Barrier of the Mind

The Barrier of a Closed Mind – Breaking through Sound Barriers…

imagesWe can deliberately and inadvertently close the possibility of hearing God.   This Sound Barrier (see preceding blog)  comes in a number of ways.  As already mentioned one barrier is the lie of believing our lost-ness which makes us unworthy.

Lost-ness is where we have not only a barrier created in our hearing it’s where another sense is changed our seeing becomes skewed, and it is where our insecurities arise and self-centeredness is created.   This Sound barrier creates a preoccupation with ourselves and our welfare, a feeling of loneliness, a need of acceptance, and the drive to prove ourselves, it provokes us to finding something that makes us secure.  This belief we are lost creates threat, aloneness, guilt, it creates a fear and anxiety of the soul, which drives us and forms our relating and responses, the lost-ness in us, forms its own world and history.

The sound barrier is there when we struggle with our worth, this lie has not awakened us to the mission of the Holy Spirit which is to lead us to KNOW what the Father has made of us in Christ.   We are not known as we are known (1 Cor 13:12). NASB    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

Don’t get caught in the barrier of “somebodiness” find your self in Christ.

“Who, me?” when God speaks it is accompanied by disbelief and discredit.  Gideon’s story paints this picture well, a reaction of disbelief and self dis-credit.   Gideon an unimportant member of a minor family in the weakest clan Judge 6:1, I want a sign to prove I am hearing you, is it really you?    I wonder why we ask for signs, which is such a gift from God, but what is the basis of my asking?

This young unconvinced general doubt, not that God would speak but that God would speak to him, why would the God of the universe and beyond converse with a nobody?

Would God speak to little old me?  O yes remove the sound barrier as God has asked us to ask, align our will to Gods and ask Luke 11:9, the God that has numbered even the hairs on my head Luke 12:7, the Father of the detail of our lives cares enough to speak to you.

“That’s just thunder”, in John 12:29 a place where a conversation between earth and heaven went on, even the voice from heaven was spoken for those around that had a sound barrier.

Some times the closed mind is such we can not hear God because our expectations of how God might speak did not include the way God did speak.  In this passage clearly the way God would speak did not include an audible voice.    When God spoke they heard a noise…thunder.

To Elijah he spoke in the opposite expectation of the prophet 1 Kings 19:11-13 tells me.  Not in wind, fire, earthquake but a whisper a prophet who expected sensational ways would have had a sound barrier.

Our open minds are sensitive to ordinary and surprising ways of God speaking.  images-1

“I might not believe it” or “it might get weird”, “its not the way our protocol is”.   How many cults start with ”God told me…”, how many unbalanced people have engaged in action, crimes and said God told me?   How many times do normal people make poor decisions as they acted under God’s private, specific instruction?

We don’t want to ascribe to God our silly notions, do we; by claiming God told us that and it proved untrue.   No one brings any one to account for it.    April 2014/15 has been announced as being the importance of the four ‘blood moons”, along with this will be climax of the end of the end (Fall 2015), when international prophets through TV sit and affirm this, yet if your reading this, after the ‘Fall of 2015’ – it has not happened and the Christian world brings no one to account…?   How many times doe this need to happen before we say enough….

Caution is admirable, yet we are those who hear God voice, know Jesus speaking don’t switch your new birth right off, you are meant to hear God, designed to hear God.

We live in a world where we all have access to so much information, so many teachings, so much we find agreeable and information we disagree with.   Years ago it was about teaching what we must believe taught from pulpits now we must train, teach, help and empower people on how to hear God in the midst of so much sound.     Train to discern, we have to work with the sound barrier of so much noise to hear God, the Father.

The hearing of God will always be affirmed by other confirming ways.   Simple, we all know it but why don’t we do it?    Confirm it through the scriptures, affirm it through wise counsel our friends.

What a loss to our lives if we did not take heed of some “weird” direction from time to time, the experience, the meeting of God would not have been if I had allowed a fear of “weirdness” to keep me from responding to that word from God.   Do not fear, but do confirm.

