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Anyone into the Foo Fighters?
I haven’t been a follower in the past – if it comes on the radio or tv then yip okay it is in the listenable category, but not like others that make me go “yeah I really like this…”
But their latest video caught my eye… mostly because it illustrated something I had been musing about for a while. For those regular readers of my blog you may know that I – t his sounds weird – love the blood of Jesus… this resonates from old hymns that my youth group that I got saved in sung… such as “the Power in the Blood” and “Nothing But The Blood” which really get inside me and make me so grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus and for “what it did…”
I love verses like:
Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony. And they did not love their soul until death.”
Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace,
Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who were once afar off are made near by the blood of Christ.
Colossians 1:20 And through Him having made peace through the blood of His cross, it pleased the Father to reconcile all things to Himself through Him, whether the things on earth or the things in Heaven.
Hebrews 9:12 nor by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood He entered once for all into the Holies, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
Hebrews 10:19 Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus,
1Peter 1:18-19 knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, silver or gold, from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot;
1John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
Revelation 1:5 …Jesus Christ the faithful Witness, the First-born from the dead and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood
so watch the video – it isnt so much the lyrics of the song but the visual image when the wall of red behind the band wash away the riot gear clad guys… its big, its aggressive, its violent, its bloody, it washes… and this is how i see the blood of Jesus washing my sin away… i dont know, it just clicks with me…. it speaks my language….
“God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say “thank you?” -William A. Ward
230. family. kids and husband. together we make a family. that will be together always, God’s grace.
231. friends. who walk with you and laugh with you and bring joy and richness. and who take the kids for the afternoon when you’re sick and just need to sleep and not talk.
232. Lost on dvd. great for on days when you’re sick and just want to curl up and watch a good dvd, and maybe fall asleep.
233. the ability to communicate – voice – i’ve lost mine on and off, mostly off, over this fortnight. its been very quiet. but has been interesting as i’ve conserved my voice to see what i save it for “i love you” is the most frequent phrase i’ve used in the past fortnight.
234. the right song at the right time. or rather God speaking through a song to bring comfort.
235. grapes and strawberries. oh i love them!
237. watching cartoons or programmes (cos i guess the muppets are puppets) that brings back happy childhood memories
238. things coming together. i edit our church mag, a quarterly 32 page magazine – and i write, format and edit it and i love it but there are about 3 weeks where the process is not fun - its more tedious and confronting and refining and labour intensive – lots of reworking and image hunting, and tutu-ing and replacing and colaborating with my other editors. its qutie a process. and usually my computer misbehaves. and there is all the “no i dont like that, thats not right” talks with the editorial team which is never fun. but when it comes together it comes together. and then i remember that yes, i really love this.
239. homemade chicken burgers. oh glorious!
240. zebras. elephants. giraffes. sheep. dogs. butterflies. lizards. i could go on… the point is that God is a glorious creator, creative and powerful and awesome. and so i trust him.
241. God working in our hearts, to draw us towards him and towards his plan and purpose.
242. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 though i may be a cracked pot, a jar of clay, i contain a great treasure – the Holy Spirit, God – i am his child and he empowers me and shines through me.
243. conversations about God that leave you inspired!
244. a warm bed.
245. australian masterchef – okay, perhaps i love watching my kids watching it – it is so funny and cute how they so love it and get into it. i think it is a sign of things to come. do i have a future chef in the house???
246. girl movie nights.
247. being able to help at just the right time.
248. being helped at just the right time.
249. the foo fighters. i like their music.
250. the blood of jesus that cleanses me from all unrighteousness
251. the word all – that means ALL and everything – ALL means ALL! oh how glorious that is when you read it in the bible… such a small word with a big meaning!
252. communion with housegroup on wednesday ngiht – it was really meaningful and well, just good. whole glasses of blackcurrent juice and big chunks of bun. each mouthful a reminder that the body of jesus was broken for us. each mouthful a reminder that the blood of jesus is poured out for us. for me.
