Keys To Hearing God Speak

Do you need a Word from God?  Are you in a season of questions with no answers?  I am in that place right now.  I have decisions to make.  They require the direction from God so I don’t waste valuable time, energy or money.  Can you relate?

I read His Word.  I pray over it every time it comes to mind.  My ears are tuned and I’m eagerly waiting.  Is there something I’m missing?  Is there a key to this?

It’s funny how the scripture plays out.  Jeremiah 29:13 says “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”  Key number one then is that we must seek Him with all of our heart.  But what does that look like?

I read something today in scripture that I hope will give us help and clarity.  1 Samuel 3:1 says “And the child ministered unto the Lord before Eli.  And the Word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.’

If you caught it there was a great clue in that verse.  It says that the word of the Lord was precious. There was no vision.  I pondered this because any Christian you ask would say the Word is precious but do they really mean it?  Here’s why I say that.  The Word had only become precious because they had no vision.  Heaven was silent.  Isn’t is true how precious His voice and Word become when you can’t hear anything?

This is our missing link, key number two.  If His beautiful Word was truly precious to us we would be reading it everyday.  We would be communing with our Father every chance we get. The definition of the word precious in this passage means: precious, rare, splendid, weighty, honored, costly, valuable…  You get the picture.  It gave the word picture of precious gem stones.

I submit when we truly value His Word enough to obey it we will hear from Him more often.  I can read it but if I don’t obey it I don’t value it.  This was the case in 1 Samuel.  Eli’s sons offered God “strange fire”.  This was disobedience to the Lords instructions.  No value.

Elvis Presley said, “Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave ’em all over everything you do”.  You will do what you value.

If I don’t even read it then it doesn’t carry much weight.  I give my time to what I value most.  If I was continually asked for help or direction but the advice was never headed I’d quit giving it.  I, like God, wouldn’t speak either.

Our Father’s Words are more valuable than gold.  They’re more precious than gems.  Do we really value His voice?  Do you truly want to hear?  You are so valuable to Him.  He wants to speak to you.  He died for the chance.  If you seek Him He will be found.  Today let’s seek Him with all our heart.

By Jaime Luce

 

Wrestling for the Blessing

So many times we hear the word blessing used and for all kinds of things.  I personally like to use it in my signature block.  You may ask someone “How are you?” and they may respond “Blessed”.  Both are fine but extremely lacking.  To be blessed biblically means to not only be blessed but to also be a blessing.  It is to have great favor and to actually receive the blessing that was promised.  Have you ever been promised a blessing? Promises are good but it’s even better to receive the blessing!

 

In Genesis 25 we are introduced to Jacob and Esau .  Right away we see a struggle for preeminence between brothers.  Somewhere inside of Jacob even before birth was a hunger to be blessed.  I’m sure Jacob felt very conflicted inside because on the one hand he wanted the blessing and any rights that brought with it.  On the other hand though to be truly blessed also meant to be a blessing to all those he would deal with.  So how does being a blessing line up with cheating your brother to get it?  Have you ever felt like two people?  My brother-in-law, who is now passed, struggled with drug addiction and all that entails.  He said once “It feels like I have two people fighting a war inside me.  One wants whats right and other does not.” This was a torment to him and evidenced by his tattoos.  On his right side were angels and all things good and on the left were all things bad.

(I won’t take the time to discuss Esau here but I’d like to concentrate on Jacob. He wanted it so badly that he manipulated and cheated to get it. He didn’t operate alone but I will also leave out for the sake of space his mom and dad who played a role in this manifested behavior.  If you read the text ,and I encourage you to do that, but you can see the problem which is a good lesson for parents).

I have often wondered why God let Jacob “get away” with his deception. Reading it now I see that He didn’t. I don’t mean to imply that God would get him instead that He would correct him.  The final outcome would be as we already knew since it was prophesied at birth but getting there is where the story is.

For Jacob the road to understanding and receiving blessing came filled with Gods faithful tutelage. You see, this is where God didn’t let him get away with his deceptive manipulations.  Rather he would be taught to have a right understanding of the blessing and its true purpose, its value and how to rightfully obtain it.

Jacob left his family in obedience to his father’s instructions to take a wife and to remain away for a time so his brother wouldn’t kill him.  He immediately found the wife he wanted but her dad was a cheater too.  We always reap what we sow.  This isn’t to hurt us but to help us understand a loving and just God.  He got his wife but not after working seven years and being tricked into marrying the wrong one.  He then had to work another 7 years for the right one.  Ironically, Laban his wife’s father, continued to try to reap the blessing of having Jacob work for him knowing he was blessed because of Jacob. It seems Laban suffered from the same problem.  Jacob felt trapped by Laban.  He was unable to receive his personal blessing while living out the consequences that were produced from his own trickery.  I don’t think there was a better way that God could have chosen to teach Jacob.  He put him with someone who was just like he was in order to show him himself.

God used this and spoke to Jacob again about his blessing.  He told Jacob to go back home and He would be with him.  He would receive his blessing and also be a blessing. But to Jacob there remained a problem.  He has to leave Laban who won’t be happy to let him go. So he flees without telling him and Laban comes after him.  In Genesis 31:25-42 the exchange between the two is awesome because Jacob lays out his complaint to Laban. This complaint was the very story of the lesson God taught Jacob.