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Sound Barrier Removed

UnknownLet me hearBreaking the Sound Barrier

The Need for Speed has been the desire of mankind for a long, long time it seems, getting faster and faster whether a ‘land speed record’ or in flight.   Since mankind ran, caught horses, built carriages and different powered engines there has been a desire to speed things up.   I hope to break sound barriers, I wonder how many of us have heard the boom across the sky when the sound barrier is crossed, as it not only creates a sound but you also feel a thud inside and some times being close enough the ripple of the air.

The need for speed affects us all, speed in travel, the speed of your computer, yesterdays speed is too slow for today’s application.   Faster communication, being able to Skype each other across the world immediately with no time delay, with no regard to time differences but all down to the speed of your Wi-Fi.   Breaking sound barriers in many disciplines has become our pastime and desire then.

Yet there is a sound barrier that many struggle with, today we live in a world with so much noise, hustle and bustle, the world is a hive of sound.   One of the thrills of traveling into Africa for me is the still silence you can find there, the stillness and silence has a volume.   A stillness that has a sound of empowering and ministering to the soul that says, “…be still and know that I am God…”

Breaking the Sound Barrier has been the outcome of the gospel for you and I, that is the barrier of not being able to hear God has been removed, we now live in the realm that we have the ability to hear Gods voice.   The tension is that all around is sound; a hive of cluttered noise it seems that it does cluttered our hearing. Our worlds full of sound in every space, every void silence filled with sound, we even develop techno gadget that help us to fill the spaces, and the sound barrier is to remove in our hearing of God.

I am always thrilled when the youngest amongst us breakthrough the sound barrier and hear Gods voice, so simple some times and yet so clear.   When the hard of hearing, those who have no God consciousness hear Gods voice that transforms them,  when sound barriers are broken.

I have heard it said God is never silent always speaking yet there is a necessity of breaking the sound barrier between us.

We have all perhaps found the reason the barriers of sound are there, it is that God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit speaks to each of us in unexpected ways.   We all get so confident, God has spoken to each, often times, however it is more helpful to say with great confidence ‘…for God said…”,  then better if we preface with “…I think…”, is this not where faith makes sure?

Breaking the Sound Barrier to enable us to hear God starts with our hearts and minds turning towards God, taking a disposition to listen would be helpful, that we train our inner selves to become conscious of our Father God speaking.

I wonder if one hindrance is that we only want God to speak to us, rather than being those who are willing to listen to what God is saying, be careful of the self-centered sound barrier of listening.   Only listening for a word for me rather listening to the whole medium of the sound of God, return what God is saying back to God in our confession, conversation with God (prayer).   Perhaps we would hear more if we just listened as a desire, following listening and hearing comes the doing, the obedience.

Breaking the Sound Barrier – the scripture says that “my people hear my voice”, “know my voice” yet we hold conferences on hearing God, every prophetic instruction will have at least one session on ‘How to hear God”.   But my sheep hear, know my voice, it seems we know and yet we need instruction…?    I can hear some saying but we need to know how to hear God do we not?  My response is ‘of course’ I am suggesting perhaps it’s the instruction focus we have incorrect, instruction on how to hear God when Jesus said we hear and know if we are his.   May be the instruction should be more about believing we are UNITED, ONE with God rather than steps of how to hear God, God is not silent to us.

Having said that to breakthrough the sound barrier and settle hearing God we have to settle who we are in God that we are in UNION with God.   The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are happy to be one with me; the good news of Christ is that we have been made one with Christ.   We need to believe this, rather than believe the lie that we are lost, producing a perception of lost-ness and everything we do is an attempt to be “somebody’s” and hear God when we are actually in union with God.

For over 40 years I had good hearing then one night I went to bed as usual only to be greeted in the morning with total deafness in my right ear.  The consultant, following long enquiry determined I had ‘nerve deafness’, I had gained a sound barrier, somewhere in my past, some infection as a child or like had come home to roost and I had picked up a sound barrier in my hearing losing 50% of hearing overnight.     We pick up or have Sound Barriers when we come to hearing God, they hinder our ability to hear what is natural for the sheep of Christ, as sheep we hear his voice, hearing God is not our struggle it really is doing the will of God, becoming obedient is the struggle.images

I will attempt to consider some of the barrier to sound we can accumulate in our journey toward God.

