How God Speaks Part 7 by Kay Keith Peebles

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God Speaks With An Audible Voice

My husband heard an audible command, “LOOK LEFT”!  It was late one Saturday afternoon.  He was running errands a few miles from our home.  The night before, we had participated in the choir at a healing crusade.  While driving, he was humming the new worship songs we had learned.  Traffic was quiet as most people had reached their destination for the evening.  The weather was clear and sunny.  He was nearing a T intersection where he would have to turn left.  Twenty-five yards from the intersection, he heard an audible voice speak loudly from behind his left shoulder, “LOOK LEFT”!  It was so directional, he turned his head to the left to see if someone was in the back seat of his vehicle.  Clearly, no one was in the car but the audible voice he heard shook him.  The voice was commanding!  As he approached the intersection he began to slow down, although his light was green.  Looking left he saw a truck on the street intersecting with his, but knew they had a red light.  He slowed cautiously as they both drew closer to the light.  He slammed on his brakes at the last moment, as he watched the truck barreling through the intersection on a red light!  Shocked, he then continued forward into the intersection safely turning left.  It took a moment to realize a miracle had just taken place.

He would have been T-boned by the truck at his driver side door, had the Lord not spoken to him audibly.  The speeding vehicle could have caused instant death or debilitating injuries had he not heard and heeded God’s voice.  He was alerted of possible danger which caused him to avoid disaster.  It was God’s goodness to speak a warning to him on an otherwise inconsequential drive home.

Moses saw a burning bush and then heard the audible voice of God.  He was on the back side of the desert at the base of Mt. Sinai which was called the mountain of God.  The Angel of the Lord (the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ) appeared to him as fire in a burning bush that was not consumed.  “And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called to him out of the midst of the bush and said, Moses, Moses!  And he said, Here am I.  God said, Do not come near; put your shoes off your feet, for the place on which you stand is holy ground.  Also He said, I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.  And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to Look at God.”  See Exodus 3:1-22, especially vs. 4-6.

When Moses and the Israelites received the 10 Commandments, God spoke to them audibly.  It was God Himself, Who wrote the commandments by His own hand on the clay tablets.  God initiated His Law of conduct/morality to all people and it is irrevocable.  Deuteronomy 5:22-24 “These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud and the thick darkness, with a loud voice:  and He spoke not again [added no more].  He wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me [Moses], and when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire, you came near me, all the heads of the tribes and your elders; And you said, Behold, the Lord our God has shown us His glory and His greatness, and we have heard His voice out of the midst of the fire; we have this day seen that God speaks with man and man still lives.”  It has been estimated there must have been close to 2,000,000 Israelites who left Egypt with Moses.  That was a large audience to confirm hearing the audible voice of God.  His voice was so powerful they were terrified.  The Israelites asked that in the future, any instruction from the Lord would go directly to Moses and Moses could inform them personally.  Moses documented the first five books of the Bible:  Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy.  He had first-hand knowledge of four of those books and recorded every word the Lord God spoke to him.  Those Books include the Ten Commandments as well as God’s law in regard to moral conduct and the practice of the Jewish faith.

As a young man, Samuel heard the audible voice of God.  He was resting in the temple near the Ark of the Covenant when the Lord God called out his name.  He had been dedicated to the Lord’s work after he was weaned and was raised by Eli the priest.  The Lord was calling him to be His prophet to Israel because Eli was near the end of his life.  See 1 Samuel 3:3-10, 19-21.  The Bible says every word Samuel prophesied came to pass.

When the Lord Jesus walked the earth ministering, multiplied thousands of people heard the audible voice of God.  Many heeded His voice but sadly, others of His own Jewish heritage, including the hierarchy of the Jewish faith, not only ignored the voice of God, they tried to eliminate it by having Him crucified.  The words of Jesus were carefully recorded by the authors of the four Gospel books:  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Matthew and John were of the twelve disciples Jesus had chosen and walked with the Lord the three years he ministered before His crucifixion and resurrection.  Their first-hand accounts confirm each other’s with startling accuracy.

In this series of “How God Speaks” I have shown the reader how clearly and concisely God reaches out to all people giving them the opportunity to hear His voice.  He speaks through:  1) nature/creation, 2) His infallible and eternal written word (the Bible), 3) internally (through our heart or innermost being), 4) others (friends, pastors and church leaders), 5) visions, 6) dreams/trances and 7) His own audible voice.  When we choose to quiet ourselves to seek the Lord, it is not hard to hear Him speaking.  In “How God Speaks Part 1”, I gave scripture explaining that all nature is continually speaking a clear message that God exists and is Creator.  See Psalm 19:1-4.

