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Archive for December 2012

9

Reflections On 2012

Reflections On 2012

Philippians 1:2-6(NKJV) - Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

Thanks be to God. Today is the last day of 2012 and we've made it. The Lord has been good to us and has carried us through another year. We want to encourage you to take some time today to reflect on the goodness of God in your life.

As we reflect on 2012 we just want to express our heartfelt appreciation to The Lord for your support by attending our events, reading and commenting on the blogs, submitting "Ask Donnell" questions, etc. We pray that these were a blessing to you throughout the year and look forward to what The Lord will do through and for us in 2013!

Now, The Cracked Door Foundation would love to hear from you!! Please respond below with any comments or feedback you would like to share as we prepare to serve you in 2013.

Thank you,

The Cracked Door Foundation

4

Angel's Wings In Trinidad

Today is the last day of The Pre-Cracked Door Conference 2013 Tour where we are showing free screenings of the feature film, Angel's Wings starring our very own, Angel Duncan.

Two down;

1) Fyzabad - Thursday, December 27th at 7:00 PM

2) Sangre Grande - Friday, December 28th at 7:00 PM

One more to go;

3) Chaguanas - Saturday, December 29th at 6:00 PM

Contact us for more details or the office of Divine Destiny Worship Centre .

4

Respect God's Voice In Other People

Respect God's Voice In Other People

Welcome to Part 31, the final installment of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you are ready to live each day like it's your last, this blog series is for you. For Part 30, "A Pure Heart Is Key To Hearing God's Voice" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 7 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Always judge what you hear from other people but be willing to hear God's Voice through the people He chooses to speak through. It's still God's Voice. It really helps when you're in need of confirmation.

1 Thessalonians 2:13(KJV) - For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

Here's what Apostle Paul just said. He was grateful that the Thessalonians received The Word of God flowing through him as though it came from God Himself. Therefore, they believed what was said and it worked in their lives. How about that? Even though Apostle Paul was just a man these people knew how to differentiate the Voice of God from his personal opinion.

Great responsibility is usually placed on the shoulders of teachers and preachers of God's Word but this responsibility should also be shared with the hearers. According to 1 Peter 4:11 those who speak should do so as though God Himself were speaking through them. As much as those who deliver God's Word are held accountable for what they deliver, those who hear it should also be held responsible for what they hear.

Respect God's Voice In Other People

2 Chronicles 20:20(KJV) - And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

1 Thessalonians 5:20-21(NLT) - Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.

Whether you like it or not, God has chosen to speak through people. You do need to test what these people say based on the written Word of God and The Holy Spirit living in you. However, once you can confirm that they are delivering God's Word you do have to accept it. A friend of mine helped me to put this into perspective some time ago by asking the question; "Is The Word of God any less authentic because of the vessel He has chosen to use?" Of course not.

The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:16 said that we should not evaluate people from a human point of view. If we do, we'll get it all wrong just like the Jews did with Jesus. They looked at Him and he didn't quite fit into the mold of what they expected. Sadly, many of them rejected Him as a result. The Bible says that those who believe in The Lord are established and those who believe His prophets will prosper. Hence, your prosperity may be tied to your ability to receive God's Word through someone else.

Mark 6:1-6(KJV) - And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. 4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. 5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. 6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

In Matthew 6:1-6, the family and friends of Jesus had become so familiar with Him that they refused to honor His words. That blatant disregard for His authority adversely affected them because it cut them off from His power. Hence, He could not do any major miracles among them even if they needed it. They did not respect God's Voice in Jesus so they were cut off from what He had to offer. He forgot all about them and took His show on the road.

In sum, always position yourself to hear God's Voice. This includes surrounding yourself with people who also hear from God. They will keep you accountable. Proverbs 11:14 says that people fall when they don't have counsel but are safe in a multitude of counselors. As much as possible, choose the safe option. It will protect you from some heartache and pain due to bad decisions. Let God speak to you through the people around you.

