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Deuteronomy 18:21-22 ” You may say to yourself, ‘How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?’ If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”

Even now it’s sometimes very difficult to discern whether a Word from the Lord we hear is accurate.  At face value it may sound good…especially the warm, fuzzy ones that predict peace, prosperity, and a new Cadillac in every garage.  But to separate truth from falsehood we have to weigh these words in context with all prior revelations from the Lord.  Is it consistent with God’s word?  And when put up against the truth already received from the Lord, does it measure up to its standard?  When we filter all we hear through these notions first, we’ll be less likely to accept the words of someone who’s overstepping their boundaries and taking smug and arrogant liberties with God’s word.

Psalm 57: 2 ” I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me.”

If I told you that God has a wonderful plan for your life, would you agree, or would you refuse to believe He could use what you see as only worthless and empty.  I would then point you to the Book of Hosea.  God told the prophet Hosea to marry, but not just any woman, God told him to take a faithless prostitute by the name of Gomer.  Now to add a extraordinary element to this story (that only God can do), her name Gomer is derived from the Hebrew word for fulfills -Gamar – which is used here in this verse.  Unbeknownst to Hosea or Gomer, God was using their rocky marriage as an illustration of His dealings and love towards the faithless nation of Israel.  In other words, God used the prostitute Gomer to fulfill His plan and purpose for all of Israel.  God has a wonderful plan for your life and He will fulfill and accomplish His perfect plan and purpose in it.

Mark 5: 18-20 ” As Jesus was getting into the boat,the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with Him. Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.’ So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”

Jesus had just stepped ashore when this demon-possessed man ran up to Him.  Between Mark and Luke’s account of this we can get a good description of this tormented person.  For a long time he hadn’t worn clothes or lived in a house but rather dwelt among the tombs in the graveyard … the nearby towns-people had tried to restrain him physically with chains, but he always managed to break free and would spend the nights wandering, crying out, and cutting himself with stones.  So you can imagine the astonishment of the towns-people when they came out to see what had happened and instead found this man sitting quietly, dressed, and in his right mind.  They probably couldn’t believe their eyes, but there he was…undeniably healed.  And this was the reason Jesus refused to take him along.  This man’s testimony was far more important and powerful in the area where he lived…for he was indeed living proof of what the Lord had done.

Genesis 26:18 ” Isaac reopened the wells that had been dug in the time of his father Abraham, which the Philistines had stopped up after Abraham died, and he gave them the same names his father had given them.”

After Abraham’s death his enemies came and plugged up his wells to ruin them for any future use. They threw sand, rocks, old wood, dead animal carcasses and garbage into the holes… filling them up completely and leaving them inoperable.  And it says that it wasn’t until Isaac reopened them that the water flowed again.  What’s interesting in this verse is the word ‘reopened’ which has a two-fold meaning…it means to rediscover and to re-dig.  The enemy continues even today to try and plug-up our wells…not with sand and rocks, but with compromise, sinful habits, and worldly thinking.  As Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:10, ” If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.”  Wells are necessary for the basic sustenance of life – water.  But when your well has been stopped up, the water can no longer flow and you become a barren, dry desert.

Isaiah 26:8 ” Yes, Lord, walking in the way of Your laws, we wait for You; Your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”

The path we follow as Believers is narrow and fraught with potholes…some placed there by the enemy, others we’ve dug ourselves.  But no matter how difficult the course, it is the only way to righteousness and life.  And as we traverse this path, we will soon discover God’s plan and purpose for us is embedded not in the end result, but in the long and arduous process to get there.  For it becomes a daily decision of placing of our hope in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, not in ourselves…of matching our heart’s desires to His not ours.  And as we journey along this way, we are reminded to exalt Him in Psalm 145:2 which says, “Every day I will praise You and extol Your Name for ever and ever.”

Galatians 1:6-7 ” I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the One who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.”

Paul used the word gospel twice in this verse but both had very different meanings.  The first meant the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ…that by way of His death, burial, and resurrection, we might have eternal life.  The second gospel could not have been farther from that truth.  It was distinctly different and deceptive and was leading the Church of Galatia astray.  In II Corinthians 11:13-15, Paul called these teachers, “false apostles and servants of Satan masquerading as apostles of Christ.”  They came proclaiming a ‘new and improved’ Gospel Message that was categorically incorrect and flawed, but the people were accepting it.  Paul here was charging them to be vigilant and discerning…for if the message did not proclaim justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone…it was a false gospel.

II Samuel 20:16 ” While they were battering the wall to bring it down, a wise woman called from the city, ‘Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him.’ “

King David’s men had chased a troublemaker by the name of Sheba to the city of Abel-Beth-Maacah.  There they built a siege ramp and were attempting to bash down the city’s wall when this woman called out to them, “We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel, Why are you doing this?”  She became that voice of reason and in doing so saved the entire city from destruction.  It could be you’ve been pounding on a door to gain entry into something God has never ordained…forcing your selfish desires onto His plan…all the while knowing deep down it’s not what He desires.  Today it’s time to listen to that voice of reason when it asks, “Why are you doing this?” and then respond honestly.