A true disciple of Jesus Christ has two tremendously powerful tools with which to navigate through the maze of ideologies, theorems, opinions and doctrines of men regarding the Christian faith.  One is the Bible, the written word of God recorded by those who lived in different centuries but had first-hand encounters with God, and the other is the indwelling Holy Spirit given to each believer.  They are a safety-net, our surety and security.  The true voice of God will never contradict the written word of God, it will always confirm it.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”  Isaiah 40:8.  “You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”  Deuteronomy 4:2.  “But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever, And this Word is the good news which was preached to you.”  1 Peter 1:25.  “I will worship toward Your holy temple and praise Your name for Your loving-kindness and for Your truth and faithfulness; for You have exalted above all else Your name and Your word and you have magnified Your word above all Your name!”  Psalms 138:2.

His word and principles will never be out-of-date.  They will never evolve.  They will never be changed or eliminated.  No matter what man chooses to believe or follow, God has the first and the last say.  “I am the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, says the Lord God, He Who is and Who was and Who is to come, the Almighty (the Ruler of all).  See Revelation 1:8  “For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity],  Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore.  The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”  Isaiah 9:6.

The Lord’s voice is not weak and it is not silent.  For those who seek Him, His voice is like the roar of a Lion!  It surpasses all the other voices in this world that are meant to confuse and dismay, yet it can also be as soft as a gentle breeze.

His Kingdom is not a democracy, therefore, the majority opinion does not rule.  His laws are not up for a vote.  His word is not a smorgasbord of pick and choose what one likes, ignoring the rest of His instructions.  Our contemporary world is filled with the voices of those who would not only change the meaning of the written word of God (Bible) but would actually prefer to eliminate it all together.  If we are to connect with the Lord, we must remove ourselves from the banter of man’s opinions, science’s theories, and the manipulation of special interest groups.  God is not moved by them and neither will His Word be changed by them.  We must also lay our preferential outcome and desires (our personal will) on the altar before the Lord.  We will hear His voice only when we humble ourselves, desiring only that His perfect will to be done in us.  When we have ignored all the “ambient “noises” we can truly be still and KNOW that He is God.  Then, in His presence alone, we will hear His Voice!

Out of the deluge, the Lord will speak clearly to those who are His.  He sits as King over the deluge of man’s opinions.  See Psalm 29:10.  In that secret place, we will hear His voice.  He will call us to come out from among the world and to stand with Him.  When we do, “The Lord will give [unyielding and impenetrable] strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.”  Psalm 29:11.

God is speaking; are we listening?

Casting Your Shadow by Larry W Peebles

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Casting Your Shadow   by   Larry W. Peebles   April 22, 2016   16.14

He was so young when he made the discovery.  We were fortunate to capture the moment on video.  At age 2, my youngest grandson was playing in his driveway when he realized he was being followed very closely by something he had not previously noticed.  He was not sure what it was, but it mimicked the details of his every move.  He stopped his casual play, and began to study this very carefully.  If he lifted an arm, or moved a leg, this thing did the exact same thing. If he moved to the right or to the left, this thing moved with him.  It was somewhat comparable to his size, so he was not necessarily afraid, simply curious and intrigued.  No matter how hard he tried, he could not get away from it, nor could he make the thing go away.  He was stuck with it, seemingly for good.

His mother, my daughter, explained to him that this was his shadow.  She showed him how she also had a shadow, and went on to assure him this was very normal; that in fact, everyone had a shadow.  It is something we all have in common.  Sometimes it takes the perspective of a small child to remind of the most important things.  Everyone casts a shadow.

For a Biblical perspective on a shadow, let’s look at the apostle Peter in Acts 5:12-16:

“The apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people.  And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade [in Jerusalem].  No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people.  Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.  As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by.  Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.”  [Insert mine]

By Jesus’ example, and under His discipleship, Peter’s life had been radically affected and permanently changed.  Now Peter’s shadow had the supernatural effect of healing the sick, and delivering people from the tormenting effects of the devil.