I hope you learned some valuable lessons from this blog series. Keep us in prayer as we seek God's face for the new direction of this ministry in 2013.

3

A Pure Heart Is Key To Hearing God's Voice

A Pure Heart Is Key To Hearing God's Voice

Welcome to Part 30 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you just want to get things right once and for all, this blog series is for you. For Part 29, "Answering God's Call" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 6 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Get your heart right! We all have access to God through The Blood of Jesus but people with pure hearts get VIP access.

Psalm 66:18(KJV) - If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

If God hears you, He will respond to what you say. However, if He does not hear you, you're probably not going to hear from Him either. The closer your heart is to The Lord the easier it is to hear His Voice. In contrast, the further your heart drifts from The Lord the more His Voice grows silent. A heart that completely chooses to value iniquity over purity will lose access to The Voice of The Lord. That explains why some Christians can drift so far from God and deep into error yet carry on with their lives without even noticing it. If they could choose not to listen to God's Voice when they could hear Him they probably wouldn't miss His Voice when they can't hear Him.

I can testify that Psalm 66:18 is the gospel truth. In my own life the more I submit my heart to The Lord the easier it is to communicate with Him. This actually helps me to gauge where I am in my spiritual walk with The Lord. I don't measure it by my gifts and talents because Romans 11:29 say that they are not a reflection of my character. I don't measure it by how I feel because 1 John 3:19-25 says that even if my heart condemns me, God is greater than my heart. I measure it by my communication with God. When I can't hear His Voice the alarm bells start ringing.

Matthew 5:8(KJV) - Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

In case you thought this message was based solely on The Old Testament, here's what Jesus said in The Sermon on The Mount. If your heart is pure you will see God. Period! Therefore, if you want to develop proficiency in communication with The Lord, judge your own heart. Is it pure or not? Be honest! It's easy to make excuses for your own sins while you judge others for theirs. So don't be easy on yourself.

Are there areas of impurity in your heart? If the answer is yes, ask God to cleanse it today according to 1 John 1:6-10. Then, set up boundaries to protect it from further contamination according to Proverbs 4:23. You need your heart to be pure because God has some things to show you and purity of heart opens your eyes. Sometimes we don't see the value of purity in our hearts but the ability to communicate with God is a big deal.

A Pure Heart Is Key To Hearing God's Voice

1 John 1:6-10(KJV) - If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

The Bible is so clear. Nobody's perfect but everyone can choose to model their lives after the perfect one. If you make that choice, the power of God is available to help you carry it out and The Blood of Jesus is available to clean up your mistakes. However, if you choose not to model your life after Jesus (walk in the light as He is in the light) you won't be able to claim fellowship with Him.

In other words, if you choose to consistently sow seeds of disobedience you can't prevent the harvest of disaster that comes as a result of it. Even if you conveniently claim to be immune because you are part The Body of Christ, God will judge you based on the truth in your heart. The Apostle Paul covers this in Galatians 6:7-9 by stating in a letter addressed to the church that everyone reaps what they sow.

James 4:8(NLT) - Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

What does it mean to come close to God? It means connecting your heart with God's heart. In Matthew 15:8 Jesus lamented that people were coming close to God with their mouths but their hearts were far from Him. He didn't really care what the people said unless it came from their hearts. Apostle James gave us a quick tip on coming into God's presence even in the age of grace.

We have to wash our hands, purify our hearts and commit our loyalty to God. Read all of James 4 and you will realize that this message of correction was addressed to Christians. I know that the popular teaching these days does not always line up with this train of thought but it's the truth. We cannot abuse God's Love, grace or mercy by stomping all over His heart without repentance and then expect to live successful Christian lives. At some point, the plan will backfire.

A Pure Heart Is Key To Hearing God's Voice

Psalm 24:3-4(NKJV) - Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, Nor sworn deceitfully.