He had worked very hard for Laban who unjustly would change Jacob’s pay.  He always tried to obtain his blessing at Jacobs expense.  This was precisely what Jacob had done to Esau.  Our blessings aren’t predicated on someone else not getting theirs.  That’s covetousness. Our God is big enough to bless each of us without someone else having to go without.  Further, when we are blessed it should never cause pain to others. Instead we are blessed to be a blessing.  Now that he had learned this he was ready to receive his rightful blessing.

As Laban lets Jacob go with blessing to his brother Esau, Jacob is left alone with God. Jacob must now wrestle it out.  He must wrestle out all that he has learned and be humbled so that he can contain what he is about to receive.  I love that we can learn from others who have walked with God.  How did they do it?  How did God respond?  I’ve heard many who think that you shouldn’t wrestle with God as if that’s offensive.  I guess I don’t see it like that at all.  We really aren’t wrestling with God but we are wrestling to receive.  We aren’t trying to force God but rather we are fighting to know how to receive. The word is full of promises that most Christians don’t walk in.  We believe them with our heads but somehow we still have unbelief in our hearts.  Like Jacob, we desperately want the blessing but we know we don’t deserve it in our hearts so we don’t really believe we can receive it.  We look at our unrighteousness instead of His promise.  Thank God for his diligent teaching and molding of our lives.  Just as he worked on Jacob He also works on us.  The key is to stay in obedience.  He will do the rest.

Now that God protected Jacob from Laban as He said He would he had to now face the bigger threat of facing his brother.  He needed to know that God would be with him, that He would go all the way with him. He was determined he’d not go on until he had heard from God.  He said in Genesis 32:26 “I will not let you go unless You bless me”. Would to God that we all have this kind of faith.

So in the wrestling God touched his hip and changed his name.  This was part of the blessing because Jacob would always have the constant reminder of his encounter with God.  This encounter so greatly impacted and changed his life that when he saw his brother Esau he said it was as if he’d seen the face of God. Wow! The one who once was as close an enemy as you can have has become the face of God’s mercy, grace and blessing. Not only did he now see differently but since he learned humility from his encounter with God he now continually humbled himself to his brother by calling himself his servant even though the blessing was that Esau would serve Jacob.  There was no longer a fight for position. God would raise him up or put him down.  Our God not only handles the big stuff but all the details in between.  He loves us enough to not leave us as we are but He changes us and if need be He changes our name, making us into His image.  No longer was he Jacob the supplanter but he was now Israel.  Forever we would know him and say his name.  His name went from a negative reflection to a name that represents God and his people forever.

If you don’t know who you are in God you must look to the scriptures for your identity in Christ.  You are now the beloved, the redeemed, the holy and the righteousness of Christ. He even calls you a saint.  I know this can be hard to swallow but it is how He sees us. And it doesn’t stop there.  You are free though bought with a price.  You’re the body of Christ and the heirs of salvation.  The list goes on and on.  

I pray that today, no matter what you were once known for, who you once were or what you are facing, that even if it’s the struggle of your life, you do not turn loose until you receive your blessing.  Don’t give up.  Your story isn’t over and no mountain or fear of one is to big for our God. He has a plan for you  that’s full of blessing.  Jeremiah 29:11-13 says ” For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart”.  

He has had this plan for you from before you were born.  He is faithful and cannot lie. You can trust Him.  He cannot fail! Just be obedient to His direction as Jacob was and watch as God unfolds His promises for you.

By Jaime Luce 

For your own Bible study on this read from Genesis 25-33.

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What Does God Really Want? Part 3

Isaiah 58 is a very rich and plentiful chapter to chew on and I have only skimmed the service in part’s 1 and 2 and I’m afraid it will be the same for this final part 3.  But what’s so interesting is where we will pick up for today.  We ended with verse 9 but only up to part a and I would like to begin with part b. This portion of scripture according to my bible says that the yoke referred to in this passage is in reference to all forms of political, economic, and social injustice.  I love how God’s word is so timely.  It’s living and active and just as relevant today as it was then.  Let’s read it.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,

with the pointing finger and malicious talk,

10and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

11The Lord will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

12Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

 

Isn’t that amazing?  Reading it in the context in which it was written gives great wisdom for our current condition in the USA.  It’s so self explanatory that it doesn’t need expounding.  If we really wanted a blessed abundant life the recipe is right here.   But the evidence is all around us that we have as a nation not lived up to this.  I know we have done many good things but this recipe of not pointing our fingers and speaking maliciously is way of kilter and if we would correct it it would certainly point us in the right direction.  There are always consequences for not doing it God’s way.  But that’s why I love the If-then’s here.  There is always a remedy.  There’s always a cure.  Let’s continue reading.

13“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath

and from doing as you please on my holy day,

if you call the Sabbath a delight

and the Lord’s holy day honorable,

and if you honor it by not going your own way

and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

14then you will find your joy in the Lord,

and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land

and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”

The mouth of the Lord has spoken.