Keep Kissing…Art of honesty

imagesProverbs says as we have discovered “An Honest answer is like a Kiss on the lips – Kiss of friendship” – this is our continued thinking into the art of using your lips…

Be gentle. Proverbs 15:1 contrasts the results of different approaches to honesty. A “harsh word [one lacking tact, kindness, and sensitivity] stirs up anger.” Anger can lead to a rejection. A “gentle answer [characterised by preparation, wisdom, and care] turns away wrath.” Gentleness can remove the barrier to honesty.

Since many of our relationships are not accustomed to the light of honesty, we need to move carefully and slowly. Because the truth does hurt, it only makes sense to handle it with care.

Be appropriate. Timing is crucial with the truth. If you need to confront your spouse, stay away from the loaded minutes when you first get home at the end of the day. A truthful conversation should be held in a private and quiet place.

Communication that holds potential for discomfort needs time and space. Don’t hurry. Don’t dole out a healthy portion of honesty on your way out the door in the morning. Don’t offer up a truth bomb as the last thing before you close your eyes for sleep and then defend your lack of discretion with, “I’m just being honest!”

Proverbs 25:11 compares “a word aptly spoken” to fine gems that have been set into gold and silver jewellery. That word of honesty will be true no matter where and when you share it. Put it in the right setting, and the result can be beautiful. Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!”

Build an environment of trust. Truth comes as a shock within a relationship where the norm has been denial. The resulting fallout may be devastating. Work on creating an atmosphere of acceptance and grace.

This is especially true when dealing with children. A parent who uses the truth like a sledgehammer, inflicting pain without grace, is an abuser.

Simon Cowell-type criticism without the safety produced by grace and love is rude, obnoxious, and malignant. It has no redeeming value. But, in a family where love is the main course on a consistent basis, a side dish of critique can be offered without fear of harm.

The honesty equation goes something like this: More honesty brings more intimacy—and more intimacy brings more honesty.

When you are in a friendship that is new or tentative, don’t unload truth all at once.

Set the stage for greater vulnerability later by sharing only a little now.

Perhaps Peter didn’t walk out on Jesus when Jesus called him “Satan” because by that point in their relationship, Peter knew that Jesus loved him. Did it hurt? Sure! But Peter trusted the giver of such forceful truth.

“In our desire to be an inspiration to one another we often veil what is true, because what is true is not always inspirational. But hurting believers whose lives are in tatters often need real help. If we were able to put aside our need for approval long enough to be authentic, then, surely, we would be living as the church.” Taken form Sheila Walsh book

Unpleasant truth is sometimes necessary. But our truth-telling needn’t be a slap in the face. Rather, it can be as gentle as a kiss that honours our relationships, demonstrates love, and confers value.

Learn the art of Kissing…. Truth telling….

Road signs ahead…

images-7As you drive in the rural areas of UK the road signs are some times different to urban driving.   You come across signs that tell you to pay attention of, “Beware of…”.   Generally they are small signs, not mass-produced or government signs but little hand-made, painted on cardboard to wooden board and some times even marked stones.

Signs of “beware lambing season”, “beware heavy plant in road”, “beware ducks crossing”, they communicate one thing in all their ways BEWARE, pay attention, take a second look, make sure you’re paying attention, avoid an accident or an incident.   All these tells us we don’t want you to harm yourself or any one else.

While recently writing blogs on the prophetic a few have come to mind, things written on hearts, hands, eyes, life really.    I would like to knock a few hand-made posts in regarding the prophetic, to hold up some beware’s for us all.   All prophetic ministry, using it in a broad sense if you prophecy or are in ministry call, even if you are an elder, pastor, vicar or teacher you should have a prophetic fervour in you.

All prophetic ministry should Beware of Weariness.  When the scriptures says don’t images-13grow weary, weariness.   Think of the prophets that got tired.    Elijah running from Jezebel, oh the grace of God that he didn’t just wake him up and give him a meal but sent him back to sleep.   Let’s get rid of the weariness.

Beware of a weariness that is deeper than just physical.   beware of the weariness that insidiously creeps into your soul, the tiredness of not wanting to get up and do it again.   Or so much flack that you don’t want to get up and say it again.   weariness. beware of that weariness.

When Jesus pressed himself on in the garden of Gethsemane and had come back and asked them to wait the hour and watch the hour in pray with him, he says “…can’t you even watch the one hour?”   Their weariness.   But he couldn’t afford to let that weariness press his soul.   For if he had allowed that weariness to engulf he soul the cup would never had been drunk and you and I would not have been here.