God has invited us all into His presence and because of Jesus we can come boldly according to Hebrews 4:15-16. It's The Blood of Jesus that cleanses us but as I stated earlier, we must subject ourselves to His cleansing and commit to remaining clean. Even though Jesus has already cleansed us the day we were saved, according to Hebrews 6:4-6 and 2 Peter 2:20-22, we can choose to become dirty again and stay dirty. That makes no sense when He's always there with arms extended to forgive us.

Nonetheless, life is confusing. It's hard to trust what you see or hear on this earth. The Apostle Paul warns us in Romans 3:4 that while God is true, every man is a liar. Hence, you can't trust anyone unless you can see God in them. It pays to hear God's Voice so subject your heart to His cleansing today and move forward with His directions. He has a purpose for your life and there's no need to fool yourself according to Galatians 6:7-9. Sow seeds that build your spirit and you will reap a harvest of the kind of life only God can give.

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Pre-Cracked Door Conference Tour Featuring Angel's Wings

For three nights this week we will tour Trinidad to promote The Cracked Door Conference 2013 with free screenings of the movie, Angel's Wings, starring our very own Angel Duncan. The screenings will be followed immediately by an opportunity for Q&A with the star.

Join us in the following cities;

1) Fyzabad - Thursday, December 27th at 7:00 PM

2) Sangre Grande - Friday, December 28th at 7:00 PM

3) Chaguanas - Saturday, December 29th at 6:00 PM

Contact us for more details or the office of Divine Destiny Worship Centre .

6

Merry Christmas From The Cracked Door

Merry Christmas from The Cracked Door

1

Answering God's Call

Answering God's Call

Welcome to Part 29 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you just want to live more on purpose, this blog series is for you. For Part 28, "Ask Donnell - How Do I Speak In Tongues?" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 5 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Whether you feel like it or not, when God wants to talk to you, He'll call on you. Always respond! If you despise those times, don't expect to hear Him on your schedule.

Psalm 27:8(NLT) - My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “LORD, I am coming.”

Late Saturday night a few months ago I thanked God as I went to sleep. I timed it perfectly and didn't have much cushion in the schedule. I was extremely fatigued but confident that I could catch up on the sleep my body craved. I had to preach the next morning and had just spent a few hours putting the finishing touches on the message. If I awoke with the alarm clock I would have received just enough sleep. I had the perfect plan or so I thought.

At 4:00 AM, several hours ahead of schedule The Lord woke me up. I thought to myself; "Really? Are we going to do this right now? This sleep is just too sweet." I tried to talk in tongues for a few minutes and go back to sleep. If it really was The Lord, I knew He would wake me up again. As expected, in a few minutes my eyes opened again. I watched the clock and sighed. I knew what I needed to do.

I crawled out of bed and sat before The Lord. I was so happy I did that because He had some important things to say. In fact, He changed the entire message I was about to preach. Had I not woken up I would have been completely out of touch with God's heart for His people that day. I learned a valuable lesson about answering God's Call. He doesn't do it often but when He wakes me up for an impromptu meeting I better respond.

How do you know when God is calling you to a time of fellowship with Him? Your heart will hear Him. Since God lives inside of every Christian, He doesn't have to call us from the outside (Romans 8:9-11). He can call us from within. Like Psalmist David said in Psalm 27:8 when your heart hears God calling, your heart must respond; "Lord, I am coming."

1 Samuel 3:1-10(NKJV) - Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, “Here I am!” 5 So he ran to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” And he said, “I did not call; lie down again.” And he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, “Samuel!” So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” He answered, “I did not call, my son; lie down again.” 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you did call me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, ‘Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. 10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel answered, “Speak, for Your servant hears.”

Answering God's Call

There is so much we can learn from this story of Samuel's first personal encounter with The Lord. The Voice of God sounded so familiar that he thought it was his mentor, Eli. This shows that even though God can thunder from the heavens (2 Samuel 22:14, Psalm 18:3) He can also choose to speak with us much more gently. So much so that His Voice can sound so familiar that we mistake Him for a human being. It's been rare but there have been times when God has called me by name with an audible voice. Like Samuel, it sounded like someone familiar calling me but I knew it was God. Has that ever happened to you?

