17 September 2015

If He Calls You

Have you received a word from the Lord, and immediately began to seek confirmation? Have you ever wondered why people of God, His sheep who hear His voice, need another voice to assure them that they have heard? When the Lord speaks, different people, respond different ways, and for different reasons. It's good to be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, as we walk alongside others. In this way, we have opportunity to come to know their heart as they follow the Lord in obedience.

It's not at all uncommon for one to hear direction from the Lord, know it is the Lord, and then ask for confirmation. Why, would someone certain that they have heard, have any question?

Gideon put out a fleece. The Lord answered the way he requested. Barak asked Deborah to join him for encouragement. She did, but it cost him the honor of the victory. And David used the Urim. A process whereby God spoke sovereignly, aside from the mind and will of man.

The disciples cast the lot to determine Holy Spirit's choice of Matthias. James received the message to the Gentile believers, confirmed through the counsel, what seemed good to them and to Holy Spirit. And the Lord spoke sovereignly to Paul, in a vision in the night, to go to Macedonia. 

Many perfer the path of Barak and the apostles in counsel at Jerusalem. They fear going alone, or the issue was presented to multiple people, on behalf of multiple people. Few are opposed to Gideon's fleece or the disciples lots. But, what is one to do when the Lord speaks sovereignly through the Urim or a vision in the night?

What do YOU do when the Lord speaks sovereignly to you?

Do you go for reinforcements - finding someone who is perceived to hear the Lord better than you? Do you gather with others seeking unity in their counsel? That seemed good to Holy Spirit.

Do you take that word and weigh it against a fleece? Do you cast the lot? God was not offended in either case. He ansered, leaving no doubt.

Or, do you have a relationsip with your heavenly Father that enables you to trust His voice? He reveals His pleasure in unshakable confidence in His goodness.

He said, "My sheep hear My voice - and the voice of another, they will not follow."

Is He true and every man a liar? 

Will we trust Him more than we doubt ourselves? 

There is something key in Gideon's fleece ~ he had no doubt that he had been visited by an angel of the Lord. The issue was not in what he had heard, but in what he had experienced, or more accurately, what he had not experienced. Gideon had heard the wonderful stories of Almighty God, but he had not witnessed them for himself. Likewise, the disciples in the upper room had been told by Jesus, that He was sending them another helper, One who would teach them, but their experience with Him apart from the man Jesus, was lacking.

Barak on the other hand, felt an increase in confidence, if Deborah went with him. His insecurity cost him the honor the Lord had prepared for him. He willingly laid it aside. Whereas James had been brought together with the other apostles specifically to discuss an issue that concerned the church as a whole.

As a leader, David sought the sovereign will of God. While David regularly submitted himself to the prophet, no man could take the place of his personal relationship with the God Whose heart he was after. So it was with Paul. A man who knew who he was and what he was called to, honored and respected other apostles, prophets and leaders in the church, still, none of them could replace the voice of the sovereign God Who had called him. These men of God, didn't need a sign, neither did they require the security of man. 

They were the security of those who required it. They provided the sign to those who needed it.

When will you have seen enough wondrous miracles to no longer require a fleece?

How long will you give the honor intended for you, to another?

When will your obdeience to the sovereign word of God, become the security and provide the sign to another? 

If you need a fleece; obtain one.
If you need to cast the lot; do so.
If you are willing to give the honor meant for you to another; lay it down.
If you are called to the counsel; show up.
If you have the Urim; use it.
If He calls to you in the night; join Him.

A vision appeared to Paul in the night:a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia,  concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." Acts 16:9-10

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