DESERT MEDITATIONS – No.1
BY: JOHN LEWIS
JUNE 24, 2007
HEARING AND OBEYING THE VOICE OF GOD
HOW CAN I HEAR THE VOICE?
UNDERSTANDING THE VOICE
MOVING FROM FEAR TO FAITH
HEARING AND OBEYING THE VOICE OF GOD:
“The voice of him that cries, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Behold, I will do a new thing; now shall it spring forth, I will even make rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 40:3, 43:19
[From the beginning I have enjoy sharing victories from the mission field, God blessings and the challenges of life. For me it is necessary to be able to identify with our readers in each season of life. Too often we forget that those in some role of leadership are yet in life’s classroom as well. It’s all good].
Peace from the desert and holy greetings. This is our first publication from the desert.
There is an Eternal Voice that is always speaking, echoing through the portals of time, space and being. Sometime this Voice is still and small, other times it seems to shout with a resonating sound. Yet at other times it comes as a strong feeling, dream, intuition; an inner knowing, through someone else or even through nature.
This Voice is within every individual on the planet, in every animal, insect and even in every blade of grass. This Voice is not limited to communicating in a language of words, it is often time in more subtle expressions. It does not discriminate between what some would term “righteous” or “unrighteous”, and different religious faiths: all have access.
But what is this Voice and where does it originate? One way of describing this Voice and making it less mystical is likening it to the world wide web (www).
“The Voice of the Creator, Holy Spirit is like the internet. No one can accurately say it is in the sky, in the sea, in a specific religion or church, here or over there, behold, it is within you all, around you; it is you. All the information that you need, want and desire is at hand. The connection is your faith, your ability to believe. You have access to unlimited wisdom, knowledge and understanding, the sacred records of the ancients are available now.”
The Voice of the Lord comes for many purposes; to instruct, inform, warn, correct, bless, direct, heal, encourage, confirm and many other purposes. My first conscious recollection of the Voice was in the form of a warning dream/vision just after my 13th birthday. I saw exactly what would happen at school the next day and even the class period it would take place in. I awaken from the experience knowing without any doubt what I had seen and heard would happen. I remember the scenes as they unfolded; it was like rewinding and watching a video cassette again. At that point I did not know I had the power to pause, edit or stop it.
HOW CAN I HEAR THE VOICE ?
Keep in mind that the Voice is not always articulated in a language of words, but many expressions. One must first realize that it is their God given right to hear. Get rid of the fear, religious guilt and expectations of how it may be (sound). Your Father, the Creator yearns to communicate daily with you.
Teach yourself to listen, learn the art of listening. In the western world we have been trained to not listen. Our culture is suffering from Attention Deficit Hyper-Activity Disorder (ADHD). We have so many “things” to distract us from a strong connection with Spirit; most don’t have the time to listen. “They ran but I did not send them…but if they had “stood” in my counsel.” Jeremiah 23:21-22
Have you ever been in a conversation with someone that constantly interrupts not allowing you to get the words out of your mouth before he or she start talking, wrongly assuming what you are going to say? They are not listening, they are thinking about how they want to respond to what they think you are saying. This is a habit that often transfers into spiritual life and communion. Break the habit, consciously restrain and retrain yourself. It is important to spend time with yourself, by yourself. Know thyself and you will know God, listen to your true self and you will hear the Creator/God.
The right ear of the high priest in ancient Judaism received a special anointing on the day that he went in to commune with the Creator. He had to have the ability to hear what the Spirit was saying. Exodus 29:20 Relax, take some deep breaths, go into the holy of holies within far away from the crowds of thoughts, worries, fears and goals. It is also important to believe what you hear; this will help to prepare you to hear more. Finally, expect to hear.
UNDERSTANDING THE VOICE
Due to the clutter and busyness of the mind, distractions and a barrage of things and idea competing for our attention; the Voice is often misunderstood. This is why Paul said, “We know in part and prophesy in part.” 1 Corinthians 13:9 By the time the voice/message registers in our consciousness, it will have passed through a number of internal systems that most time dilute and transliterate what was originally spoken. These internal systems are; beliefs, fears, cultural upbringing, genetic make up, perceptions of ones self, perception of the Creator. One can only hear what has been spoken at the level one is able to hear. This is why today you may receive a message and interpret it to mean one thing, however, next week or next year the interpretation can be expanded upon. This is the part that can seem confusing and cause one to doubt, lay guilt on ones self or others.
Abraham, father of the faithful heard the Voice promising him a son (an heir), he interpreted it to mean immediately. Not so. Moses heard the Voice instructing him to bring out the Israelites into Canaan, but it was Joshua that actually led them in. Jeremiah thought the Voice had deceived him. “O LORD, you have deceived me, I am in derision daily, and everyone is mocking me”. Jeremiah 20:7
Some of you are feeling like Jeremiah about now. How many times have we told others what we heard and it did not happen the way we thought or during the time frame we expected? Can you imagine how Abraham, Moses, Jeremiah and some of the others may have felt? Many have decided they don’t want to hear because of fear of being wrong. “He that has ears let him hear”.
MOVING FROM FEAR TO FAITH
FEAR is the state most people on the planet choose to live in, there seems to be some temporary comfort there in spite of the mental torment. However, the address of Faith is where we should live in order to manifest the invisible.
Whenever the Voice speaks, fear will always counter with ideas, questions, worse case scenarios and a barrage of images and thoughts to create doubt. The warfare is in the mind, our weapons are not natural or carnal, but they are powerful with the ability to destabilize and destroy strongholds of fear, anxiety and unbelief. Every image that is projected from the subconscious mind to produce fear MUST be replaced immediately with the image of exactly what you are hearing, believing and expecting. You must not surrender faith thoughts and imaginations to the fear thoughts and images.