Another lesson we can learn from Samuel's experience is that The Voice of The Lord has to be learned. Samuel had no idea who was calling him because he did not know The Lord as yet. Thankfully, Eli perceived that it was God and was able to guide Samuel's response. Sometimes it takes a little experience to become proficient in hearing God's Voice. The first few times you may miss it but after a while if you pay attention you should become familiar with how He speaks.

Isaiah 50:4(NKJV) - “The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned.

A master key to hearing God's Voice is consistently answering God's Call. When God initiates a conversation you have it easy. In those moments He's ready to talk so you won't have much trouble hearing what He wants to say. As you can see in Isaiah 50:4 God also values consistency. Morning by morning He awakens the person who wants to receive His wisdom. It's during those times He can download His mind and heart into theirs. If you want to be the person with the words of wisdom to help others when they are weary then be willing to consistently answer God's call. If you're as busy as I am the best approach is to go ahead and put it in your schedule with God's guidance.

Most times, God's call comes directly in your heart. Other times, it comes in an audible voice but it also comes in the form of a message you hear at church or somewhere else. In the message, the preacher issues a call to prayer or worship. How do you know that the call is for you? That's easy. You're not doing it already. Also, as soon as you hear The Word if it burns within your heart The Word is yours (Luke 24:32). Receive it and respond accordingly! That burning sensation is a result of The Holy Spirit convicting your heart and pushing you toward what's right (John 16:8).

Time is limited. You can't create time. You can only exchange it. If you're too busy to spend time with God you are too busy. It's time for you to make an exchange. Exchange the time you spend on something else with the time you need to spend with God. You may have other important responsibilities in your daily life but nothing should take His place. If you spend enough time with God daily He won't have to call you to meet Him at random moments as much. He values your time because He gave it to you and knows exactly how much you have (Deuteronomy 30:20). Consequently, time spent with The Lord is time well spent.

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Ask Donnell - How Do I Speak In Tongues?

The Mystery of Tongues

Welcome to Part 28 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you just want to understand it a little better, this blog series is for you. For Part 27, "Worship Opens Your Ears To God's Voice" click here.

We received the following question from Stacey;

Hi Donnell,

I just finished reading ”Initiating Conversations with God” and I was wondering how, does one achieve the ability to speak in tongues, I recently got baptised again and recommitted my life to Christ, but I have not been able to speak in tongues and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong. I have tried tarrying before the Lord, but with no results; (I might add that I was not at all familiar with the notion of tarrying at all, but I go to a very traditional Apostolic Church here in Alabama. It completely weirded me out because they insisted that I tarried in their presence till I received the Holy Spirit). Is it something that comes in time or should be an immediate thing? Does it have to do with the condition of my heart, as I still struggle with the things of this world, but I am a work in progress, but I truly do desire to have a real relationship with GOD. Also, is it a bad thing if I do not pray first thing in the morning? I have to be at work for 6:30am, I find it difficult sometimes to wake up to pray, but I make sure to do it in the evenings, could this be affecting me???

Stacey, these are some great questions. As you may already know, we do place great value in the gift of speaking with other tongues. On The Day of Pentecost, The Holy Spirit was poured out upon all the disciples in The Upper Room. As soon as they were all filled with The Holy Ghost the first gift they received was the gift of speaking with other tongues (Acts 2:4). This revolutionized their lives and signaled the advent of The Church. Hence, before we go any further, take some time to receive a proper understanding of this gift by reading these two blogs, "The Mystery of Tongues" and "Coded Messages".

