Faith and hearing God

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1 Faith and hearing God Romans 10:17 says that Faith comes through hearing. Paul however, also in this passage discusses how many hear but don t believe. His conclusion is that hearing is necessary to faith, but that the kind of hearing necessary is more than recognising the audible sound, but the comprehension and acceptance of what is heard. How well do we truly hear? Do we accept and take on board the things God speaks to us? Why/Why not? Do we resist these things in any way? The preceding verses talk of belief and declaration that if we believe in our hearts and declare with out mouths we are saved. There is a partnership of belief and declaration in the life of faith that is important to us. Our declarations have more power than we often give credit to both positively and negatively. James 3 describes the tongue as being incredibly powerful a ship turned by a small rudder, a horse controlled by a bit in his mouth, a spark that sets a forest ablaze. The words we speak with our tongue are powerful, and telling. Jesus says in Luke 6:45 that the mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart. James is right we cannot tame the tongue, what we need is a heart transformation when our hearts are transformed, when we meet spirit to spirit with God and receive revelation in our heart, not just our head, we are enabled to speak it out and declare it with power that brings heaven to earth and releases life. Our words carry weight and bring substance to our belief. As we declare out what we know by the Spirit a solidity comes to that belief that enables us to step into it and live in it. This is a well known concept within Hebrew tradition words carry substance and power. We see it in scripture in the creation God spoke and substance resulted. Let there be light and there was. Let us create and it happened. Jesus demonstrated this too in the healing of the centurion s servant Jesus spoke healing, and at that very moment the servant was healed even though he was no where near the words of Jesus changed everything. Beyond looking directly at what God and Jesus did in this respect, we see it through out scripture in the naming of people. In the old testament names were changed and led to transformation of people fulfilment of promise. Abram became Abraham long before he became the father of nations which his new name meant. The name David means beloved or friend precisely how we see Kind David living in the old testament living beyond the old testament covenant and law as

2 one who is a friend of God David, as an old testament example is the person who lived closest to how we are able to live today in relationship with God because of Jesus death and resurrection. He modelled something that his name already declared over him. It wasn t just an Old Testament thing either. Jesus changed Simon s name to Peter prophesying over him. Mel and I chose our children s names not just because they sounded nice or because we wanted to be slightly unusual, but because of their meanings. Bethea means daughter of God. Her middle name is Hope we are believing that she will be a carrier of hope to people, and bring them into the family of God as sons and daughters. Joha means God gives life. His middle name is Malachi which means angel or messenger he will be a messenger of the life of God to people. Joha s birthday was a couple of weeks ago and Mel and I (and others) commented on Facebook to wish him a happy birthday it was interesting how many comments about how full of life he is. Our children may be young, but there is already a destiny over them because of the substance of the words spoken over them. Regardless of our names what we speak over one another and over ourselves has power. Our words carry substance and weight. What experiences do we have of this? Are there times when we ve prayed or declared something out and seen it happen? One of the things I am working through and am convicted of at present is living in the light of the revelation I ve received over the years. I don t want revelation to be just in my head: that leads to knowledge and pride. I want the kind of revelation that impacts and transforms my heart, that overflows in my speech and declaration, leading to substance, life, heaven on earth and the revelation received becoming a daily reality a new normal for my life. I m challenged on this, because looking back I see many things I feel I ve received by revelation that I m not living in the fullness of. Many have become background ideas or thoughts rather than beliefs of my heart. I need to repent which literally means to think again, and return to a higher way of thinking that revealed as truth by God. It is the easy option as stepping into revelation takes courage and faith - it is bigger than the life we ve known so far and beyond our comfort zone moving into revelation requires reliance on God that knowledge alone doesn't. Some times these revelations have become concepts or principles and in a given situation I can operate from these, I declare out of principle rather than out of presence. But revelation shouldn t become knowledge or principles, part of it s purpose is to draw us to God in fresh intimacy, that enables us to live out the revelation through relationship. When we do that we release His presence His presence changes everything.

