I’m Listening!

I’m Listening!

The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: for gaining wisdom and instruction; for understanding words of insight; for receiving instruction in prudent behavior, doing what is right and just and fair; for giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young—let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck. My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for innocent blood, let’s ambush some harmless soul; let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; cast lots with us; we will all share the loot”—my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; for their feet rush into evil, they are swift to shed blood. How useless to spread a net where every bird can see it! These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves! Such are the paths of all who go after ill-gotten gain; it takes away the life of those who get it. Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech: “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways? How long will mockers delight in mockery and fools hate knowledge?Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. But since you refuse to listen when I call and no one pays attention when I stretch out my hand, since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you—when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you. “Then they will call to me but I will not answer; they will look for me but will not find me, since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the LORD. Since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes. For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” Proverbs 1

ATTENTION ALL WHO BELIEVED A LIE AND FOLLOWED A MOCKER!

When we listen to God and know He speaks to us because we understand His Word, we avoid falling into the snares and pits plotted for us by those who choose to lie and make a mockery out of those things we hold dear and sacred.

Traditions–established to maintain continuity and stability–especially in how our nation functions–should not be abandoned for the sake of ego. Now we see the consequences daily of ignoring traditions and respecting those which keep us safe from harm.

Those in the White House have disrespected its purpose, its honor, and the history of maintaining order so all Americans can feel safe.

There is no order or stability in the midst of chaos.

There is no honor or integrity in lying and mocking the most important position of the land–governing the people–who will not tolerate a dictator.

I do pray that all the Republicans and Evangelicals, who are about to see how The Lord reveals truth and exposes wickedness thought hidden, can handle the repercussions of promoting a pathological liar whose only desire in obtaining access to the White House was to assuage his ego and to humiliate President Obama and all he tried to do for the benefit of all Americans. No true Believer would have taken part in this mockery of justice and who we are in Christ.

I am a true Believer and I’m listening to God and watching and warning! If people choose not to listen–that’s their prerogative and they will have to deal with the consequences of not listening.

It’s time for a change–a change in this country’s views and actions that can only led by an Everyday American who understands–what all need to survive and thrive in this nation.

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Listen From Within!

Listen From Within!

Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born the LORD called me; from my mother’s womb he has spoken my name.He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.”But I said, “I have labored in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due me is in the LORD’s hand, and my reward is with my God.”And now the LORD says— he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength—he says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”This is what the LORD says— the Redeemer and Holy One of Israel— to him who was despised and abhorred by the nation, to the servant of rulers: “Kings will see you and stand up, princes will see and bow down, because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”This is what the LORD says: “In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you; I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people, to restore the land and to reassign its desolate inheritances, to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’ “They will feed beside the roads and find pasture on every barren hill.They will neither hunger nor thirst, nor will the desert heat or the sun beat down on them. He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water. I will turn all my mountains into roads, and my highways will be raised up. See, they will come from afar— some from the north, some from the west, some from the region of Aswan. Shout for joy, you heavens; rejoice, you earth; burst into song, you mountains! For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:1-13 NIV

Many people “hear” things and other people, but how many people “listen” from within–blocking out all the noise around them?

There is noise all around us–the sound of hate and bigotry, the sound of war and anger, the sound of pride and arrogance, the clanging, the whistling, the shouts, the moans and groans, the sounds of victory and defeat, the sounds–bombarding us, sometimes, making us cover our ears because of the deafening loudness. We hear all the noise from the outside that keeps us from hearing The Lord speak to our hearts–when we are unable to listen!

In times past–hundreds of years ago–the chosen prophets were the messengers of God and now–for all who are filled with Holy Spirit–and listen to Him, we are the messengers of God. But what message are we providing to the people? Is it our message or His message? If we are hearing the outside noises to the degree we cannot listen to Him, the message we deliver may not be His, but ours.

How do we know when we are delivering God’s message and not our own? If what we are saying is based upon His Word and we have spent time with Him–in a position to hear and listen to Him, we can be assured that the message He has given us to share –is indeed, His message and not our own.

If we learn to listen–to Him–and tune out all the noise around us–we will always know the message is one of God’s truths, not our own and the message will encourage all to seek Him and develop a right relationship with Him, not people. For if our relationship with God is right, He will give us favor with men and when we demonstrate the love He has poured into us with others, we will generate an environment of love–not hate, peace–not war, joy–not sadness; if we learn to listen from within!

Lord,

Unstop our spiritual ears that we may hear You above the noise and listen–intently to all You have to say and then stir up our hearts, renew our courage and boldness to obey You in all things whether others understand it or not. For it is to You and You alone we give glory and honor, for You are the only One worthy of our praise. Thank You for hearing and answering our call–always and for guiding us in doing the right thing at all times. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!

Things Which Have The Appearance of Wisdom!

Things Which Have The Appearance of Wisdom!

Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Colossians 2:20-23 NIV

Just yesterday, a poster was circulated on social media proclaiming that knowledge speaks and wisdom listens and it was getting a lot of attention. Whoever originated the poster missed understanding the bible. “Does not wisdom call out? Does not understanding raise her voice?” (Proverbs 8:1) And there are other passages that extol the virtue of hearing wisdom. The thing is that we are told that “wisdom” is the principle thing to obtain and with wisdom, get knowledge. So, it would appear to me that wisdom speaks and knowledge is obtained by listening.

Perhaps, it is this kind of thinking–turning around the words in scripture that has led to our society being deceived by those things that appear to be acts of wisdom.

I’ll attempt to break it down this way:

Wisdom (based upon God’s intent for mankind) says marriage is between a man and woman in order to perpetuate the continuation of mankind. Man’s knowledge claims that people should be whoever they want to be with regardless of what God says.

Wisdom says when it comes to acts of nature–women should use the bathroom for women and the men use the bathroom for men–exercising common sense which, regrettably is not so common anymore. Man’s knowledge (yielding to the choices of the few) claims, “whatever a person feels they are, that’s the bathroom they should use.” Considering “feelings are fickle” and change frequently, how could anyone think this is anything more than a ploy of the enemy?

Wisdom says we should get knowledge and understanding of the knowledge we obtain. Man’s knowledge (especially those in elected offices) seems to think that education is not important for all and allocate more funding for prisons and wars than education. And then we wonder why other countries outperform our students–hands down–when those countries place education as a priority.

Wisdom says if two people are doing the same job–regardless of gender or race or age–they should receive equal compensation. Man’s knowledge–thinking men need more money than women–has managed to keep women underearning in the same position as men. There is no equality when things are obviously unequal.

Wisdom says parents should discipline (part of the training) a child while they are young so when they are older, they will have learned valuable lessons. Man’s knowledge–utilizing court systems–has proclaimed that spanking a child leads them to being violent and mentally ill. Using small case studies–compared to the number of people who exercise discipline when needed–so-called researchers have convinced a foolish society that children should not be spanked and then we all sit back and wonder–what’s wrong with the kids today.

There are efforts–influenced by the enemy–to change what is right by saying what God has said is wrong, that have an appearance of wisdom, but are not wise at all and in fact–oppose God’s Word. So, here’s the bottom line, when wisdom speaks, we better listen and then use what we hear to make this world a better place.

 

 

 

Are We Willing To Listen To God?

Are We Willing To Listen To God?

Restore us again, God our Savior, and put away your displeasure toward us. Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger through all generations? Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, LORD, and grant us your salvation. I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:4-8 NIV

How many times must we ask God to restore us, revive us, renew us, and when He does, we turn away from hearing Him and do what we want to do–time after time?

Every time people repented–turned away from living in opposition to God–they called upon God and He responded to their cries. And every time He granted them restoration, revival and renewal of their spirits, they soon forgot and turned away from Him again, refusing to listen to Him.

Most people recognize the syndrome recorded in the Old Testament and even in the letters penned by those God called to preach the Good News. More than 2000 years ago, He proved how much He loved us and is yet responding to our pleas, but are we listening to Him in order to stop back-peddling, falling into the same traps from which we were delivered?

From what I’ve observed in others and in myself, we’re falling short of acting in wisdom in all things. If we seek His wisdom before we do anything we would not have to keep requesting the same thing–restore us, revive us, renew us–over and over again. We complain about what’s going on in the world, but have we paid attention to what’s going on within each of us? If we’re not willing to pay attention to what we do, how can we expect the world to change? If we’re not listening to God–seeking solutions for all the problems we see–why should people listen to us–those who say we Believe?

Until Believers–no matter the denominational banner upheld–begin to seek God and hear Him when He speaks and obey, we’re going to remain in this quagmire of sin–stinking up the heavens without disobedience–and we’ll have no one to blame, but us.

It’s past time, Saints for us to listen to what God is saying to us and obey. He sees, He hears, He knows and He is yet speaking to our hearts, but are we willing to listen?

Conversing With Purpose!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.  But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18 NIV

As I review scripture, seeking a Word from The Lord, I often come across passages that speak to me more clearly from one translation to the other, but I also find that sometimes, one word–changed–can change the meaning of what is being said.

We know that James was conscious of what happens when we say the wrong things or allow our tongues free reign in our live. The 13th verse of this passage from the King James Version reminds us of this:“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.”

What we say should have a purpose–a purpose towards building and not tearing down. Yesterday, at a luncheon geared towards mentoring our young people, some were asked, “What do you want adults to know about kids today?” The more I thought about it, the more I realized that adults seldom consider what kids are thinking and we tend to dismiss their thoughts and feelings simply because they are kids.

We ask them questions, but our reactions to them inhibit getting a true response from them. This happens when we don’t give them time to think about what they want to say and since they don’t respond as quickly as we want them to respond, we dismiss their positions without hearing it.

I’ve concluded that many of us tend to “talk at” kids rather than “talk to” them. This conclusion is made based upon the fact that we if don’t know how to have a conversation with them and converse with a purpose, we are talking at them. When we interrupt them or cut them short–dismissing what they have to say before they have a chance to say it, we’re talking at them, not to them.