Isaiah 60:1-3 says “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See darkness covers the earth and think darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and His glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”
This is our prayer and our declaration – that Jesus, Light of the World will be in us and shine through us that people would come to know the greatness of our God and that our nation and the nations of the world will be transformed by His glory!
There are so many ways in our ordinary lives that we can shine the extraordinary light of God to those around it. What may seem like an insignificant action may be used by God to draw people to Himself. Keep loving those around you. Keep praying for them, that the light of the Good News of the Kingdom of God would penetrate the darkness. God calls us His partners in the great work of reaching the lost; He empowers us with His Holy Spirit to be His witnesses. Nothing is impossible for God, for it is by His power within us we can do all things.
“For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” 2 Corinthians 4:7-8
excert from my editorial for our church magazine
ps i always get inspired when i see this ad on our tv, here in New Zealand… we may feel like one little light…
You yourselves are a case study of what he does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of him, giving him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving himself completely at the Cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God’s side and put your lives together, whole and holy in his presence. You don’t walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly tuned in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted. There is no other Message—just this one. Every creature under heaven gets this same Message. Colossians 1:19-23 MSG
This is the message. That Jesus came and lived and died to redeem us and make us acceptable to God, to bring us back into the family, forgiven and beloved.
This is the message. That He gave His life, and now we live our lives in response to His gift and His love. That we have a constant faith, and a life that outworks our inward belief and trust in God and His salvation.
This is the message. There is one way to God, and that way is Jesus Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
This is the message. Without Jesus and His sacrifice and without faith in Him we are lost and seperated and guilty and rejected for eternity.
This is the message. There is hope because of Jesus. There is life because of Jesus. There is love because of Jesus. There is family because of Jesus.
You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things. But his Son became a human and died. So God made peace with you, and now he lets you stand in his presence as people who are holy and faultless and innocent. But you must stay deeply rooted and firm in your faith. You must not give up the hope you received when you heard the good news. It was preached to everyone on earth, and I myself have become a servant of this message. Colossians 1:19-23
my prayer today Lord, is that i please you and i know you and that i am transformed more into your likeness… that i walk with you and seek you and find you…
The Answer by Shane and Shane
I’ve tried more of me
and i’ve come up dry
trading You for things
things that go away
my happiness is found in less
of me and more of You
my happiness is found in less
of me and more of You
i have found the answer is
to love You and be loved by You alone
alright! alright! alright!
You crucify me and the world to me
and i will only boast in You
alright! alright! alright!
i’m so satisfied
at the thought of You
growing up in me
my happiness is found in less
of me and more of You
my happiness is found in less
of me and more of You
You are, You are (loved by me)
You are, You are (You’re loved by me)
You are, You are (You’re loved by me)
You are, You are, You are
i’m a big believer that God gives us dreams for our lives, of things we can do that will bring him glory. and just to right off the bat say it doesnt need to be dreams that fall into secular or spiro catergories. God gives people unique tailor made dreams and that is awesome!
I believe that our own lives are the starting point, the springboard for dreams.
As dreamers, we need to put our dreams into the realm of reality.
Dream fulfilling begins today with fostering a right attitude and heart towards ministry. It begins with equipping ourselves with skills to do what God has called us to do. It begins by praying and seeking God for wisdom, his heart for the lost and the people of God. It begins by being challenged to pursue God, to live a right clean life and to be sharpened by like minded people (iron sharpens iron). It begins with small opportunities – baby steps.
As we take steps to walk into our dreams (in particular a dream of preaching for me!) we need to remember:
- It’s all about JESUS
- Lifetime of preparation
- Preaching (and leadership) is 1% of a life time of service
- Preaching – and all ministry – is in context of ministry and service
- God has the keys to open any doors
- Preparation for ministry is long term – no short cuts
- The Word of God is the Message – must rightly divide it
- Life is lived in the secret place – your own private devotions and relationship with God and obedience does matter!!!
Be ready at all times – you never know what is around the corner!
In all you do be a demonstration of the grace and love of God.
It’s okay to dream (but understand preaching and ministry and leadership is not by right nor might! But by the anointing and calling and appointing of God – in his time! No certificate will give access to the pulpit!)
What is your dream?