 

True fulfillment and joy are ours for the receiving if we would only honor and obey the voice of the Lord.  We can be very rebellious and say we don’t like being told what to do but the consequences will begin to heap up.  However the opposite is also true.  If we will humble ourselves and honor the only one who deserves our praise, all the joy and victory we need is in His hand.  Yes, it’s our choice but I say today choose wisely.  Your joy depends on it.

 

Blessings,

Jaime Luce

7x A Failure

falling_w1The other day while on Facebook I shared a post from John Bevere.  In it was a scripture that basically spoke from David’s heart about loving to walk in holiness.  Down in the comments section several people had basically ridiculed this passage because David had screwed up and did so in a big way.  This really bothered me and I began meditating on it.  Today in prayer I was surprised that all of a sudden in my spirit the answer came even though I hadn’t been praying for the revelation at this time.  It was so beautifully stated and I understood it immediately and then had to chew on it and realize even for my own life what He was saying.

The scripture that He dropped in mine was Proverbs 24:16a which says “A righteous man falls seven times but he gets back up”.  What the Spirit emphasized was “A righteous man”.  I just sat and thought about it.  It didn’t say a backslider or a hypocrite or a phony. It said “A righteous man”.  Then the thoughts of all the other disciples and stories of this very fact began to come to mind.  I thought about Peter, Mark, Thomas. They weren’t righteous because of their own deeds but by the blood of Jesus.

It’s easy sometimes to believe this for others but not for ourselves.  I wanted to write and post this for anyone who is feeling like a failure.   You’ve blown it and maybe you’ve blown it over and over.  You think that this means you’re disqualified, that you’ve used up all your chances.  But you’re His.  If you are His, then be encouraged my friend.  David did blow it big but it didn’t change the fact that he loved the Holiness of God.  He loved it!  I do to and I’m sure you do.  The righteous fall 7 times but they get back up.  He still calls you righteous!  I know that’s crazy but He does.  I am so thankful for His mercy that is new every morning.  This is just one of the reasons I do love His holiness.  I want to walk in it and show forth His glory as I’m sure you do too.  I want God to call me a woman after His own heart just like David.

So today, if you’ve fallen, get up and start again.  Read those scriptures telling of the beauty of His holiness and start walking.  You’re the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Just stay in Him and you’ll be alright.  Blessings!

Oh and PS If you see someone who has fallen, help them up!

By Jaime Luce

What Does God Really Want? Part 2

So hopefully Part 1 didn’t leave you with to many questions but hopefully wanting to know more.  I don’t know if you have ever fasted so I can only speak for myself but I don’t enjoy them.  After several days it gets easier but not enjoyable.  So I had to think why would they enjoy this?  Sadly though we usually don’t look at ourselves with the same critical eye that we look at others with.  We are quick to judge others and so very merciful on ourselves.  I think here in lies the problem.

Whenever we are going through things that involve others we look from our own perspectives, how this affects me, how I feel etc.  In doing this we tend to pray the same way.  We pray so that we feel better or that the person changes in order for us to feel better about them.  We are consumed with us.  Hey, I do this too and am in need of change too so I’m not dropping the hammer but we do see how plainly the scripture said we fast for strife and debate.  Instead, as those who are Christians, who are to stand in the gap for those in need, we are to be praying and fasting (or sacrificing) from the perspective of others needs and troubles.  We are in essence to meet the needs of theirs and not focus on ours.  You’ve heard this before but to be others centered instead of self-centered.

So let’s look at the next portion of the text which explains our Gods generous heart.

Is this not the fast that I have chosen:
To loose the bonds of wickedness,
To undo the heavy burdens,
To let the oppressed go free,
And that you break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
And that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out;
When you see the naked, that you cover him,
And not hide yourself from your own flesh?

It’s quite the opposite many times of our prayers and fastings.  I mean truly do we suffer or sacrifice or go out of our way with fasting for others?  So I humbly submit a shift in focus.  I know I do this often but how will we grow or be changed into His image if we only look at us.  His heart is beautiful and full of mercy and love toward us.  It really is the thing that will cause others to see Him in us.  And then the part that always amazes me is how He always promises so much blessing to us when we walk like He walks.  Let’s look at the blessing that comes when we care about what He cares about.

Then your light shall break forth like the morning,
Your healing shall spring forth speedily,
And your righteousness shall go before you;
The glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.

 

Do you see that?! He promises to take care of your right now, your needs, and to cover you in front and behind.  He’s got your back!  He will heal us and fast like the dawn of a new day!  He says He will hear and answer your prayers.  What more do we need?  I mean really He always goes above and beyond for us and all the while is only asking that we represent Him properly.  I would be upset if I was misrepresented.  There are law suits today happening because the media misrepresents and even slanders who people really are.  How will they know Him if we don’t show them?

Well I won’t continue to run away with myself.  And we aren’t expected to not feel or have times of need ourselves but I’ll save that for part 3.   But let’s agree to put our eyes on others and to be true ambassadors of a great and wonderful God today and may His blessings follow you.

 

Jaime Luce