The kids are wiser than we are in this regard in that they simply shut down and have nothing else to say. Why? We have shown them we have no respect for what they have to say and then we wonder why they don’t respect what we have to say.

Truly, we need wisdom from above to give us purpose when we converse with our young people. The more we think about how God responds to us, the more we should attempt to be more like Him, no matter who we’re conversing with. If God cut us off whenever we attempted to talk to Him, where would we be?

We need to learn to converse with kids and others with a purpose–talking to them, not at them, and waiting patiently to hear what they have to say. Who is wise, with understanding?

Why Listening Matters!

Why Listening Matters!

My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you,turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding—indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure,then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God. For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.Discretion will protect you, and understanding will guard you. Proverbs 2:1-5, 10, 11 NIV

There is so much more to be said about this passage, but space limitations in order to engage others must be considered. I encourage all to read and re-read, and re-read Proverbs–at any time, at all times because wisdom for all situations resides within these pages.

However, if we choose not to be wise then our fate is determined by our actions and choices. A person would have to be a complete fool to misunderstand what Solomon is saying–void of any desire to succeed according to the knowledge of God.

Not that most of us have not been foolish at one time or another. Like the time we didn’t listen to parents because we thought they were simply being mean–not understanding that their rules were established to protect us. Or the time we ignored the teachers who were trying to guide us in accessing information that would help us later in life. Or the true friends who tried to warn us about an affiliation with those who were headed in the wrong direction and like lint clinging to wool–we clung to our rebellion and landed in the pits of despair. And don’t forget the preacher–who may not have been living right, but preached The Word–and because we could see through them by looking at their lives–we chose not to listen.

Throughout Proverbs Solomon pleads for us to listen, hear and obey God’s Word. If we dare to listen and obey–we’ll see the kind of success that God has designed for us and stay away from those who only want to see us fail.

We have to learn to tune-out the naysayers and doubters and the frustrated and rebellious. They are bitter because they would not listen to Wisdom when they heard it and don’t want us to listen either. It’s time we cleaned out our ears–both physically and spiritually–and listen (not just hear) to what The Lord has to say to us. Are we listening yet?

Throughout Proverbs we are warned about wickedness, rebellion, adulterous behavior and laziness and encouraged to reap the benefits of listening to Wisdom and accepting the knowledge of God, understanding how He wants us to live. Will we heed the warnings and reap all the Good or will we ignore Wisdom and sink to the depths of the wicked? The choice is ours and we must make it now for tomorrow is not promised and we may never get another chance to re-do anything!

Don’t Just Listen–Do!

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:19-22 NIV)

We know from reading The Word that faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God–says, Paul to us. Now, James tells us, don’t just listen to The Word, do it! If our faith in God is going to be sustained, then we must do what we hear and read from The Word–and not just people.

The Messengers of God are worth hearing when they are speaking God’s message. When they veer off into their own imaginations and opinions that are based on nothing–especially not The Word–no one is obligated to hear or do what they say, yet so many people do.

I’m thinking particularly about a pastor–somewhere–who poured bleach over the heads of his congregants to “wash them clean” because of erroneous understanding of The Word. The Word tells us that the blood Jesus shed on the cross is what washes us clean–not bleach or anything else we attempt to do. The psalmist mentions being washed by The Word–not the literal word–but as representing what Jesus would accomplish since He is The Word.

Getting back to hearing and not doing–many people claim to listen to their pastor on a Sunday morning and praise their messages, but when asked what they said–they develop amnesia. “I don’t know, but it sure was good.” Apparently, they were not the good ground into which The Word was supposed to be sown.

Then there are those who wouldn’t miss church for the world–uh uh–no siree, they’re not missing church. They are there every time the doors open and listen intently to every word heard, but then their lives don’t demonstrate what they heard (unless they heard a message that opposes God’s Word). From their actions, one can tell, they didn’t hear about loving one’s neighbor as themselves because the minute they got into the parking lot, they started cussing out everyone in their way. They get home and talk about everyone who attended church–they talk about the pastor and his wife; they talk about the noisy children; they talk about the ushers who are too slow; they talk about the soloist and how they could see better than they did; they talk about the choir director who, “couldn’t direct traffic.” They talk about everyone and since they “saw” so much going on, how on earth did they hear any Word?

We can hear without listening and when we pretend to listen the only person we fool is us. God is not mocked. He knows our hearts and He knows when we’re pretending to pay attention and so does everyone else when we are not doing The Word.

We “do The Word” when we obey The Word and people know we have either read with understanding or at listened to God’s messengers because they see it in our conduct. We who “do” The Word don’t live in opposition to The Word, but strive to obey God in all things and that obedience starts with knowing how to love others and God.

Today would be a good day to start–not just listening, but in doing The Word–loving all we meet and greet and making the devil cringe because we even woke up–with desire in our hearts to please God!