How can you see that being outworked in your own life?
Can you see steps to take to live it out?
It’s not about “making it happen” or being the master of your own destiny – it is about living your life in the context of your dreams and passion, not just dreaming it or wishing it. Its about living a life of surrender to God and His process and His transformation and His preparation. Its most important to live following Jesus not just following a dream or ambition.
Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Good Shepherd of our souls. He is the One seated at the right hand of Almighty God, ruling and reigning. Take up your cross and follow Him. Lay down your life.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. William James
what kind of things make a difference…. ? a smile… taking a packet of chocolate biscuts into work for morning tea… a friendly email to say, hi, i was thinking of you…. a card in the mail to a friend…. a hug…. a cup of tea after a long day…. a compliment…. a kind word… a saved seat at church… helping wash up after dinner…. lending a book…. lending a cd…
you get my drift… little things… simple things… but they can make a real idffernece to someones day. we dont know what is going on behind closed doors, and the smile we see may just be for “appearnces sake” (not to be rude… i know i do it… cos i also like being with people etc…) and so even the smallest kindness can make a differnece. we do not see the lonileness of someones heart, or their fears and insecurities. people do not often project their hurts and worries to others… they hide them.
but God sees.
He sees all.
and so we, His children. can make a difference. we can share the love.
simple things. but they make a difference.
216. a cupboard full of clean dishes.
217. sharing memories
218. face painting
219. the simple inspirational messages in childrens movies
220. hope. no matter what we face we have hope because of Jesus.
221. the time to stop and pray today
224. library books
225. learning something that seems to be just at the right time
226. new friends, in real life and in the wild world of the internet
227. prophetic words that are so right
228. hot fudge cake!
229. new christians growng and making huge decisions – seeing God working in their lives, its so beautiful!
thunder storms, rainbows, macaroni cheese, jesus culture music, Lost, reading, the good guy winning, funky rings, vintage tees, blue jeans, fresh flowers, fairy lights, max lucado’s books, cindy ruakere’s worship and sound and heart and call, face painting, hot fudge cake, prophetic words, preaching, coloured pens, hot water bottles in bed on a cold night, playing Settlers with my friends, the movie Once, facebook, bible plans, sellotape, photos of my kids, coffee, i love yous, curly hair, hot fries, hot fires, southland winning the shield, necklaces, compliments, laughing, back rubs, new faces, tasks done, roast parsnips, u2 on youtube singing amazing grace….
Wouldn’t it be great if God decided to use billboards to talk to us? Just think, we could drive down the road and God would simply choose one of a zillion billboards to get our attention. There we’d be with a mapped out message straight from God. Pretty cool, huh?
Or the old writing in the sky technique…
GOD DOES SPEAK TO US – but usually more subtlely…. But we can be confident that He speaks and wants to lead us and guide us and encourage us and teach us!
I am the Shepherd and my sheep know my voice. John 10
Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
BE EXPECTANT and have faith to hear from God! Remember Christianity isn’t a religion but a relationship with a very real and personal God who loves us with an everlasting love and desires us to know Him and walk in His ways… From the beginning God has spoken to His children and desired real relationship with them. He walked in the garden with Adam and Eve and at the end of time Revelation 22:3-4 it says that we will worship God face to face!
- Abraham was called a friend of God.
- Moses talked with God face to face in the tabernacle tent and upon Mt Sinai.
- Joshua lingered in the tabernacle tent after Moses left.
- Prophets spoke on behalf of God to kings and nations.
- Jeremiah was taught by God in visions to hear His voice.
- Isaiah had a vision of the throne room of God and heard God.
- Daniel had angelic visitations and dreams.
- Paul was led by the Holy Spirit to go to different places and also the Holy Spirit stopped him from going to other locations.
- The disciples on the road from Emmaus were warmed in their spirits when Jesus talked with them.
- Elijah heard God in the still small voice, after an earthquake, fire and wind.
- When Jesus was baptized God spoke in an audible voice, but some of the crowd heard thunder and others thought it was angels speaking.
We recognize God’s voice because we recognize Him, the better we get to know God the more clearly we will recognize His voice.