Beware flattery.  All the apt on the back to the prophet.   Beware those who come flattering you on your delivery, your content. your powerful word and yet don’t change by it.   Flattery comes from the heart that is committed to no change.   It just wants you to feel good about accepting them in their unchanged state.   Beware flattery.

Beware compromise that when you have the word of God, when you have the vision of God, then you don’t indulge in well may be, well perhaps you are right, maybe I will have to tone it down a wee bit and yes perhaps I am asking too much too soon, and by the time they will have finished helping you adjust your vision will be so small you will need a microscope to find it.   Don’t compromise.

Beware of ridding your gift.  Most prophets, not all but most, are articulate.   But when in the unction of the Holy Spirit they bring the word of God it is powerful and articulate, even when they are preaching the prophetic word, it can be very easy to lose your dependence on God and ride your gift.

Beware hypocrisy.  It’s interesting that Jesus didn’t shout out to the crowds there images-12beware of hypocrisy, he accepted the fact that the Pharisees had hypocrisy, but he said to his own, beware of the leaven.  Hypocrisy of demanding in your words what you are not willing to walk and are not walking in, of calling on people to walk by principles that your are not a model for living in.

I have found myself being in situations where people are generous they give, share of their life and give as well as tithe while some men and women live on this generosity yet did not personally tithe, the church required the people to be generous in this manner other wise it would not meet its responsibilities.   I could not believe it, what right did they have to expect what they did not do.   What right do we have to know the depth of their actions and not walk ourselves in it?   Beware hypocrisy.

Beware the influence of wrong companions to you as God servant.   Imagine how many people in the hour of crises or time to strain forward to stand for what is to come from God found themselves in companionship that keep undercutting, undermining, with nice words and suggestions.

Beware trying to prove your ministry.   if you are a prophet you don’t need to prove your ministry.    there is nothing for you to prove.   Listen to what its says in 1 Samuel 3:19-20 ‘Samuel grew and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fail.  And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-Sheba knew that Samuel was confirmed as a prophet.   Who confined him?   God, by not letting his words fail.  By brining it about.  You have nothing to prove.   You are either bringing the word, if you are bridging the word, let God do the proving.  It will happen. You don’t fight anything.

 Just be who you are meant to be, enjoy the adventure as you expand and follow Godlikeness, as those who are part of a prophetic movement, a church called to be the voice of God, to enable, to inspire all to hear God, to enable people to hear the Father where ever they find themselves to be far from God or where God has made us near.

“To this end…”, more to follow

Moulded in the potters hands

Moulded in the potters hands

28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature inChrist.

29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

(Col 1:28-29)

The Next Step, which is the second on this topic is SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES 

Turning my inner person to God and giving time, over the years many have used different names to call for this process such as “Devotional time” or “Quiet Times”.    Some even have seen liberty as a reason to be free form a discipline and used the thinking not to develop the intimate times with God.       Let me say from the onset without developing these regular, intimate moments with God one will not advance, neither is it a religious action but a real love, developing an adventure of hearing the Father.

The natural progression of fellowship leads you to a disciplined development of intimacy through spending times away, aside with God, the Psalmist said evening and morning he did it, quiet times.     Now all our faith is learning that the Father wants responsive followers,  not people living by the letter of the law, so this ‘quiet time’ is not a duty but an outflow of deep thanks, manifest in time given to be intimate, never due but an appreciation and response.       As for me, if I do not create these moments I feel starved and hungry.      My children, when younger, would say it was evident in my ways or life’s conduct towards them if I had neglected that time with the Father.    Let me re state it again although daily times when followed as routine or obligation have been discredited as legalistic, it is nevertheless true that the absence of seasons of quietness with God will eventually lead to poverty of soul and vulnerability.

Again, looking back over the years I see the practice of a daily time of meditation as one of the greatest strengths in the development of my spiritual life.      I look upon it not as a time to get something to say or preach but a conversation between me and the Godhead for us together.    For these times to be seen as necessary as eating, taking in nourishment to the body so these times of discipline are to my whole being.       Over the years I have looked upon it as times of just filling up a kit bag for a long journey, storing insights, Holy Spirit utterances and directions, never knowing when or what the Holy Spirit will draw from that resource we placed into the kit bag for life some time ago.    For the Father to mould me more and more into Gods image.    Although in recent years I have modified my approach, I remain convinced they were vital to fellowship with God.

