FROM THE PASTOR'S PORCH: Are you listening?
Like all Pastors, as I preach my heart out from the pulpit, I am always wondering how many people are really listening to the message. More importantly, I wonder how many people are really listening to the Lord. It is extremely important for people to listen to the Holy Spirit because the Bible says “...the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” (1 Corinthians 12:7) Notice who profits from a person listening to the Holy Spirit. Not just the person themselves profit, but “withal”; in other words, the whole church profits as well. Why then, are there so many folks who seem to not be listening to the Spirit.
Well, one reason a person doesn't listen to the Spirit is because maybe they don't have the Spirit inside them. It is sad but true, there are many reprobate or “play-like” Christians out there that carry Bibles and go to Church, but they have never really surrendered their life and truly accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. They may appear to be Christians and they may even act “religious”, but a true Love Relationship with the Lord is not there. You cannot listen to the Holy Spirit if He is not present in your life.
Then there are those that are truly saved, but they have wondered out of fellowship with the Lord. They have wondered into areas where they should not go or they have just become lazy and they have entered into a time of being unable to hear the Holy Spirit or they are just plain not listening. This is a very dangerous situation for a believer. These are the folks who have sin in their life or have allowed themselves to become hurt or bitter about some situation in their life.
And then some folks just plain choose to be disobedient. These are the folks who hear the Holy Spirit, but because they are self-centered, they follow their own desires instead of the desires of God. This is where Pride raises it's ugly head and people decide they know better than God what needs to be done. This may be the worst situation of all because these folks are headed for a big fall and they many times they hurt the Church in the process.
So where do you stand today? Are you listening to the Holy Spirit? Are you profiting not only yourself but your Church as well? Are you reading God's Word, Praying, going to Church, even allowing God to speak to you through your circumstances? 2 Peter 1:5 tells us that we must ADD to our Faith. The word “ADD” means that we have to take action and DO SOMETHING!! Please don't make the mistake of “doing” based on your own understanding. In order to “add” or “do” the right thing that is good for all concerned, you must hear and obey the Holy Spirit. I pray that the Good Lord will richly bless you with His Spirit, and may you richly bless yourself and those around you by listening and being obedient. Get up Sunday morning and go to one of the many great Churches in this blessed community and GIVE HIM PRAISE!!! ~Walker