Finding and Fulfilling God’s Plan for Your Life – Part 3
(Learning to listen)
Mtt. 17:1-5 Modern English Version
Why Peter, James and John?
Petros = stone (picture of law on stone tablets).
James = from Jacob meaning “supplanter”.
John = from Jochanan, derived from root meaning “grace”.
All 3 together reveal a hidden message for us:
“The stone (law) has been supplanted (or replaced) by grace!”
In Jesus’ time on earth everything was in transition moving from law into grace. Grace and truth has come in the form of a person: Jesus. Hear Him today. Listen to Him and His words of grace!
Our mission purpose statement: Presenting Jesus; the revelation of truth and grace.
The Father said, “Listen to Him, not them!”
Whom are you listening to today?
Moses and Elijah were speaking to Jesus about what He was about to accomplish on the cross (Luke 9:29-30). Moses represented the Law (Law giver). The Law was to bring man to the end of himself.
Elijah represented all the prophets to remind people of the Law they so often forgot. Both Moses and Elijah were servants of God but Jesus is the Son of God. “Listen to Him.” He is the final Word of God.
We are not good listeners. But we can improve.
“Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” James 1:19
We can be quick to run off and do something like Peter wanted to do something, instead of listening.
How does faith come to us?
“Faith cometh by hearing and hearing the Word of God.”
“Hearing” = akoe – acoustics
“Word of God” = rhema – that which is uttered by the Living Voice.
Logos is what God has said = written Word.
Rhema is what God is saying to you now by the Spirit. It always agrees with the written Word!
You can hear God today for yourself:
1. Written Word
2. Holy Spirit
3. Anointed preaching/teaching
God has an agenda for our lives:
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
These “thoughts” God has for us are His agenda for us.
Our discovery of His agenda and plans are linked to intimate prayers of talking, asking and THEN LISTENING.
The next 3 verses attached to this famous scripture tell us so.
“Then you will call upon ME and go and pray to ME, and I will listen to you. And you will seek ME and find ME, when you search for ME with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD.” Jer. 29:12-14
When we are seeking to know God’s plans for our life, we are actually seeking His thoughts towards us.
Many times when we pray, our focus is not on understanding the Father’s purpose, activities or heart. Instead we pray to get our needs met, or how we want Him to make us successful. When you pray your own agenda, you are not listening for His!
Ill. What I discovered this past Sunday morning during pre service prayer. How important it is to have a time of being still and quiet before the Lord. Just paying attention and listening if He has anything He wants to say or reveal. I bring a notepad and write down any impressions. I did put up a microphone near the end for people to be able to express what God is saying or showing for all of us like we did in the prayer room. I will hold off on opening the microphone up for people until the last ten minutes because it is more important to listen.
Listening to God is an art to be developed by each person. It can never be listen on demand. There will be times God is silent and we cannot force Him to speak. Our job is to listen to see if He will have anything to say to me.
Last Wednesday I shared with you 2 ongoing essentials for us to find out God’s will and plan for us: It is revealed in Romans 12:1-2 KJV
Romans 12:1-2 KJV and bold on last part, “that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God!”
1. We must train the body with discipline like an athlete.
2. We must renew the mind with meditation with the Word.
Mediation is not studying the Bible.
Worrying is meditation in a negative way. It is going over and over something in your mind, even visualizing it, imagining it. Our minds have a lot of bad trauma memory that still affects us.
PTSD = bad memories triggered by whatever.
Your mind has been so affected by this world system and values that it has poured our brains into a mold.
- Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world” = poured into the world’s mold for you.
“But be ye transformed (metamorphosis) by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
This is the process that requires a lot of time. Jesus taught us the Word of God is like a seed planted in the ground. The more seed the more opportunity to renew our minds. Meditating on the Word will make you think differently than the world and react differently when bad things happen. We should be a lot different from lost people in world.
- I am pointing out how much we have been squeezed into the mold of this world. When bad things happen we get into the same fear as unbelievers because we think like them
“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he . . .” Proverbs 23:7
ill. If we don’t think we have authority over demon’s, then when we recognize a demonic attack we will be powerless. Talking to a fellow believer the other day who said they were hearing voices of the devil. I told them they have authority over that and can stop it.
I don’t know if you have ever experienced casting out a demon (deliverance) from anyone or not? We have seen some pretty wild deliverances take place and some very gentle and unassuming.
“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12
I use to think that this meant we are to get violent in our faith against the enemy. But now I see the “violence” here is talking about the violence Jesus did through His death on the cross.
- God promised vengeance upon the devil back in the garden of Eden (Gen. 3:15).
- The week before His crucifixion Jesus said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” Jn 12:31
- “Through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Heb. 2:14
Jesus was violent with the devil and destroyed his power and works. He won the war. There is no war now with the devil like he would like you to think. The war has been won and Jesus is Lord.
His cause is now become our cause.
Jesus has violently won the victory over the devil.
We are His messengers carrying the news of His absolute victory.
We are to wear His armor of victory as we stand against the enemy.
Concl: When we think of prayer we usually do not think of listening but speaking to God. I want to challenge you this week to begin to have some time with God somewhere alone and begin with waiting and listening to see if He will say something to you. Just the fact you do this is honoring to Him.
As you become still keep a notepad and jot down things He may be whispering to you. Recalling a conversation, you had with someone this week, or a scripture that keeps coming into your mind, or a song.
- Sing and pray the psalms into a tune you are familiar with.
- Journal – write down your conversation with God.
- “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good that he waits silently . . . Let him sit alone and be silent” (Lamentations 3:25,26,29 NASB)
Give God that extra half hour this Sunday and come to pre service prayer and learn to listen for His whisper