MOTIVATION AND MEDITATION
"Study this Book of Instruction continually.
I've never met anyone in my life who has deliberately chosen to be a failure. Almost everyone I know and especially those whom I mentor wants to be a success. They desire to walk in the blessings of God and see their dreams fulfilled. The LORD Himself wants you to succeed. The Word of God holds the key to your future success and forward movement. This key is available to every single believer without respect to their status, other than that of a humble heart. This key is found in the Book of Joshua. Jos. 1:8 "This book of the Torah (Instruction) should not depart from your mouth - you are to MEDITATE on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. For then you will make your ways prosperous and then you will be SUCCESSFUL" (TLV).
Meditation understood from the Hebraic perspective can bring great change in your situation and attitude toward your circumstances. Hebrew meditation was not a silent act, but a speaking forth and uttering of sounds and words. The Hebrew word for meditation is "hagah." Hagah means to speak out, talk and utter. This word implies that the scriptures are to be spoken out loud and contemplated, not just read silently.
The Book of Psalms opens with the exact same theme as the Book of Joshua. The blessed man is one who delights in the Torah (Instruction) of God and meditates on it day and night. Meditating on the Word of God will cause you to become like a tree planted by water, bringing forth fruit, not withering and prospering in EVERYTHING that you do. (Psa. 1:3)
Have you ever awakened to find yourself drained of all energy and motivation, when the day before, you were energized and determined to tackle the world? How does this happen, and what is the root cause?
I will share a personal story about this very phenomenon. Our offices are in our home. Our home is kept quiet during the day from all distractions, televisions and outside influence so we can focus on our work. When the elections were under way last week, I wanted to know what was happening, almost by the moment. I turned on the television to watch the news. One hour of news-watching turned into a day of watching and being enthralled by the election process and prospects of its outcome.
I lost hours of sleep, as my focus was turned away from my usual daily mode of operation. I became fatigued. My usual high energy level was lacking. After the election results were in and the new president-elect was announced, I was exhausted to the point that I even felt paralyzed in my planning. Needing to prepare for a weekly teaching seemed almost impossible. When I sat at my desk to get quiet before the LORD, I was drained. I knew I had to identify the influences that brought me to this place.
Distraction completely affected my motivation. I know from studying the Word that fatigue can cause fatal errors. King David understood this very well when his former Attorney General, Ahithophel, betrayed him and gave counsel against him. He knew David well enough to know that when David was tired, he could be overcome. "And Ahithophel said to Absalom, please let me choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight" (2 Sam. 17:1) (MKJV). " And I will come upon him while he is WEARY and weak-handed, and I will make him tremble. And all the people with him will flee. And I will strike the king by himself" (2 Sam.17:2) (MKJV). We have an adversary that knows this strategy all to well.
After identifying the influences that drained me, I re-focused on the Word of God. The re-focusing caused my energy and enthusiasm to return. Shortly thereafter, I received a very powerful and life-changing word for two different groups of people that I mentor.
We must learn how to stay motivated. "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people were grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters; but David ENCOURAGED himself in the LORD his God" (I Sam. 30:6 KJV). We all have a responsibility to stay self-motivated. Every person you associate with is either causing you to stay motivated or is draining you. An unhealthy, or toxic relation will drain you mentally and spiritually. Attempting to do too many things at one time will also negatively affect your motivation. Trying to please everyone will reduce your energy, and can ultimately break down your resistance which may lead to physical problems.
Focusing on the Word of God and speaking it out loud will bring noticeable, positive changes in your life, if you will practice it faithfully. If you can stay motivated in this way, you will become successful - God's way.
PROTECTING YOUR RESTING TIME
We can never under estimate the power of rest. Jesus said it: "Come unto me, all you that labor (are fatigued) and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matt. 11:28 KJV). In another place, Jesus says, "Let's go off to a quiet place and rest awhile" (Mark 6:31 NLT). Also, we are instructed to remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy (Exod. 20:8). Sabbath means: "to cease from working, desist from exertion" (Strong's Concordance).
There are mysteries hidden in the weekly Sabbath rest. Through resting in the Lord, you can experience the beauty of the mysteries for yourself. I hope you are beginning to see that in order to protect your motivation, you must protect your resting time.
There are many medical studies on the dangers of an exhausted brain. "Brain fog, also commonly known as brain fatigue, can be a mild to severe episode of mental confusion that can strike without warning. When this occurs, it is common to experience a lack of focus, poor memory recall and reduced mental activity." (www.nutrex-Hawaii.com/common-brain-fog fatigue-causes). The world turns to prescription drugs to stimulate or depress the mind in an attempt to alleviate brain fog. But as a believer, you have an Hebraic key/code and mystery to eliminate brain exhaustion. Through the use of the key (meditation on the word), we can embrace Paul's words to the Corinthians that tells us that "we have the mind of Christ" (I Cor. 2:16 KJV).
HEBRAIC MYSTERY CONTAINED IN THE WORD MEDITATION
As most of the people whom I mentor on a weekly basis know, I place great importance on the study of Hebrew, the Hebrew alphabet and the root meanings of Hebrew words. In the word for meditation, "hagah" the letter "g" is the third letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It's called the "gimel." Let's explore a mystery contained in this third letter.
The gimel (no. 3), written in Hebrew, is shaped to look like a camel, and represents blessings. Hebraically, a camel is called gomel chesed, literally "a performer of kindness." A camel is a tall animal and must kneel down for men to be able to load it with cargo. To be blessed and successful through Hebraic eyes does not mean that you are keeping all the blessings for yourself. The camel kneels to be loaded with cargo/benefits. Once he is loaded, he rises and then transfers the goods from one place to another; moving the goods from those who have to those in need. This image of a camel is a picture of a truly blessed and successful person.
"Gird up the loins of your mind" (I Peter 1:13 KJV), comes from the idea of 'hobbling' your camel. The Arab headgear is called a 'caffiyeh.' This is a scarf worn on men's heads and held on by a rope called an 'egal.' This rope is placed over the knobby knee of a kneeling camel at night to prevent it from rising up and wandering away. Peter says to let God's Word be to your mind what the rope is to the wandering camel." (Camel information taken from the Timothy Program Hebrew Alphabet, pg. 5, Dr. Karl D. Coke).