The boy Samuel ministered before the LORD under Eli. In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
One night Eli, whose eyes were becoming so weak that he could barely see, was lying down in his usual place. The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the templeof the LORD, where the ark of God was. Then the LORD called Samuel.
Samuel answered, “Here I am.” And he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” But Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.” So he went and lay down.
Again the LORD called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” “My son,” Eli said, “I did not call; go back and lie down.”
Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
The LORD called Samuel a third time, and Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.”
Then Eli realized that the LORD was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
The LORD came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3
Learning to recognize the voice of God is part of learning to hear the voice of God. It is just like when a friend rings on the phone – if they are a new friend you may have to ask who is on the phone, but when they are a good friend you recognize their voice. It takes time and conversation.
The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” John 10:2-5
We are led by God – because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. Romans 8:14
The Holy Spirit lives within us to reveal God to us – 1 Corinthians 2:10-11 – but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. John 16:13-15
God spoke to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3), Habakkuk knew the sound of God speaking to him (Habakkuk 2:2). Elijah described it as a still, small voice (I Kings 19:12 ). However, I have found that usually, God’s voice comes as spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, or impressions.
For example, haven’t you been driving down the road and had a thought come to you to pray for a certain person? Didn’t you believe it was God telling you to pray? What did God’s voice sound like? Was it an audible voice, or was it a spontaneous thought that lit upon your mind?
Hearing the voice of God is as natural as hearing your best friend talk to you. He speaks to us in the natural moments of life. Do you want to hear God’s voice? Then you must be ready to listen.
Here are some common ways God talks to us:
In order to actually “hear” from God, we have to know some things about God’s character. We have to develop an understanding of who God is, and the way he does things. Fortunately for us, all that information is available in the Bible. The Bible goes into a lot of detail about how you can expect God to react, what kinds of expectations he has for us, and most specifically, how he expects us to treat other people. It contains the promises of God and reveals who He is.
- Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
- 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
Many times God will use other people to try to get through to us. Be wise in choosing who you listen to – who you take counsel from – but remember God can use anyone (He used a DONKEY to speak to Balaam!) – God can speak to us through other people in prophetic words and in conversation or through preaching.
Sometimes the only way God can teach us something is to allow circumstances in our life to lead us to and through the very thing we need to discover.
The Still Small Voice / Impressions / Unction
When learning to hear God’s voice, know that God speaks in many different ways: Such as a mental picture (vision), a song, a thought that won’t go away, a scripture… It takes time and practice to discern the voice of God.
God’s voice often comes as spontaneous thoughts, visions, feelings, or impressions. For example, haven’t you been driving down the road and had a thought come to you to pray for a certain person? Didn’t you believe it was God telling you to pray? What did God’s voice sound like? Was it an audible voice, or was it a spontaneous thought that lit upon your mind?
Sometimes you have a feeling – or feel compelled – to do a certain thing, phone someone, facebook someone, say something, buy something, go somewhere, do something – these can be classified as unctions of God, being led by God.
Many times God uses a tiny voice inside us to let us know when we’re not on the right path. Some people call it “the voice of peace.” Whenever we’re contemplating something and we don’t have peace about it, it’s a very good idea to stop and carefully look at the options. There’s a reason you don’t feel peace about it. Or all of a sudden, you just know you heard something. Pay attention to those occasions because it is very likely God trying to tell you something.
- Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
- However, as it is written: ”No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-11
- Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That’s the most sensible way to serve God. Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him. Romans 12:1-2
- In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. Proverbs 16:10
The Audible Voice
Sometimes we’re able to “hear” something in our spirit that sounds to us like an actual audible voice.
Check it out:
Just because we hear something or feel something doesn’t mean it will always be God. It may be our own desires/flesh/self/imagination or it may even be the enemy seeking to distract and discourage us or mislead us.
- Make sure it lines up with the Word of God. God will not speak to you something that contradicts his word.
- Talk to someone about it – someone you trust and that you trust hears from God
- Pray about it
- Pray some more!
- Keep listening
- not listening / too busy
- listening with an agenda (so not really listening at all for God!)