A television program called “The View” mocked Vice President Mike Pence’s Christian faith earlier this week, with co-host Joy Behar saying it was indicative of “mental illness” to think Jesus was talking to him. This got me thinking, assorted and many things, some of which I must admit were not nice, Christians always under attack by the left, from late night comedians, to afternoon talk show hosts, to Hollywood actors, to very leaders of the our countries like our Canadian PM. Many claim to Christians, but are simply religious and have no relationship with Christ at all, for those who can deny Christ (as the girls of The View did) are in danger of being denied by Christ as well.
To “hear” from God is the essential key to walking in victory in a world that those listed above desire after. When God speaks, we listen, this is not mental illness, but certainly can protect us from mental or any other illness that may come our way. We remain thankful when we hear from God, Matthew 12:32 King James Version (KJV) “And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.”
Pointing out how those who are like “Joy” never attack those of other religious faiths has no value nor will it ever win an agreement with them, we must know and have settled in our hearts that no matter what, God is on our side, and barbarian (a uncivilized and hurtful remark made by a heretic) statements can never dissuade us from our stand in Christ. Romans 8:31-38 King James Version (KJV) “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,”
Yet do barbarian statements have any value in building faith? Most want to say no, however, they can. While they generally cause one to examine their faith and therefore build it up, they can also assist in helping us question that will draw closer to the Lord. While the statement was a direct attack on hearing from God, one may ask, why has God been silent with me? Why haven’t I heard from Him for some time? So let’s examine that question instead of the heretic’s one. Keep in mind 2 Timothy 3:16-17 King James Version (KJV) “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” For we want that to be our guide, and not just opinion.
Is God ever silent, sometime we look and our problem is just too great, the circumstance overwhelming, the pressure so great that any voice is screaming out and hearing it is nearly impossible. We allow too many factors to take away the one voice that could and will help, we need but listen. How great is that circumstance, is it earth shaking, is it a mighty inferno, a hurricane of trouble? Then that is when we must withdraw from the situation, take the time and hear from God, then whatever He may say we must act upon that. 1 Kings 19:11-13 King James Version (KJV) “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: 12 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 13 And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah? ” The great prophet had to get to a place where he could He the Lord. The enemy threw all he could at the prophet, it didn’t work, God still came, softly, gently, and personally. Asking Elijah what he doing, then giving instruction. Elijah, like other before him knew that God would do whatever He instructed, He is the Great I AM, I am what, whatever you need. Exodus 3:14 King James Version (KJV) “And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.”
HE HAS ALREADY SPOKEN, BUT YOU DIDN’T LISTEN.
We train our children to listen to us, when? The very first time we speak, why? We want our child to know our voice and receive the goodness that is in store for listening to us. If we have to say “clean your room” fifteen times, eventually we just give up on them and let them live in a messy room. They soon learn this is not good and then they clean it and keep it clean and soon we are not giving that instruction again. The other benefit of teaching a child to listen the “first” time is, when they need to hear from God, He will speak, they will heed His instruction the first time. So if we are not hearing from God, we must ask, has he already spoken to us?
He may not have been silent, we may not have liked what He said and therefore we do not act. Sometimes what the Lord asks of us seems rather strange to us and we just don’t want to look foolish in people’s sight. Yet it is far better to look foolish in their sight and do what God has said, then look foolish in God’s sight and be of no help to others or ourselves. 1 Corinthians 1:27 King James Version (KJV) “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” Here are two “prowerful kingdom keys for us to learn in listening to God.
- “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world” the answer to the need is already here, given most of our situations and circumstances deal with need’s of the here and now, He says He has given you the answer in this world. We may see them as foolish, but they are already here. When ask “if the Lord will” we see here that He has placed the answer already within our world. You can’t “figure” it out, if those who are wise can’t, then we need, but trust God and do as He says.
- “God hath chosen the weak things of the world” when circumstance gets us down, we are weak, our strength has been depleted, we walk on the edge of depression, faith seemly is lost and long gone. Yet He says the weak things still get the answer, strong faith is great and strong faith helps many, but sometime we are weak, God says even the weak will He listen to and He will answer.
We need not worry if God will perform, He always does what He says He will do. When we hear from the Lord we must act like our Father and do also all He says for us to do. Hebrews 1:3 King James Version (KJV) “Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:” The word of His power, Jesus word is the power we need to listen to and act upon.
