VIDEO Obedience to and Practically Living The Heavenly Vision

Obedience to the “Heavenly Vision”

Obedience to the

I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision. —Acts 26:19

If we lose “the heavenly vision” God has given us, we alone are responsible— not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will never be fulfilled. The only way to be obedient to “the heavenly vision” is to give our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory. This can be accomplished only when we make a determination to continually remember God’s vision. But the acid test is obedience to the vision in the details of our everyday life— sixty seconds out of every minute, and sixty minutes out of every hour, not just during times of personal prayer or public meetings.

“Though it tarries, wait for it…” (Habakkuk 2:3). We cannot bring the vision to fulfillment through our own efforts, but must live under its inspiration until it fulfills itself. We try to be so practical that we forget the vision. At the very beginning we saw the vision but did not wait for it. We rushed off to do our practical work, and once the vision was fulfilled we could no longer even see it. Waiting for a vision that “tarries” is the true test of our faithfulness to God. It is at the risk of our own soul’s welfare that we get caught up in practical busy-work, only to miss the fulfillment of the vision.

Watch for the storms of God. The only way God plants His saints is through the whirlwind of His storms. Will you be proven to be an empty pod with no seed inside? That will depend on whether or not you are actually living in the light of the vision you have seen. Let God send you out through His storm, and don’t go until He does. If you select your own spot to be planted, you will prove yourself to be an unproductive, empty pod. However, if you allow God to plant you, you will “bear much fruit” (John 15:8).

It is essential that we live and “walk in the light” of God’s vision for us (1 John 1:7).

WISDOM FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS

The great word of Jesus to His disciples is Abandon. When God has brought us into the relationship of disciples, we have to venture on His word; trust entirely to Him and watch that when He brings us to the venture, we take it.  Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, 1459 R


Practically Living The Heavenly Vision

Unashamed Loyalty

Unashamed Loyalty

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3

Sports fans love to sing their teams’ praises. By wearing logos, posting notes on Facebook about their beloved teams, or talking about them with friends, fans leave no doubt where their loyalty stands. My own Detroit Tigers caps, shirts, and conversations indicate that I am right there with those who do this.

Our sports loyalties can remind us that our truest and greatest loyalty must be to our Lord. I think of such unashamed loyalty when I read Psalm 34, where David draws our attention to Someone vastly more vital than anything else on earth.

Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3 

David says, “I will extol the Lord at all times” (v. 1), and we are left to wonder about the gaps in our lives when we live as if God is not our source of truth, light, and salvation. He says, “His praise will always be on my lips” (v. 1), and we think about how many times we praise things of this world more than we praise Him. David says, “My soul shall make its boast in the Lord” (v. 2 nkjv), and we realize that we boast about our own small successes more than what Jesus has done for us.

It’s not wrong to enjoy our teams, our interests, and our accomplishments. But our highest praise goes to our Lord. “Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together” (v. 3).

Lord, help me to have Your praise be on my lips and to boast in You. Help me to keep my focus on You.

Loyalty is the test of true love.

By Dave Branon 

INSIGHT

How often do we give God the benefit of the doubt? Maybe we’re a lot like David. In his better moments, he was loyal to his God. At times he was determined to think nothing but the best about the Lord of heaven (Psalm 34:1). But, like us, his thoughts were often mixed with feelings of loss and worry. In verse 4 he alludes to his fears. In verses 17–18 he refers to times of trouble and writes, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

The troubles of David’s personal story, and the raw, ever-changing emotions of his songs, show a person who was far more like us than different. While wanting to never forget the goodness of God, he often found himself overwhelmed with fear and despair. By his honest complaints and times of confusion, he shows us what God can do in response to our cries for help. Like so many other men and women of the Bible, he reminds us that his God, and ours, loves to show mercy, forgiveness, and compassion to people like us.

The Holy Spirit’s Lesson Plan

John 16:12-15

The ways of God are a mystery to man. Only when we have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation and received the Holy Spirit can we begin to understand. The Spirit of God uses three methods to open our mind and fill our heart with godly wisdom.

1. Revelation. This term refers to truth that is given by the Lord and cannot be obtained in any other way. The Scriptures are the most obvious example. Anyone, believer or not, can read God’s Word and understand some portions, but only a Spirit-filled believer can begin to grasp the layers of meaning within the Bible.

2. Illumination. We use this word to describe the amazing moment when the Holy Spirit enlightens our mind so that we understand God’s Word. We can read other books a few times and have a thorough understanding of them. But the Lord reveals ever-deeper truths about Himself as we mature in our faith (Eph. 1:17-18).