Peter’s relationship with the Son of God began when he was among the first disciples chosen by Jesus.  Peter and his brother Andrew were fishing on the Sea of Galilee when Jesus walked by.  Matthew 4: 19, 20 says “Come, follow me’, Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’  At once they left their nets and followed him.”  Instantly Peter went from fisherman to disciple and follower of Jesus, and his life would never be the same.  In the years that followed, He was present when Jesus preached and healed the sick.  Jesus taught him how to pray.  After the number of disciples grew to twelve, Jesus sent them out with the authority to heal every disease and sickness (Matthew 10).  He saw many other miracles such as the calming of the storm (Matthew 8), the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14), and the feeding of the four thousand (Matthew 15).  He was there when Jesus was transfigured (Matthew 17), a revelation of the true glory of the Son of God.  He heard the report of the seventy-two sent out by Jesus.  “The seventy-two returned with joy and said, Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” (Luke 10:17)  The Gospels are filled with the incredible teachings and parables of Jesus, and Peter heard them all and saw His influence.  Peter was there when Jesus was eventually arrested, tried, and crucified, and he encountered the resurrected Jesus several times, one of which was when he and the remaining disciples received the authority to go and make disciples of all nations (Matthew 26-28).

It would be an understatement to say Jesus had no small effect on Peter’s life.  Peter “shadowed” Jesus during the short three years of His ministry here on earth.  His walk in the daily life of Jesus had totally changed him.  He became living proof of Psalm 91:1, which says “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”  (NKJ)  Watching the Son of God day and night, and living and learning under his shadow had transformed Peter into one of the men God would use to change the world forever.  After receiving the power of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2), Peter became a bold preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Miracles began to appear in Peter’s ministry.  Then back to Acts 5, all the apostles performed many miracles, and some of the people were healed when they just got close enough to Peter to be under his shadow.  Like the other apostles, he had taken on enough of the spiritual influence of Jesus that his own spiritual influence now came from Jesus and drove out sickness and demons.  Peter had been so close to Jesus that, in one sense, the spiritual shadow Peter began to cast was not his own, but that of Jesus.

Realize it or not, like it or not, we all cast a shadow.  We cast a natural shadow, and we cast a spiritual shadow of influence.  Those around us are watching our example, and listening to what we say and teach with our words.  The length of our natural shadow is determined by our relationship to the sun.  The size and quality of our spiritual shadow is determined by our relationship with the Son of God.  As a salty swearing fisherman, Peter would have had a certain type of influence.  As a man totally changed by constantly walking under the shadow of Jesus, he had a much different and stronger spiritual shadow of influence for the eternal good.

In order for our spiritual shadow to have a positive influence, we must spend more time with Jesus.  We must pray, study His teachings, spend our time with Him, and ask for more of His Holy Spirit.  Over time, our thoughts, words and actions become more like Him.  Our natural shadow may not change, but our spiritual shadow begins to look like Him.  We become an agent for healing of past wounds, relationships, and even physical healing as our prayers are answered.  The wisdom of our words and counsel will begin to increase as we let God speak through us.  Our effect on people and situations will become more positive as we speak life into difficult and dry circumstances.  People who are hurting will seek us out for reasons they may not even understand, and feel better for having done so.

If that seems strange or impossible, consider the following scripture.  In John 14: 12- 13, Jesus says “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.  He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.”  Jesus makes it clear that miracles can still occur today.

Everyone casts a natural shadow caused by the sun.  If one casts a spiritual shadow for good (not everyone does), it is in direct proportion to their relationship with the Son (of God).

Does our spiritual shadow through the Son bring glory to the Father?  If we cast a spiritual shadow out of relationship with Jesus, we can see miracles for good as Peter and the early church did.  How do you cast your shadow?

How God Speaks Part 6 by Kay Keith Peebles

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God Speaks Through Dreams

Not all dreams come from eating pizza!  I remember a hilarious episode of Gomer Pyle USMC which aired on TV during its third season in 1967.  Gomer, a fumbling Marine Corps cadet in boot camp, found a café off base that served “Welsh Rarebit”, which was one of his favorite meals.  Welsh Rarebit (or Rabbit) was made by pouring a rich mixture of melted sharp cheddar cheese and dark ale or beer combined with red cayenne pepper, butter, Worcestershire and other ingredients onto a hearty, toasted bread slice.  It was similar to pizza.  The rich meal caused Gomer to have strange dreams and to sleep walk.  Wearing nothing but a T-shirt and boxers he tramped through his USMC camp in the middle of the night searching for Sargent Carter.  He would wake up his drill Sargent (Carter) and yell at him regarding his “unfair” treatment toward him.  Each day Gomer would have no recollection of his actions the night before.