Lord, help us to keep that rope around our minds tight enough to prevent our minds from wandering.
May you be blessed, prosperous and a distributor of blessings.
Blessings and honor
KNOWING THE HOLY SPIRIT, The person (Ruach HaKodesh)
Know you not that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (KJV)
As I have sat before the LORD, desiring to hear His voice, I was directed to a verse in Revelation, "I came to be in the Spirit on the Lord's day and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, saying, I am Alpha and Omega (Aleph and Tav), the first and the last and, what you see write in a book." (Rev 1:10-11). (KJV) These words were spoken by Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, to the Apostle John on the Island of Patmos. As he heard the voice of The Spirit, he was instructed to write. He also had his eyes opened to understand and see the details of the future. This revelation to John occurred at the end of his life-long walk with God and His son, Yeshua. Understanding the work of the Holy Spirit takes a lifetime; He is God and He will answer all our questions, teach us and guide us always with our best interest in mind.
SYMBOLS DESCRIBING THE HOLY SPIRIT
There are many symbols used to describe the Holy Spirit: a dove (Matt. 3:16), fire (Matt. 3:11); oil (Isa. 61:3), dew(Psa. 133:3), rain (Hos. 6:3), a seal (Eph. 1:13), a voice (John 16:13), and wind (John 3:8). These are all beautiful symbols to describe Him, but we must remember He is not just a symbol, but a PERSON. He has a personality. First and foremost we must remember one thing. He can be grieved. "But they rebelled, and troubled His Holy Spirit; therefore He was turned to be their enemy, and He fought against them" Isa. 63:10 (MKJV). The Apostle Paul confirms the prophet Isaiah; "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption" Eph. 4:30 (KJV).
I cannot think of anything more terrifying than to have the Holy Spirit fight against me. I know we can all look back at times when we were not respecting Him and lament the fruit that came from our disrespect. What is even more dangerous is to have known Him and then desert Him. The more we understand the person of the Holy Spirit, the more eager we will desire to respect and please God with our obedience. We will be more cautious of every thought and word. A short time before she went to Heaven, I was privileged to see Kathryn Kulman in one of her meetings. The respect for the Holy Spirit in the auditorium was unprecedented. When she appeared on the stage, she begged the audience not to grieve the Holy Spirit. I remember her saying, "He is all I have." You could have heard a pin drop. People were healed and I remember one rising from their wheelchair that night.
THE PERSONALITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
When Jesus was instructing the disciples about what was going to happen when he left the earth, he told them He would pray to the Father and He would give them another Comforter that would abide with them forever (Jn. 14:16). Blessed be the name of the LORD! We have this Comforter dwelling within us for eternity. He helps our sufferings (Rom. 8:26), guides us (Jn. 16:13), sanctifies us (Rom. 15:16), searches all things (I Co. 2:10-11), teaches us (Jn. 14:26), speaks not of Himself, but testifies of Yeshua (Jn. 15:26). It is the Holy Spirit who instructs ministers as to what they should share with their congregation (I Co. 2:13). The Holy Spirit also warns ministers where not to preach (Acts. 16:7).
NAMES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Spirit has many names and titles, of which I will list only a few.
- Spirit of wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge and fear of the Lord. Isa. 11:1-3;
- Spirit of life. Rom. 8:2;
- Spirit of adoption. Rom. 8:15;
- Spirit of prophecy. Rev. 19:10;
- Spirit of grace. Zec. 12:10; Heb. 10:29;
- Spirit of glory. I Pet. 4:14;
- Spirit of the Son. Gal. 4:6;
THE HOLY SPIRIT AND YOUR ASSIGNMENT
I want you all to be encouraged today. Each of you has a special assignment from God. We are not the ones who decide our gifts or assignments, but by the work of the Holy Spirit we can discover our personal mission. "But all these work that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will" I Co. 12:11.(KJV) Acts 13:1 tells us that in the church in Antioch, there were prophets and teachers. As they ministered to the LORD and fasted, the Holy Spirit spoke. He said, "Separate Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them" (Acts 13: 2-4) (KJV). Man does not call us, position us, or even know the depths of what we personally were created for. We must depend on the Holy Spirit to speak, or risk the damage of letting our human logic cloud His accurate instructions or interpretations. We have to depend on the Holy Spirit for ALL of the instructions needed for our assignment.
Please take some time to review the scriptures I have listed above. No matter how long we have been walking with the LORD, what the news media is saying, the times we are in, the outcome of this year's election, our genders, our ages or any multitude of circumstances, we must personally get to know and respect the Holy Spirit.
Some of you may be asking, "What do I do next?" The Holy Spirit is the author of the Word of God. The Word of God is the mind of God. The Holy Spirit inspired chosen men to write the Word. "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works" 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (KJV). This is how you will know Him and know what to do: Sit quietly with the LORD; read and study His word. You WILL hear His voice and He will bring you answers. Is. 30:21 "And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left" (MKJV).
Blessings and hope,
Who is today's teacher?
Here is the final conclusion,
fear God and obey His commands. (Ec. 12:13)
"Teacher was wise, He taught the people everything he knew. He collected proverbs and classified them. Indeed, the Teacher taught the plain truth, and he did so in an interesting way. A wise teacher's words spur students to action, and emphasize important truths. The collected sayings of the wise are like guidance from a Shepherd. But, my child be warned, there is no end of opinions ready to be expressed. Studying them can go on forever and become very exhausting! Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person" (Ecc.12:9-12 NLT).
If you are feeling fragmented by what is happening in our country today, there is a way to be made whole again. It is by obeying the voice of the LORD and guarding His words. Doing so is what makes a whole man or rather what makes a man whole: Receive the words of the Teacher for they are goads and nails sent from the LORD to spur you on, to set things in order in your life, and to prepare you for things to come.
"Listen, as wisdom calls out! Hear (her words) as understanding raises her voice. She stands on the hilltop and at the crossroads. 'I call to YOU. Let me give you common sense. Let me give you understanding. I have excellent things to say and everything I say is right. I speak truth and hate every kind of deception. My advice is wholesome and good. There is nothing crooked or twisted in it'" (Taken from Prov.8:1-9 NLT).
