Seeing and Hearing the Lord

Why is it that when we are in the midst of troubling situations we often think and feel we are all alone? Our Heavenly Father has promised that He would never leave us, nor forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5-6). He is with us! We are not alone. Yet, sometimes we think we are. Why can’t we see Him or hear Him?

The Lord showed me Luke 24:13-16 where two of Jesus’ disciples did not recognize Jesus as He walked with them.

“And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.”

I also noticed in Matthew 28:16-17 that some of the disciples were doubtful when they saw the resurrected Jesus; while the others were worshiping Him.

“But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.”

In John 12:28-30 we see something similar when God the Father audibly speaks from Heaven and the people surrounding Jesus thought it was thunder.

“’Father, glorify Your name.’ Then a voice came out of heaven: ‘I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.’ So the crowd of people who stood by and heard it were saying that it had thundered… Jesus answered and said, ‘This voice has not come for My sake, but for your sakes.’”

In all three of these situations their conscious minds were seeing and hearing, but their hearts (subconscious mind) were not able to fully understand.

Before we make big judgments about these people we need to ask how many times has the Lord appeared or spoken to us and we have not recognized Him? It is so easy for us to face the tribulations of life and not see the Lord working or hear His voice. So I have been asking the Lord why is it that this can happen?

The Lord called my attention to Luke 24:13-26 and showed me three reasons why Cleopas and his friend (2 of Jesus’ disciples) could walk with the resurrected Lord in the midst of a time of uncertainty and not recognize Him.

1. They were preoccupied with the tribulation of the moment and not the possibilities of the moment.

If you read the passage you will notice they are focused on the negative facts concerning Jesus’ crucifixion and not the positive possibilities of the news of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus rebuked them and told them they were slow of heart to believe the truth that had been spoken and revealed. “And He said to them, ‘O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!’” (Luke 24:25) The disciples allowed the negative facts to overshadow the positive possibilities.

2. They had established expectations concerning the promises of the Lord.

“But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened” (Luke 24:21).

Notice they said they were expecting Him to redeem Israel. The truth is that He did and is redeeming Israel. The problem was that they were expecting Him to do it physically at that time. Instead of His Kingdom being established, He was crucified. Their expectations of what God had promised shut down their hearts and opened the doorway for hopelessness. “And they stood still, looking sad” (Matthew 28:16-17).

When Jesus was brought to Jerusalem as a baby both Simeon and Anna were able to recognize Him. Both knew He was the deliverer of Israel (Luke 2:30, 35) even as a baby. Of all of the thousands of babies both of them probably saw in the temple over all of those years, they were able to instantly recognize the redeemer of Israel. Anna and Simeon were able to see and recognize Jesus because they did not get distracted with the expectations of what the redemption of Israel would look like.

Many times I have had words from the Lord and could not fully see the Lord working. The reason was I had established expectations of how I thought His promises would look and/or work out. Because I had established these expectations it opened the door for disillusionment and discouragement. “Hope (expectations) deferred makes the heart sick, But desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

3. They were looking for the promises of the Lord more than they were looking for the person, the Lord Jesus Himself.

Their statement that they were hoping He was going to redeem Israel was evidence of their heart’s focus. Proverbs 3:6 tells us that our lives’ focus is to know the Lord. “…In all your way acknowledge (literally: know) Him.” God’s promises are magnificent. But our obsession needs to be for the Lord more than for His provisions.

When we look for the Lord more than we look for His provisions, we will be able see and hear the Lord clearly. We will see and hear what we are looking for. If our heart looks for the promise more than the Lord, then when the promise is delayed–or seemingly delayed– we will fall into discouragement because we do not see what we were looking for.

But the Lord will never leave us. When we seek the Lord in tribulations and trials, I believe, the Lord’s provisions most of the times are behind Him. We will find Him before we will find and receive the provisions. We know we have found Him because the fruit of the Spirit will be present in our lives.

One time I was with some friends and we were carefully walking over a decaying, unsteady swinging bridge. The bridge crossed a very fast flowing, wide river. I was the last in the line of six crossing the river.

As I started onto the bridge I looked up and I saw a man, plainly dressed, standing at the other side. My first thought was, “I hope the man doesn’t try to cross the bridge while we were on it.”

As I got to the middle of the bridge I saw the man still standing there, only a few yards in front of first people in our group. When I got to other side he was not there. I asked the others where the man was. They told me there was no one there. I looked all around for evidence of the man and I found none. Then I realized I had seen an angel with my physical eyes and I did not even realize it.