Night after night Gomer rose from bed searching the compound until he found Sargent Carter.  He stood 4 inches from his face as he ranted and raved to him about his treatment of Gomer during the day before.  After several nights of hearing Gomer’s rantings, Sargent Carter was ready to have Gomer arrested and jailed for his excessive insubordination.  Eventually, after intense questioning, Sargent Carter, a fellow officer and Gomer began to retrace Gomer’s steps over the week.  They discovered that each night he had eaten the Welsh Rarebit, Gomer had sleep-walked and shouted at the Sargent.  Welsh Rarebit was known for causing strange dreams and behavior because of the rich combination of the dish.  Gomer was eventually exonerated, but he was no longer allowed to partake of his beloved Welsh Rarebit.

Joseph had a dream that also got him into “hot water”.  “And he said to them, Listen now and hear, I pray you, this dream that I have dreamed:  We [brothers] were binding sheaves in the field, and behold, my sheaf arose and stood upright, and behold, your sheaves stood round about my sheaf and bowed down!  His brothers said to him, Shall you indeed reign over us?  Or are you going to have us as your subjects and dominate us?  And they hated him all the more for his dreams and for what he said.”  Genesis 37:6-8.

Joseph already had a strained relationship with his brothers because Jacob, his father, had given him a special coat revealing his favoritism toward Joseph.  They were already jealous of his father’s affection toward him and the thought of God raising Joseph to a position of headship over them was too much for them to accept.  They hated him.

Joseph then had a second and more revealing dream.  “But Joseph dreamed yet another dream and told it to his brothers [also].  He said, See here, I have dreamed again, and behold, [this time not only] eleven stars [but also] the sun and the moon bowed down and did reverence to me!  And he told it to his father [as well as] his brethren.  But his father rebuked him and said to him, What is the meaning of this dream that you have dreamed?  Shall I and your mother and your brothers actually come bow down ourselves to the earth and do homage to you?  Joseph’s brothers envied him, and were jealous of him, but his father observed the saying and pondered over it.”  Genesis 37:9-11.

Jacob pondered Joseph’s dream because many years before, Jacob had a dream from God.  See Genesis Chapter 28.  Jacob was traveling from Beersheba to Haran to find a wife.  In his dream he saw a ladder standing on earth but rising up to heaven.  On that ladder he saw angels of God ascending and descending between earth and heaven.  He then saw the Lord, and God invited him to join in the same covenant his father Isaac, and Grandfather Abraham had made with the Lord.  Jacob must have sensed that Joseph’s dream was from God, therefore he did not reject it; he contemplated about its meaning.

Disregarding Joseph’s dream, his brothers sold him into slavery and he was taken to Egypt.  They believed that was the end of their brother and his dream, but Joseph’s dream was from God.  After being falsely accused of an indiscretion with Potiphar’s wife, Joseph was thrown into prison.  It was while he was unfairly imprisoned Joseph’s destiny was revealed.  The butler and the baker for Pharaoh each had dreams about their future which Joseph interpreted to them.  Giving the interpretation to the butler’s dream opened the door for his freedom and his promotion to second in command over the entire nation of Egypt.  Pharaoh had two troubling dreams also, and called for Joseph to come and interpret his dreams from God.  See Genesis Chapter 41.

Joseph’s dream came to pass when his brothers went to Egypt asking to purchase grain from Egypt’s abundant supply.  They did bow down to Joseph because of his position of authority even before they knew who he was.  See Genesis Chapters 39-47

Joseph and Jacob were not the only people mentioned in the Bible who had dreams.  Daniel had dreams and visions.    His dreams were of future world events, some of which have not yet been totally fulfilled.  They correlate with John’s vision of Revelation of the resurrected Jesus and the end times.  Daniel knew his dreams and visions were from the Lord and he wrote them down succinctly and they are recorded in the Bible.  See the entire book of Daniel especially Chapter 7.

Knowing God speaks to us in dreams should cause us to pause and consider the fact that some of the dreams we have experienced could have been from the Lord.  I have had several dreams from God in my life, which gave me answers and direction.  One dream was repetitious over a period of about 10 years.  I didn’t understand it and after I prayed, the Lord confirmed and clarified the meaning of the dream to me.  It confirmed something that happened in my childhood and troubled me into adulthood.  The dream brought me understanding and great peace.  Some dreams, like our beginning story, can be spawned by what we eat or drink.  Certain medications one may take can cause unusual dreams.  Those I casually label “pizza” dreams.  They are pure nonsense.  Other dreams can be generated through our sub-conscious mind relating to worries or concerns we may have.  The devil can use dreams to torment and terrorize, attempting to keep people/children in fear.