OUR DAILY REQUIREMENTS
"Blessed is the man that hears me, watching DAILY at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors" (Prov. 8:34 KJV). The word "daily" in this sentence, as written in the Hebrew scriptures appears twice "yom yom." Translated, it means day by day. "Yom yom" connotes something to be done perpetually.
You may say, "I don't have time to daily come into His presence," but I suggest we don't have the "luxury" to not come before the LORD every day. We are all reaping consequences because we have not allowed the TEACHER to teach us how to daily work with HIM. I know this from experience, because I pray for people everyday who are reaping consequences from their daily choices.
Each day we are presented with gifts. These gifts are the voice of the LORD and the DAY itself. We can miss the voice of the LORD and not realize our failing until later. If we continue to chart our own course without His wisdom, we will continue to fail. "God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David's psalm, centuries later than the original invitation. Today please listen, don't turn a deaf ear" (Heb. 4:7 MSG). We are not to be stiff necked and obstinate, walking forward without His counsel. Wisdom tells us that those who seek the LORD early will find Him (Prov.8:17 NLT).
Our lives can change dramatically for the better this coming year by understanding the word "YOM." Only the Spirit of the LORD can teach us how to understand the importance of a day and how to apply our hearts to the wisdom of living in that day (Psa. 90:12). It is His Word that daily spurs us to correct action and the appropriate timing for that action.
"He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap"(Ecc.11:4 AMP). You may be waiting for an opportunity to arise that may never come, or ever be better than the one at hand, because you did not understand how to work with the LORD in the DAY. His desire is for us to hear and increase in learning. John Maxwell said it simply in his book, Today Matters,"You will never change your life until you change something you do DAILY. You see, success doesn't just suddenly occur one day in someone's life. For that matter, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today."1 Wisdom is crying out and lifting her voice.
God never forces anyone to come to Him on a daily basis, or at all for that matter. He does, however, give us a daily personal invitation to step into His world of revelation and mystery. Once you take time to quiet your soul, sit with Him and read His Word, you can enter into a dialogue with Him. You can ask Him questions. Take time to listen to His answers. HE WILL ANSWER. "Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own" (Jer. 33:3) (MSG).
Through this process of sitting with Him early, He begins to reveal to you your true self, and all you need to become a fulfilled person. If you make seeking Him your new habit, you will sense Him working in your life, training you, directing you, comforting you, and admonishing you. You will learn how to operate in grace. Grace is never ending. Grace gives you full rights to sit before Him, and then be rewarded with the wisdom necessary to abundantly succeed in every area of you life.
May this be your year of wisdom and understanding. May it be sweet and prosperous for you.
Blessings and honor,
- Maxwell, John C. "2." Today Matters: 12 Daily
Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success. New York: Warner Faith,
The Feasts as Teachers
The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them:
"These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the Lord,
which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies."
As Jesus' earthly ministry was coming to a close, he gathered his disciples (talmidim) to him and gave them these instructions "Go therefore, make disciples (students) of all nations…" (Matt. 28:19). This is also our commission, to make students and immerse them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Ruach haKodesh); And "teach them to KEEP (be observant) all that I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:19,20).
If we do not know the Hebrew scriptures from the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings, we will not be able to properly demonstrate the whole counsel of God. The Feasts of Jehovah are found in Leviticus (Vayikra) 23. They were given to God's people in order for them to understand the first and second coming of the Messiah. The Feasts are "set times" revealing the main events of the Messiah's life carried out on specific days in specific seasons.
My desire today is to cause you to become hungry for greater knowledge of Him, to understand the depths of the personal relationship that the LORD wants to have with you as He teaches you all things concerning Him. Remember the Samaritan woman at the well? In a conversation with Yeshua, she said to him, "I know that Messiah comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us ALL THINGS" (John 4:25). Another way to say this is, when he is come he will interpret all things correctly. The Spirit of the LORD is here today to lead you into a deeper revelation of Him through understanding the FEASTS. To understand the richness of the FEASTS would take many months, but as I said, this is just to awaken your spiritual taste buds.
WHY THE FEASTS ARE TEACHERS
The Apostle Paul instructed his student, Timothy, to "Continue in the things you have learned and been assured of; for you know from whom you learned; because from your childhood, you were taught the SET-APART books which can make you wise to life by faith in Y'shua the Mashiyach. All SCRIPTURE that was written by the Spirit is profitable for instruction and for decisive refutation, and for correction, and for deep extensive learning in righteousness; that the man of Elohim (God) may become perfect and complete for every good work". (2 Tim.3:14-17) (Aramaic English New Testament, Roth).
The Feasts are part of the SET APART books from which the entire church needs to learn. The Feasts are part of the Torah and instruction of God. The Apostle Paul said in Gal. 3:24 that Torah was "a tutor for us, going towards the Mashiyach that we, by faith, might be made righteous" (Aramaic English New Testament, Roth). The Feasts point exclusively to the Messiah, his plan for redemption, and our daily instructional walk with him. We cannot walk forward without His teaching us. He is the TEACHER/Holy Spirit.
If you have ever planted a vegetable garden, you can understand the FEASTS, The Kingdom of God and the Messiah quite clearly. "And so it is written, 'The first man, Adam, became a living soul,' the last Adam was a life-giving Spirit. But not the spiritual first, but the natural; afterward the spiritual" (I Col. 15:45,46).
When you understand the natural, agricultural context of the FEASTS, you will understand the personal spiritual application that brings you to maturity. The Feasts reveal times of the rain patterns in Israel; the Fall rains and the Spring rains. Former rain represents the rains in the Fall (October/November) and latter rains speak of the Spring (March/April).
"In the East the former rain falls at the sowing-time. It is necessary in order to germinate. Under the influence of the fertilizing showers, the tender shoot springs up. The latter rain, falling near the close of the season, ripens the grain, and prepares it for the sickle. The Lord employs these operations of nature to represent the work of the Holy Spirit. As the dew and the rain are given first to cause the seed to germinate, and then to ripen the harvest, so the Holy Spirit is given to carry forward, from one stage to another, the process of spiritual growth. The ripening of the grain represents the completion of the work of God's grace in the soul. By the power of the Holy Spirit the moral image of God is to be perfected in the character. We are to be wholly transformed into the likeness of Christ" - (Testimonies to Ministers, p. 506).
