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Hear the Word of the Lord
Recent national and global trauma threw us back to the last stage of emotional stability. Therefore, trend trackers indicate a cultural desire to return to the eighties for some, and the fifties for others. Weíll be seeing advertisers picking up on this as souls seek security, restoration to a point of equilibrium, and things of enduring value. Advertisers understand the need to connect people to brands they know and trust as they seek to deliver those brands to consumers everywhere, at every stage of life. Their products promise to provide, to deepen connections between their customers and their communities in a global society. But where is the resting place our souls seek, really? Where will we find things of enduring value? Will it not be in hearing the Word of the Lord?
The prophets came with a message from God for their times. These messages often began with, "Hear the Word of the Lord." That word was grace to its hearers, for it told the people who the Lord is, what He had in mind, and what they needed to do about it. We have that word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, today. It reveals God as Creator/Redeemer and reveals Jesus as Godís Son and our Savior. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy. We are to hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
Isaiah 32 tells us of a king that shall reign in righteousness and of princes that shall rule in judgment, of a man who shall be as a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land. Trouble and trembling may abound, lamentations may be made for the thorns and briars taking over, but when the Spirit is poured out from on high, the wilderness becomes a fruitful field and the fruitful field is counted for a forest. This is a time when judgment dwells in the wilderness, a time when righteousness remains in the fruitful field.
You may not see your "wilderness" as a place that will produce fruit in your life, but when God comes in judgment, there is hope for righteousness. It is grace for God to exercise judgment. It is through judgment that deliverance comes. It is the grace of God when the Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, righteousness, and judgment, for we would know no better, nor how to return to find rest for our souls. Isaiah 32.17 tells us: And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance forever. Godís people then dwell in a peaceable habitation, in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
Isaiah 33.5, 6 says: The LORD is exalted; for He dwells on high. He has filled Zion with judgment and righteousness. And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of your times, and strength of salvation. The fear of the LORD is His treasure.
Jesus bids us to come unto Him to find rest for our souls. He is a Rock and Refuge. As my husband, Pastor Jim, recently taught: Psalms 141, 142, and 144 encourage us. The Lord is our refuge:
God is our refuge, Someone in whom we may trust, our dwelling place and rock of defense. Many will reject the refuge of the Lord, but He is One to whom we may resort continually. (Psalms 59, 62, 71, 91, 94) Jeremiah 4 and 16 tell us that the Lord is our refuge, our strength and fortress from the day of affliction, from generations which have inherited lies, and from worthless and unprofitable things. Nevertheless, no place is a refuge from the judgment of God. (Nahum 3)
Godís unchanging promises are a refuge into which we may flee as we take hold of the hope set before us (Hebrews 6). The love of God endures, as does His Word. Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. The Lord endures forever, as does His name and glory. God is good, and His mercy endures forever, His truth to all generations, and His righteous judgments. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever.
If ever there was a time to hold God in respect and reverence, it is now. God is sovereign, the Source of all blessing and life. He speaks to us in His Word and by His Holy Spirit. We are exhorted to listen to His voice, to heed what He says, to know and trust Him.
Right now we need to pray to endure, to preserve consistency in every part of our profession of faith in Jesus Christ. We are urged to be wise, to seek wisdom, to love truth, so that we do not bring reproach upon the Name by which we are called. People who are hungry and thirsty will grab at most anything to satisfy their bellies. We want to attract those around us to the ways of God, to Jesus Christ, who alone can save.
Proverbs 30.24-28 talks about four things that are little upon the earth but exceeding wise--ants, conies, locusts, and spiders. Ants are strong, yet they prepare their food in summer. The conies are but a feeble folk, yet they make their houses in the crags (rocks). Locusts have no king, yet they go forth by bands (hordes). Spiders take hold with their hands, and get right into the kingís palaces.
God teaches us in His Word to look at His works, small and great. Here we are to consider four little creatures which God supplies with means of provision, defense, and safety. These little creatures are out there working toward the ends for which they were created and designed. They exercise the powers they have been given and observe the laws of their creation. We may crush many ants with one stomp of our foot, but we could learn from them as they prepare for winter during the summer. They are industrious, just as we should be while there is yet day. To the diligent laborer shall be given the meat that endures to everlasting life (John 6.27).
Conies are little rock badgers, of the rabbit family. They have small ears and donít live very long. Because they are feeble and frail, they live in the crags, in rocks, where they can hide from their enemies. They stockpile food for the winter, even curing it in the sun. Conies have stocky bodies, short legs, and are almost tailless. With predators like weasels, hawks, eagles, and owls, the conies call loudly to each other in warning, and then disappear into the rocks, hiding out until the "coast is clear." In fact, the conies are so attached to the rock that observers rarely if ever see them on the ground. The rocks are their constant residence. You can find these little guys, these feeble folk, in Judea, Palestine, and Arabia yet today.
Conies make their homes in the crags, in cliffs that act as a refuge. We are exhorted to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the LORD and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily. (Isaiah 2.21) The place to hide when such things take place, as now, is in God Himself.
Locusts swarm like an army with unbroken ranks. They arenít flying all over in different directions as an ungoverned or disorderly multitude. They keep their ranks, united, concentrating, all committed to the cause. Locusts usually symbolize destructive enemy powers, reminding me of Hitlerís rank and file army, of his hordes marching in a unison and uniform cadence. Nevertheless, we could learn from them the power of unity and unanimous movement.
What of the spider? She gains entrance into kingsí palaces, taking hold with her hands. She spins a house, a web against the wall with which to catch her prey. We see in the spider ingenuity, patience, and untiring labor.
The little creatures of God have much to teach us. "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning." (Proverbs 1.5) The wise will listen to the voice of the Lord speaking in His Word and in the works of His hands.
Craighouse is a Christian community refuge for those seeking help and hope in Jesus Christ. It exists to offer refuge, times of refreshing, and restoration to the spiritually orphaned and wounded of the Christian community in an atmosphere of grace. It aspires to minister the resurrection power of Jesus Christ through worship, witness, the Word, and the Holy Spirit to those God brings to its doors. It purposes to present the truth of Christ in a paradigm for living by the Word and by the Spirit.
Who are the spiritually orphaned and wounded? If you are one, you know it. Many are orphaned because of problems ignored or denied. Others find themselves in an institutional environment not set up to talk out the poison of their problems, resulting in a feeling of abandonment or neglect. Some feel rejection, isolation, and discrimination because of being single or not being allowed to minister or because of cultural variances.
At Craighouse we seek to hear the Word of the Lord, to give unto the Lord the glory due His name, to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (Psalm 29) We listen to God through His Word in order to learn of Him and His ways. We know our salvation to be in Jesus Christ. As we expand and grow we see the hand of the Lord as He builds this ministry of healing and restoration to the Body of Christ and prepares the Bride for Jesusí return.
Jesus said, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to pluck them out of My Fatherís hand. I and My Father are one." (John 10.26-30) Do you hear His voice? If so, you will follow the Lamb wherever He goes. And you will keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. In the midst of turmoil, trouble, and war against the saints, you will worship God, the Faithful and True.
A "Coney in the Crag,"
The glory of the LORD shall endure forever. The
LORD shall rejoice in His worksÖ
I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live.
I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of Him shall be sweet.
I will be glad in the LORD. (Psalm 104.31-34)
And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying,
"This is My beloved Son, in whom I am
well pleased. Hear Him." (Luke 9.35)
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