3 Outside of His presence all of our faith and the outworking of our calling in Him is impossible. Bill Johnson in his book Hosting the Presence says. Revelation is initially for relationship and ultimately for the transformation of our lives. We are transformed by a renewed mind. And transformed people transform cities. God is not that interested in our increased understanding of concepts if there s no relationship increasing with it. When God gives us revelation, He is inviting us to a new place of experience knowing Him. How does reading this make us feel? Does revelation draw us to intimacy? We are invited to relationship a living, active, intimate relationship with God. Faith comes through the hearing of the word of God the rhema, spirit, quickened word of God. But this is alive and active, not one off. Hearing not heard. This needs to be an active everyday living process. It involves our receiving the word into our hearts, declaring it aloud so we can keep hearing it. Asking God to remind us of it and speak it again. Speaking it over one another as a community of faith. Reminding one another of the promises of God, adding substance to them each time we do until we see the reality of them being our daily norm. If I told Mel I loved her once. Or told my kids I was proud of them one time would that be enough for them? Would our relationship remain close, strong, intimate? Would they be secure in the knowledge and experience of my love and how proud I am of them? No. Memories fade. Life has its struggles. We are bombarded with emotions, our lives get knocked about. Other people speak things that aren t positive over us. People get angry and say things they don t mean. Experience speaks lies that we need to earn such love. Without daily hearing these things we end up not believing, not living in the reality of it, not being secure in the knowledge of it. The same is true in our walk with God when we don t walk out our revelation journey in intimacy with God, we find that we don t experience the reality of the revelation we ve received and this leads us either into mere knowledge and pride, or disappointment and disillusionment. Do we resonate with this? Are there areas in which we need to repent and bring our thinking back into line with what God has spoken? Lets be people who don t rest on one revelation received sometime in the past, not really living in it s light, but daily walking with God, receiving what he has for us there is always fresh revelation, growing in intimacy with him, declaring out his truth and bringing His reality into our world through transformed lives lived for and with him.

4 So I want to take a little time to declare out some of the revelations I ve received personally, and some we ve received as a church encouraging us to step into them. If you have also received any of these yourselves lay hold of them again and bring them before God today. If you want to receive any of the others then take hold of them in your heart because as I declare them out God is always here. He is ready to be known in any situation He is more than willing to enter into our circumstance. At our invitation He will show up. Nothing is beyond Him and nothing is too trivial for Him. We are never without His presence and we can live mindful of Him, hosting him in our lives. We are purposed for intimacy with Him. We are children of Heaven, part of God s family through Jesus, enabled to release His Kingdom on earth without striving or undue effort. We change atmospheres simply by turning up, our words are able to move mountains when we speak in faith. We are secure in our God who is bigger than the situations we face. We will be known and characterised by peace, hope, joy, generosity and love. Our light will be evident to all. God is good and is always in a good mood. His every thought towards us is good, is desire for our lives is good. His desire is to bless beyond anything we are able to ask or imagine. His fullness is available to us He longs to fill us with all His fullness. Healing and wholeness is ours in Christ. His desire is never to see people sick or in pain. We are empowered to bring healing, freedom and life to people. As His children we have authority over all situations and circumstances. And finally for now: We are called to bring transformation wherever we go. Light will overcome darkness, because we carry it with us. Freedom and life will break out around us as we walk with God. Salvation for many will result. I want to encourage you to remind yourselves of what God has spoken to you and to us, declare these things out out loud so you can hear them. Declare them together in your connect groups. Encourage one another to live in the light of it and when we see one another living in a different reality to gently encourage each other back into what God has spoken over us. Let s begin to live in the light of these revelations, letting His word shape us and become our reality! What has God spoken over you personally? As a community? Spend some time declaring these things together, praying into them and encouraging one another to live in line with them. Keep encouraging and challenging one another as time goes by maybe set aside time each time you meet to find out how everyone is doing in light of these revelations.

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