In Joel 2:23, understanding the term, "former rain," will be life-changing for you. The Hebrew word for former rain is "moreh," meaning TEACHER. Joel 2:23 says that the Lord will give us the "former rain moderately." "Moderately" is the Hebrew word "tzedakah" meaning "RIGHT". Examining these explanations, and through the understanding of the FEASTS, we are actually being mentored by the "RIGHT TEACHER."
THE FEAST OF TRUMPETS/ROSH HASHANAH
We are about to experience a set time of Jehovah, Monday October 3, 2016 (Hebrew Tishrei 1, 5777), called the Feast of Trumpets. The Feast of Trumpets is known by many names and themes. This day is called 1.) Rosh HaShanah (Head of the Year, and Birthday of the World; 2.) Yom Teruah (the Day of the Awakening Blast); 3.) Ha Melech (the Coronation of the Messiah); 4.) The time of Jacob's trouble and the birth pangs of the Messiah; 5.) The last trump; and many more.
In present times, how does the Feast of Trumpets apply to us spiritually? This Feast is a time to "shema"; to hear the calling of the Spirit in our lives. It is the time to be awakened from any spiritual slumber. "Awake, sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you" (Eph. 5:14). May we not forget that God gifted Moses and Israel with the Torah accompanied by the sound of the shofar (Exod. 19:19). The sound of the shofar is a call to repentance (Isa. 58:1). John the revelator saw a door opened in heaven: and the first voice which he heard was as a trumpet/shofar talking with him. The voice he heard sounded as a shofar saying "Come up here, and I will shew you things which must be hereafter"(Rev. 4:1).
Heaven is appealing for us to come up higher. May all the obstacles, injuries, soul wounds, wrong teaching, prejudices, etc. be removed. May we be awakened today to HEAR the RIGHT TEACHER.
We will be celebrating Rosh HaShanah this upcoming Sunday at OTC with apples and honey and decreeing a sweet and prosperous year ahead. We hope you will join us and invite a guest.
Blessings and honor,
Enduring The Contradiction
Looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith,
who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and sat down at
the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him that ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTION
of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds.
Are you in a contradictory position right now? Do the fabrics of your life seem to be opposing each other? If so, I have some encouraging keys today to help you understand what is happening, why it's happening, and how to reach the finish line in victory.
The Bible is filled with examples of men and women who received promises and dreams from God, yet temporarily their situation was in direct opposition to their prophetic word. What happens in a contradiction can be likened to the "transitional" phase of a pregnancy. Jesus tells us in John 16:21 "A woman when she is in travail has sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembers no more the anguish, for JOY that a man is born into the world." Contradiction must be faced with endurance. The two must work together to help us cross the bridge.
The transitional phase of a pregnancy is the most serious and most painful, yet the woman must endure in order to bring forth life. Our greatest model is Jesus. "Looking to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him that ENDURED SUCH CONTRADICTION of sinners against Himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your minds" (Heb. 12:2-3)
Contradiction And Shame
We must always remember that at the end of the contradiction, there is joy. Contradiction has an end, IF we do not try to work things out in the flesh. Abraham was given a prophetic promise from God that nations and kings would come through him, yet over two decades passed before the promised son was born.
Perhaps the most painful part of our contradictions is the accompanying shame. We all hate shame, especially when we are in God's perfect will and others do not understand what we are going through or why we are going through it. Abraham and Sarah obviously despised the shame when after ten years they tried their plan to make God's promise come to pass, and as a result, created an Ishmael.
One of our greatest temptations is a tactic of the enemy; to get us to quit "in the middle". In the middle of contradiction our minds can become weary and too often cause us to faint. The good news today is that your endurance will weaken the enemy and turn the shame onto him. Your endurance inflicts pain upon the adversary and brings you to victory every time.
Finishing What We Start
A powerful example of finishing what we start and the plots against us from the Kingdom of Darkness can be found in Nehemiah 4:6-11. In this portion of scripture, the wall that was being re-built was half-finished. They were in the "middle" of the work. The strength of the laborers was giving out. They even confessed that they were not able to finish.
Throughout the scriptures, the Spirit of the LORD shows us how the enemy thinks. It is important to have this information in order to stay the course and endure the contradiction. Looking at Neh. 4:11 we see the enemy's mindset. Neh. 4:11 "And our foes have said, They shall not know, or see, until we come IN THE MIDDLE of them and kill them, and cause the work to cease." Nehemiah and team were in the middle of the work. This is where the battle became heated. Endurance and standing are the two major keys for victory.
Standing In The Middle
2 Sam. 23 teaches us of King David's three (3) top warriors called "The Mighty Men of David." To encourage you further today on endurance we refer to the story found in 2 Sam. 23:11 introducing us to one of the mighty men named "Shammah."
In Hebrew Shammah has several meanings. One meaning is to be "ruined." Another is to "become numb." Have you been in a trial for so long you have become numb and even indifferent because you don't think God is going to perform what he promised? Let the story of Shammah encourage you today to stand up and have your faith increased. Alone, Shammah was surrounded by a troop of Philistines. 2 Sam. 23:12 says that he STOOD IN THE MIDST of the ground (lentil patch) and defended it. Because he stood in the middle, the Philistines were defeated and God wrought a great victory.
You may be facing devastating medical reports, financial woes, ministerial disappointment, family crisis or any number of other difficult situations. If this teaching speaks to you today and you are one that is experiencing some level of "ruin, devastation, astonishment, numbness," stand and watch God bring the help you need and the victory you long for. Having done all to stand, STAND (Ep. 6:13,14).
May you always be encouraged to stay the course and see the joy set before you. Look for the victory!
Blessings and Hope,
THE COVENANT AND OUR ROOT SYSTEM
The secret of the Lord is with them
that fear him; and he will shew them his Covenant. (Ps.25:14)
The Lord our God has called each of us into Covenant with Him. Because this Covenant is so important, the relationship it describes must be well guarded. In any covenant relationship, the stronger partner is responsible for setting the terms of the covenant.