As this is repeatedly done, the move from fear to faith becomes easier in spite of the outside voices agreeing with the internal lesser voices in your head. We must display the “Esther Attitude”, “if I perish, I perish”. We must be willing to believe against all that appear as odds that God spoke it and is able to perform it. Many years ago when I started out this was called, “wreckless faith” by the people I hung out with. Today it is hard to find individuals that would dare to resurrect faith by working it, put it into practical “illogical” actions.
Some years ago I preached everywhere my circuit took me on a message called, “Get Your Feet Wet”. The Israelites did not cross Jordan into the promised land solely because they heard a Voice. The priest had to step into the water and get their feet wet. Once they stepped out in Faith the impossible became possible. Joshua 3:13 You’ve got to move.
Hearing can be exciting but there is a greater responsibility that comes with it. It is called Obeying. To whom much is given much is required. The key to continual hearing and fulfillment is based on obedience to what has been said (revealed).
When the Virgin Mary heard the message that she would give birth to Messiah without the assistance of a man, she said, “let it happen according to your words”. She did not further question, analyze, try to figure out, doubt or anything. As unusual and amazing as it sounded, she just believed and obeyed. This is where the test of faith comes in. Spiritual laws will often conflict with natural laws and the Voice will often challenge all logic and defy old paradigms. The fruit of obedience is the manifestation of what was revealed, and the deep peace within knowing you did hear from God will swallow up all the frustration generated by the process.
For the 3rd time in my life I was challenged by the Voice to uproot and move somewhere I had never been and did not know anyone. The first time, I was just beyond my teen years when I was instructed to move alone to Canada with no address of where I was going. The second time many years later I was instructed to move to Seattle, Washington not knowing anyone and no address. Last year (2006) seemingly out of the blue, I was instructed to move to Surprise, Arizona where I knew no one nor did I know the name until I saw it on the map.
This has been a long journey filled with challenges but a mandate to go to the desert. The desert seems a fitting place for prophets, at least for a time. All of our efforts failed throughout the past year to sell the house when we expected (real estate agents from hell, investor’s with unethical motives, etc). Each place we picked out to move to turned into another sandcastle to be washed away by the tide, plus lost some money.
Ok, I’m just married, got pregnant, job ended, pre-foreclosure and a forced sabbatical from active touring/speaking ministry; God are you sure?! How many times the Father has said things to you that simply did not make sense, went against all logic and seemingly totally bizarre? “Isn’t the timing off, maybe I heard wrong”, says the natural egoic mind.
After going through thousands of web pages looking for a place over the months and watching the equity in our home evaporate as the market went flat, uncertainty of the Voice for the first time that I can remember set in deeply. The Voice I had heard from childhood became strangely unfamiliar as the words of Jeremiah echoed in my mind, “O Lord, you have deceived me, I am in derision, people are mocking me.”
It was only a few weeks ago that I realized all the stress and anxiety I had created. The Voice only said, “Sell the house and go to Surprise, Arizona”. A few weeks ago I realized it had to be as times before, “a Faith move”, that meant not knowing nothing (no specifics), getting my feet wet. So we order the Movers to take everything we had not given away leaving us with only (2) changing of clothes. We gave them no address because we did not have one. (Don’t you just love it when the Father challenges us to practice what we preach)? Thankfully the Father sent young Christians that were willing to work with us in this odd situation. By faith we had expected to catch up with them in a few days on the road and give them an address, which did not happen so everything went to storage. But Godddddd……?????!!! (I got my feet wet. Oh, you want my calves wet also)?
A week later Spirit said, “GO!” I said to my wife, “Zobia, you are about to experience a “faith move”, we have no address, our things are in storage, our house is not completely sold yet but when we get there God will have a place for us”. She believed the word of the Lord whole heartily as we traveled singing, dancing, and praying in heavenly languages. Three days later we moved into a place beyond what we had expected that the Father had prepared for us. We literally drove right up to the place, did the paper work and moved in. We did not have to look for the place; it found us. O yes, while we were on the road the finally documents were signed and our house in Washington sold (1) day before the set auction date. Through the process I had somehow forgotten that the Voice said, “SELL the house…”, therefore I should not have been concern about the set auction date.
You may be in a desert experience financially, emotionally, physically, spiritually or relationship, whatever the Voice says, Do It. Streams of waters and yes, rivers are ready to flow to your specific situation. When we operate outside of Divine Mind, doing what seems logically the transition or process gets complicated. The human mind wants details, timing, place, and how’s; the Voice operates in the NOW, speaking as though it already is; because IT IS. We are yet somewhat subjected to the realm of time, therefore, it takes a while for us to physically catch up with WHAT IS.
Listen, Understand, Believe and Obey. Sometimes we must get our feet and calves wet before the Creator rolls back the swollen river. Sometimes you must stumble blindly through the crowd of opposition to the pool of Siloam to wash the muck out of your eyes before you return seeing.
Spend some quality time in meditation and prayer, listening and conversing with the Voice in you and all around you. (Repeat each phrase loudly and meditate on them individually daily).
MY EARS ARE ANOINTED TO HEAR –
I AM ALWAYS READY TO HEAR –
THE VOICE OF GOD RESOUNDS THROUGHOUT MY BEING –
I LISTEN AND HEAR HIS VOICE IN EVERYONE AND EVERYTHING –
I UNDERSTAND AND OBEY THE VOICE –
I EXPECT THE MIRACULOUS EVERYDAY –
DESERT MEDITATIONS – No. 1 [John Lewis] 6-24-07 1