Aug. 17, 2018.


 
Here I am !

I remember singing the song vividly as a youth in a formal setting and in those times when all things around me seemed to have become dim and distance; and being naive while at the same time hearing and knowing my words of commitment; singing, “Here I am Lord; It is I Lord”? Now, with more time, trials and tribulations that has passed; those words are even more ringing in my ears. Did I answer when He called? And when I answered; did I obey completely? Yet, despite all these reflections and the indifference that occurred during these seasons; His Grace has never left me and He is still calling me as He is you.

We all have hit rock bottom at least once but more often several times in our life especially as we complicate it with the world and personal choices. Yet, the Father never stops calling us; waiting for our answer just as in the story of the boy Samuel who heard God’s call several times and eventually as stated, replied; “Speak, for your servant is listening” - 1 Sam. 3:10. God is calling but are we responding? He is speaking, but are we listening?

God can and does reveal Himself in whatever way He decides at the time. It is part of His immutability and He cannot be contained by anything unseen or seen. This is why hearing and responding to the voice of God is critical and needs to be developed because most of the time as stated, we hear “A still small voice” - 1 Kg. 19:12. God does not need to jump up and down; twirl His hands like a windmill and shout at the top of His lungs. For this is what the world does but by His immovable stance and firm controlled voice; He makes His presence distinguishable.

It is very critical when the Word tells us to have a child’s Faith because as is noted children have pure motives when they have not been corrupted by the world. And their minds are very active to expect the unseen because the world and even Christian adults often paint for them imaginary characters in their life. So it should not be surprising for a child to hear God’s voice or to see God. It is because their mind and spirit have not been clouded by doubt and unfaithfulness. This is why we are admonished to absorb the Word not just memorize it because by doing this it builds a greater expectation in us to hear with our inner ear and to desire the promises of it. It is like as if God is speaking of His history and prodding us to want the same as those who were Faithful to Him and His cause. It is the foundation to prompt us to say; “Here I am Lord, do as you did with those before me”. It is our unconditional surrender not only to His will but also a statement of love for His Kingdom to come as stated; “I delight to do Your will, O my God; Your Law is within my heart” - Ps. 40:8 and “Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God; Let Your good Spirit lead me on level ground” - Ps. 143:10.

Why will many fall away? It’s because as the Body of Christ we have not altogether kept it healthy, Spiritual and accountable. It is not unusual for a Christian church to collapse after years of abuse, especially by the pastor. Whether it is financial, or sexual in nature. These two types of abuses are the most common way to eat away at the trust needed to maintain and grow an organization. Well, the last time I checked; the pastor alone cannot weld this type of dark abuse without some form of consent or participation from those who make up the church as an elder, deacon, board member or a congregant; who often turn a blind eye.

The first story comes from the pulpit and the second from the pews! A minister stated that one of the first ministries that every newborn Christian must do is the Helps Ministry. Now where there is some history to this it is not necessarily the norm or is the Truth. For who is our example if not Jesus? Jesus is the first man of anything that proclaimed a deep and unreserved statement to God of; “Here I am; send Me”! There is only one other recorded that comes close to Jesus’ sacrificial statement. He is Paul, and who upon being convicted of his unrighteousness set about purposefully and aggressively to proclaim repentance and Salvation. Paul neither Jesus was in the help ministries. For when someone truly and unreservedly as stated; “Die to self” - Lk. 9:23. Then God’s Anointing does not waste days, months and years to earn the right to not only preach the Good News but administer all the fruit and gifts of the Spirit. Paul next to Jesus is recorded as doing just that. Now, not all are equal to Paul and requires time to be molded into what God requires with passion and fervor for His Kingdom before they truly can say; “Here I am Lord; is it I Lord”?

We must not confuse nor substitute hearing from the Holy Spirit; a word of knowledge or discernment of an issue with the quiet still voice of God that many of the men and women of the Body experience personally whether in or out of the church. God does not need the Holy Spirit to speak to us but He uses the Spirit as an extension of His voice. This is the same as when an Angel is used to speak to a man or woman of God as with Daniel and Mary or even through an animal as stated; “And the donkey replied” - Num. 22:30. All Heavenly Spirits or fallen spirits can communicate with us on different levels and with a specific purpose. So we must know who or what to listen to. What distinguishes God’s voice is the tone and use of words and is depended on our heart’s disposition to His presence and Kingdom. What does this mean? God is Spirit; so His voice is heightened beyond and above the flesh and comes from the perspective of a Fatherly figure but also one of uncompromised authority. It is what makes His voice unique from all others as Jesus stated; “His sheep follow Him because they know His voice” - Jn. 10:4. When we are unable to distinguish God’s voice it’s compared to a person who has knowledge of the Word but not the heart of the Word; where intent overrides and overcomes the rule of law; which dots every 'I' and crosses every 'T'.