Once two people enter into Covenant, each participant has a specific responsibility. The stronger partner in the relationship (the LORD) is responsible for the weaker partner(us, the body of Christ). So the weaker partner may and must do the will of the stronger. If you can understand the responsibility of the stronger partner's part, you can be set free for ever.
You cannot fully perform the will of God without His total provision. His provision includes physical, emotional, and financial support, all enabling us (the weaker) to perform His will (Phil. 4:19). From the weaker partner, the Lord expects respect, honor, love and acceptance of His terms. Giving Him what He requests will keep you hedged-in and guarded from the assaults of the wicked one. Jesus said in John 17:12 "While I was with them (the disciples) in the world, I KEPT them in Your name. Those that you have given me I have KEPT, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled."
If we as the weaker partner do not adequately understand His provision and terms, we can be tempted to stop trusting Him and consequently lose our status of being KEPT. We may turn to outside help apart from our primary relationship with Him and take our eyes off of His Covenant Terms. No matter what chronological year it is or what the current headlines are, His Covenant is eternal.
Through his Covenant, we have not only been freed from the world's system and its bondages (Egypt), we are endowed with a fourfold purpose:
- Spiritual as well as physical freedom. (Exodus 6:6)
- To serve God (the Hebrew word for serve is the word avodah) Avodah is defined to mean work and worship. All of life, in fact, is worship. (Exodus 3:11-12)
- To enter into betrothal (Heb. Erusin) with God. (Exodus 6:7)
- To receive the document of marriage (Torah) known as the ketubbah (Exodus 19:7-8) (The Timothy Program, International)
Presently, we are in the betrothal stage. This is the time we study and learn the marriage documents (our Bible) in order to grow and mature into a presentable bride of Christ. If we separate ourselves from the marriage document (Covenant) in deed or in thought, we become unfaithful to the terms of our stronger partner, God.
The Root System
The condition of our lives and the health of our root systems are a direct result of what we have chosen to focus on. Keeping our eyes on the Covenant document and doing as the agreement demands, keeps us pure and separated with the ability to bear good and healthy fruit. We, like trees, have roots. If we are guarding His words, our roots are strong and deep and our tree becomes healthy. If we take our eyes off of His word and distrust him or doubt Him in any way, our roots weaken and our tree becomes unhealthy and produces bad fruit or no fruit at all.
Sadly, but surely, distrusting Him and His terms of Covenant causes something dark to begin to grow inside of us that can, and left unchecked, will destroy us. We are admonished in Deut. 29:18 not to let our GUARD down, and get sidetracked or we face the danger of a poisonous root growing within us that produces gall and wormwood. This kind of root not only poisons us, but everyone in our path. The New Ungers Bible Dictionary describes wormwood as "a bitter plant that grows in waste, usually desert places, and also an emblem of calamity." (pg. 1341) A recent report says that Wormwood has been banned from many countries, including the U.S. (WebMD)
The Word of God is water from Heaven for our life-producing root system. John the Revelator was given a vision of what was and is happening in Heaven. He was shown "a pure river of Water of Life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Rev. 22:1). This water is available for all of us today. God fulfils His Covenant promises EVERY day. The Hebrew writer says that "the earth drinks in the rain that comes often upon it, and brings forth plants fit for those by whom it is dressed receiving blessing from God" (Heb. 6:7).
We must also take heed because the writer also says that "that which bears thorns and briers is rejected and is a curse, whose end is to be burned" (Heb. 6:8). We must continually see both the benefits of obeying Covenant terms and the consequences of not. Too much focus on the benefits can make us complacent and thus find Gods disfavor; too much focus on the consequences of breaking Covenant, we may become discouraged and displease Him in our lack of faith.
The word of God called "Torah" in Hebrew, means instruction. The ROOT of the word Torah is the word "Yarah" which means to flow like water, that is to RAIN. Without rain, nothing can produce fruit. This rain from heaven is our manual for everyday life. When we follow the lessons of Torah, as if were mini-farms we produce good things. Respecting the water of life will bring reward (Prov. 13:13).
Repentance and the Month of Elul
At the time of this writing, we have entered Elul, the 12th month of the Jewish Civil Year. In the Hebrew language, Elul is an acronym for "I am my beloved and my beloved is Mine." This phrase paints a picture of an intimate relationship. The first day of Elul begins a 40 day period of repentance called Teshuvah, a time of inspection, examination, soul searching and a turning from incorrect ways of doing things. This season of Repentance ends at the most holy Feast day called Yom Kippur on Tishrei 10. Tradition says that this is the time that the King is in the field and one may walk out and speak with him. We as believers in Messiah can celebrate because we have the King in the field everyday. John 1:14 "The Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us."
For any of you who feel you have mistrusted Him, taken your eyes off of the eternal holy Marriage Covenant, and strayed too far, the Lord's arms are open to you today. You can still turn around and find forgiveness as you face the Lord Almighty. The King is in the Field today waiting for you. May any bitter and deadly roots within us be removed by our receiving His word/message. "I am the True Vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away. And every one that bears fruit, He prunes so that it may bring forth more fruit. NOW, you are clean through the Word/Message which I have spoken to you" (John 15:1-3).
Blessings and honor,
The Power of the Two-Edged Sword
"For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Understanding the "two-edged sword" can change your life, as early as today. We are all familiar with Heb. 4:12 that tells us that God's Word is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword. A two-edged natural sword can cut both ways and be used for striking an enemy and defending one's self from the same. The two-edged sword of the LORD is describing a spiritual principle and a realm that all believers can operate in. There are four scriptures in the bible which give reference to the two-edged sword.
Psalm 149:6 Let the high praises of God be in their MOUTH, and a two-edged sword in their hand.
Prov. 5:4 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword.
Heb. 4:12 For the word of God is quick and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Rev. 1:16 and he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shining in his strength.
What Is This Two-Edged Sword?
