Time to Arise


I have mentioned lately about how important it is to know God’s direction. Can we know what He is telling us in these last days? I am confident that we can. Many are asking; how can we know what He is saying? I believe that sometimes it is more obvious than others, but overall from what I have experienced, it is usually more complex. We read in the Bible about the occasions when God would communicate as He walked in the garden with Adam and Eve, or He would speak out of the clouds with the children of Israel. Then we see Jesus coming to earth and talking with His people face to face, so I am convinced that God has always been willing to intervene with His creation but we must have an “ear to hear”. This makes me a theist and theism not only believes there is one true God as the intelligent designer of all things but that He is also personally involved in man’s everyday life. The Lord speaks into the soul and offers a wise path and everyone will either choose to listen – or live independently. In this light, if we are not detecting the heavenly signal we are seeking, we need to carefully consider that the problem is not with the message being transmitted but there may be something wrong with the receiver. Sometimes we need to find the instruction manual and discover why there is no connection.

Why is it important to know God’s direction? Well, I am persuaded to believe that everyone has a specific course to follow that has been chartered by our “Master navigator”. I call the plans that God has made for us our “spiritual blueprints” and they are very important to Him because He created each of us uniquely and custom designed our destiny into His overall vision. I realize that many people do not respond to His call and all of His plans do not work out like He desired but that does not mean He fails or does not find a way to accomplish His will. In my doctrinal belief system I do not consider myself either as a strict Calvinist or an Armenian but rather a student that is comfortable combining both of them together. As you know, a Calvinist leans very heavy on the idea of predestination which means that everything and everyone has been selected to turn out a certain way before the world was created. I can clearly see some things this pertains to but not everything (because of the reality of free-will). Armenians teach that God provided salvation through Jesus Christ and His covenant is offered to all humans and that His blood can redeem anyone who accepts His blood and His Word by faith. What does all this have to do with hearing God’s voice? Because if we believe everything is “locked in” and cannot change then we are more relaxed and do not worry about our spiritual responsibilities. If we believe that God has given us a toolbox and a mission to accomplish, we realize how He is waiting for us to “ARISE” and follow His voice. There is something wrong with thinking that our purpose is to float around in life like someone sight-seeing on vacation. If everything has been chosen (Calvinism) then whatever happens was God’s choice – even salvation. This seems to make the Christian life so easy and “automatic” that maybe it is part of the reason why many churches are asleep.

It is not rocket science to know that humans are always looking for the easy way in everything they do. One of the most intriguing benefits of having wealth is to live in comfort and ease. The rich usually do not pull their own weeds or wax their own cars; they pay others to do it while they relax by the pool. I am just saying that wealth can be used for good as long we can control it and not allow it to control us. When we accept Christ as our Lord, it is common knowledge that we are still listening to our old will and when it comes to issues like praying and worshipping, we have not yet developed the strength to control our flesh. Some Christians never pursue the discipline needed to harness their flesh because they do not want to. They are just not interested in wading out into the spiritual waters of maturity and have become perfectly satisfied with continuing in the old nature while confessing Jesus Christ as their Savior. This is the perfect idea of how to live a life of pleasure and eternal security or as some might say, “The best of both worlds.” Can you still catch the bus for heaven while living in this state of mind? Only God will decide who is worthy to enter into eternal life with Him, but since He is the perfect judge it would seem like a mockery to allow someone that was never interested in being a disciple to be rewarded with the glory of heaven. If Jesus is the Lord of the heart, He is the Master of the life and the King of an individual’s salvation. What does this have to do with hearing God’s voice? Everything! If we are living in a carnal state of existence, we could care less about what He is saying. Besides, if we are only concerned with our own needs and desires, we are not focused or even concerned with trying to find out what He wants us to do. Only those who are serious about pleasing Him are determined to find out exactly what their mission is. Selah.

So, how do we become serious about knowing God’s direction? I believe it can be said that everyone that is truly born-again will have the desire to draw near to God. For the lost, this life is a miserable, empty void that can only be temporarily entertained. This is why the lost are constantly watching something, doing something, talking or going somewhere. They must fill their mind with busy energy so they will not feel the “haunting” that exposes their life as hollow and destitute of meaning. People are afraid and do not want to face the TRUTH that they cannot be fulfilled or happy without Christ as their Lord. They will search the world for anything that can make them happy but Jesus is the ONLY answer to their agonizing loneliness. It can be boiled down to a simple way of thinking. If someone says they are a Christian yet they are not living the Christian life – they must be under conviction. Our new spirit cries out to God because it loves this state of purity and adores spending time in God’s presence. A child of God can automatically sense the constant conviction of the Holy Spirit because they are directly connected to Him. This is like when we become thirsty, we go get a drink and it is in this same concept that compels a child of God to spend time with Him and get things right. All of God’s children have this convicting conscience that desires to hear His voice, loves His living Word, sees the need for prayer, is grateful in Praise and longs to live in the peace that brings the deepest joy and the highest freedom! If a Christian has no desire for these things – something is wrong. We can conclude that either they are backslidden far away from God and it is a matter of time before the Shepherd intervenes with bringing them back to the fold – or they have been living within an emotional religious experience and have never truly been born-again. So, in other words, if anyone is truly a saint of God – they will become serious about abandoning their will and surrendering their life completely to God’s will. This group of believers is called a remnant which identifies them as a small group within a larger assembly. There is a church within a church which means not everyone that goes to church is a member of the body of Christ. When the rapture happens some churches will still have those who were deceived. Love has nothing to do with an organization or an affiliation; it is all about Jesus sitting on the throne of the heart. When He is the LORD of a life – that life is under His control. These are the victorious overcomers that will be persecuted and martyred in the last hours. These are the ones that have suffered loss through the years and know what the word sacrifice means. They wanted to hear God’s voice and live for Him so much that they gave Him exactly what He wanted – their heart.

