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The Voice of the Lord
July 11, 2005
Dear Friend of Mary Craig Ministries,
In the beginning, God spoke, and it was so. And He is speaking still, only most pay no attention today. God is as good as His Word, and His Word is truth, but people sit with remote in hand watching reality TV and longing for true relationships. We are more isolated, lonely, discouraged, tired, sleep-deprived, and drugged up than ever before. Yet Psalm 81 says that if Godís people would listen to Him and walk in His ways, then He would soon subdue their enemies and turn His hand against their adversaries.
Hey, Heís the Creator, but itís hard these days to get any respect, or is it? God speaks loudly through His creation, revealing His glory and His handiwork, His eternal power and divine nature (Psalm 19; Romans 1). I was outside one day looking at a rosebush, except that some bugs had made little munchy marks on the leaves. Suddenly, I heard internally a quiet voice saying, "How do you like My bug art?" I stood there and laughed. I said, "Okay. Thatís creative."
Adam and Eve heard the voice of the LORD God. They understood the simple obedience, but chose to decide for themselves what was good and what was evil. God had said "no" to the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, but they chose "go" instead of "no." That cost them their spiritual connection with God who gave them life and blessing. So the next time they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden, they hid themselves from His presence. Didnít do much good then, and doesnít do any good now. There really isnít anywhere one can hide from the presence of the LORD.
Abraham did better. God cut a covenant with Abraham and Abraham obeyed Godís voice, kept His charge, His commandments, His statutes, and His laws. (Exodus 26.5) God was to Isaac the Fear of Isaac and to Jacob Peniel. God spoke to Moses also by direct revelation. God had a plan, and Moses was part of that plan. These men had conversations with God, something God enjoys.
Moses was to go to Pharaoh. He was to tell Pharaoh that Israel is His firstborn, to let His son go that he may serve Him and if Pharaoh refused, He would slay his son, even his firstborn. Pharaoh responded, "Who is the LORD, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD, neither will I let Israel go." (Exodus 5.2) He wouldnít let the people rest and made them work harder. Through great plagues and judgments, God brought deliverance so that the people could keep the Sabbath rest, the distinction between Godís people and other peoples. Though his heart hardened by the will of God, Pharaoh did let the people go.
God then spoke words, which were written upon tablets of stone. Today we call the Bible the Word of God, the written revelation of God, inspired and infallible. Through these words God communicated His ways, His laws, and His heart. He spoke through His prophets, through angels, through circumstances, through His Holy Spirit. Today Heís still speaking. The question is whether we will respond like David in Psalm 85.8, "I will hear what God the LORD will speak."
What is your attitude toward the Word of God? Is it a burden to have "daily devotions?" Do you approach the Word as you would a novel or as you would a love letter from Someone who loves you with an infinite and enduring love? Godís voice in His Word is designed to produce faith and trust in the Almighty. In it we find evidence and eyewitness testimony to encourage our faith in Jesus. We see Godís providence. We hear the words of Jesus, and we find the Father speaking both at the baptism of Jesus and at the transfiguration of Jesus. At the point of baptism, the Father speaks, "You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased." (Luke 3.22) At the point of transfiguration, the Father speaks, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear Him." (Matthew 17.5)
Are we listening? God sent His Son both to speak and to demonstrate His love for us. Jesus and the Father are one. Jesus said, "You believe not, because you are not of My sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of My hand." (John 10.25-28)
Give unto the LORD glory and strength. Give Him the glory due unto His name. Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the LORD is upon the waters: the God
Of glory thunders: the LORD is upon many waters.
The voice of the LORD is powerful;
The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; yes,
The LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes them also to skip like a calf;
Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
The voice of the LORD divides the flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;
The LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the hinds to
Calve, and discovers the forests; and
In His temple does every one speak of
His glory. (Psalm 29.3-9)
The heathen rage. The kingdoms are moved, but when God utters His voice, the earth melts. (Psalm 46.6) Godís been warning people now for years. He said through Jeremiah not to learn the way of the heathen or be dismayed at the signs of heaven. He warns us not to buy into the customs and cultures of the world, but instead to remember the LORD. The LORD is the true God, the living God, an everlasting king. At His wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide His indignation. God has made the earth by His power. He has established the world by His wisdom. He has stretched out the heavens by His discretion. When God utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings with rain, and brings forth the wind out of His treasures. (Jeremiah 10.10-13)
Paul and Peter had their very lives changed upon hearing and obeying the voice of the LORD. Paul was stopped in his tracks. His encounter with the voice of Christ turned his world upside down. He left with a new message, the gospel of grace, with a new purpose, to take that gospel to the Gentiles, and with a new calling, not to hunt and kill Christians, but to gather them together in love. Peter had a vision in which he heard God tell him to eat food that was unclean. At first, he responded that he would not because nothing common or unclean had at any time entered into his mouth. Three times Godís voice spoke to him. "What God has cleansed, that call not thou common." (Acts 11.9) So Peter entered the house of a gentile, Cornelius, and the Holy Ghost fell so that everyone had to glorify God and recognize that God had granted to the Gentiles also repentance unto life.
Yes, there is a repentance unto life and it is available today to those who will listen and heed the voice of the LORD. We are not to harden our hearts through unbelief and disobedience, but to believe. Today we have a new covenant in Christís blood, a better covenant with better promises, better everything. Hebrews 10.25 says:
See that you refuse not Him that speaks. For if they
Escaped not who refused Him that spoke on earth, much
More shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him
That speaks from heaven: whose voice then shook the
Earth; but now He has promised, saying, Yet once more
I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.
John of the Revelation heard a voice. It had the sound of many waters. John turned to see the voice that spoke to him and when he saw Jesus, he fell at His feet as dead. This Jesus, now alive forevermore, has the keys of hell and of death. He told John to write, and John did.
God speaks also through His people. We are to proclaim Godís praises and take the message of Jesus in word and deed to the ends of the earth. We are to demonstrate Godís love for us by loving one another. We are to respond to Godís covenant call "I will be Your God and you will be My people" by saying, "I take you to be My God and I take Your people to be My people."
God wants His people to know the truth, about Him, about ourselves, about our position in Christ. He wants to bless us. He wants us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. If He finds weíre not getting the message Heís trying to communicate, Heíll let us know. The heavens may become brass, or we become restless, we sense darkness rolling in. When we listen to wrong voices, or become deceived, or want to be on our own, or want to satisfy the desires and passions of our flesh, or find ourselves making excuses for our wrongs and rationalizing our failures, we suffer the consequences. Ultimately, we get hurt and we hurt others. We miss Godís best.
Right now God is speaking, and He is calling His own back to Him in an unprecedented move of the Spirit. The desire of His heart is that His own return to Him that He might also return to them. He wants to shelter His own, to tabernacle within them, to abide in them, to make Himself known, to give rest. So today I call those who are hardening their hearts to the voice of the LORD, or who are disobeying the voice of the LORD, to repent. Beg and plead and tell God you have perverted His ways and it has not profited you. Remember who He is and who you are and get eternity into your mindset. God wants you and loves you. Yes, His way is narrow and yes, He is a holy God, but He gives you His Holy Spirit and will do abundantly above all that you can ask or think. I pray that the anointing of the Holy Spirit fall upon you for all Godís good pleasure in your life as you touch this message and this message touches your heart. Come, for the table is prepared and you donít want to miss this supper!
Honoring the Voice,
Seek the LORD while He may be found. Call upon Him
While He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way,
And the unrighteous man his thoughts;
Let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him;
And to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.
(Isaiah 55.6, 7)
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