Hearing God When It Goes Against Current Culture

Hearing God When It Goes Against Current Culture

Episode Description:

Am I prepared to be obedient to God, even when it is not aligned with current culture? Am I willing, faith-filled, courageous, future-sighted, totally trusting God even when there is no reference point of rain, willing to look ridiculous in the world’s eyes, swim against the stream, being a misfit, having tenacious faith? Join us in this latest episode of ‘Hearing God’ as we unpack the story of Noah from the Bible. Noah is an excellent reminder that God desires our obedience and is interested in our character and relationship with Him.

Episode Notes:

Background of Noah: Genesis 6-9

  • Noah first introduced in Genesis 5:32 how, after he had lived 500 years, he became the father of Shem, Japheth, and Ham.
  • Genesis 6:6 – The Lord regretted making humans as they had become evil.
  • Verse 8 & 9 – Noah found favour in the eyes of God because he was blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God. Noah was not perfect but blameless compared to everyone else alive at the time.
  • Verse 13 – God said to Noah, I’m going to destroy all people but make an ark and gave him specific instructions: 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, 30 cubits high, rooms, roof, openings, etc. God was going to fill the earth with floodwaters, but Noah was to take himself, his wife and sons and son’s wives into the ark with 2 of all living creatures to keep them alive. In chapter 7. He mentions 7 pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean animals and how he would send rain for 40 days and 40 nights.
  • They were tent dwellers – no grid for rain, floods, etc.
  • Symbolism: The ark was 3 stories – compared to the Tabernacle – 3-fold structure, like the 3 parts of the Gospel – judgement, forgiveness, and salvation. The word for ark in Hebrew is tebah – mentioned as the pitch coating of the basket that the baby Moses was placed in – symbolising God’s protection.
  • Waters flooded the earth for 150 days.
  • Process for coming out of the ark – sent out a raven, then a dove, then a dove again, and it came back with a fresh olive leaf, then next time it didn’t come back.
  • Chapter 8:21 – never again will I destroy all living creatures, and never again will a flood destroy the whole earth – this will be my sign – a rainbow.
  • Ch 9:20 – Noah planted a vineyard, drank some wine, and became drunk. Ham saw his father drunk and naked in the tent and told his brothers. Shem and Japheth took a garment as a sign of respect and covered their father and didn’t look at his nakedness.

First Principle: Our character is important to God.

  • Noah was blameless compared to his fellow man.
  • He walked with God. He found favour in God’s eyes.
  • If we are struggling to hear God – it is worth examining our behaviour and character. (God can still talk to us, but it is easier to hear God clearly when our character is pure/clean.)

Second Principle: Details are important to God.

  • God gave Noah specific instructions – how to build the ark, fill it, shut it, what to do and how to exit. God is in the details.
  • Ask God for prophetic blueprints.

Third Principle: Noah did all that God commanded.

  • Genesis 6-9 keeps saying that Noah did all that God commanded.
  • God desires our obedience. It is important to God, even when it doesn’t make sense.
  • Imagine building this colossal ark. There had never been any floods or water over the earth. People would think he was crazy. Who was he to believe – God or man? Imagine the reaction of people.
  • Noah was an entrepreneur and took a considerable risk. Faith is spelt RISK. He was confronted with discouragement and opposition.
  • If you are struggling to hear God – go back to the last time you heard God clearly and see if God has asked you to do something you haven’t obeyed.

Summary:

  • First Principle: Our character is important to God.
  • Second Principle: Details are important to God.
  • Third Principle: Noah did all that God commanded.

Prophetic activation:

Turn your heart and thoughts to Father God and ask Him –

  • “God, is there something in my character You would love me to work on/improve?”
  • “Father God, is there an area I haven’t obeyed You in yet? What else do I need to know about it?”

Time Stamps:

[0:37] – Gary & Jane share briefly how they have heard God this week.

[2:49] – Background to Noah and outline of his story.

[6:49] – First Principle: Our character is important to God.

[8:41] – Second Principle: Details are important to God.