What is this two-edged sword? It is the quickened word out of the mouth of Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus, the Son of God. Jesus tells us that He does nothing of Himself; but as His Father has taught him, He only speaks the things He hears from the Father (John 8:28). The enemy is never threatened by our words, only the words that proceed out of the mouth of God. Jesus said that he had only given to the disciples the "words" that God gave him and they received those "words" (John 17:8).
We are all called to walk exactly as Jesus walked; that means we must be dialoguing with heaven and reading the Holy Scriptures. To get these words, we must enter into our spiritual closet, shut the door behind us and take our seat in a secret place (Matt. 6:6). The Lord wants to lead each person into green pastures of revelation knowledge, not into pre-digested, second-hand truth from a source other than God Himself.
This doesn't mean we don't have teachers, pastors, prophets, etc., but each leader must be speaking from the Word of God and not from personal bias or opinion. Such speaking will not transform anyone. We are transformed by the re-newing of our minds (Rom. 12:2), and washed by the water of the word (Eph. 5:26).
In the Greek language, a two-edged sword comes from two compound words distomos. Di means "two" and stomos means "mouth." Together this forms the word "two mouths." How can we have two mouths? We operate with two mouths when we receive the rhema quickened Word of God personally and repeat it verbatim. When you speak the quickened Word from God, it becomes supernatural and filled with power. It affects your circumstances, your mind-set, your health, and confronts demonic assignments against you.
The Prophet Elisha and Two-Mouths
Before the Prophet Elijah was taken into Heaven, he spoke to his protege' Elisha, and said "Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?" (2 Kings. 2:9). "Let me inherit a double portion of YOUR SPIRIT," Elisha replied (2 Kings 2:9). "You have asked for a difficult thing," Elijah said, "yet if you see ME when I am taken from you, it will be yours-otherwise NOT" (2 Kings 2:10). Elisha passed the test of seeing Elijah in the spirit realm. He saw Elijah as THE chariot containing fire. Being a chariot for God's fire separated Elisha from Elijah just as God's fire separates our spirit from our flesh. (Timothy Program, Dr. Karl Coke) Elisha at that moment, inherited the double portion from Elijah. In this Hebraic usage, double portion means "twice the mouth."
The Two-Edged Sword and Hope For You
This two-edged sword is a potent prophetic weapon of warfare. Today, many believers are in confusion about their identity and their authority. The enemy has been able to come in to distort God's message, deceive them and lead them astray. The strange woman in Prov. 5:3 can represent the false teachings/philosophies of the enemy,resulting in bitter wormwood (Prov. 5:4). The enemy counterfeits all that is of God.
The fruit of our trying to think for ourselves apart from Scripture will only and always lead us to bitter wormwood (a dead end). I perceive the LORD appealing to us to pick up that firey sword and allow Him to pierce through the darkness of the soul (ours first then on behalf of those to whom He directs us).
Expect breakthrough this month, as you pick up your sword. Release God's power into whatever is before you. Watch Him work for you and through you.
Blessings and honor,
Understanding Your Wilderness
I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes,
and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up,
nor awake my love, till he please.
Song of Solomon 3:5
Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense,
with all powders of the merchant?
Song of Solomon 3:6
Are you in a wilderness and not understanding what is happening to you? Have you been feeling like God is against you and has abandoned you? Are the circumstances surrounding you wearing you out? Have you been tricked into the believing the lie that no one understands you? Does it sometimes feel as if all hope is lost? If so, then, this letter is for you; and for you, today. God wants you to be encouraged no matter what you are reading on the internet, seeing on the news, or hearing from others.
God wants you encouraged regardless of how many people around you are having breakthrough while you aren't yet seeing any. How can you break this negative perception? I want to bring a few things to your attention regarding the wilderness that will help you focus entirely on a personal, face to face relationship with the Lord, regardless of temporary situations. Grasping this will bring you a decisive victory in your spiritual lives AND in your natural lives.
Hebraic Understanding of the Wilderness
Understanding the wilderness from an Hebraic perspective rather than from a Western mindset can dramatically improve your life, beginning today. As we will look at the two perspectives, you will see a vast difference in understanding the wilderness.
Merriam-Webster defines a wilderness as an empty, pathless area. This definition paints a picture of loneliness, aimless wandering without direction, no guidance and no hope of improvement or change. In the political arena, a politician is said to be "in the wilderness" when they have lost their authority and relevance.
Blessed be the name of the LORD, for the language He speaks has an entirely different perspective. God spoke in Hebrew. Hebrew is a pure language; a conceptual picture painting language designed to help us, His body, SEE the LORD and His purposes for our lives.
In Hebrew, the word for wilderness is "M'dabar." The "M" in front of this Hebrew word "dabar" is the preposition "from or out of." "Dabar" is Hebrew for the word "word," meaning "the place of re-arranging and order." Putting the two together, "M'dabar" means "the place from which God speaks to bring order."
Can you see the word picture? The wilderness is where God meets YOU and begins to show you what you are thinking. He adjusts you like a chiropractor adjusting bones and joints, bringing you into proper alignment. When God speaks to us, his Word is "quick and powerful, sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intent of the heart" (Heb.4:12).
Another way to look at this is as an "open field of speech or dialogue." Our proper understanding of the wilderness will lead us into the same spiritual place where Isaac was walking before his future bride, Rebekah arrived. In several places, the Torah reveals to us a mystery of Isaac and the desert. In two distinct stories of his life, we see him first in a barren wilderness or desert receiving blessing (Gen. 24:62,63), and in another place receiving a 100 fold return from sowing in the parched ground (Gen. 26:12). Both examples are examples of obedience bringing supernatural blessings. Scripture teaches us that the stories of old are meant to teach us what to do (Romans 15:4), and what not to do (I Cor. 10:5).
The Power in the Wilderness
The wilderness experience is meant to be a place of great growth, power and blessing. But, if we don't understand the purpose of the wilderness, it can be a place where we are overthrown because of our rebellious attitude regarding our situation. The whole reason for the desert/wilderness experience is for the Lord to possess "our hearts." We try at times to get people to "pray us out" of our desert experience, but something so very powerful and mighty takes place in the wilderness, you may want to learn how to abide there.
