They Knew My Voice

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I have been blessed with 3 children who have grown to adulthood, but in their early years the training process was arduous. What seemed like constant “no” was heard day-in and day-out as they learned what obedience looked like and what consequences came from lack thereof. But that time eventually turned to walking in peace – for ultimately obedience does bring that. I often wondered if it was worth all the work it took but I would then witness children without any constraints – walking in continual disobedience – and I knew I didn’t want my children to be adults walking that road.

Gen. 22: 1-3 After these things God tested Abraham and said to him, Abraham” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So, Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac. And he cut the wood for the burnt offering and rose and went to the place of which God had told him.

I have read this story for years and wondered how Abraham was able to instantly say YES to this request from God. It looks like Abraham was only given the BIG directives – “leave your home and family” “sacrifice your son”. However, just like my children, those big directives are only followed when the voice is heard, known and with no hesitation followed. That process takes a building time – so unseen to us – Abraham had learned the voice of his God, and was able to quickly say “Here I am”.

When my children heard, knew and heeded my voice they learned that the reason, ultimately was for their good. They learned to obey the “pick up your room”, “brush your teeth”, etc directives without questioning so that if the day came and the train was barreling down the tracks at them, with me on one side and them on the other – they would instantly, with no hesitation – hear my voice and stop – keeping them from certain calamity. They had learned and knew my voice.

As God’s children, we too are being trained to hear, know and with no hesitation say YES! It is a process and it will cost us much, just as it did for Abraham. But, when we know He has only the best for us, our YES will come quicker and without hesitation. We will know His voice.

As I chose to be committed to obeying the voice of God with an immediate willing obedience – my valiant YES LORD has become my determination to live my life as He directs. It’s the only appropriate response to my loving God! No matter how strange, difficult or unpopular His direction may be – my desire is to say YES LORD. As Abraham said “Here I am” – I chose to take one little obedient step forward at a time.

Let’s walk out obedience as we learn to hear, know and respond with a valiant YES LORD! For as we walk in our daily lives with this focus we will see His hand move and transform our lives and those around us – bringing the Kingdom of God into our own back yard.

The key is learning to hear His voice – know that He has the best for us – saying YES – and courageously moving forward.

Obedience is only obedience when it is quickly followed – for delayed obedience is unfortunately – disobedience!

Join me in a courageous obedient stand and with a valiant YES LORD – we will move into new adventures as His voice speaks.

 

 

And the Walls Come Down!

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     Walls are meant to protect, to keep out or to keep in.

 But unbeknownst to us we find that outside forces have placed walls around us. Walls that set limitations on who we are – such as physical or mental illnesses, financial barriers, broken toxic relationships, and even environmental constraints; these are walls that must be broken down to allow freedom in our lives.

The story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho is a great example for us to consider. Joshua knew Jericho was promised territory but with thick tightly shut walls there was no way in. They had natural options just like we have – battle through with all the weapons and strength available, negotiate and manipulate to make a deal that allows a win or to listen and obey the voice of the Spirit of the living God.

Here, for Joshua and for us lies the rub! To run ahead and do all that is naturally possible makes the most sense – for isn’t that what makes a strong independent people?

The hardest thing to do is to choose to believe what you cannot do or see! Having faith in God – stopping your own striving, working, and trying – it is not easy but it is the only way that HE can come in and show himself strong on your behalf.

And the Walls Come Down!

 Joshua and all of Israel chose to listen and obey – to do what didn’t make sense. They were to quietly walk around the city once a day for 6 days then on the 7th day walk around it 7 times and at the sound of the trumpet shout and rejoice that GOD was delivering the city into their hands. Now remember, they did these things before they saw those walls start to shack, crumble and fall down – they rejoiced BEFORE – for they knew a God that was faithful to His promises. That sound, the sound of rejoicing erupting from them was the key! We too, can listen and obey – and as we rejoice BEFORE we see results the shaking is occurring in the heavenly’s .

And the Walls Come Down!

Freedom can be found! The walls that have blocked you in – limiting you in that which God has chosen for you to do must come down.

The lies of the enemy of your soul can be set back! As you accept and stand up with the authority that you have been given as a child of the King of Kings, a believer in all that the blood of Christ purchased for you, you too can listen and obey the voice of the Spirit of the living God.

And the Walls Come Down!

Rejoicing BEFORE you see the outcome because HE is faithful, because He is a good father and because He is always for you – that is where freedom begins, that is where the battle is won, that is where peace in all circumstances begins!

     Only then do you look and find that the miraculous has occurred.

And the Walls Come Down!

Cloud By Day – Fire By Night

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As Israel was led into the wilderness the very presence of God was visually present to direct their way. A cloud by day to lead them and fire by night to give them light, both leading them into the purposes of God, being a people who belonged to a living God.

The Holy Spirit presents as a type of internal ‘cloud by day and fire by night’. Now dwelling within us, a gift given, a helper introduced, a comforter placed within, that small still whisper, a light leading us into the purposes of God, our true purpose being found as a child of the living God.

That voice, my internal ‘cloud by day and fire by night’ has been present in my life for decades, bringing me comfort in the midst of loss, direction in the center of chaos, peace and joy through this life’s journey. His presence is a source of continual strength, that whispered warning, that voice of instruction and encouragement, a presence that leads me daily into the purposes planned for my life before I was born.

As you hear a whisper beginning to stir, silently pulling your mind to its presence, the still small voice of the Spirit of God is drawing your attention. He is present to bring you direction – both to lead and to warn, a constant presence of a loving God.

That voice, the voice within, the voice of the Holy Spirit, dwells in each of us and becomes louder as we listen. His presence can shape, correct, and lead our lives as we step into a place of believing, receiving, and anticipating His whispered voice.

Today I walk as one who desires to follow that ‘cloud by day and fire by night’, whose presence now resides within me, whose voice I lean into daily, whose warnings I take seriously, whose instructions I endeavor to follow spontaneously, living as one who belongs to my savior, Jesus Christ – a true and living God.

Exodus 13: 21-22 And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people. (ESV)
John 15:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (ESV)

(Artwork courtesy of D.L. Sanchez)