they shall not rise: they are extinct, they are quenched as tow. 18 Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19 behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20 the beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. 21 this people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. I want to dwell on the phrase in verse 19…. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?
First… lets define some of the words in this phrase. Behold is to observe with care. Not just to look at or listen to with our mind elsewhere as we are wont to do. Observe is to make observation of with respect and reverence. Observe with care means to observe with concern about Another word might be … heed — or observe with attention. To borrow a phrase….. Stop – Look – and Listen.
The next word to inspect is new. I believe God is saying that we are to experience something not heard of or known before. Another way to articulate it is… different from one of the same kind. Perhaps it might be expressed as “something strange”. You know we keep hearing of a new world order. I believe God wants to teach us a new spiritual order. Perhaps a new breed of Christian. And a new order that will push out the old order.
As my wife, Sue and I communicate with men of God who travel into other countries with the word of God and receive also from other countries the word of God, we begin to realize that we are in the shift….. NOW. This may be a message that is hard to swallow. So perhaps it is time to pray…. God, I believe…. but, help my unbelief.
Look around us. The world is in a state that it has never been in quite like this. And, certainly, our country is in a state that it has never been in before. It is a time of chaos…. But, don’t panic…. remember our God started this earth by speaking chaos into order. He’s good at it.
Perhaps you remember a couple of weeks back I preached a message entitled “God Has Had Enough”. Now I want to add to that…. Discipline. So…. God spoke to the chaos and it subsided into order. So…. If he is ready to speak again…. We must be ready to listen.
We need to begin praying that God show us what is going on in our lives today. But… we must be listening for his answers. We spend too much time praying. Bro. Dick, too much time praying? Yes…. we need to spend more time listening. Our praying habits have become our telling God what our wants and needs are…. rather than listening to what his wants and desires of us are. We treat God as though he is a vending machine with all our wishes and needs.
A.W. Tozer said it this way…. “The universal voice of God is wisdom.” So if we want wisdom during this time of worldly chaos…. then we must be listening.
Now…. we must recognize this. Some churches will not want anything to do with something new…. even if it comes from God. Some are comfortable just as it is. We prefer to sit in a circle, join hands, look at each others navels, and pray for aunt Susie’s gall bladder, and cousin Ralph’s need of a job.
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. 64 but there are some of you that believe not. For jesus knew from the beginning who they were thatbelieved not, and who should betray him. 65 and he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my father. In other words…. Not by your decision due to religion…. but because you have heard from the father. Vs.66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
My friends, watch as this new thing God has for our nation. How many will go back and walk no more with Him. Oh… they’ll continue to be church goers…. but not true followers of Christ. They will rather follow the old way, where they are comfortable.
This reminds me of a Panuts comic strip with Charlie Brown saying to snoopy, “I hear you are writing a book on theology. I hope you have a good title.” Snoopy responds, “I have the perfect title, “Has it Ever Occurred to You That You Might be Wrong?” Snoopy’s title reminds us that our understanding of God and what he requires of us is sometimes twisted. Because our wrong beliefs lead to wrong behavior, we need to repent. Keep in mind that the Greek word for repent is metanoeo, which means “change your mind”.
John 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.
Remember with me…. Christ’s own words…. Mat 9:17 Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. If God has new wine for this nation are you willing to be new bottles so that both the new wine (His plan) and the new bottle (you) be preserved. For then, and only then will we be living in the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Lets study what it takes to have full trust in God.
First, we must recognize that we are in war. But, not in war over our souls. Not in war over our lives. Not in war over our issues. Not in war over our nation. We are in war over God’s goodness. In other words in war over his intentions. You see, if we are intimate with God, and can listen to God, we will be concerned about his concerns and not our concerns.
Second, the main point of our life is intimacy with God. It is why he created us to begin with. It is for our knowing just how good he really is. Comfort is not the main purpose of life. Getting our way, is not the main reason of life. Success / accomplishment is not the main function of life. Adam and Eve hiding in the garden were caught up in fear. running away from the remedy 1John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Third, in dealing with all that presents intimacy with God must make us aware of our doubts. Let me say it this way, you can’t fix what you don’t know is wrong. A good analogy is a baby with it’s mother. As long as it has it’s mother in sight all is well. But when she is out of the infant’s sight it begins to cry. In short time it takes only the mother’s voice to give it the calmness. As it grows up and begins to crawl or walk it is sufficient to hear it’s mother to feel safe. Later it is adequate that they know she is in the house. Later it is knowing she is accessible if needed. In early adulthood it can be in another town, but available. It can be that way with us and God. Why? As we remember what God has done for us, we can trust him to help us with today’s dificulties as well as tomorrow’s uncertainties.
Back to the message of the day The secret is simply to develop the trust in God prior to crisis. Developing this trust will get you feeling that it is o k to live in contradiction and mystery….. without fear. Trust also brings transformation. Unfortunately, our confidence comes from observable scientific knowledge. But… about other less measurable matters we’re less bold. If results and conclusions can’t be nailed down with calculated numbers or provable facts, we back away from declaring any firm commitments, or taking any leaps of faith.
The mother of Jesus had no doubts. Confronted with a problem beyond her abilities of running out of wine at the wedding celebration she confidently turns to Jesus for a solution. Yet notice that Mary never asks Jesus to do anything. She simply lays the problem out before him and awaits his response. Mary’s confidence isn’t in Jesus’ ability to take any specific action on the matter. Rather her confidence is in Jesus himself, in his very nature.
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