The reading and marking of the Word of God

God’s life works powerfully in those who love the Word.     It reads, speaks, grips and provokes you. There is so much that the word of God does in you that nothing else could – preachers could never produce what the Spirit does through the Word.     It is this opening of my life and mind to its truth and challenges that has proved indispensable to personal development.

I turn to the word of God as I turn to a person knowing that this person wants to talk with me, I love 1 Cor 2:9, 10 that says for me, God is searching God, to bring out the deep things of God to show and present them to me.   Therefore every time I turn to word it is an adventure and excitement, I feel the thrill, what about you, revelations come when we do, honestly, try it is a promise.

I read the Word simply, in an attitude of faith.      I don’t look for it’s difficulties or problems, I don’t concern myself with the arguments of author ship or authenticity of historical detail.    I first read the Word to let it read me.    I take what is obvious from the surface, apply that and rejoice in it.     My marking system – underlining etc., reinforces its impact on my mind.      Today I have hundreds of notes daily devotions in my computer stored for either me or some one else in later years may wish to mull over them.

When studying the Word more earnestly for a given purpose, I give myself to research as to the authorship, the background of the principal parties concerned.       The circumstances of the nation at the time, the issues that are primarily being addressed etc.      But my first approach to the Word is to get to know God by allowing its revelation to minister to my life.    It is God the Father making known his nature, it is the ever arriving God, a self-reveling Father eager to make known to reward and give gifts.        Choice of emotions?????? this is not what you are considering….

Step Three – You CHOICE OF FRIENDS is vital to ongoing spiritual progress.      

It was the awareness of this that made me face up to my first series of difficult choices.     These were to affect my relationship with my former friends in the world.

Their way of life was now so different from my own.     I had witnessed effectively amongst them to the point where those open to Christ and change had already been converted.      Finally I was faced with the difficult choice concerning those who had no intention of changing.      I became convinced that continued companionship with some of them would eventually lead to the compromising of spiritual values, and that meanwhile  I would be under constant pressure to conform to their behaviour and activities.

From early days I had to make the decision, I recall some who helped me, that after deciding to follow Christ they used to cross the road directly in front of me, in order not to entertain meeting me, once passed they would cross back to the original side, it was challenging at the time as we all like being wanted or liked but then it helped me to see choices in relationships are so important.    Let me add a caveat, it is not rejection or exclusivity we cannot do that in the gospel of the Kingdom, we are not to be exclusive, the Kingdom of God makes us at every hand inclusive and I must demonstrate that, it is just knowing where and how I grow through the relationships around me, while accepting and loving every one.

Then there were the “carnal Christians”, not sure what that means any longer some times?      You understand those who seek their own, those who have themselves at their centre only, those who are looking to add the things of the present to themselves for positions or stature, not seeking the Kingdom of God as predominant view.   I met many in my early experience.    It became clear to me that continued company with these would prove almost as damaging.      Fellowship was based upon the sharing of discontent, mutual grumbles, ill-feeling, gossip, argument, contentious discussions and soulish issues such as “preacher for lunch”, and “destructive sermon analysis”, running people l down in the light of “being honest”, being divisive and colouring my view of others, Inflicting their personal agenda on people

Alternatively, there was the prospect of companionship with those whose heart was towards God.     Who loved God as I loved the Father, who were intent on making progress in their spiritual lives while pursuing their destiny.

I decided these were the companions I should cultivate, for their fellowship would help sharpen my spiritual insights and provoke me towards maturity.

I am told which I am sure its true that less is best for a blog although I don’t know how to lean this or better still practice the lesson today however I am going to head the encouragement allowing you to mull my comments on adding and advancing your journey into God.

I pray that you will develop deeper in 2013 your Spiritual Discipline along with wisdom, not emotion in your choice of friends while recalling Part One of “To this end…” with developing that fellowship with God who is eager for the relationship.

Happy journeys into Christ, great adventures of the Holy Spirit and deeper into God in 2013