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As we have entered 2020, we have entered into a new decade of embracing each and every moment as a time of God’s presence resting in our lives. When we are a place of God’s manifest presence, we can be a place of hearing His voice each and every day. I am not just talking about hearing His words with merely an acknowledgement of Him speaking. I am talking about hearing Him. I am talking about hearing Him and understanding what He is saying. I am talking about hearing Him and understanding His heart. Truly hearing Him is to believe what He says. To be a place where God rests and the place that rests in God, we must believe Him each and every day.
Hebrews 3:12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
If we truly hear God, we will respond to His voice, believe what He says, and act as He instructs us to be. Departing from the living God is what creates unbelief. Being the place where God rests and the place where we rest in Him is the empowerment of our believing. This is not merely believing what He can do or for what He can do. It is about love, trust, relationship, life, vulnerability, and internal magic. Being the house where He lives empowers our belief. The writer of Hebrews states in these verses that to be a partaker of Christ we have to hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast in our lives. The beginning of our confidence is not just confidence. It is the confidence that springs forth from the innocent of heart. God can restore our innocence, but that can only happen by His manifest presence within us. My younger grandchildren have a confidence in me because of childlike love. My presence in their lives ignites a confidence of little children. They hear my voice from a place of believing who I am. Only by being people who know God resting in them and them resting in Him, can they know the beginning of their confidence in their hearts in a steadfast way. Our confidence is in who He is, not merely what He can do. At times I give gifts to my grandchildren, but their confidence is not in me as a gift giver. It is in being family and being close to one another.
Jesus said that if you saw Him, you saw the Father. He was the place where God lived, and He lived in His Father. This was the power of His believing. Because He never departed from the living God, the life of God was with Him each and every day. The same can be said of us. When we are the place that God lives, we become the influence of God’s life to our world.
Hearing God concerning His works, His promises, His miracles or any other external reality is not really hearing Him.
Hebrews 3:16 For who, having heard, rebelled? Indeed, was it not all who came out of Egypt, led by Moses? 17 Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.
The root of the unbelief of the children of Israel was their disconnection from the presence of God. They didn’t want to deal with a fiery God, a God who can change hearts, and in fact – for sure does. They chose a secondhand testimony at the hands of Moses and therefore they could not know God’s ways. They could only see His works. Belief is connected to a person, not merely their abilities. If our belief is based upon seeing our personal needs fulfilled or some personal experience, our belief is destined to become unbelief in the changing circumstances of life.
As leaders, we must set an example of being men and women who know and live as a habitation of God in human form. We cannot be a replacement for those we lead in being God’s voice. No one can hear God today, unless they become the place where His voice speaks from within. We cannot settle for taking people by the hand and leading them. We must inspire and expect them to become a place where God rests; a place that is transformed by Him and believes Him, rather than trying to convince God to believe them from self-seeking distant place. When we become a place of His presence, we will fulfil the commission of His purpose in our lives. It is by this that we find our true identity, testimony, and purpose in all things.
Food For Thought,
Ted J. Hanson
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