Hi, this is Bill Vanderbush. I am the pastor at Community Presbyterian Church in Celebration, Florida. I often used to think that if a Word from God came to me, that I would immediately go into autopilot. Like if I heard the audible voice of the Lord, wouldn’t you think you would go into autopilot and do exactly the right thing? That’s not exactly how this thing works.
As a matter of fact, you and I get to choose how we respond to the presence of God. In Philippians 4:8 Paul says, “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute. If there is any excellence, or anything worthy of praise – think on these things.” He wouldn’t tell us what to think on if you didn’t have the choice of how to guard or to guide your thoughts or your mind. You have options on what you think about. You have options on how you receive the Word of the Lord.
Here is a couple of examples in John 16. In John 15, Jesus said to the disciples, He said, “I am speaking to you so my joy would be in you.” In other words, the reason I am talking is so you would know my joy. But,in John 16 He says, “As I am talking to you, sorrow has filled our heart.” Why was that? They couldn’t access the joy because they were filtering the word of God through an expectation that Jesus wasn’t living up to. That’s what caused their response to be sorrow when it should have been joy.
Another example, John the Revelator, is standing in the throne room of God in John 4 and 5. He hears this Word. He sees God sitting on the throne, He is holding a scroll and looking for someone worthy to open it. He says, “Nobody can be found who is worthy.” John begins to weep. Somebody nex tot John nudges Him and says, “Stop that.” in other words, John is standing in the throne room of God and misunderstands a Word from the Lord, a situation that is happening before him. His emotions have an inappropriate response. Why? You and I get to choose how we process and respond to a Word from the Lord.
God is speaking to us all the time. If we will learn how to respond correctly by the Spirit of God, we will start to access the nutrients in that Word. We will start to access the treasure in that Word. Maybe you have not seen Words of the Lord come to bear, or bear fruit in your life. Maybe it is because we have been choosing to respond to them wrongly. So, let’s go back to the verse in Philippians. Where things are true, and noble, and just, and pure. Those things. Let your mind be set on those things. What does that do? It sets you up to receive the Word of God. Let it fall. Let the seeds of that Word fall on the soil, the good soil of your heart, and bear much fruit. That is my prayer for you this week that the Word of the Lord will come to you and it will bear much fruit in your life. Amen.