[13:40] – Third Principle: Noah did all that God commanded.

[17:33] – Am I prepared to be obedient, even when it is not aligned with current culture?

[18:05] – Recap the principles.

[18:30] – Prophetic activation.

[19:50] – Gary & Jane both share a prophetic word for a listener.

[20:59] – Gary prays for you.

Resources / Links Mentioned:

Bible Verses Mentioned:

  • Genesis 5:32
  • Genesis 6-9
  • Acts 9:11

Connect with Gary & Jane:

Support the show:

  • Please share this podcast with someone who would value hearing from God.
  • Follow and leave a rating + review on your favourite podcast listening app.
  • If God is leading your heart to donate or support the show in any way, please visit https://buymeacoffee/garyandjanM Thank you so much.
Episode 39: Hearing God in Times Requiring Courage

Episode 39: Hearing God in Times Requiring Courage

Episode Description:

Have you ever desperately needed God to speak, but He was silent? Join us in this latest episode of ‘Hearing God’ as we unpack the story of Esther from the Bible. This book does not mention God, but His fingerprints are all over it. Esther was kidnapped and forcibly placed in the King’s harem, repeatedly raped, not allowed to have a voice, and threatened with death if she spoke out of turn, yet she courageously fulfilled what was required of her. We encourage you, like Esther, to be courageous enough to do what God’s asking you to do. Don’t shortchange a miracle in your life by giving up too early. The book of Esther is a powerful reminder to be careful who you pay attention to and ask for advice from.

Episode Notes:

Background to Esther:

  • The Book of Esther (10 chapters) is full of conspiracy, racial hatred, betrayal, jealousy, pride, lust for power, drunkenness and orgies, murder, anger, fear, greed, persecution, and mourning.
  • Esther was a Jew living in Susa, the capital of Persia when King Xerxes was in power from 485-465BC.
  • Persia is now called Iran, but back then, it also covered Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Pakistan, and parts of Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, etc.
  • The Jews had been captured and taken from Israel and were slaves in Persia. At the time of Esther, the Jews had been freed, and only a few had returned to Israel. The rest were entrenched in Persia. Sometimes, it’s easier to stay where you are and settle for less than move.
  • King Xerxes ruled over 127 provinces and, over 180 days, displayed his vast wealth, culminating in a 7-day banquet in which he invited everyone. During the banquet, his wife, Queen Vashti, invited the women separately to her dinner. The King became drunk and wanted Vashti to come and display ‘her beauty’ and dance virtually naked before everyone. Vashti refused. King was embarrassed and angry and asked his advisors what he should do. They said to depose or forcibly remove her from being his wife as an example to all women that they were to respect and obey their husbands. She was never again to enter the King’s presence.
  • They then ‘kidnapped’ all the young virgins (including Esther) and brought them into the Palace, giving them 12 months of beauty treatments. Then, they would each have a night to sleep with the King, and he would choose whoever he was most pleased with as the Queen.
  • How would you feel if the King forcibly took you into his harem, repeatedly raped you, did not allow you to have a voice, and threatened you with death if you spoke out of turn?
  • Esther was a Jewish orphan. She was adopted by her cousin Mordecai, a government official. He was distraught. Esther didn’t reveal her nationality or family background. Mordecai went and sat at the King’s gate every day to try and hear news of Esther. While there, he heard that there was to be an assassination attempt on the King. He told Esther, who told the King, who killed the guards.
  • Haman was appointed to take charge and was full of pride and lust for power. He had the King issue a command to have all the Jews bow down to him. Mordecai refused to bow down. Haman made the King put his royal seal (something that couldn’t be broken) on a decree that all the Jews would be killed.
  • Famous verses in Esther 4:13-14: “Then Mordecai toldthem to reply to Esther, “Do not think that because you are in the King’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
  • Esther says, “If I approach the King and he hasn’t asked for me and doesn’t extend his gold sceptre to me, I will be killed.”
  • Esther says to Mordecai, get all the Jews to fast and pray for 3 days and nights.
  • In Esther 5 she approaches the King and invites him and Haman to a banquet. She sees that they are chummy at the banquet, so she invites them to another banquet the next day. Haman goes home and is full of pride and tells everyone.
  • That night, the King couldn’t sleep, so he asked his servants to bring the records of his reign to him. He discovers that Mordecai was never rewarded and honoured for his part in uncovering the assassination attempt and saving his life.
  • When Haman turns up, he asks Haman what he should do to honour someone. Thinking the King wants to honour him, Haman says to place the royal robe on him, put him on the King’s horse, and parade him through town. The King tells Haman to do that for Mordecai. Haman was angry and ashamed.
  • Haman returns for the dinner. The King asks Esther what her request is, and she asks the King to spare her people. The King asks who ordered this. Haman did. The King walks out into his garden for a breather, returns inside, and sees Haman trying to hurt Esther. The King orders Haman to be killed and Mordecai to be promoted. Esther asks for another decree to be given to save the Jews. The King can’t revoke the original one, so he orders all the Jews to fight back.
  • The Jews got the upper hand. The book of Esther finishes with them celebrating and establishing a time each year to remember and celebrate.
  • Be careful who you listen to – ask advice from the right people.

