Galatians 5:22-23New American Standard Bible (NASB)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
I pondered over this scripture the day before New Years. I wanted to choose a characteristic that I could pray for maturing for 2020. I struggled. If I choose self-control, I knew that I might be challenged all year with issues that demanded more self-control. If I focused on kindness, would I have to bite my tongue and be kind to people I did not want to be kind to? And patience- am I ready for the drama?
Then it hit me. When I would get anxious over illness, finance, etc I have been repeating to myself to trade in Faith for Fear and Worry for Worship. It is a personal need. I realized that in my effort of choose one of the fruit to mature in 2020 I was experiencing an example of paralysis that takes place when I am FEARFUL.
So, I choose to be Faithful and by the POWER of the Holy Spirit mature in ALL of them!
There are times when I have little patience. I am unkind, feel no joy and in grief do not have peace. In relationships sometimes not kind and not always oozing with goodness.
My husband looked over my shoulder and reminded me that it is indeed FRUIT and not FRUITS. Ah, that makes sense! I no longer need to stress over which one to choose. LOL
I need to not only look to the Lord to mature the fruit in my life but learn how to make banana bread and other goodies when they get ripe. To create from the fruit that is ripe that will satisfy the taste for sweetness and bring happiness to others seems like a good challenge for this year.
What about you? How have you decided to deal with the fruit of the spirit in 2020?
It was just a few weeks ago, while riding to work, a song played on the radio. I was singing along silently bobbing my head, and I noticed that my husband was tapping with his hands but differently from the way I was. Being a singer, I was hearing the words, being a drummer, he was tapping to the beat, but he was also hearing the breaks in the music that the other instruments made because his head would tilt this way and that. And his facial expressions indicated that he could hear things that I didn’t. I tried to hear what he was hearing, but I just couldn’t. I asked him to help me hear what he was hearing. He began to hum and tap out the rhythm and make the sound of the guitar and keyboard, and the bass and drums. Once he pointed it out, I became aware of all the instrumentation and nuances in that song. It was a familiar song, but that day, I heard it more clearly.
Why Couldn’t I Hear It Before?
I was trying to figure out why couldn’t I hear it before? That is when this thought came to me. I have to know the song well, and I have to tune in to the whole composition because it is not just the words that make a song. It’s the instrumentation and the musicians who understand the message in the song. My mind then began to think about sound. Once I said the word sound, it clearly came to me that there is a sound of heaven. It’s the sound created by God who uses it to message you and to message me.
Scientifically speaking, there are types of sounds the human ear can detect. The higher frequency sounds above 25 hertz or cycles per second is called ultrasound. It’s used in medicine to crush kidney stones, to view a growing baby in the womb, to heal damaged tissues. Ultrasound is used in weapons that can collapse a building.
Then there are low frequency tones or infrasonic sound which measure about 20-0 hertz or cycles per second. This infrasonic sound is the frequency range used in monitoring earthquakes, charting rock and petroleum formations below the earth, and also in ballistocardiography or the study of the heart. Doctors use infrasonic sound to trace how the blood pumps our heart and through these repetitive motions can detect abnormalities. Seismologists us the infrasonic low tones to detect volcanoes, avalanches, and earthquakes. Because infrasound has the ability to get around obstacles with little dissipation. Simply meaning this… The sound that leaves the original source is carried through the wavelengths, the sound is transmitted bouncing back without being impeded. In other words this infrasonic frequency allows the sound to reverse, but the pressure or the power of the wave remains the same. Nothing is lost in translation!
Sometimes God Uses Infrasonic Sound to Speak to His People
God sometimes uses infrasonic sound to speak to His people. He wants us to experience the pressure of the sound as it was disseminated from Him. The word whisper in Hebrew means A Tiny Silent Sound. God speaks in infrasonic sound in our dreams, through promptings, when we pray, or even in opportunities. But we must be tuned in to God or we might miss the message.
The Prophet Elijah found himself in circumstances that called for him to tune in. There was a sound from heaven that he needed to face his situation.
As was read in the scripture, when Ahab reported to Jezebel everything that the Prophet Elijah had done, including the massacre of the false prophets of Baal, she became enraged and sent message to Elijah and threatened that by the same time the next day she was going to get even with him and he would be dead.
This truth I do know, the people of God are always under attack by those who hate God. And unfortunately, we are disliked by those who are in church as well. If we can think that we are in good with unbelievers, just bring up anything about God and your name will be mud and they will try to ruin your name, your position or your reputation. In the church if we are trying to live our best for Christ, we are told we are too holy. It doesn’t take all of that.
Elijah became so afraid, that he ran for his life. I have to admit that sometimes, we do get nervous when people try to destroy us. Sometimes we forget that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Elijah’s mind must have been filled with visions of what Jezebel was going to do to him, so he ran far south of Judah to the Beersheba.