Acts 2:1-4, 14-18(KJV) - And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance....... But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

Now let's address the issue of tarrying for The Holy Spirit. I heard about it and before I completely dismiss it I'll explain where I assume it must have come from. In Acts 1:1-9 just before Jesus' ascension, He spent up to 40 days with His disciples giving them final instructions. Most importantly, He instructed them to wait (tarry) in Jerusalem until The Holy Spirit came upon them (Luke 24:49).

They did so and received the gift that they were waiting for. One day, The Holy Spirit suddenly burst into the room and the rest is history. If that's how it worked for them should we do the same? Let's see. Unlike the disciples, we no longer have to wait for The Holy Spirit to be poured out. That part is over. He's already been poured out. So what exactly are we tarrying for?

On The Day of Pentecost, The Holy Spirit became widely available. Not only was it the fulfillment of the prophecy in Joel 2:28-29, it was the answer to a prayer request from Moses in Numbers 11:29. Everyone in The Upper Room at the time received the gift of The Holy Spirit and spoke with other tongues. Acts 1:15 says it was about 120 of them. They tarried until The Holy Spirit was sent to them (John 14:26, 15:26). Fortunately for us, once He arrived on earth He never left.

The Mystery of Tongues

Romans 8:9-11(KJV) - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

The day you became born-again The Holy Spirit moved inside of you which entirely changes how you should approach Him. You don't need to wait for Him to show up anymore. Wherever you go, He is there. Not just because of His omnipresence but when you enter the room He comes into the room with you because He's in you. Therefore, since The Holy Spirit already lives inside of you every spiritual gift you could ever desire is in there with Him. Hence, if you want the gift of speaking in tongues here's what you do. Just ask for it!

Luke 11:11-13(KJV) - If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

God wants to give His Holy Spirit to those who ask. In 1 Corinthians 14:1, you are told to desire spiritual gifts and 1 Corinthians 12:10 lists speaking in other tongues as one of those spiritual gifts you can desire. Ask God for this gift and He will give it to you. I know that sounds simple but here's the piece that you may be missing. You have to ask in faith according to James 1:5-8 or you won't receive anything of The Lord.

Mark 16:17(KJV) - And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

If you don't believe what The Bible says about speaking in other tongues you won't receive it. I think we do people an injustice as church leaders when we expect people to receive the gift of speaking in other tongues without properly teaching on it. Romans 10:14 says how shall you believe if you don't hear and how shall you hear without a preacher? If you don't understand what The Word of God says about speaking in other tongues you can't have faith to receive it. Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by The Word of God.

The Mystery of Tongues

John 7:37-40(KJV) - In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) 40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

When your time comes, The Holy Ghost will spring up like a river from the inside of you and you will speak in other tongues. However, you have to yield yourself and allow Him to take control. You can't force anything. Since the purpose of speaking in other tongues is to enhance your worship and prayer the best time to receive it is during worship and prayer.

This is why you should maintain an active prayer and worship life. One of these days just release yourself in worship and prayer like you never have before. Go in hard! Hold nothing back! God doesn't forget prayer requests so He will answer suddenly. Since your heart is for worshipping Him, He'll give you the ability to do it much better with the gift of speaking with other tongues.

Acts 4:31(KJV) - And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

Acts 10:44-47(NLT) - Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. For they heard them speaking in other tongues and praising God. Then Peter asked, “Can anyone object to their being baptized, now that they have received the Holy Spirit just as we did?”

Acts 19:1-7(KJV) - And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. 7 And all the men were about twelve.

This process doesn't have to take forever. In Acts 4:31, The Church prayed and immediately they were filled with The Holy Spirit. In Acts 10:44, while Apostle Peter was preaching, The Holy Spirit immediately fell upon everyone who was listening. In Acts 19:6, Apostle Paul laid hands on some believers and they instantly received the gift of speaking with other tongues by the power of The Holy Spirit. Once you let all resistance go, at any moment it will happen for you too.