God’s dreams have a specific purpose to inform and direct.  Most dreams from the Lord will cause us to awaken at the dream’s end so that we can record the message of the dream like Daniel did.  We may not fully understand its meaning at the time, but we can recall the dream and its content in order to preserve its details for prayer and meditation.  Some dreams from the Lord are self-explanatory while others may need prayer or the help of one who is gifted by God in interpreting dreams (like Joseph and Daniel).  John Paul Jackson, who died a short time ago, was one who studied Biblical dreams and their interpretations.  He authored several books and taught seminars on the subject.

Approximately two years ago I had a dream which was very disconcerting to me.  It was not a literal dream because I knew I had not acted as I appeared in the dream.  After prayer, the Lord revealed to me the sin of fear of man.  The dream allegorically described the spiritual revelation of that sin before God.  It was God’s grace to speak to me and help me understand how that sin was seen by Him.  Many of us are aware of the fruit sin produces, and desire, like me, to be free of those actions.  Unfortunately, the fruit does not always identify the root of the problem.  This dream helped me see the ugliness of that sin and it has also helped me recognize the triggers that caused me to stumble.  Dreams from the Lord are a huge blessing.  They inform, direct, and correct us by exposing any incorrect world view and social tenets we may practice which conflict with the Word of God.

God gives us dreams to reveal His future events so that we can know in advance and prepare.  Because of His mercy toward us, He gives us dreams to correct us when we have missed the mark.  He also gives us dreams to reveal Himself to us by giving us a greater understanding of Who He is.  I am far from an expert on dreams and visions, but I do know, by experience and His Word, that the Lord is doing everything He can to draw us into a deeper relationship and understanding of what it is to be a Christian:  a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I also know that the amount of interaction we have with the Lord is based upon the time we give Him and the depth of our hunger to truly KNOW Him.  His Word does promise His people:  “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.  Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you.  Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”  Jeremiah 29:11-13.  See also Deuteronomy 4:29-30.

The distractions of this world and all its business are not worth losing the opportunity the Lord would afford us all to delve into the riches of His Wisdom, His Peace and His Love.  When He speaks to us, no matter the form, we will be forever changed as we become molded into His glorious image.  It is then we can say, “For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your [own] poets have said, For we are also His offspring.”  See Acts 17:28.

May your rest be sweet with peace, and may your dreams be filled with Wisdom from Heaven’s Throne.  He is speaking.  Are we listening?

The Greatest Miracle of All by Larry W. Peebles

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“Did you see any miracles?”  This was the question I was asked upon my recent return from a trip to India that culminated in a three-day Gospel crusade meeting in a region of India where such a meeting had never been held.  “Yes” was my instant reply.  I was then urged to describe the miracles I had seen.  No problem, I thought, as I had witnessed the greatest miracle of all.

I am part of the so-called baby boomer generation, born between the years 1946-1964.  I was actually born early in that span of time, so I am no stranger to miracles.  My generation saw the birth of the Interstate Highway System, and the growth of the airplane industry as a common means of passenger travel.  We saw the first man to orbit the earth in outer space, and the first man to walk on the moon and return home safely.  Powerful telescopes in outer space send us images from deeper into the heavens than any man has ever looked.  We saw the telephone move from a party (shared) line to a private line, to cellular phones that require no line at all.  Computers went from a room full of big machines where only experienced operators were allowed, to smaller, faster and more powerful personal computers carried everywhere that are no larger than a tablet of paper.  Cars went from being mechanically driven to primarily computer and electronically driven.  Information moved from the libraries of the world to something called the internet, and is readily available at one’s fingertips or voice command.

We witnessed our nation’s healing after it buried one of its presidents who died too soon.  We saw the Berlin Wall torn down, and our nation respond time and again on behalf of nations who needed our help and protection.  Certain diseases such as polio were defeated and/or wiped off the face of the earth.  Pacemakers and coronary by- pass surgery were introduced in the area of medicine and health.  Without belaboring the point, here’s a partial list of words that did not exist at the beginning of my generation, all of which were incredibly and/or miraculously invented, introduced or discovered: TV remote, microwave oven, cordless tools, industrial robots, communication satellites, three point seatbelts, smoke detector, digital music, digital photo, laser beam, and ATM, MRI, GPS, LED and DNA.  Each generation’s achievements are important in that they surpass the previous, and my generation is no different.  This list is not exhaustive, but even as I research and write this article, I am amazed.  That is what describes a miracle-amazing, incredible, unbelievable, and yes, supernatural.

