Listening to God

‘#X-Ray specs!

They are the stuff of comic books, sci-fi films and teenage boy’s day dreams, traditionally they allow the wearer to see through whatever they like. In the film ‘Triple xxx’  Vin Diesel plays an adrenaline sports addict turned super spy. He gets a pair of x ray binoculars and in one scene where he uses them he sees through a wall and conveniently glimpses the evil characters plan being explained to all the minions he has employed at that time.

What he gets is a dose of reality.

He sees that what he is involved in is serious, its real to him that peoples lives are at stake and he has to choose to do something to stop the evil around him.

God is challenging us whether we want the same. Do you want God to gift you with the ability to see what is actually going on in your life? Do you want your vision changed?

If the answer is yes then you about to undergo a dose of kindness

It is by a powerful working in our lives that God come to change us, but he changes in an act of kindness without making us feel inferior or stupid.

We look and see the world around us and this has been built up by many different factors. Which country we were born in, our parent’s opinions, our friends, our hurts and wounds, our gifts and our sins, our regrets and joys. These things conspire to fill our world view with messages. We may meet someone who is perfectly nice but they remind us of someone in our past quite different who one day was a who didn’t treat very well and hurt us. The memory might be so distant that you can’t place it but you end up feeling that something is not quite right with person in front of you.

You operate out of your heart not your head most of the time.

Nothing says this more normally that in the wonderful and chaotic world of dating, if the relationship of your dreams to be an unhealthy dose of rejection you would be forgiven for being slightly shy about trying another relationship straight away. Then when one comes along the all too familiar feeling comes along that history will repeat itself…that “I just want to be friends” line appearing like a titanic bound iceberg in your vision.

The amazing Charlotte Naylor-Davis was here in August and spoke to us about our perceptions and filters as we read the bible, she used herself as an example of the way our lives are made up and affect the way we read the Word. She is a woman, she is white, she is from Warrington near Manchester, she is working class (I think) and the list goes on for her and all of us. There are just things that we don’t actively put up in front of our eyes but they exist all the same.

Andie Frost last month spoke to us about missions, how we would do mission, how we see mission. He challenged us to see things in a different light, the idea of not only going and doing mission with nothing but being served by those you want to do mission to. He was of course referring to many personal circumstances as well as the stories in the bible about the disciples being sent out in twos into the nearby town to pray for people but being put up in peoples homes.

Phil Kingham last week came and spoke to us about throwing off the past and living in freedom, where we get our image from, our perceptions of ourselves and how we are transformed.

You see the disciples were a group being taught a new world view. The kingdom of God as they saw it was a completely different affair. They knew their traditions and laws, they knew what was possible and what was down right unthinkable and they spend this three years with Jesus having it all turned on its head. They were caught up in an ongoing process, not perfect but being made whole bit by bit. They were left with the knowledge that they would have to keep coming back to God daily about situations that drove them crazy, that made them afraid. We are the same. We need the re-focussing of our eyes and hearts to be able to see the people around us through Gods eyes. Jesus made this to something we make a habit, not a one click fix but something that draws us back as children to the Father time and time again.

They were having the vision changed bit by bit.

For them, nothing would ever be the same again.

One of the greatest sins I think is to assume that we are basically right in our view of life, that with only a tiny tweak or two we are pretty much in line with God.

This would be pride cunningly disguised.

It has been said that when God hates all the same people you do, that you have made Him in your image

The disciples underwent a compete change in their personal and cultural opinions while they walked with Jesus and then (Jesus) just before he was betrayed in John 14 says this in verses 15 to 27

 

15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another counsellor to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid

We have the same Counsellor with the same store of teachings that the disciples have, we often in Christian circles say that things were better in the early church days, that miracles were easier and things were more powerful, wouldn’t it be great if we could have lived then as we would have been able to be so much closer to Jesus….

We have the same Spirit teaching the same things, we don’t have a 21st century spirit trying to remember 1st century wisdom.

The Holy Spirit is a counsellor sent to us.

Counsellors help us when can’t see the way ahead (for whatever reason) a good counsellor will listen actively and reflect stuff back to you so you can hear what you are actually saying. Sometimes we are so close to our thoughts we can’t see how out of shape they are. 

They help us see things clearly.

So we are going to spend some time asking our Counsellor to help us see some things clearly.

So you can try this at home

You’ll need a paper and pen and a quiet space to pray.

Together we are going to play the prophetic word game. 

For those of you who haven’t done this before we are going be relying on God to speak to us, in the past we have played this game we have had a list of peoples names and it has been asking for just a single word..ie …grace, love, love, strength etc etc

This is not digging up the past, you don’t have to trawl through your mind, its better if you don’t. Just let God raise any issue up he wants to. 

This is about becoming free to move forward.

This is about movement and motion.

So we each in our minds ask God some questions and whatever you get write it down, whether its a impression in your heart, words, pictures or a feeling. No matter what you get write it down.

What you get does not matter, everything can be prayed over.

After we answer these questions, i am going to lead you in a prayer to lift this things up to God and hand them over.

  • What sin/guilt is distorting my view of God?
  • Friendships…what view do i have that is out of focus?
  • What from my childhood is a wrong message about Me?
  • Is there anyone i need to forgive?

Then we’ll take the same three questions and ask him what is the truth about each subject and like before, write down any impressions, words, pictures or feelings. 

Then lastly I’ll lead you in another prayer in accepting the truths we get given.