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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Listening to Jesus, continued
Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: When any Israelite sets up idols in his heart and puts a wicked stumbling block before his face and then goes to a prophet, I the LORD will answer him myself in keeping with his great idolatry. (Ezekiel 14:4—NIV)
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? (James 4:1—NIV)
Those of us at any age need to recognize that when we have burning passions of desires in us we are off balance spiritually. We are in no condition to prophecy or to hear from the Lord.
Sometimes God answers us according to our idols. There is something we want so terribly bad. So we ask God if we should do so and so. God says, "Go ahead, do it." Off we go to a severe lesson in sainthood.
Would God tell us what we want to hear even if it wasn't His will? He did to Balaam! If you want rope badly enough, God will give you all the rope you desire until, like Judas, you hang yourself.
When you come to God, ask for His will, not for your riotous desires. God alone is to be the passion of your life. When He is not, you have an idol. Ask God to remove all idols from you. He will not be slow in answering that prayer. Until He does, you will have a problem hearing His voice clearly.
After you have suffered for a while, God will strengthen and settle you. You are going to be chastened for a period of time, but this is God's judgment on the worldliness, lust, and self-seeking of your personality. When He is through beating you, you will find you are bearing the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
You are not in a grave but in a tunnel. There is light at the end. Stay with God. Perseverance and faith go hand in hand.
Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. (II Thessalonians 1:4,5—NIV)
As we said, the Lord seems to be closer to us today than at previous times of history. Perhaps this unusual closeness can be seen in the pattern of the feasts of the Lord.
There are seven feasts outlined in the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Leviticus. The seven feasts appear to be a pattern of the stages of salvation.
The fourth feast is Pentecost. We are familiar with the term Pentecost because the Holy Spirit was poured on the early Church on the day of the Jewish feast of Pentecost. We associate Pentecost with the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
What comes after the feast of Pentecost should be of interest to Pentecostal Christians.
The fifth feast, the feast following Pentecost, is the Blowing of Trumpets. The Blowing of Trumpets is Rosh Hashanah, the head of the year, the Jewish New Year's Day.
To be continued.