My generation witnessed the first human heart transplant on December 3, 1967 by Dr. Chris Barnard of Cape Town, South Africa.  Almost fifty years later, these procedures are common, as are heart valve and artery repairs, pacemakers, and surgeries to regulate the heartbeat.  My own father had triple by-pass surgery at age 82, and is still living today at age 97.  Thinking about it, I am so amazed that someone can live today with another person’s heart beating in their body.  It is a miracle when someone receives a new heart.

Speaking of new hearts, in 1 Samuel, Chapter 9, we find the story of Saul becoming King.  Saul had been searching for his father’s lost donkeys.  Saul’s servant suggested they go find the man of God (Samuel the prophet) to inquire as to their whereabouts.  God had advised Samuel the day before that a man would come looking for him.  When Samuel saw Saul approaching, God spoke and said this man (Saul) was the man He had selected to be the first King over His people.  After a day of feasting in honor of Saul, the next day Samuel asked to speak with Saul alone, so he could “tell him everything that was in his heart”.  In his heart, Saul was thinking he was unworthy–being from the smallest clan of the smallest tribe of Benjamin, and not at all confident he should be King.  In Chapter 10, Samuel anointed his head with oil, kissed Saul, and said “Has not the Lord anointed you leader over his inheritance?”  Then Samuel gave Saul a series of prophesies concerning future events that would settle Saul’s heart that indeed he had been chosen by God.  Samuel told him (v.2) that two men would meet him near Rachel’s tomb to tell him his father’s donkeys had been found; three men (v.3-4) would meet him near the great tree of Tabor carrying three young goats, three loaves of bread, and a skin of wine.  They would offer Saul two loaves of bread, which he was to accept.  Finally (v.5-6), at the Philistine outpost near Gibeah, Saul would meet a procession of prophets, prophesying and playing lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps.  In verse 6, Saul was told “The Spirit of the Lord will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.”  Samuel told Saul once these signs were fulfilled, he would know that God was with him.  Then in verse 9, we find a most intriguing statement-“As Saul turned to leave Samuel, God changed Saul’s heart, and all these signs were fulfilled that day.”  The King James Bible says “God gave him another heart.”

God has gifted man to do many things, but there are certain things only God can do.  My generation learned that surgeons can transplant a heart, repair its regularity, and correct problems with valves and circulation through the arteries of the heart.  But concerning the love or emotions of the heart, only God can change it, or give a new heart.  Consider these scriptures:

  1. Jeremiah 31:33- “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts.  I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
  2. Jeremiah 32:38-39- “They will be my people, and I will be their God.  I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”
  3. Ezekiel 11:19-20- “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
  4. Ezekiel 36:26- “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
  5. Deuteronomy 30:6- “The Lord your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love Him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.”

Each night of the crusade in India, I witnessed the greatest miracle of all.  By the hundreds and by the thousands, people of that region of India came to the altar for prayer and salvation.  As they came to know Jesus, and accepted Him as their personal Savior, their sins were forgiven and washed away.  Their burdens were lifted, and their hearts were changed.  They were literally born again.  They had a new heart, and a fresh start.  Their cold heart of stone was replaced with a warm heart of flesh.  I could see it in the tears in their eyes, the smiles on their faces, and the joy in their countenance.  They had a new purpose, and a fresh direction.  They put away their idols and the confusion and futility over which one to worship.  The only true God became their God that night, and they became His people.  Their lives would never be the same.  Indeed, one can truly live only after God has cleansed and changed their heart.  God is love, and we can only fully love God and others after He has given us a new heart, and put His spirit in us.  I saw that transformation process each night of the crusade in India, and in spite of the accomplishments during my generation, it is still the greatest miracle of all generations.

How God Speaks Part 5 by Kay Keith Peebles

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God Speaks Through Visions

Jesus asked me to come out of the boat.  I stepped out of the boat and was terrified by the storm just like Peter had been.  I knew He was calling me to step out into some kind of ministry but I was surrounded by so much fear I was paralyzed!

