216. The way of the wise

Every so often it is difficult to choose from a wide variety.  The scope of the subject, which we study, is so great that millions of people use the internet to minister and lecture on a scale previously not even imagined.  Every message should be weighed and judged to discern the truth of the content.   It is so valuable to be able to tune into a recommendation of a tried and proven ministry. 

It is over thirty years that our family follows the ministry of Jack Hayford  from Southern California.  After the Bible edited by him, had found its way into our house, we have learnt so much.  It is the Spirit-Filled Life Bible with extensive footnotes, word-explanations and summaries.  These days, over the last few years, his short email-message waits in our inboxes every morning.  It is with respect and acknowledgment to him that I write on his message of December 26, 2021.  The principles highlighted there, stayed with me over these last days.  

The Fall feasting season of old Israel got under way with the Feast of the Trumpets, a one-day feast to commemorate the voice of God.  It is significant that the trumpet is the symbol of the voice of God.  It is not reserved for the announcement of the Second Coming.  We need to “hear” the trumpet daily.  God is speaking all the time.  The whole of Psalm 29 celebrates the voice of God.

I do realize that Christians might have an almost annoying way of saying: Then God spoke to me and said… Well, what?  Do you hear an audible voice, thunder or floods like rushing waters (Revelation 1:15).  Even so, God describes himself as a God who speaks (Isaiah 52:6).  Jesus says we are clean by the words He spoke to us (John 15:3).  He washes the church in the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26).  

That is how He speaks – mostly through his Word that we hold in our hand or pocket, but not exclusively.  He speaks in the beauty and rhythms of nature, through other people, through his blessings that He so richly bestows on us, in dreams and visions – the possibilities are endless if we are tuned in and willing to listen.  He speaks in our circumstances – prayer  is a dialogue.  But – how do I hear the voice that says:  “This is the way, walk in it,” (Isaiah 30:21).  The answer is in the wisdom of the Proverbs.

My son, if you receive my words,
And treasure my commands within you,
So that you incline your ear to wisdom,
And apply your heart to understanding; 

Yes, if you cry out for discernment,
And lift up your voice for understanding,
(Proverbs  2:1-3)

My son, give attention to my words;
Incline your ear to my sayings.

Do not let them depart from your eyes;
Keep them in the midst of your heart;
For they are life to those who find them,
And health to all their flesh.
 (Proverbs 4:20-22)

My son, pay attention to my wisdom;
Lend your ear to my understanding,
That you may preserve discretion,
And your lips may keep knowledge.
 (Proverbs 5:1-2)

It is with a sensitive spirit and an open and submissive mind that we hear the word of God, when He establishes our thoughts (Proverbs16:3).  It is not a spooky trance-like experience or a mystic ritual of repeated phrases and pleading words.  It is not a mindless, frantic search in darkness and confusion.  God does not expect you to switch off your brain.  Your thought-processes are a gift from him.  He has given us a sound mind  (2 Timothy 1:7) and self-control (Galatians 5:22) by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

We need the voice of God in our life.  We need it for 2022.  This is why the little verse about the wise men impacted me so much.

 Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.  (Matthew 2:12)

Most plane tickets are bought with a return included.  It is logical to return the same way.  The wise men decided on another way because of the “voice” of God in a dream.   The Holy Spirit warned them and they heeded “the voice”.  By being obedient, and not flippant about the dream, they most likely saved the Christ-child and his parents from a premature escape from Bethlehem.

It there “another way” for you in 2022?  Is  there a possibility to do things differently – the Holy Spirit way?

Do you need the dawn in your life – the dawn that God commands?

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
  (Job 38:12)

We are children of the day, of the light.  We do not dwell in darkness and fear.  We are not exposed to the craziness around us.  We are citizens of the invisible Kingdom.  Hear the Word of the Lord.

You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.  (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
 (Isaiah 55:3)

The promise still stands – great is Thy faithfulness oh Lord.

“Now it shall come to pass, when all these things come upon you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you, and you call them to mind among all the nations where the Lord your God drives you, and you return to the Lord your God and obey His voice, according to all that I command you today, you and your children, with all your heart and with all your soul, that the Lord your God will bring you back from captivity, and have compassion on you, and gather you again from all the nations where the Lord your God has scattered you. If any of you are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you.

The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your handin the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good.For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 10 if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.  (Deuteronomy 30:1-4,9-10)

Be greatly blessed in 2022!

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