3. Remembrance. The Holy Spirit reminds us of godly principles or biblical passages when we need them. He helped the gospel writers recall events and Jesus’ words many years after the fact. And He does the same for us when we could use encouragement, inspiration, or comfort.

The Holy Spirit illuminates believers’ minds so that they can recognize and comprehend divine revelation. If we have memorized scriptures and stored up biblical insights, the Spirit of God can dip into the “reservoir” for needed wisdom in our present moment.

Finger of God

“This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.” (John 8:6)

During His earthly ministry, Jesus never wrote a book or any other document, so far as we know, but it is recorded that He wrote with His own finger in the sand and that what He wrote turned away those who had sought to stone a woman caught breaking one of God’s Ten Commandments.

The woman was repentant, however, and Jesus forgave her, evidently indicating this by what He wrote with His finger on the ground. This He could do because He, as God, had written this very commandment Himself with His own finger long before. “And he gave unto Moses . . . two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). Moses testified: “And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly” (Deuteronomy 9:10).

There are only two other references to the “finger of God” in the Bible. When the Lord through Moses brought the great plagues upon Egypt, Pharaoh’s magicians were able to imitate Moses’ first few miracles, but soon their deceptive “magic” could no longer compare, and they had to confess, “This is the finger of God” (Exodus 8:19).

There is one final mention of God’s finger in the New Testament. When the Pharisees charged that His power to cast evil spirits out of demon-possessed people had been given to Him by Satan, He affirmed rather, “I with the finger of God cast out devils” (Luke 11:20). Jesus is able both to forgive sins and to defeat Satan because He is the Creator of the universe and all its laws. HMM

If ye have bitter envying in your hearts, glory not

Esther 5

The three days of prayer and fasting were over, and the time came for Esther to risk all, and go in unto the king unbidden, and plead for her nation.

Esther 5:1

These kings affected great state, and, partly to impress their people with awe, and partly for their own safety, none dared approach them on peril of their lives, if they had not been expressly called. For Israel’s sake Esther encountered this mortal danger.

Esther 5:3

She had good speed at the outset. If we will but act boldly, the Lord will help us.

Esther 5:4-8

Either she had not yet the courage to speak out, or else she wisely judged that her influence over the king needed to be strengthened before it would outweigh that of the cunning favourite.

Esther 5:9

Sternly would Mordecai gaze upon him, viewing him now with utter abhorrence, as intending to murder all the Jews.

Esther 5:12, 13

Pride is a pitiful thing, and so hungry that all the world cannot satisfy it if some one little matter go amiss.

Esther 5:14

He was such a favourite that he had only to ask and have, so that he would make short work with sulky Mordecai. Next morning he would go to court and get the kings warrant for the man’s execution. We shall see what happened.

 

But no such rigid law we fear,

Who to the King of kings draw near,

Boldly approach his gracious throne,

And freely our requests make known.

 

Beyond the inner court we press,

Enter within the holiest place;

Sure to obtain the peace of God,

And all we ask through Jesus’ blood.

 

Greatest Physician

When Jesus saw him… he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? (John 5:6)

If you are a discouraged and defeated Christian believer, you may have accepted the rationalization that your condition is “normal for all Christians.”

You may now be content with the position that the progressive, victorious Christian life may be suitable for a few Christians—but not for you! You have been to Bible conferences; you have been to the altar—but the blessings are for someone else.

Now, that attitude on the part of Christian believers is neither modesty nor meekness. It is a chronic discouragement resulting from unbelief. It is rather like those who have been sick for so long that they no longer believe they can get well.

Jesus is still saying, as He said to the man lying by the gate at the Jerusalem pool, “Do you want to be made whole?” Jesus made him whole—because of his desire! His need was great, but he had never lapsed into that state of chronic discouragement.

 

Whose Battle?

“And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands.” 1Sam. 17:47

Let this point be settled, that the battle is the Lord’s, and we may be quite sure of the victory, and of the victory in such a way as will best of all display the power of God. The Lord is too much forgotten by all men, yea, even by the assemblies of Israel; and when there is an opportunity to make men see that the Great First Cause can achieve His purposes without the power of man, it is a priceless occasion which should be well employed. Even Israel looks too much to sword and spear. It is a grand thing to have no sword in the hand of David, and yet for David to know that his God will overthrow a whole army of aliens.

If we are indeed contending for truth and righteousness, let us not tarry till we have talent, or wealth, or any other form of visible power at our disposal; but with such stones as we find in the brook, and with our own usual sling, let us run to meet the enemy. If it were our own battle we might not be confident; but if we are standing up for Jesus, and warring in His strength alone, who can withstand us? Without a trace of hesitancy let us face the Philistines; for the Lord of Hosts is with us, and who can be against us?

 

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