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During my last missions  trip  the Holy Ghost said to us that our church movement would turn and go in a new direction. It seems we started in the Spirit but lost focus.  We drifted into doing things the same old way they had always been done before. For instance, if one wishes to be successful, typically you want to evangelize and build as many churches as possible. However, did we ask the Holy Spirit if it was His will and timing that we gather all these churches together”  Or did we just assume by our own think that needed to be done?

People have to learn to hear God’s voice

Originally, when I first started working in the mission field our focus was upon hearing God’s voice and doing His will.  I now realize, it takes time and intense discipleship to teach people to hear the voice of God. Those who were able to spend a significant amount of time with me, knew my heart and vision,  learned how to hear God.  However, that same depth of understanding did not translate well to the ministers from our other churches located farther away. Ministers spending a relatively small amount of time with us could not accurately reflect what we taught. In effect, they were left on their own to run their churches according to how they had always done.

The new direction that our movement is to “focus” upon the Holy Spirit. While the Word of God contains many teachings there are times when He desires to highlight certain areas. We feel that God wants us to do three things in our church movement and these are:

“Listen, Hear, and Obey On Time”

When you take a new direction, you change your current direction.  In fact, repentance means to “change direction’.   So, in a way, we are repenting from the way we have been going and changing our direction to the way God wants us to God.

The new direction for our church movement

First of all, when we say “Listen” we mean actively listen.  Actively listening is like someone who sits on the edge of their seat while listening ver intensely. So many times people act as if God is something that “happens” to them rather than someone we must “seek”. Begin to focus upon actively listening to the Holy Spirit because we truly desire to hear His voice.

Another aspect of listening is to“fully” listen to all the ways that God speaks. We take dreams and visions seriously for they are communications from God.  Strive to interpret them accurately and, if required, take action.  Upon receiving a dream or vision ask God what to do and when to do it. Open yourselves to hear God’s voice in any way He speaks, even if it is through a donkey.

Hear God’s still small voice whether He speaks audibly or in our your hearts and minds. The very creation can speak to us as well as events in our lives and circumstances around us. We desire to listen to God in whatever way He wishes to communicate with us being fully open to receive His word.

Hear what God is saying.

In the scriptures Jesus rebuked his disciples in Mark 8:17-18 saying,

“And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, why reason ye, because ye have no bread? Perceive ye not yet, neither understand: have ye your heart yet hardened? Having eyes, see ye not? And having ears, hear ye not? …”

True hearing has to do with the receptivity of our hearts to hear and not our ability to hear sound waves. The disciples thought naturally while Jesus spoke by the Spirit. When Christ said “Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees…” the disciples assumed Jesus spoke about natural bread when in fact He talked about hypocrisy.

Prepare your hearts to truly hear what the Holy Spirit is saying for listening without truly hearing is of no benefit. As we hear God’s voice it must be taken fully into our hearts so that it may grown and produce fruit.   The example of the disciples teaches us, one can hear what God is saying, yet totally miss the meaning of what He said.

Obey on time

Lastly, “obey on time”.  To me this is the most crucial part of our new mandate from the Holy Ghost. Many people listen and even some hear, but few “obey on time”.  When God communicates with us usually He conveys information which requires action. We must be available to take this action “when” God deems it necessary. Sometimes we can listen, hear, and even obey…but if we do not obey on time we still frustrate what God is trying to accomplish.

For instance, if the Holy Spirit urges you to go to a certain house do it now.  Obedience to God’s word means that you to do it NOW.  Drop what you are doing and give Him priority. Perhaps that person is about to commit suicide and it requires your immediate assistance. If you go tomorrow to do what God wishes for you to do today you might find that you to miss the opportunity to save a lost soul.

In conclusion, a big part of obeying is obeying on time.  The time sensitive nature of His voice is what the Holy Spirit is emphasizing in our midst here in Africa. Be Holy Spirit led servants ready to do His bidding morning, noon, and night. This is the new direction that God is taking our church movement. Listen, hear, and obey on time what His Spirit speaks to us so that we might be called the sons of God!

Sound of Your Voice by Third Day