Today we continue our mini-series entitled “A New Dimension of Glory!” This series is under the overall theme for the year: “GREAT FREEDOM.” We have been looking at a fairly long passage in 2 Corinthians 3 for a few weeks and verses 17 and 18 for several days. Let’s go back to these two verses again. The Bible says:
(2 Corinthians 3:17&18 Easy to Read Version)
17 The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
18 And our faces are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings more and more glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
For the past three messages, I focused on the word change. I will continue to do so today but from a different angle. The reason why I approach the same verse(s) over and over again, from different angles or perspectives, is because we sometimes have to hear something two, three, or even ten times before we finally get. This has been my style for Today’s Word and I hope you enjoy looking at the same verses in new ways.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things.
1. Hearing from God is great, but you must remain open to what He says next.
a) The Apostle Paul talks about us beholding the glory of the Lord and then being continually changed into that very same image. Actually, the way Paul explains it, the longer we walk with God, and the more we are changed into His image, the more glory is revealed. The more glory we are exposed to, the more we are changed, and this process repeats itself for the rest of our lives.
b) You cannot just hear from the Holy Spirit one time. You must hear and then continue to hear. Being led by the Holy Spirit is not a one-time event. It is a lifelong journey.
c) Abraham heard from God clearly. God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” (Genesis 22:2). Abraham obeyed God. Even though he and his wife believed God for 25 years for Isaac to be born, he was willing to do whatever God was leading him to do, even though this was a hard ask. The next morning Abraham, his son, and two servants took off. Abraham did not know where he was going, but he was being led. On the third day of the journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He knew in his heart it was the place. He said to his servant, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.” Notice that Abraham said, “we”. He did not know how it was going to happen, but he believed he and his son would go UP the mountain and he and his son would come DOWN the mountain. He was doing this by faith. So Abraham and Isaac got to the top of the mountain, Abraham prepared his son for the sacrifice, Isaac cooperated (that was faith too!), and the big moment came. Abraham had his son on the altar. He had a knife in his hand. He had a Word from God. He was being obedient to the Word. Verse 10 says, “Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.” Just then, at that moment, Abraham heard from God again. The angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven and said, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy!” We know the story. Isaac was spared. Abraham was tested and he passed the test.
My point in sharing this story juxtaposed against the passage in 2 Corinthians 3 is that we must hear from God, and then remain continually open to hear what God says next. If Abraham did not remain open to CONTINUE TO HEAR from God, he would have killed his son. Fast forward to today. We are not like Abraham. We don’t need the Angel of the Lord to speak to us. We have the Holy Spirit. God is living on the inside of us. We can hear, and continue to hear, on the inside, every day… and every moment of the day. So enter this day ready to hear what God is saying. And while you are launching out, in faith, ready to obey that Word, remain open to what He says NEXT! Spirit-led living one-time event. It’s a lifelong journey!
2. Never put your life on autopilot.
a) As New Testament, Born-Again, Spirit-filled believers, the goal is to be led by the Holy Spirit every day. However, if we would be honest with ourselves, there are many things that we do out of habit, or because we are experienced in that area, that we really don’t get God involved in. Sometimes we even struggle with things for a while, only to have God say to us, “You have not even asked me about it.” When those situations happen, we must be quick to repent, to get God involved, to seek His face, and to follow His guidance. But it would be better if we simply got God involved every day, and if we sought His leading and guiding in all things.
b) One of the bad habits many of us have is putting our lives in autopilot in certain areas. If you are good at something and you are used to doing this “thing” over and over again, you may tune God out when He is trying to lead you to do it a new way. You must continually be OPEN to God and to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
I will use Today’s Word as an example. I have been writing Today’s Word for over 22 years. It’s very easy for me to get up, get in front of the computer, and just start writing. This is dangerous. Just because I can write about scripture, it does not mean I should. This is God’s ministry. I have to hear from God daily concerning what to say and how to say it. As awesome as I may be (smile), you guys don’t’ get up to hear from me. You get up to hear from God in me. So I can’t just write because I can write. I have to write whatever God leads me to write. Now take this point and apply it to your own life. I am sure you have things you do out of habit. But please make sure you are hearing from the Holy Spirit. He may be attempting to get you to do it a new way, but you are not listening, because you are so accustomed to doing it the way you do it. God is so serious about you hearing from the Holy Spirit for all things that He will sometimes lead you to change, just to force you to be in the routine of putting His voice OVER your impulses!
c) My church, Victory Christian Ministries International, is one church in many locations. We currently have 8 campuses. As we were growing to where we are now, we obviously needed meeting space for each campus. One time God told my Pastor, Tony Brazelton, that “if he had been open,” He would have given him a certain building for a campus. Pastor Tony said, “Father, I did not even know I was closed.” Once he opened his heart to what God wanted, God was able to give our ministry the church building in Woodbridge, VA that I would up joining in years ago. We have since moved on from that building, but my point is that God planned to give us that building from the foundations of the world. But Pastor Tony had to be OPEN to the leading of the Holy Spirit, so we could receive what God had already (in eternity) provided!
d) In closing, be open to the Holy Spirit. Be willing to shift if He leads you to shift. Be open to change if He wants you to change. Keep your heart attuned to the Holy Spirit. Life becomes easy when you boil it down to this: “Father, I will say whatever You tell me to say. I will go wherever You lead me to go. I will do whatever You tell me to do when I get there. My life is not about me. My life is All About You!!!!”
That’s enough for today.
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I declare that I am open to Your voice and to Your leading every moment of every day. I will not allow habits or routines to cause me to TUNE OUT Your voice. I want Your voice and Your leading to be stronger than my impulses. So I live every day with my heart open to receive, with my ears open to hear, and with my eyes open to see. I will say whatever You tell me to say. I will go wherever You lead me to go. I will do whatever You tell me to do when I get there. My life is not about me. My life is All About You!!!! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!