Also, the hearing of God’s voice is distinguished from having visions or dreams but are often associated. When we examine the original language in their root meaning and the way God spoke. This method of God speaking to us paints pictures in our minds. We see this with ancient languages which have not changed or has not been amended to meet today’s changing language and cultures. God’s ways of communication have not changed or have not been altered just because we have. He uses visions and dreams to agitate us into a mode of seeking clarification. Why? So that we ponder on its effects on us, others and the world. This is seen with Joseph; who being immature to the receiving of the dreams and visions, went through several trials and tribulations and eventually matures to the reasons for these dreams and visions stating, “Joseph said; Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people” - Gen. 50:19. Although not recorded; I believe Joseph resigned himself to God’s will; saying from the heart. “Here I am Lord; Your will not mine”. This is as Paul stated; “For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman. Conversely, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave” - 1 Cor. 7:22. Hearing God’s voice may at times feel like being in a state of déjà vu. But with practice, it becomes more real to you than the voices of the world. When we make the effort to detox our body, mind, and spirit from the world’s unrighteousness; we are placing ourselves in the position to hear God’s call.

These are the three most powerful words we can say to God because they are the longing and desired words we want God to say to us. We want Him to say, “Hineni”; meaning “Here I am”; whenever we find ourselves in a desperate and urgent need for help. God is not only as stated, “looking to and fro for someone to show His Glory” - 2 Chron. 16:9. He is also eager to hear our words of the acceptance of His will and to fulfill the complete meaning with our answer of “Here I am Lord; send me”! For this is the deepest meaning of answering Him when He calls by His Spirit to be in complete obedience to His Word. We not only by Faith answer His Righteous call but by free will accepts where He wants us to go and what He wants us to do.

The world’s goal is to distract us from God and what better way to do this than with wild antics; loud noises and colors. The unfortunate part of it is that we are more in tuned with this type of attraction and hearing rather than that of God’s quiet position of His Glory. Now, can God be louder than the world? Most definitely! But when He wants to build relationships it is usually with His still voice that we hear almost like a whispering. If you have not heard God’s voice or His Spirit’s; it is because the body and mind are too engaged in the things of the world; which can even include your family and even church. God often instructs us to seclude ourselves as with Abram stating; “Leave your country” - Gen. 12:1; or allow our choices to force us to a place where we can hear Him as stated, “But Moses fled from Pharaoh” - Ex. 2:15; and “God called out to Moses and he answered; Here I am” - Ex. 3:4.

God is not about us taking the bench or staying down as the world teachings, surrendering to circumstances but He is all about making us into champions for the Great Commission of Salvation. He never gives up on us but waits for us to renew the efforts of our ministries planted in us before the foundations of the Earth. No Christian can truly be effective without hearing the voice of God directly or by the counsel of the Holy Spirit. They ought not to rely on the voices that come either from the pulpit or the pews. But, some say in the Old Testament; God people listened to the prophets and in the New Testament; Paul establishes the fivefold ministries. This is true. But we are no longer in submission and were never really to any man of Earthly appointment and when Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament requirement for an unblemished, Holy and Sanctified Blood; He removed all barriers to make every born-again person; a direct child of the Father under the mentorship of Kingdom authority; which only is from God. What did Jesus say, “As you see and hear me; it is the Father your see and hear” - Jn. 14:9. There is only one Lord who is Jesus who reflects all of God’s will. This is why as stated, “I am well pleased with My Son” - Matt. 3:17. And we are encouraged to; “Be perfect as the Father” - Matt. 5:48. Not only in actions but especially in obedience. We can’t do that unless we know and do exactly as God, the Father wants. Now, does this mean we do not submit to a higher authority in the church? Yes! We work together with higher authorities in the church and before we do, we must examine the authority before we tell them; “Here I am”; for as stated; “you will know them by their fruit” - Matt. 7:16.

I recently heard two stories that speak to submitting to these Earth appointed authority and though it is not my intent to stir up confusion or worst strife within the church. It must be clear to every Christian who and whose they are. For as stated; “Lest anyone boasts of their work” - Eph. 2:9. This is the crux of the matter that often many are misled because of wrong thinking and as stated, “My people perish for lack of knowledge” - Prob. 5:23. There cannot be Righteous works without Righteous knowledge! But more than that; there cannot be a Righteous harvest without the Righteous application of works and knowledge. To be unrighteous in these areas is to be nothing short of being ignorant which Christian’s are called not to be!