He ran so far and so long that at a certain distance, he left his servant and ran further into the desert. The came to a bush and collapsed in the shade and was so exhausted that he wanted to die. He prayed, Lord, I have had enough, just take my life!
Have You Ever Felt Like Elijah?
Have you ever been there? The pain of your illness was so excruciating you wanted to die. The betrayal of your spouse cut so deep, that death entered your mine. The bills were surmountable, the collection agency was hounding you, and sleepless nights were constant, death seemed like a viable option. I know some people who have lived through such devastating pain some, physical and some psychological and death seemed liked it was the best way out.
The Prophet Elijah exhausted from fear and despair fell asleep. An angel shook him and woke him up. Told him to get up and eat. A meal of baked bread was there with a jug of cool water. He ate and fell back to sleep. The angel came back and told him to wake up and eat some more because he needed his strength for the journey ahead.
God Sends Angels
Just when we are ready to throw in the towel, God has a way of sending an angel! It might be a parent who comes to you saying, “My son says that you are crying a lot during the school day”. You tell her your husband decided he didn’t want to be married any more. She nods and says, I understand, But, my son is in your class and he needs you. You have got to pull yourself together for your students who are counting on you.
Your angel could be the bank who calls and says, you don’t have to worry about anything because there is a program which you qualify.
Your angel could be the doctor who calls and says, “we have a good news, your cancer is treatable. “
Your angel could be the person who smiles, hugs, or calls you just when you are about to go into a depression
Angels come, because they bring a sound from heaven that can’t even match the degree of the threat. They are God’s preemptive strike! God is about to deliver and he wants you to hold on a little while longer!
After the Prophet Elijah nourished himself he walked forty days and nights all the way to the mountain of God. He crawled into a cave and went to sleep.
Elijah Heard A Sound
Then he heard a sound from heaven, he heard God talking to him. They have a conversation, and the God told him to go stand on the mountain. While there a hurricane like wind ripped through the mountain and shattered the rock, But GOD was not in the wind. After the winds came an earthquake came, but God was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake, a roaring fire , but God was not in the roaring fire, and after the fire a gentle and quiet whisper came at which time the Prophet Elijah covered his because he discerns that God was in the whisper.
Saints of God today’s message was to remind us that God does not always come to us the same way, so we can’t think that how he dealt with us the last time be the only way we will accept He chooses to deal with us.
Sound is one way that he communicates to us. Sometimes he needs to shout and scream to get our attention. Especially if we are so wrap up in our own concerns that we neglect the things of God. Sometimes it is through challenging pain or circumstances to remind us that none of those things hinder Him from being God. But sometimes he uses the infrasound a of whisper to be sure that what you heard is what He said.
God, who on that same mountain used fire and smoke with Moses is now whispering in a still small voice to His servant Elijah. In that small voice he was able to quiet is spirit and give him the further instructions needed for the days ahead.
A Whisper, Why a Whisper?
· When you whisper, you use your breath without using your vocal cords for the sake of privacy.
· A whisper is intimate because you must be close to hear it. Since it’s intimate, it’s tailor made because not everyone is supposed to hear it. God whispered to the Prophet Elijah because he had to say somethings to him first to calm him and to remind him that Jezebel’s threats could not touch the man of God. God whispered to encourage him. He needed to be reminded that He was a servant of the most-high! Finally, God whispered to direct him about the things he needed to do.
There are times when God wants us to press closely into him so he can whisper a word just for us!! He wants to calm our fears, encourage our spirit, and give us the directions that we will need in the coming days.
Because sometimes the sound from heaven is a whisper…
· A Whisper can Change our mind of confusion into a mind of peace and remind us that He will keep you in perfect if your mind in stayed on Him.
· A whisper can Change our sense of defeat into a sense of victory and remind us the when God is for us, who can be against us
· A whisper can Change our carnal perspective into a Godly mindset reminding us that in God we live, we move, and we have our being!
· A whisper can Bolster our confidence, and remind us that we can do all things through Christ that Strengthens me
If we would be still and know that God is God! If we would just stop trying to hear what everyone else has to say, then we will hear the sound of heaven that will deliver, heal, and set free!
· Because no threat can ever match the sound of heaven!!!
Quotes About Listening to God
“The word ‘listen’ contains the same letters as the word ‘silent.'” ~ Alfred Brendel
“Listening to God is far more important than giving Him your ideas.” ~ Frank Laubach
“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” ~ Mother Teresa
“Are you learning to say things after listening to God, or are you saying things and trying to make God’s word fit in?” ~ Oswald Chambers
“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.” ~ Malcolm Muggeridge
“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill
We must tune into the infrasonic sound, so we don’t miss the sound of heaven. Turn off the television, the radio, the cell phone, and even your own voice. Be still and be open so that you can hear the sound from heaven. Hear the whisper of God in the silence of your heart, mind, and soul, and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that no threat can match the sound of Heaven..
