Dear Hope – by Kathryn Worley

Dear Hope,

I have good news for you. I’ve found you a good home. You won’t have to worry anymore about the feast and famine system I seem to have going. No…where you’re going, there is only feast.

I know what you’re thinking. We’ve been together a long time. We’ve dreamed big dreams and walked tough roads together. But my dear Hope, I can never keep you safe. Here in this world there is an edge- an extreme chasm between you being safe and you crashing down all around me. You are not made for this world.

Here you could never be healthy. In fact, it occurs to me now that this decision is long overdue. Look at you: you were once strong and courageous and now I perceive weariness. You were once faith-filled and content and now I see you anxiously look about. Where I used to see my Hope, I now see evidence of Hopelessness. I cannot keep you because I cannot keep you safe.

Oh! How thankful I am to have found another home for you, dear Hope! This new home, this new caretaker of my Hope is absolutely trustworthy. He who keeps you will neither slumber nor sleep. His Father is the God of all Hope- so that should tell you He knows how to care for you. He works all things after the counsel of His will so that when I bring you to His Son, you can stay there and it pleases Him.

Just watch. When we get there, you’ll know this is the best choice. I’ve made arrangements and they’re expecting you.

Are you ready, Hope? It’s time to go home.

The Voice of God –

Sunday morning March 3rd we began a mini-series at Dwelling Place titled “Value His Voice.” We want to emphasize the significance of the voice of God and challenge His children to value His voice! The following are the notes from that first mornings message.These notes are meant to serve as a supplement to the March 3rd podcast. I hope they help…

It is the “Vox Dei” or Voice of God, the voice that spoke creation into being, and the Universe into order in Genesis Ch. 1 The God who later announces, “behold I make all things new!” in Revelation 21. It is God’s voice we listen for and practice attentiveness to…

He spoke a warning to Noah in Genesis 6, and life to Sarah’s barren womb Genesis 17.

He made a covenant with Israel in Jeremiah 31:33 – “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “ I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

The Voice of God was manifest in the God man Jesus Christ…

Jesus spoke courage to His disciples in Matthew 14:27 – But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “ Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” 

He spoke life to an official’s son in Luke 4:50 – Jesus said to him, “Go; your son lives.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him…

He spoke truth and love and hope, He Spoke forgiveness from the Cross in Luke 22. He prophesied His own death and resurrection and they both came true.

There aren’t always a lot of things to count on in this life, but you can trust in and count on the Voice of God:

Five certainties about the Voice of God…

1) God has not gone silent.

The 400 year period between Malachi and Matthew, became known as the “dark years.”

Malachi 3:1 – Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.

There was a period of seeming silence…

Yet even when God wasn’t speaking through the prophet He was speaking to the Prophet and His people…

Luke 2:26 & 36-38

26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

36And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years and had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. 38 At that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.

The same God who spoke to Ten Commandments to Moses on Mt. Sinai in Ex. 21 communed and fellowshipped with me this morning over a cup of hot tea.

 

2) God’s voice is Discernable   

 John 10:1-5 –  “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”

  • Listen to the podcast for the story of the young officer assigned to Alaskan outpost during World War 2.

Each sheep can and needs to hear the voice of the Shepherd.

The most amazing man or woman of God is still a sheep who happens to be following from the front…

 God does call us to hear together…

 Not Independent, Not Codependent, but Interdependent…

 Godly counsel: “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).

 Confirmation: “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed” (Matthew 18:16).

 The peace of God: “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

 

3) God speaks in multiple ways

Kings 19:11-13 – So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 

Numbers 22:12 – God said to Balaam, “Do not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

God has more ways to speak than anyone. He created our senses and when has a message to deliver, He certainly knows how best to deliver it!

God speaks through His word, through the prophetic voice and through the power of the Holy Spirit. He speaks in a message or a miracle.

 He speaks through a Word or a vision, or through a the touch of a compassionate hand reaching out in love.

 He speaks through the sunshine and the rain, through kind conversation and a word of redeeming rebuke.

 He speaks through the birth of a baby and in the death of a friend.

 He is NOT silent…

 He puts the rainbow in the sky to remind us of His faithfulness.

 

4) God’s voice is Unstoppable

His Voice cuts through the fog / Penetrates the noise / Overcomes the opposition…

Luke 8:11-15 –  “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God. 12 Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved. 13 Those on the rocky soil are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away. 14 The seed that fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity. 15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

5) God’s voice is Personal and Impactful

Genesis 3;8 – And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day

 Acts 22:14 – “Then he told me, ‘The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and hear him speak.

Romans 8:14 – “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

Hebrews 4:12 – For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Check out www.iamsecond.com