Beautiful Eulogy released their second album this week entitled Instruments of Mercy. Their first album Satellite Kite was my first introduction to them. On this new release, as with their first, they stand out as a group of very talented artists. Their lyrics are carefully written to adhere faithfully to the Word of God yet are crafted into poetic harmony. There is a sense that the words that are spoken are of utmost importance because they are delivered with clarity and urgency. Underneath the lyrics, flow melodies and subtle beats that compliment without overpowering the message. Please give them a listen and be edified. They are from the label Humble Beast where you can find other very talented artists.
“You and I cannot ‘go’ into the ministry, any more than we can ‘go’ into the human race once we have been born. Once we are born again, we are in the ministry of Christ, fulltime, together, whether we want to be or not. And it is a great honour and privilege.”
Do You Feel Called By God? - Michael Bennett
Yes, our leaders are responsible for their actions and for how they lead a nation. But the people are responsible for their leaders in as much as they select those that lead them. Our great sin is to desire and trust in a human leader more than the true King that deserves our honor and service. The Lord will yet bless our nation if we would repent and turn to Him.
Now therefore, here is the king whom you have chosen, whom you have asked for, and behold, the LORD has set a king over you. “If you will fear the LORD and serve Him, and listen to His voice and not rebel against the command of the LORD, then both you and also the king who reigns over you will follow the LORD your God. “If you will not listen to the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the command of the LORD, then the hand of the LORD will be against you, as it was against your fathers.
1 Samuel 12:13-15 NASB
Discerning the Voice of the Lord
1. The Cross of Christ must have rendered you neutral so far as self-will is concerned. “He that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin that he might live the rest of his life not in the lusts of the flesh, but to the will of God.” Three times Christ prayed in the garden. “Not my will but thine.” You must truly rid yourself of all your personal goals and objectives. Especially treacherous are these high sounding religious goals and objectives and longings: i.e, a great ministry, power to witness, a special gift, etc. You must have truly presented yourself for Christ’s disposal according to Romans 12:1. It is only then that you can be pleased with what God says no matter what it is.
2. Know the truth. Get a good working knowledge of the Bible. The Holy Spirit does not cross himself by saying one thing in the Bible and then lead you to do something contrary to scriptural principles.
3. “Commit thy works unto the Lord and thy thoughts shall be established.” Proverbs 16:3. Proceed in a normal course of life, trusting the Lord to establish and order your thoughts as he has promised to do for those whose only desire is to work the works of God. Trust Him to check you in spirit or in providence if you are about to take a wrong step. Listen to His voice. He is able to guide you. Give Him credit for doing what He has promised to do. You do not have to strain and fret over every little decision. He is more able to speak and cause you to hear than you realize.
4. In matters of great importance where there is no definitely revealed word, do not move until you are constrained to. If there is uneasiness about the move, wait for a more sure word. God can make you certain. You can afford to wait until you are. You are not going to miss anything by waiting; and God is not going to scold or punish you while you are testing the spirits. Did He not command you to do so? Consider His patience with Gideon.
5. The Holy Spirit is consistent and persistent. God is immutable. He does not change. If, while waiting, you have a number of different impressions, each one seeming better than the previous one, throw them all out. The Holy Spirit leads you in only one direction. He will never change His mind about that. The same leadership will continue to persist until you obey.
6. The Holy Spirit does not drive and demand. It is the devil who puts you in a rush and demands that you act immediately. You will feel that if you take time to pray and wait that you will miss something. Do not listen to that spirit. It is not God but the devil. God will lead you and give you time to consider until you are fully persuaded. And there will be peace in the action, not pressure and torment.
7. Look for providence. God sponsors what He initiates. He provides the way and clears the obstacles. He opens the appropriate doors. The devil can cause hindrances, but he cannot stop what God has led you to do. As you proceed, God will confirm or He will stop you.
Colossians 3:1-7 NASB
1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. 5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.
In my past I aspired to be a computer programmer. The work intrigued me and I thought it was a career choice ripe for future growth. I wasn’t wrong. But the long hours of face time with a monitor wore me down. So I moved on to other things. Although I moved on, I never quite lost the taste for programming. So as I read the above scripture verses from Colossians, I instantly thought of the if/then statement when programming. Essentially, if a condition is true then perform a certain task. It is a powerful function that directs programming processes.
That is also true of us. As many of Paul’s letters state, if you are a Christian then either do certain things or do not do certain things. It seems simple enough. But we need to be reminded constantly. Paul knew that.
As Paul states in verse 1, if you call yourself a believer /if you believe you are raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above. It is assumed that if you are a believer you sought the things above at the beginning of your new birth. So don’t give up. Keep it up. You have not arrived. You have only begun. The end of verse 1 and the start of verse 2 states it again to set your mind on things above where Christ is seated. If you focus up, then your focus will be away from the things of the world. The ways of the world are “ immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” and “disobedience”. Don’t fool yourself. To be a Christian means striving after holiness which is contrary to the things of the world. You once walked according to those things but no more.
If you are a Christian then ”Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”. But this only works when the condition is met. The “if” must be true. Are you a Christian? If you say “Yes!”, do you have a pattern of befriending the world (James 4:4)? Do you love the world (1 John 2:15)? Understand that you can’t love Jesus and the world. They oppose each other. Allegiance to one is to oppose the other. The answer to the “if” determines every process that follows.
2 Corinthians 13:5 NASB
Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?