First Principle: God is always working and is never absent.

When it appears God is silent or has abandoned you:

  • Ask wise, trusted people for advice.
  • Seek God with fasting and prayer.
  • Be measured/self-controlled, not impulsive.
  • Do what is right, no matter if it is hard. Go back to the last time you heard God – have you done what He has asked you to do?
  • Hang in there. Don’t give up. Don’t shortchange a miracle in your life by giving up.
  • Esther doesn’t doubt God, even when her life depends on it.

Second Principle: There is no such thing as a co-incidence.

  • God is always working behind the scenes.
  • Esther was chosen to be Queen and be in a position where she could influence the outcome.
  • Mordecai was in the exact right place at the exact right time to hear the conspiracy.
  • The King couldn’t sleep, asked to look through the records, and found out Mordecai hadn’t been rewarded for exposing the assassination plot. This was thought to be about five years after the actual event of Mordecai uncovering the plot.
  • Even when you can’t see Him, God is still at work. Divine timing. We may just see chaos, but God is still working, weaving everything together for the beautiful picture He is creating behind the scenes. God is always at work, creating beauty from ashes bringing redemption.

Third Principle: Memory stones. Remember what God has done and celebrate.

  • Specific objects you can regularly see that remind you of God’s goodness and faithfulness and how God has come through in the past.

Summary:

  • First Principle: God is always working.
  • Second Principle: There is no such thing as a co-incidence, rather, God-incident.
  • Third Principle: Remember what God has done and celebrate.
  • Be courageous enough to do what God asks you to, especially if you are in a position, power, or influence.

Prophetic activation:

Turn your heart and thoughts to Father God and ask Him –

  • “Father God, what would You love me to remember and celebrate about a time when You have worked in my life?”
  • “God, is there something I could buy, make, or look at to remind me of this time?”

Time Stamps:

[0:37] – Gary & Jane share briefly how they have heard God this week.

[3:17] – Background to Esther and outline of the book.

[12:38] – First Principle: God is always working and is never absent.

[14:49] – Second Principle: There is no such thing as a co-incidence.

[20:15] – Third Principle: Remember what God has done and celebrate.

[22:36] – Be courageous enough to do what God’s asking you to do.

[22:57] – Recap the principles.

[23:22] – Prophetic activation.

[24:13] – Gary & Jane both share a prophetic word for a listener.

[25:39] – Gary prays for you.

Resources / Links Mentioned:

Bible Verses Mentioned:

  • Esther (chapters 1-10)
  • Esther 4:13-14

Connect with Gary & Jane:

Support the show:

  • Please share this podcast with someone who would value hearing from God.
  • Follow and leave a rating + review on your favourite podcast listening app.
  • If God is leading your heart to donate or support the show in any way, please visit https://buymeacoffee/garyandjanM Thank you so much.