We must train ourselves to listen the first time, God never takes what He says back, its eternal, He backs that word with all power, nothing in heaven or upon the earth can stand against the Word of God. Matthew 24:35 King James Version (KJV) “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Hearing from God is to do what He has said, there is no need to worry about whether or not what you say will happen, if you are speaking the Word of God into a situation then you know without doubt God will do it. Mark 16:20 King James Version (KJV) “And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.” Notice that the Lord was working with them, you’re never alone in the walk with God. There is no need to worry what others may call you, that’s not relevant to getting the answer to the need you are facing, whether it be yours or another’s. God will work with you, in what you are doing, then too, He confirms His Word, our circumstance gets resolved by the speaking of what God says in the situation not what we think or say, but what the Word has to say about it.
God may seem silent because we haven’t responded to the last thing he said. James 1:5 King James Version (KJV) “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Hearing and listening are two different things. Let’s go back to speaking to our children, “clean your room” they answer you with “yes” so then they heard you. Yet, you pass by the room a few hours later and it is still messy, why? Yes, they heard you, but they didn’t listen to you. Listening is placing action to hearing. When we hear God, we must listen as well, the expression, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” is untrue, the truth is God said it and that settles it, we need but listen and act upon it, that is when I believe becomes a requirement. When we examine Mark 4 we learn that we do not take action, or listen, to the Word of the Lord because we get bogged down with so much more in the world. Mark 4:18-19 King James Version (KJV) “And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” Here we see the most powerful reason that the Word (as seed) does not produce for us. We are not listening because to much is stealing that Word from our hearts. Being deceived by wealth, lusting after other things, usually what another has (keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome) but the greatest reason is “the cares” of this world. The simple act of living day to day steals the word. You ask “isn’t that reason we need the Word, just to get by daily”? Yes, it is but look again, what has stolen the word, it is the “cares”. Care means; worry, grief, frustration, anguish, mental anxiety. When you are focused on these “cares” it is not possible for you to listen to God. You are placing the cares above the word and the word will remain undone.
Once you become a Christian you no longer are an earthly creature, you belong to heaven, so hearing from it is by far easier. Look to heaven for the answer, Yes it is in the world, but it may not be earthly. The two are very different, Colossians 3:1-3 King James Version (KJV) “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Just as Jesus stand s for you in heaven, God sees Jesus in your circumstance and answers Him, fulfills His word.
The sense ruled mind always stands against receiving from God, the Word ruled mind always “listens” to the Word. 2 Corinthians 5:7 King James Version (KJV) (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We have heard seeing is believing, yet this scripture is saying, believing is seeing. Faith always comes first for those who will listen to God. God will never let you down when you listen to Him, He has spoken you need but listen and act. Psalm 37:18-19 King James Version (KJV) “The Lord knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever. 19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.”
Get acquainted with silence is intimate, silence can also be a sign of confidence. Listening to God takes time, we can ask and He will act, but more often than we like we do not listen because we have not become intimate with God, we haven’t trained ourselves to know His voice, so He speaks and we do not hear. Your need has not gone by His throne and He has just let it fly by, no, He responded, but it was us who didn’t hear the answer.
We can’t get into the many truths found in Phillipians 4 but there are a couple of things very important to us in these scriptures. Philippians 4:10-19 King James Version (KJV) “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. 19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Verse 13 is the one that teaches us how important it is to listen, “I can do all things through Christ.” What is that needs to be done, the message of this passage is dealing with finances, but Paul says all things, what is that you are facing today. Get God’s Word on it, then do it, for you too can do all things through Christ, who gives you the strength to do it. Like we said , even the weak can do what is required in faith, for your strength will be in Christ and not in you. The last verse sates clearly, “my God will supply” your listen, trusting has the assurance of God suppling. So Listen.
Remember that silence is action too, Hollywood says “quite on the set” why, because the action is about to begin. We saw with Elijah that the action wasn’t in the troubles, but rather in the quietness. In the legal sense, silence is consent, “Pure and simple silence cannot be considered as a consent to a contract, except in cases when the silent person is bound in good faith to explain himself, in which case, silence gives consent. But no assent will be inferred from a man’s silence, unless, 1st. He knows his rights and knows what he is doing and, 2d. His silence is voluntary.” Bound in good faith, there isn’t any better type of faith, than that, of being bound to Christ. Faith in the Word, we believe and therefore we receive. We need not be running around speaking thing that are against our faith, in silence we know know that which we believe will be what takes place. So too, once God has said something to you, He believes you, He trusts you will do what He has said, why does He need to repeat Himself? Notice it says He knows his rights, your righteousness is in Christ, His rights are yours, know your rights, Romans 10:4 King James Version (KJV) “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” It also says he knows what he is doing, that faith. Faith will lead you, guide into all that is right.
So we don’t have a silent God, we may have listening problem, but no longer.