I saw a vision and in that vision I was attempting to walk on water with the Lord, but I was crippled with fear.  The Lord asked me to look at the elements of the storm through His eyes.  My head turned to the direction from which the wind was blowing.  I saw a small monkey-like demon that had a huge fan.  He was turning the fan on and off attempting to cause me to lose my footing and fall into the sea.  I chuckled.  Then Jesus told me to look toward the great booming sound of thunder which had shaken me.  The sound had caused my heart to pound inside of me.  I looked and saw another small monkey-like demon who had two large, galvanized metal trash can lids in his hands.  He was clashing them together like cymbals near my ears, to make the booming sound of thunder.  It was a funny sight and I snickered.  The Lord asked me to look down at the huge waves which would rise and crash against me splashing up to my waist.  I saw a third demon like the other two that had a large bucket in his hands.  He would scoop up water and throw it on me making it appear to be huge waves that would devour me.  The sight was comical.

Finally, the Lord told me to look up at the fierce lightning exploding in the sky.  It had caused me to duck and tremble as it was hurled directly at me.  I turned my head and looked up.  I saw the last demon who was teetering on his tip-toes, at the top of an old rickety wooden ladder while pulling a short bead chain connected to a light bulb that was dangling from a cord.  I laughed at the hilarious picture of him clicking the light on and off.  It wasn’t a storm at all, it was a “smoke screen” of the enemy.  I saw how the devil works by creating “shadows” which are not actual storms but illusions of storms.  I was fearful of the shadows he was making around me but they had no substance.   When I was with the Lord, I could see the true reality through His eyes.  There was nothing I needed to fear!

When this vision came to me, I was totally conscious and my eyes were open.  It played out before me like a movie on a screen.  What I had been looking at disappeared and the vision filled the space in front of me.  I could feel the sense of fear and then laughed at the hilarity of my fears being founded in something that wasn’t real.  The Lord was speaking to me so that I would not be afraid to step out and follow Him into places that may be uncomfortable or appear to be fearful.  Soon after this dream, I was asked to lead a one-day retreat for our church’s singles ministry.  It was there I met a man named Pat, who invited me to be a part of a team doing ministry in a Juvenile Justice Maximum Security Center near inner city Tampa.  One month after the invitation, I arrived at the Juvenile Justice Center at the appointed time.  Within a year my husband joined our team and we ministered there for 15 years, three times a month at two different Centers. We would enter the facility, and when the staff was ready for us to come in, a guard would collect us from the front room and escort us into a holding area.  As the huge metal doors clicked open, we stepped inside a corridor walled in on both sides.  It was approximately 15 feet long with another huge metal door at the other end.  Before the door ahead of us would open, the one behind us slammed shut!  The door made a loud jarring sound as the metal door collided with the metal door jamb and locked.  It provided safety for all who were in the facility.  It was meant to “contain” anyone coming in or going out of the center, preventing anyone entering uninvited or leaving without permission.  It felt as if we had entered a place of no return.  When it did open, we walked down several other corridors and were escorted into a room where 10-25 youth were sitting, waiting for our arrival.  At first glance all the kids looked menacing, both the boys and the girls.  Most of them were from inner city streets and had been hardened by the challenges of broken families, abusive parents or drug addicted neighborhoods and gang activities.  I remember one large husky young man, 18 years of age who sat on the front row glaring at me as we walked in.  While we sang praise and worship songs, the young man would look at me and roll his eyes in the back of his head.  Intimidating would be an understatement, but because of the vision I had from the Lord, I began to chuckle.  He was surprised at my reaction as I smiled and kept praising the Lord.  I was the last speaker of the night and brought a message on forgiveness.  We offered one-on-one prayer and the young man came to my line.  When he stepped up to me he towered over me but I could see tears in his eyes.  He told me he needed prayer to forgive his mother.  He cried on my shoulder as the Lord ministered to him, giving him the ability to let go of offenses and forgive his mom.  It was that night I realized no matter how rough and tough people seem to be, deep down, there are hurts which only God can expose and heal.  Fear would have kept me from such a place of great need and ministry opportunity, had the Lord not given me that vision.  Instead, we were able to bring Jesus to these youths for 15 years.  There were a few repeat offenders we would see but generally it was a new group of teens every time we came.  We were able to plant seeds in hundreds of kids over the 15 years we were there.  During that time, we tried repeatedly to get others to come and join us, but very few would, and those who did only came for a night or two.  I understood how they felt.  Without God’s preparation, I would have been intimidated by being there.