The problem is the approach and unspiritual elevation of those in authority. With unrighteous actions we often feed the carnal ego of those appointed over us and the expected result if not put in checked is many are hurt, become bitter and lose their Faith. This really puts a mockery on Jesus’ crucifixion and worst of all it is all self-inflicted by the very Body of Christ. The Body will answer equally for not ridding God’s house of any unrighteousness and is why Jesus even though not an authority or Rabbi of the synagogue kicked out those abusing God’s Grace stating; “My house will be a house of prayer, not a den of robbers” - Lk. 19:46. Trust is a commodity that grows and produces a rate of interest (ROI), but loses its value exponentially when it is abused and stolen. To reply; “Here I am” to God is the start of demonstrating our trust in Him which build’s our Faith but is destroyed easily when it is taken for granted.

The response to God of; “Here I am, Lord” is not to be taken lightly for no king willing gives their kingdom business to those who do not fully appreciate the task they are so eager to take on, just to prove themselves with lip service only to fail and undermine the very kingdom they are trying to uphold. It is why it is ironic that in recent times those who are radical for their religious cause are more than willing to die in dramatic fashion where action speaks louder than words and rhetoric. Because these radicals accept the logic of their faith that they can affect those outside their ranks for gain or loss and not depend on just the chosen few who have been publicly appointed by some manmade jurisdiction. They embrace the call and unrestrainedly cry out; “Here I am; send me”; knowing full well there is no return from the call.

The reason why God’s call is direct and personal is every member of the Body bears the equal responsibility to uphold the church. Just like a body, when a part is not functioning as it was designed to; other parts of the same body begin to support it and more appropriate subjugate it. God designed the body with certain redundancies or governors to keep itself in check. The tongue is needed to talk but is kept in check by the mouth both of which are controlled by the brain. And if the mouth fails there are the hands to do what the mouth was to do by covering the mouth, preventing the tongue from talking. The eyes desire to see and are the protractor for the lust of the mind and body. Yet, without the eyelids consent, they cannot see to lust. Both again are functions of the mind. In other words; they all work together to keep each other in check and in harmony for a purpose.

This second story is not new but is a clear demonstration of what the call of God entails. For we can’t expect Him to say; “Hineni”; if we don’t respect the call to the Body of Christ. Whether behind or in front of the pulpit; answering the call is not to be taken lightly. For we are not called to stay as babies forever leaning on the Father for mercy, compassion, and Grace. So; if someone in the Body is being unrighteous; the other parts have the responsibility to admonish the rebellious person and in some cases take the appropriate actions. Now, some say; it's not their place. Here lies the crux of the matter. Jesus gave us the prayer; “Your Kingdom come”. He was not speaking for Himself but for us who under the curse suffered by the spirit of unrighteousness and disobedience. It's our state of His Kingdom we will be accounted for.

Yet, the average Christian is more reserved and weighs the price of heeding the call from God; often saying; it's not their talent or personality. They make excuses upon excuses! Are we not born of the Great I Am and did not Jesus demonstrate in His name all is possible? Many are just waiting on the Lord’s return and eager to leave. How sad that is! Which of the ordinary men and women of God expressed that sentiment? To believe in God that He says, “Hineni”; is to trust Him in all things including the trial of our Faith as stated; “He will make a way for us so that we are not testing beyond our ability” - 1 Cor. 10:13. God doesn't want our answer so that He can throw us into a pit to the point we can no longer stand on Faith and on His Word. God only wants us to endorse the relationship that He has set for us for our Righteousness.

Spiritual Awakening

To heed God’s call is to enjoin into His purpose whether it means to stand in front of a pulpit or to sit in front of it. It is to make the way and allow the Holy Spirit to freely engage us and those around us within Grace for the appropriation of the Great Commission and Salvation for all so that as stated; “All will be saved and come to know the Truth (God)” - 1 Tim. 2:4. Lately; in my travels, I have experienced a more definitive orchestrated set of events that come together for my benefit but also for others. By walking in the call; these strangers bring a word that becomes the catalyst for a Righteous discussion of God, the church and man’s perspective regarding the season we are in. All this because as Jesus says; “To do the will of God who sent Me” - Jn. 6:38. For when we answer; we take the first step to let go and initiate the flow to allow the Advocate to fulfill His mandate and fill in where we lack as stated; “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes, He will guide you into all the Truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come” - Jn. 16:13. All just because we by Faith, Hope, and Trust; unreservedly and wholeheartedly answer; “Here I am Lord, send me”!

Flush it Out - Hineni !