Is Jesus really coming back?

Paul calls Jesus’ second coming the ‘blessed hope‘ in Titus 2 v 13.  The word hope here refers to a confident expectation of something future;  you hope in something because you know for certain that one day it will be a part of your experience.  Other Bible writers encouraged Christians to live in light of the return of Jesus (such as James 5 vv 7-8;  1 Peter 1 v 13;  2 v 12; 4 v 7, 13;  5 vv 1-4).  The new Testament mentions the second coming more than three hundred times.  The crucial point here is that the second coming is a certainty that should have a profound impact on how we live daily.

From Understanding Theology.  Theology

Listening Prayer in making decisions (b)

Friends of God don’t fear taking risks or making mistakes.  Those who hesitate to act because they fear making mistakes betray a misunderstanding of God.  Faithfulness is not judged by your success, but by faith and obedience.  In this way, you honour God’s request to risk everything.  What you believe you lose, gets counted as gain.

Friends of God who live by faith and consult the Lord are led by the Spirit into God’s purposes.

Can You Hear Me?  Chapter 8.

Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

Listening Prayer in making decisions (a)

I believe the primary function of listening prayer is to maintain an intimate relationship with God, not to get you out of a mess.  When God is your best friend, you don’t need to make 999 calls.  In practice, I do pray for God’s help when in a crisis or at a crossroads, and I expect Him to answer.  But because my friendship with God has been nurtured through listening prayer, my requests lack the anxiety or impatience of a typical ‘999 prayer’, and lack their grovelling, begging, bargaining and demanding.  Friends of God can make their request and then rest, watching what He does from a place of peace.  They are familiar with His voice, sense His peace and can act in faith without hesitating or running ahead.

Friends of God who live by faith and consult the Lord are led by the Spirit into God’s purposes.

Can You Hear Me?  Chapter 8.

Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

Listening prayer in making decisions

Friends of God who live by faith (not playing it safe) and consult the Lord (pay attention to His voice) are led by the Spirit into God’s purposes (rather than merely asking Him to bless our agendas).

From Can You Hear Me? Chapter 8.

We’ll break this down into its parts over the next few days.

Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

How to remove blocks due to fear

Sometimes fear can block us from hearing God’s voice.  Fear of the unknown, fear of deception, fear of intimacy or fear of repercussions.

Behind each of these fears, you will always find a lie.  For each lie, Jesus wants to reveal the truth that will set you free from both the lie and from its resulting fear.  For example, behind fear of the unknown might be the lie, ‘If I open my ears to the Lord, I have no idea what He’ll say, but it will probably be bad news.’  Behind the fear of deception you may believe a lie, ‘If I open my heart to listen, I have no way to know whose voice I’ll hear.  The devil may lead me astray.’  Behind fear of intimacy is the thought, ‘If I open up, then God will see what’s there.  don’t even want to see what’s there!  He may dislike me or even reject me.’  Behind fear of repercussions we hear, ‘If I open my ears, I will hear Him, and then I’ll have to do something about it.  And I don’t want to.’  The hidden lie is that rebellion is better than obedience.

To remove fear blocks, I don’t argue with the lies or try to repress them.  Instead, I take the bull by the horns, and with the part of me that most believes the lies, speak them aloud to the Lord’s face, and watch His response.  God hates lies.  When He hears me voicing that lie, His truth comes back like a sword, shredding the lie’s power to deceive and deafen me.  Sometimes when I tell Him my lie, He laughs.  When He does, I never feel mocked or belittled.  His laugh is a revelation that frees my heart from taking the lie seriously or fearing its power.

We process fears by:

  • asking Jesus where it came from;
  • asking Jesus to reveal the lie behind the fear;
  • asking Jesus what truth we need to hear;
  • repenting of believing the lie and choosing to believe the truth.

Can You Hear Me?  Chapter 7  Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

Some questions you could ask God in prayer

Here are some questions to ask in trying out listening prayer.  It will help your relationship with God to grow.

  • What grieves you these days?  Why?
  • What excites you these days?  Why?
  • What do you like about me?  Why?
  • What do you see when you look at me?
  • When was the last time you wept for me?  Why?
  • When was the last time you laughed for me?  Why?
  • If you could meet me anywhere face-to-face, where would it be?
  • If my heart is your home, what does that home look like?
  • If you could play a game with me, what would it be?  Why?

What about if what I hear makes no sense?

If the answer makes no sense, God is probably fishing for us to ask more questions:

  • Why am I seeing that?
  • What does it mean?
  • I don’t get it.  Can You tell me more?

I find that I can fool my overly analytical mind into listening by asking less threatening questions.  For example, rather than, ‘What did God say?’ I ask, ‘While praying, What came to mind?  What was my first impression?  If Jesus were speaking, I sense He would say …’   Continue reading “What about if what I hear makes no sense?”

How can I remove a block in meeting God?

  1. Ask God to show you what the block is.  Whenever we take that step, He will provide a word or picture or impression of what the block looks like.  Sometimes the block may appear as a wall, a boulder or similar obstacle.  Other times we may see a dark ‘something’ or a little demon.  We may even see a person in our lives whom we need to forgive or forsake.  If the nature of the image we see is not specific, we ask God to name it.  We may see a label or hear a word that describes the block.  Blocks may include emotions, lies, sins, people, demons or many other things.  Don’t guess.  Don’t try to work it out yourself.  Just listen.  Believe that God has ‘waved this flag’ to get your attention.  He is also prepared to resolve the issue.
  2. Ask God to show you where the block came from.  Dealing with the block at source often involves going back into a memory with Jesus momentarily.  But having resolved the event(s) that gave rise to the block, you’ll find that the block itself is either gone or you can ask Jesus to come and remove it.
  3. Ask God how it can be removed.  Sometimes the Lord will say, ‘Just ask’.  On other occasions, he may ask you to put something right first.  This may involve repentance or forgiveness.  He may want you to hear a truth and choose to believe it, renounce a lie or break some inner vow you’ve made.  Again, you won’t need to be the one to fix it.  Just ask, listen and obey.  When in doubt, I just keep asking the Lord, ‘What needs to happen next?’ until He tells me the block is ready to go.  Most commonly, Jesus will appear and may stamp on the block, brush it away, chuck it into an abyss or kick it out of existence.  Psalm 103 vv 11-12.

Lest this sound complicated, the whole process frequently takes about a minute.  That’s the norm.  It need not be a big deal.  It’s just really sad that we put up with them so long!  Blocks are not the mountainous masses we imagine them to be.  I picture them as little wooden children’s blocks that our heavenly Father chucks aside after discussing them with his children.

From Can You Hear Me?  Chapter 7.  Brad-Jersak-Can-you-hear-me-201x300

Teachers in the Church

In order for teachers to play their true role in the culture of the Church, they will have to pursue a supernatural lifestyle. When Jesus taught a crowd about the Kingdom of Heaven, He always showed them the Kingdom… If we see Jesus doing it, then we are on to something good. If He wasn’t doing anything like what we are doing, we’d better ask ourselves, What went wrong? The days of teaching our limited experiences are over.

HonourDanny Silk, Culture of Honour, page 69