When we look at things through our natural eyes, rationalizing in our own narrow minds, we cannot fathom the opportunity that God has placed before us.  Years before I would judge the young people who commit crimes of vandalism or theft.  I had no compassion for them and thought they needed to be locked up.  It’s easy to judge when we have not walked in someone else’s shoes.  We heard many heart-breaking stories over the years we ministered to those kids.  The Lord knew how to break through their hardened hearts and touch them in the most broken areas as we told them He loved them in spite of what they had done.  Without that vision, pride and fear would have kept me from those wonderful years of connecting hurting youth with Jesus who binds up the broken-hearted.

I have known several people who have had visions from the Lord, and the Bible also contains many testimonies of people who had visions from God.  The Apostle John, while exiled on the Island of Patmos, recorded in the Book of Revelation the vision he had of Jesus in His resurrected state defeating the devil and all who do evil works.  Ezekiel saw the four living creatures in heaven and the seraphim and cherubim through visions from God.  “Now [when I was] in [my] thirtieth year, in the fourth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I was in the midst of captivity beside the river Chebar [in Babylonia], the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God.”  Ezekiel 1:1.  See Ezekiel Chapter 1.

The Hebrew word for vision is Chezev which means:  look, vision.  A vision is different from a dream.  Visions come when one is awake while dreams come when one is asleep.  Daniel had several visions which you can read in the Book of Daniel.  One particular vision is found in Daniel 7:7.  “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast [the Roman Empire]—terrible, powerful and dreadful, and exceedingly strong.  And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and crushed and trampled what was left with its feet.  And it was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns [symbolizing ten kings].  See Daniel 2:40-43 and 7:23.  Daniel’s visions were prophetic involving world history and future events, some of which have not yet been completely fulfilled.

In Acts 9:10-11, a disciple of Jesus named Ananias had a vision.  “Now there was in Damascus a disciple named Ananias.  The Lord said to him in a vision, Ananias, And he answered, Here am I, Lord.  And the Lord said to him, Get up and go to the street called Straight and ask at the house of Judas for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying [there].”  See the entire passage, Acts 9:10-20.  Saul of Tarsus had just experienced his encounter with the Resurrected Jesus and was immediately converted and called to ministry.

In the Book of Acts, Chapter 2:17-21 Peter is explaining the disciples’ misunderstood condition to the people in Jerusalem, directly after the 120 followers of Jesus received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.  After Jesus ascended into heaven, they waited together in the Upper Room for the promise of the Holy Spirit.  Verses 17-18 declare:  “And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances) and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams.  Yes, and on My menservants also and on My maidservants in those days I will pour out of My Spirit and they shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels and predicting future events pertaining especially God’s kingdom].”

God does not move through great people, He moves through ordinary people who are surrendered to His will.  When we position ourselves to be obedient to His agenda, rather than excusing ourselves because of our own fears or insecurities, He will do mighty things through us.  Anyone breathing is a candidate for God’s team as long as they believe in Who Jesus is, accept His finished work on the cross, and desire for His Kingdom to become manifested in the earth today!  My husband and I are not great orators nor great writers, but we are willing for God to use us in whatever manner He desires, to touch people and connect them to Jesus.

Many of the greatest preachers have a simple, but profound message; one that is easy to understand yet powerful.  God calls them and anoints them to do what He determines in their lives.  He is equally interested in using grandmothers and grandfathers, moms and dads, youth and children.  All can be gifted to speak or minister to others, through their acts of obedience to the Lord.

The Prophet Habakkuk cried out to the Lord:  “[Oh, I know, I have been rash to talk out plainly this way to God!]  I will [in my thinking] stand upon my post of observation and station myself on the tower or fortress, and will watch to see what He will say within me and what answer I will make [as His mouthpiece] to the perplexities of my complaint against Him.  And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.  For the vision is yet for an appointed time and it hastens to the end [fulfillment]; it will not deceive or disappoint.  Though it tarry, wait [earnestly] for it, because it will surely come, it will not be behind and on its appointed day.”

What vision has the Lord given you for your life?  Maybe you have not yet had a real “vision” for your destiny concerning the Lord.  It is not too late!  He still gives visions and dreams, whether they are spoken or seen.  Seek the Lord with all your heart and position yourself to wait upon Him to hear and see what He has to say to you.  He’s speaking, are you listening?