When it's time to speak with other tongues, you will feel The Holy Spirit rumbling inside of you. At that time, you have to stop trusting your own mind and say whatever The Holy Spirit leads you to say. It will be unlike anything you have ever felt before. It can sometimes be a very emotional experience so that's definitely not the time to be sensitive to how you look in the eyes of other people. This is something you've desired so get what you've asked The Lord for. You can receive this gift on your own just by worshiping God. Since hands have already been laid upon you by the elders of your church, it's on you to stir up that gift (2 Timothy 1:6).

In conclusion, you do need to always make time to spend with The Lord and you want to surrender your entire life to Him. If you don't have much time to pray in the morning, set aside about 10 minutes to at least read some scriptures so you can start your day right. Also, it makes no sense worrying about what you have done wrong and how it affects your receipt of the gift of speaking in other tongues. If you feel convicted about anything you did wrong, ask God for forgiveness according to 1 John 1:9 and don't do it anymore. Then go ahead and receive this gift. God is not holding it back from you. You can't earn it anyway. It's a gift.

4

Worship Opens Your Ears To God's Voice

Worship Opens Your Ears To God's Voice

Welcome to Part 27 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you just want to understand it a little better, this blog series is for you. For Part 26, "Hearing God Through Dreams And Visions" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 4 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

It's much easier to hear God's Voice when you're in a posture of worship. Your focus is on Him so you're ready to hear what He has to say.

John 4:23-24(KJV) - But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

John 9:31(KJV) - Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

John 4:23-24 says that God seeks true worshippers to worship Him. John 9:31 puts all people into two categories; worshippers of God or sinners. Which one defines you? You are either one or the other. If you're a worshipper of God, feel free to talk to God because He hears you loud and clear. While sinners may run into resistance, He keeps His communication lines open to worshippers.

How do you receive tangible confirmation that God has heard you? When He responds. Therefore, if you need to hear from God your best posture should be one of worship. I know you should pray in faith and believe God hears you with only The Word as your confirmation. However, there's nothing like The Holy Spirit confirming in your heart that The Lord has acknowledged your prayer request. It gives you complete peace.

Revelation 1:10-11(NKJV) - I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

When The Apostle John received The Book of Revelation he was in The Spirit on The Lord's Day. In other words, he was in a posture of worship. Psalm 22:3 says that God chooses to dwell where He is praised. As The Apostle John found out, the best place to hear God's Voice is in His presence.

Some of the best revelations from God that I have ever received came in the midst of intense worship. That's why the moment I sense the worship in a church service going deeper and deeper I listen intently for God's Voice. When His Spirit begins to move He usually has something to say. Worship opens the door for revelation. The opposite is also true.

Worship Opens Your Ears To God's Voice

1 Samuel 3:1(KJV) - And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.

There was a season in Israel's history when they hardly heard from The Lord. Do you want to know why? Their worship was messed up. Here's what was going on in the temple where the sacrifices were supposed to be offered up to The Lord.

1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25, 27-30(NKJV) - Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the Lord. 13 And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. 14 Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; and the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. 15 Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come and say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.” 16 And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; and if not, I will take it by force.” 17 Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the Lord, for men abhorred the offering of the Lord..... 22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard everything his sons did to all Israel, and how they lay with the women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting. 23 So he said to them, “Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. 24 No, my sons! For it is not a good report that I hear. You make the Lord’s people transgress. 25 If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?” Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father, because the Lord desired to kill them......27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Did I not clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s house? 28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29 Why do you kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel My people?’ 30 Therefore the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the Lord says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed.

When corruption entered the house of worship, God's Voice grew more and more silent. In fact, it got so bad that by 1 Samuel 4, God left the place. The Ark of The Lord was stolen and His glory went with it (1 Samuel 4:21-22). This was a hard but necessary lesson about the importance of worship. However, in the midst of all of that darkness, God still spoke to Samuel because his heart was in the right place.

