Nov. 10, 00

This is a study or teaching, that is concerned with "what we do" with what we know, and how then we put it into practice. Remember that it is not just "hearing the words of God" that is important, but when we put them into practice, that really matters, and enables us to rise above the trials and storms of this life:

MT 7:24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. [25] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. [26] But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. [27] The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Remember that a house must be built upon solid bedrock so that it will be sturdy and not shift or slide from its position. We all have heard stories about some of the homes that are built and crumble because of mud slides and their entire lives and homes have then been swept away. We are like those homes if we don't put into practice the very things that we have learned from the word of God and the Holy Spirit. The word of God is "solid" and isn't something that shifts from side to side, or is tossed about like the waves upon the ocean. We are cautioned in James to not be like the double-minded man who doubts:

James [6] "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. [7] That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; [8] he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does."

Remember the story of how the various seeds grew in different soil in the parable of Christ found in Matthew. Some fell upon stony soil, some upon soil that had thorns in it; some was not planted deep enough, and some finally was planted in soil that produced a great crop. Well, our seed cannot grow into a tall oak tree or a great plant, unless that soil is also nurtured with being on the "right soil," or right bedrock.

"A farmer went out to sow his seed. [4] As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. [5] Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. [6] But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. [7] Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. [8] Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. [9] He who has ears, let him hear." Matt. 13

With this in mind, this becomes equally important when we are reading or hearing all the plethora of messages in this hour, whether they are prophetic, teachings, apostolic material, or whatever. My point is that there is a LOT that we are given, but now what do we do with what we have heard? It becomes useless unless we apply it to our own lives. Otherwise, it is then hollow and empty. Oh yes, if it springs forth from the word of God and His most Holy Spirit, it will indeed, give us light and strength for the day, but what if we don't put it to use? What if I hear and remember the word: "A gentle answer turns away wrath," but when someone says something that is said out of anger and I respond in anger back to them, then I haven't applied the word. Now to be sure, these things take a diligent effort on our parts to develop the fruits of the Spirit, or I should say, to "allow" the Holy Spirit to develop these things in us. And some or most of these qualities take time.

I hear so many prophetic words and there are so many different types of them. In fact, it would take an incredible memory source to even begin to remember even some of them. Perhaps that is why computers are helpful, but even then, there is so much. But if there is one that stands out as memorable and is important, what can we do to help put it into practice? To be sure, God's word if it is truly from Him in this form, will accomplish the task and will fulfill the vision. But we have a part to play in it as well. Remember that Jonah was "sent to Ninevah," and perhaps without his part to play in the drama, the city would not have repented. When we hear a word that declares that God is looking for a church without spot or wrinkle, do we forgot all about it, or do we seek Him on behalf of what was spoken? If we hear about a message from the Lord that declares that He is sending His own from out of the caves and wilderness and out into the open, are we then sensitive to His leading and aware of it in this? If there is a season that is spoken of that is for the purpose of refinement and purging in us, are we willing to let Him accomplish the task? If He longs for His prophets and apostles to work together for Him, are willing to let go of our pride and our isolation, and be willing to do team ministry? What if He declares that there is so much tradition and that He longs for a church that would embrace the new wine of His Spirit? Are we willing to give up what is familiar and easy for us? Are we willing to change? Lastly, if He asks us to die to ourselves, and give up our agendas and our pride and our foolishness, will we embrace His suffering? Would we be willing to take on His character and His death and resurrection?

We are told that:

2CH 7:13 "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, [14] if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. "

We are called upon to "act," and we are called upon to "do things." Let us not be a people that just want to hear beautiful things of the Spirit, and even understand them, but let us press onto maturity where these things that we have learned and heard can then be put into practice. Then God's word will accomplish what it was sent out to do, and we will flourish and blossom in our efforts and in our ministries for Him:

ISA 55:10 "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, ISA 55:11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:It will not return to me empty,but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it."


Stephen Hanson