This brings us to our next step in desiring to hear what God is speaking to us. Just how desperate are you to know what God wants you to do? We can sit around and wait for invitations and opportunities to fall out of the ceiling but many times this only brings more discouragement. And there are times when a door does open but we quickly analyze it and decide that we are not really interested in doing that. After we have exhausted all the ideas, schemes and dreams of our imagination we are left with one simple yet challenging option (which by the way is a guaranteed answer that will give us what we are seeking). Prayer. It is strange but understandable that humans are willing to climb Mt. Everest for a sign or walk the scorching desert to search for the meaning of life but cannot face the reality that God simply wants to talk with them. In a conversation there is talking and listening (many have never realized this) nonetheless, most of us have no problem doing all the talking because we always have so many whims. It is true that praying is the perfect time to “unload” our troubles and all the problems that are causing us turmoil and heartache but the most important part of a conversation with God is what He wants to say (and I’m sure He would agree). This is the part we have so much frustration with because it seems at times we go on and on but never hear any response. It is confusing and discouraging to keep seeking an answer without ever finding one (unless of course He keeps sending what He wants us to do but we keep thinking that surely this is not from Him). It is like going to the psychiatrist and telling them what is wrong but not really liking their solution and having no intention of taking their advice. So what do you suggest for us to do? To begin with, prayer in itself is difficult because our flesh is fighting us the entire way – but if we add fasting to our intercession this will take us into another level of spiritual communication. Much of the time, the devil does not need to worry about us praying because he knows our carnality will probably be strong enough to resist our spiritual determination. I am reminded of the disciples trying to stay awake and watch with Jesus as He was doing some “serious” praying in the Garden of Gethsemane the night He was captured. “And He (Jesus) cometh to His disciples, and found them asleep, and said unto Peter, what, could you not watch with me one hour?” (Mathew 26:40) (How could we possibly think that God is not asking us this very same question?) Nonetheless, when we include fasting as a strategy to deny our flesh and increase our spiritual awareness, the enemy notices and will be compelled to attack our intentions. Satan is an expert in spiritual warfare and he recognizes the difference between whining to God and having a serious conversation with Him. When the devil sees that God is giving directions and the individual is taking notes, he becomes nervous and intimidated because he feels the gates of hell shaking.

We can moan and groan our entire life and cry big tears over how we have failed and missed the Lord. We can throw the biggest pity-parties around and feel sorry for ourselves because it seems our mission was not accomplished. Allow me to say sincerely that these are real emotions; they are legitimate hurts and pains that we experience within the depths of our heart. I know that it is agonizing to go through life with a sense of disappointment and sadness BUT – it is never too late to change our situation and turn our life around! How does God feel about His children who feel down and discouraged because they have no direction? God has never intended His people to drift on the Ocean in a rubber raft of despair with no hope of being rescued! Yes, there are wilderness experiences and times of loneliness and doubt, but conveying His plans to each of His children have always been important to Him. He did not send His Son Jesus to die so that we could walk around this earth blind and confused. Salvation includes opening the eyes of our spirit so that we can SEE who He is, who we are, and how we are to help others. Our direction will not be understood looking with our natural eyes – it will be discovered when we begin to listen from within our heart. The secret place is not a location but our intimate relationship with Him wherever that might be. Why did He mention about His “still small voice?” Because when we are snuggled close to Him – we are quiet and can hear clearly as He whispers softly.

The title – “TIME TO ARISE” does not mean for us to jump up and do something. This message is calling us to arise from our slumber with prayer and fasting in order to be in “position” to hear His voice. It’s time to stop “talking” about praying, it’s time to arise and pray.

“Father of all things, we adore you and come before you with honor and reverence. I cry out today for your mercy to please help open my eyes to your truth. We know that you understand our problems and you hear every word we say. You realize what we need more than we do and you desire for us to listen to your instructions. Help us Lord, for we are very weak and needy of strength. Motivate and inspire us to yield our will. Teach me how to listen for your voice and the skill of learning how to constantly be aware of you. Help us to take baby steps with abandoning our carnal nature. It is the ONLY way we will ever walk with you and become aware of your presence. Lord, it is one thing to know your direction but it is another level of maturity to accept it and do it. I declare to you this day that I am serious about following your voice and knowing your mission for me. I will fast and pray until I hear from heaven. I am more determined than ever to not let go of this burning desire to know your will until I can see more clearly. I know that you are speaking – the problem is that I am not coming close enough to hear you. By faith I wait on your plans and the open doors of your divine appointments. I am focused, I am serious, and I am committed to you with ALL of my heart. In the Holy Name of Jesus I pray, amen.”

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