In Hosea 2:14, the Lord says that he will allure us and bring us into the wilderness. He says he will speak comfortably to us. It is God Himself who created the wilderness to draw you into it, so you can learn from Him and be blessed. To be allured means he will open us up and enlarge us to receive His personal instructions. These instructions are the words of the covenant between bridegroom and bride, so that your vineyards may be restored. There is a passageway from the Valley of Achor/Trouble (Hos. 2:15) to the door of hope.
From the wilderness your song is restored (Hos. 2:15). From the wilderness, we meet Him as Husband (Hos. 2:16). From the wilderness we learn His mercy and His marital faithfulness (Hos. 2:19,20). From the wilderness experience, we have the wine (joy), corn (increase) and the oil (anointing) restored (Hos. 2:22).
As noted at the beginning of this article, Song of Solomon 3:5 gives a beautiful clue about timing and the wilderness. It says "do not stir up or awaken love 'till HE PLEASES." In my ministry years, I have received many prayer requests from His people to bring them out of their desert experience. This is one prayer that ministers should not and cannot touch.
If God is doing a beautiful, deep work within you, He has set times for His work to come to fruition. To touch the work could result in death. Trying to help a caterpillar out of the cocoon would destroy the future butterfly. As noted above, He teaches us through scripture what to do. Romans 15:4 " For whatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have HOPE."
Isaac and the Wilderness Mysteries
Gen. 24:62 "And Isaac came from the way of the well Lahairoi; for he dwelt in the south country." Lahairoi means the well of a living (One) my Seer, and a place in the Desert). He dwelt in the south country. South country is called the Negev meaning "a parched wilderness." He learned how to abide there.
The Living One who sees us today wants to help us understand what is happening to us when we are in the wilderness. Gen. 24:63 "And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide." In the physical world, Isaac lives in a desert, yet he understands and employs the power of Hebraic meditation in his harsh environment. Chewing on God's Word day and night, night and day will bring success and prosperity according to God's definition (Jos. 1:8). You may be chewing on the Word and still be tempted to stir up or awaken love before it is time; that is to become impatient. God will never be mocked. A man or woman who meditates on the Word, chews it over and over, and puts it to practice will prosper in everything they touch (Psalms 1:2,3). Not only that, you will bring forth fruit in the right season (Psalms 1:3).
Once Isaac walked out of that place, his desert, he lifted up his eyes and SAW, and behold, the camels were coming (Gen. 24:63). The camel, symbolized by the 3rd Hebrew letter in the alphabet called the gimel is a picture of blessing. I learned the following from Dr. Karl Coke: "The gimel (camel) is cognate (related to) the word gamol which means to nourish until completely ripe.
The Torah states of Isaac: "The child grew and was weaned" (Gen. 21:8). In this passage the word gamol refers to the development of an infant to the point that it can live without its mother's nursing. Isaac walks out of that wilderness at his 40th year (the number 40 represents "new beginnings, testing, probation and change). Isaac is mature, he is one who can understand dialoguing with God while in the wilderness; he understands the principle of meditation and is now ready to see the camels (blessings).
A beautiful piece of information about the camel is that they are equipped physically to endure tremendous stress, which enables travelers to survive the perils of the desert (Dr. Coke). Who was riding on the camel? Rebekah, Isaac's future bride is on the camel. Isaac is a picture of the Messiah coming out to meet his bride. Song of Solomon 3:6 "Who is this that comes out of the WILDERNESS like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all powders of the merchant?" Out of the wilderness comes tremendous change and blessings, otherwise unobtainable from another location (situation). Be encouraged today, "Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out and meet him" (Matt. 25:6).
Beauty In The Desert
There are no short cuts in God's Kingdom. We must all learn the Wilderness. My desire today is that you see the beauty in the desert. Isaiah promises us that "the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose" (Isa. 35:1). Be encouraged and comforted, your camels are coming.
Blessings and honor,
DO YOU HAVE JOY?
We are commanded by Jesus to seek first the Kingdom of God (Matt. 6:33). Unless we understand the Kingdom, we may not know how to do this on a daily basis. The Gospels are filled with information about what the Kingdom is like, especially the Gospel of Matthew and Luke. Jesus, being a 1st Century Jewish teacher, taught in parables and word pictures to help us see the Kingdom. Parables are used to make a point and to help turn us in the right direction.
The Apostle Paul teaches us in Rom. 14:17 that the "Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." My purpose in writing this message is to bring our attention to the word "joy." I do not want to purposely offend anyone here, but from the perspective of a pastor dealing with the body of Christ on a daily basis, most believers are not walking in biblical joy. Focusing on the Kingdom exclusively will empower us to withstand all cultural attacks against us from a worldly, modern society.
Who Is To Experience Joy?
Believers (Luke 24:52; Acts 16:34)
The just (Prov. 21:15)
Peacemakers (Prov. 12:20)
The Wise (Prov. 15:23)
Those who discover the Kingdom (Matt. 13:44)
Those who abide in God's Presence (Psa.16:11)
The Meek (Isa. 29:19)
The Generous (I Chron. 29:9, 17), etc.
A few Hebraic keys from the Book of Nehemiah can change our mindset from possible confusion to a gratifying understanding of God's plans for us, giving us something wonderful to rejoice over. When we read the Word of God, we must not take anything out of context. Hebrew scripture interprets scripture. Studied to its root meanings, all misunderstanding and all possible error are eliminated. Nehemiah 8:10 tells us that the "Joy of the LORD is our strength." This joy's source is based on a personal relationship with the LORD Himself and is Hebraically symbolized by the word "chedvah." It is used only a couple of times in scripture. With an understanding of the Paleo-Hebrew (ancient) alphabet we will be able to more fully understand the Father's perspective of and His heart for joy.
Nehemiah Chapter 8 presents a picture of the Word of God and Revelation knowledge. In Nehemiah Chapter 8 we discover Ezra standing before the people of God at the Feast of Trumpets and expounding the word of God so that the people could understand what God expects from them. Nehemiah, Ezra and the scribes (Ne.8:9) told the people not to weep or be sad over hearing the Word, but to go home, make a feast and celebrate. Neh. 8:12 "And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared to them." God's Word is His covenant with us. More beautifully portrayed is the picture at Mt. Sinai where He marries Israel and Moses presents the "ketubah," the marriage contract or covenant between Him and His people (us).