Text: 1 Kings 22:1-7 1 Peter 4:4-7 We should not fear to take a stand for God
Colin Kaepernick took a stand so to speak in his protest against the way minorities are treated in this country. He didn’t march; he didn’t lead any violent protests or demonstrations. He merely knelt during the playing of the national anthem and the country went mad. That madness has been countered by a wave of other kneeling protests in support of Kaepernick’s protest. He was not the first and he will not be the last; those students during the civil rights movement who protested segregated lunch counters; Rosa Parks who refused to surrender her seat; John Brown refused to accept the status quo re: slavery as did James Cheney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, who were murdered for daring to get Blacks to vote in Mississippi. What did these and so many others have in common? They all were willing to risk everything, including their lives, to go against the odds.
In today’s message we will see what happens when the plans of men are overruled by God while He uses one man to stand for Him against the odds; we will also see that as believers in Jesus Christ we also must not fear to go against popular opinion and to stand for God.
We come upon two scenes: one on earth, in the court of King Ahab of Israel, along with his in-law, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, in consultation concerning whether or not Ahab should go to war against the Arameans to recover the lost territory of Ramoth Gilead, the key to entering and invading Israel. If you know anything about Ahab you know that he worshipped Baal, the storm god and who went all out to practice evil.You also remember Elijah’s battle with the false prophets of Baal and how they were destroyed. King Jehoshaphat, on the other hand, worshiped the Sovereign God, the only God, and who trusted God as did his father Asa (who instituted reforms in Judah).
God fought for Judah and Jehoshaphat when three armies came against Judah and it was only because Jehoshaphat trusted in God. So what in the world was Jehoshaphat doing in an unholy alliance with Ahab? They were allied by marriage of Jehoshaphat’s son Jehoram to Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab (who would later massacre all of her grandchildren with the exception of Josiah).Doesn’t scripture speak against being matched with unbelievers?God warned Israel concerning intermarrying with the surrounding nations (not because of race but because of different faiths). Ahab worshipped Baal; Jehoshaphat worshiped Jehovah. It’s like the Mormon belief that Jesus and the Accuser are brothers! Where does your faith lay, saints? Is it the same as other professing Christians? If not, in the Lord’s words, “Come out from among them!” v.7 Jehoshaphat allied himself with Ahab in unity but when Ahab’s prophets all said the same thing, Jehoshaphat ‘s response was something like this: : “Say what? You’ve got to be kidding me! Is there no prophet-a true prophet of the LORD here?”
It’s something that we can all ask today: Are there any prophets of God among us?Some leaders, whether political or religious, push their own agendas just to go along to get along, choosing to be pc rather than obeying JC. The way we can discern what is of God and what is not of God are the Scriptures. I know this goes against popular opinion, but we can only say as Peter and the disciples, “We ought to obey God rather than men”. And we also read this in 1 Peter 4:4-7 re: going with popular opinion/actions.
The prophet Micaiah was asked to go along with the crowd and to speak what Ahab wanted to hear. And this evidently was not the first time Micaiah and Ahab came to blows (read v.16). First there was Elijah and now Micaiah. God never leaves Himself without a witness, saints. And today we are called to be His witnesses. God has said, “You are my witnesses that I am God”.
While all of this was taking place on earth, God was holding court concerning how to bring Ahab to his death. While the false prophets are going through all kinds of chants and flips and splits, God’s court is quietly anticipating God’s decision and the amazing thing is God brings His court into His counsel! Don’t we realize, saints, that whenever we pray we are being invited into God’s counsel?Micaiah reveals to Ahab and Jehoshaphat that God had decreed disaster for Israel but death for Ahab. In a rage, Ahab puts Micaiah into prison only to be released upon Ahab’s return.
We don’t know what happened to Micaiah afterwards but if these onetime people of God had any shred of reverence for God, they let Micaiah go free as a witness to the truth of what God had spoken through the prophet. And if not, he was welcomed into God’s presence with a , “Well done!Micaiah and other prophets stood against the odds yet stood for God.
CONCLUSION “Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them”. Ralph Waldo Emerson. Shall we go against the odds, saints? We bend the knee to worship God and to intercede on behalf of our country–OUR –COUNTRY- in agreement with God’s will as revealed to us in the Scriptures. Go against the odds, saints, let’s commit our ways to God and simply bend the knee in prayer like Daniel as we seek God’s will and to practice it because time is running out. Let’s pray.