I believe if I had not been so preoccupied with the danger of the bridge I might have been able to recognize an angel of the Lord.

God is calling us to be preoccupied with Him and Him alone. Sure He gives us His wonderful promises, but the fulfillment and revelation of life is not God’s provisions, it is Him.

The Mission Bell Update – John Lufi

Hello all!

No, I have not dropped off the earth nor been sent to the back side of the wilderness, yet. My apologies for it being nearly a month since my last update, many things have been happening and I needed to be able to verbalize them to myself before I could possibly hope verbalize them to someone else.

First off, my travels. Last time I wrote, I was between Greece and Slovenia. I spent a wonderful few days in snowy Slovenia meeting a friend of my brother’s and enjoying friendship with a wonderful family. The most important part of the travels and discussion that I had with the various people along the way, was the substantial progress made towards understanding my higher purpose and ministry that the Lord is calling me to. More on that later.

Second thing. You may remember Ana, the lady I went to court with about 2 months ago now. She had a call from social services a couple weeks ago, and she was reqested to come to an urgent meeting at the courthouse in Belgrade with her ex-husband. She had dream about such a meeting 2 nights before the meeting was to happen. In the dream she had the sense that that her ex-husband’s mouth was unable to open and that he was unable to speak any lies. On the day of the court, she was very scared because of past threats to her and the trouble that the lies her ex-husband had spoken previously concerning her had caused. As they were waiting to be called into the social worker’s office, she encountered her ex-husband in the hallway, and remembering her dream, she began to pray that his mouth would be shut and unable to speak any lies in the name of Jesus.

After her ex-husband went in, she was called in next. Only to find out, that he had stopped fighting against her custody of the daughter, and had agreed without further arguement to all conditions of total custody going to Ana. Further, he had brought all of the daughter’s things from his house to her, as well as money for a new phone and some spending money. Later in the day, Ana had to call him to make some arrangements to meet and collect the things, and she told me that he was the nicest and most pleasant on that day, than any day since they had met. Praise God for Him working on hearts!

Additionally, Ana and her daughter had gone to visit a friend who has a history of drinking quite a lot and becoming very angry and violent when he does drink. On the day they had visited him, he had been doing some drinking. He was in the kitchen making some coffee and Ana and the daughter were in the sitting room. He came into the room with a fork in his hand and declared that he was going to kill her. Having her daughter there, Ana knew she had to do something, but as she is a smaller lady and he a larger man, she did the only thing she could. She prayed, and she prayed with authority. Under her breath, she prayed in Jesus’ name for the spirit of alcohol to bound, and for a spirit of sleep and rest to fall upon him. Within seconds, he went from trying to kill her, to falling asleep so suddenly, as she had to help catch him and and guide his fall onto the couch. He was snoring before he hit the couch. Ladies and Gentlemen, in case you did not grasp this, this is the power of God being released in Jesus’ name to protect believers. This is the power and authority that is available to all of us who chose to believe. Walk in it.

Soon, I hope to have more details on the House That God Is Building, a story of God’s provison and calling and the importance of relationship vs task that God has been teaching and working on and through a man in our church and be able to share that with all of you.

I have begun teaching Jesus: The Filler of Needs in home group. Those of you from Dwelling Place will be familiar, those of you who aren’t, I highly reccomend it as an understanding of the needs of the soul and how Jesus is purposed to fill those needs can bring a whole new level of spiritual freedom and empowerment. A copy can be procurred here: http://www.dpiministries.org/resources/

The other important thing, is that in the last month or so with this vision and calling refinement, new doors are opening, old ones closing, and new strategic partners identified. As more things become solidfied, I will share them, but a this time there are more questions than answers. Please be praying for Godly wisdom, and His will to be done, courage to do what I hear Him saying, strength for the fighting, and that I will better hear His voice to hear the specifics of His plan.

One final prayer point for the time being, my return ticket to the States is for June 20th. The facts of my finances are disagreeing with me staying here until then, and will, with what is on paper, run out in a few months, and about 3 months short of that date. I don’t know how God plans to provide, I open to any options, but prayer that physical provision will align itself with the calling of God would be appreciated.

Thank you all so very much for all your prayers, and I will try to not be such a stranger in your inbox.

In Christ, for His Glory,

Jovan Lufovic

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John 1:6, 1 Thess 5:24