So what is the JOY of the LORD? Looking at the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (word pictures) we can see what is being portrayed. "Chedvah" (joy) is composed of three Hebrew consonants: "Cheth," "Dalet," and "Hey." For those who are not familiar with the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet:
1. Cheth is the 8th letter representing a wall, inner room or a fence.
2. Dalet is the 4th letter representing a door.
3. Hey is the 5th letter representing a window or the word "Behold."
I learned from studying early Hebrew culture, that to be invited into a Bedouin tent was a great honor; especially if the Father came out to greet you. To be invited in to share a meal with the family was not only an honor, but an act of hospitality, and the opportunity to enter into Covenant with the family; a family led by the father. The "dalet" (door) is the way into the tent/inner room. Taken literally, the Hebrew letters in "chedvah" are saying, "BEHOLD THE DOOR INTO THE INNER ROOM." Jesus is the door to the Father so that we may walk in Covenant with him and with His family. This is His joy; that we can now be united with Him through the Messiah, keep His Word (covenant) and receive His strength.
Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over you with singing."
Blessings and honor,
HONOR IS A KEY
Prov. 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom:
and with all your getting get understanding.
Prov. 4:8 Exalt her, and she shall promote you:
she shall bring you to HONOR, when you embrace her.
One of the most important things we will ever learn in this life is that God has laws and principles that endure forever and must be obeyed. Learning principles and practicing those principles will cause us to walk in success. We are in a Kingdom that consists of laws, principles, decrees, statutes, and precepts.
One of the most powerful laws of God is the law of "Honor". One of the Hebrew terms for honor is the word "kabod" or "kavod," meaning glory, majesty, splendor and weightiness. An Ancient Hebrew picture of honor is that of the liver. Why the liver? Because the liver is the heaviest, largest and most dense organ in our bodies. One of the liver's functions is to collect toxins, transform them and then eliminate them. We can live without various body organs but we cannot live without the liver. Just as we cannot survive without our livers, we cannot have success in our lives without honor. As I was researching pictures of the liver, I saw for the first time that the liver was in the shape of the tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the "Yud". The "Yud" is a picture of the hand, and demonstrates that God is the one who touches our lives, bestowing honor.
Many of God's people and leaders are suffering today due to lack of honor from those they are called to lead. Yet, do we who are called to leadership understand the power of honoring those whom we lead?
I want to share a few simple thoughts I have about the power of honor and dishonor.
HONOR BELONGS TO GOD
Psalm 96:6 "Honor and majesty are before Him; strength and beauty are in His sanctuary." By exalting and embracing wisdom, we are brought to HONOR. If we want to walk in favor and honor, we must understand where honor originates. True honor can only be obtained from the sanctuary in Heaven. Disrespectful and disobedient people are not being promoted to places of true honor because of their lack of respect for the LORD, His word and His requirements.
HONOR IS OBTAINED BY OBEYING INSTRUCTION
Prov. 15:33 "The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honor is humility." Are you seeing the favor of God in your life? If we fail to recognize the importance of daily honoring the Father and His instructions, it can cost us our positions, our authority and even our anointing.
Let's look at the life of Saul. Saul was being honored by God when he was anointed King by Samuel (I Sam. 10:1). Samuel the Prophet, about whom God said not one of his words would fall to the ground, gave Saul specific instructions. He told him to go before him into Gilgal; that he would meet him there to offer burnt offerings and sacrifice peace offerings. He told him to wait for seven (7) days until he got there and that he would then give him his next set of instructions (I Sam. 10:8).
Saul dishonored the prophet by refusing to follow all of the instructions. I Sam. 13:8 "And he tarried seven days, according to the set time that Samuel had appointed: but Samuel came not to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him." Saul took matters into his own hands when he didn't see Samuel and when the people left him. Saul's test represents a huge test for all leaders; obey God no matter what. Obedience to the voice of God can cause you to be left alone. Saul disobediently offered sacrifices without Samuel. When Samuel arrived, Saul was reprimanded for doing something foolish. Samuel tells him that he did NOT keep the commandment/instruction of the LORD (I Sam. 13:13)
The Book of Proverbs is very clear about fools. You can identify a fool by their despising of instruction. Samuel tells Saul that his kingdom would have been established upon Israel forever, but now his kingdom would not continue (I Sam. 13:13-14).
One act of disrespect and dishonor of the man-of-God's instructions cost Saul the kingdom. Saul's lack of ability to walk in the wisdom of God cost him honor. Samuel tells Saul that God has sought a (different) man, one after his own heart, because Saul did not guard the instructions of God (I Sam. 13:14). We know His chosen replacement was David. The man God chose to replace Saul is quoted as saying, Psa. 119:141 "I am small and despised; yet I do not forget your precepts."
I have heard it said that if you are experiencing success, you can trace it to those you have chosen to honor. I have also heard it said that restoration rarely occurs after a decision of dishonor has been made. If we will look at the Ancient Hebrew picture of the liver and remember it has the power to transform and eliminate toxins, we will have our hope restored.
HONOR WITHIN THE BODY
I sincerely believe if we endeavor to understand the seriousness of honor and start practicing honoring one another, our lives will dramatically change for the better. We must first seek and receive honor from heaven to operate in honor. We are called to "honor all men" and to also "honor the king" (I Pet. 2:17). We are to honor the elders of the church (I Tim. 5:17). We are to honor widows that are truly widows (I Tim. 5:3). We are to honor our spouses (I Pet. 3:7 and Eph. 5:22). We are to honor the elderly (Lev. 19:32). We are called to honor our parents (Exod. 20:12). In John 12:26 Jesus says that if any man will serve him, the Father will honor him.
Gary Smalley said it beautifully in his book "I Promise You Forever", "Honor is a way of accurately seeing the immense value of a person made in God's image. God created each one of us as a one-of-a-kind person with unique gifts and a unique personality. He sees each of us as precious and valuable because He sees the innate worth He built into us."
May the Lord begin a new work in all of us. May we become skilled in HONOR.
Blessings and honor,