I feel children have so much to teach us about the way to respond in many situations. Children can be ever so perceptive and able to understand quickly without pre-conceived ideas. This enables them to respond quickly and wholeheartedly. When they have not been tainted by the views of this world, they naturally walk in truth and are open to all God has for them. The Bible advises us to have child-like trust, in other words, we are to receive the Kingdom of God like children.
There are however times, that children, do have selective hearing. This is when they hear, not necessarily all that is said, but what they want to hear. This greatly affects their response time. A child could be playing a computer game and when you call them, they pretend not to hear. If however you tell them something they want to hear, like "I have bought the latest mobile phone for you", they respond very quickly! As adults, we sometimes respond like that to God's call. For example, the Lord may tell us to pray for people we heard about on the news in Libya, and we decide it might not be God, or we procrastinate because we are tired, but then our child has a serious fall and we are filled with energy, praying, binding and calling on God to intervene immediately!
In 1 Samuel, chapter 1; v 1-28, we read about a barren woman with a faithful heart called Hannah who prayed fervently to God for a child. God answers and gives her a son called Samuel, which means, 'heard of God'. After weaning him, she takes him to serve in the church with Eli the priest as she had promised. The bible tells us that Samuel grew and was in favour with God and with man (1Samuel, 2v 26). We are also told the Word of God was rare and precious in those days. God called to Samuel and he thought it was his master Eli calling him (1 Samuel 3:4-6). Samuel answered, "Here I am", and ran to Eli to do his bidding. This happened twice and Eli kept sending him back saying he didn't call him. When Eli realised it was the Lord calling little Samuel, he mentored him on how to invite the Lord to speak as He was listening. The Lord is always looking for ears that will listen and hearts that will carry out what is on His Heart and Mind. In other words, the Lord is always looking for wholehearted obedience from us. However we can't obey, until we have listened, so we get to know His opinion and desire concerning the assignment. We often forget that most of the dreams we have for great things were first birthed in His Heart, so He has the blueprint. An example of this was the temple God asked Moses to build which He said must be exactly like the one He showed him. ( Exodus 25 v 8-9).
It's never as much about the capability of the vessel as it is about the character of the vessel to be used. We often take it the other way, and feel we need to concentrate on our business and make money and then go and do what God has been calling us to. Have we forgotten that God owns all the cattle on the hills and all gold and silver belong to Him? He often allows experiences and situations, often brought on by the evil one, not by Him,to serve to mould our character so we can put aside our agenda, and carry His. God found in Samuel, a heart that would prioritise a relationship with him far above all other. This meant Samuel, not only sought to carry what was on God's Heart and Mind, but he responded quickly and wholeheartedly. More time spent in His Presence, will cause us to become more like Him.
We see this again in the life of David. As a young man, He spent a lot of time with the Lord, loving, learning and worshipping. ( Psalm 119 v 67). He learnt to play the harp and we are told God's Presence would be so tangible, that we are told when evil spirits attacked Saul the King, David was asked to play, and they would flee. Here again was a heart the Lord could trust with His agenda. God sent Samuel to anoint David as King. David didn't go on to fight to install himself. He allowed the Lord take him unto the throne in His way, giving opportunity to undergo much transformation of his heart. We know that God said of David's heart, 'here is a man after My own Heart'. I have never heard a better compliment than that. Being trusted with God's agenda involves putting away our personal agenda and coming to the realisation that it is really not about us. It has everything to do with how we respond to Him, in total obedience saying, "here I am Lord, send me".
The Lord told Samuel (1 Samuel 16:7) that unlike man who looks at the outward appearance, He looks at the heart. He does not look at what we do and all we say, because talk really is cheap. Rather, He looks at the heart. Our heart houses our motives, thoughts, attitudes and feelings. Our ability to respond to our God depends on how deeply we want to bring Him pleasure and glory. A lot of the time, flesh gets in the way, and motives that started off well, suddenly lose His mark.
His ability to trust us with His agenda is dependent on how our hearts engage with His to seek what is His will and His Mind so we can align with Him and therefore, say in response, "Here I am, send me", or "Speak Lord", or whatever response we have for Him that involves complete obedience. We always say half-obedience is disobedience!
It was after Isaiah saw the glory and the fullness of the majesty of God that filled the Temple that he cried out his response, "Here I am, send me". He realised, that it wasn't about him. ( Isaiah 6v 1-8).
When doubting Thomas, having walked with Jesus for three years, met the resurrected Jesus, and saw the nail scars on the Lord's Hand, he also responded with 'My Lord, and My God'. He was totally committed to going to tell the world. John the Beloved, responded fully, not only by being there for Jesus right through His ordeal on the cross, but also taking His most precious earth possession, the mother of Jesus into His home. He also then gave his whole life to all the Lord desired, and today the world is richer for it with all we receive from the gospel of John and the book of revelation in the Bible.
You can't have an encounter with the most high God without thinking about what and how your total response ought to look.
The beginning of the year is a time when we take stock of our lives. It's also good to keep an ear for what the Lord is saying concerning the year. There are many great prophecies that go out at this time. The Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders (ACPE) where Cindy Jacob also leads, have declared this 2017; the Breakthrough year where there will be an increase in miracles and signs and wonders. Micah 2:13 describes this "The One who breaks open, will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; their king will pass before them, with the Lord at their head."
It's important that we determine what the Lord desires of us, and how we want to respond to His heart and Mind. Is our level of heart engagement adequate to walk in obedience so He can pour His agenda into us? What response is expected concerning the individual and corporate words that He has given us, over the years? Are we declaring them out loud? Are there things we ought to have laid down, or new paths we ought to be on? Are we stuck in a rut, because of our inability to step out of our comfort zone, and enter the new? Are there portals from which we are drinking that are no longer suitable for our season? Have our giftings been activated? Are we in the right location for blessings that have our names on them?
Responding to His Heart and Mind sometimes does involve repositioning ourselves, or abandoning our agenda for His? Do we want to only hear selectively so we can keep our agenda, and carry only a bit of His. He is not a God of half measure.Whatever or wherever we all are, let us find time to go to the King of Kings with a paper and pen, and allow the Holy Spirit examine our heart, and let us say, "Here I am, Lord, help me...so You can send me."
If you have attended any of our Kingdom conferences, and the Lord has truly blessed you through them, prayerfully invite at least 10 -20 people, get them registered and bring them in to receive as you have done. This could be your way of responding, saying "Here I am Lord, send me to others". We all owe it to the Lord to collectively steward what He is sending to our nation at a time like this.