Revelation flows in abundance in a house where God is truly worshipped. However, where the worship has been corrupted the wells of revelation begin to dry up. This direct correlation between worship and revelation should be used to your advantage. Since it works on a corporate level, make it your priority to actively participate in true corporate worship. In Matthew 18:19-20, Jesus confirmed this when He stressed the power of agreement.

Nonetheless, this principle works even more on a personal level. If God placed so much value on the worship He received in His temple in Israel what do you think His position is now? According to 2 Corinthians 6:16, you are the temple of The Living God. If your worship is pure you will hear God's Voice loud and clear. Therefore, make true worship your number one priority today because God has something to say to you.

Amos 8:11-13(NLT) - “The time is surely coming,” says the Sovereign Lord, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread or water but of hearing the words of the Lord. 12 People will stagger from sea to sea and wander from border to border searching for the word of the Lord, but they will not find it. 13 Beautiful girls and strong young men will grow faint in that day, thirsting for the Lord’s word.

A famine of God's Word is coming. Don't get caught in the middle of it. Worship God with a pure heart and maintain your access to His Voice.

8

Hearing God Through Dreams And Visions

Hearing God Through Dreams And Visions

Welcome to Part 26 of this blog series on The Will of God. If you don't know God's Will for your life or you're ready to make some progress toward fulfilling it, this blog series is for you. For Part 25, "Initiating Conversations With God" click here. Today, we will focus on Point 3 of 7 listed in "Developing The Art Of Hearing From God"

Pay attention to certain dreams and visions especially if they are intense or repeated.

Numbers 12:6(KJV) - And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.

There was a season of my life when I was constantly dreaming. I remember having such vivid dreams that I had to write them down. Now I keep a daily appointment book right next to my bed for that purpose. I also ask The Lord for an interpretation just in case there is an important message I need to get. Do not despise dreams and visions. They were used throughout the scriptures by The Lord to convey to people some very important information. If He did it before, He can do it again because He does not change (Malachi 3:6).

Ecclesiastes 5:2-3(KJV) - Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few. 3 For a dream cometh through the multitude of business; and a fool's voice is known by multitude of words.

Before I go too far I do need to bring some balance. I don't want anyone to get carried away with this. Some dreams mean nothing and are just a result of your own thoughts. Those dreams can be ignored. However, there are other dreams which leave a great impact on your heart when you wake up. Pay close attention to those. God does communicate using dreams and could actually be trying to tell you something that you can't hear during the hustle and bustle of your day. Therefore, you don't want to go to either extreme.

In Genesis 20:1:7, God warned Abimelech in a dream not to touch Abraham's wife Sarah. In Genesis 31:9-13, God showed Jacob in a dream how to become rich off his scheming father-in-law Laban. In Genesis 37 God showed Joseph his future in dreams. However, in Genesis 41, it was Joseph's ability to interpret the dreams of others which caused his own dream to come to pass. In Matthew 1, God spoke to Joseph (Mary's husband) in a dream about the birth of Jesus. God also warned him in Matthew 2:19-21 through a dream to leave Egypt.

Acts 2:16-17(KJV) - But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

These are the last days which means that the time of dreams and visions is here. Whether you believe it or not, that's what happens when God's Spirit is poured out. Dreams and visions are direct avenues into the spirit realm which make them excellent conduits for messages from God. Anybody can dream or see a vision. However, everyone cannot interpret what they see. Dreams or visions aren't always easy to understand using natural intelligence. The ability to interpret dreams comes only from The Lord. It was that ability which made Joseph a very powerful man in Genesis 41 and saved Daniel and his three friends' lives in Daniel 2.

I know there are books out there which claim to help people interpret dreams. They do so by attaching particular meanings to certain common images that people see during reoccurring dreams. I won't put my trust in them. Am I saying they are complete nonsense? I don't know. I do know that if I rely on one of those books I should also check my horoscope, fortune cookies and call a psychic while I'm at it. I like to avoid anything that's "spiritual" that doesn't come from The Holy Spirit. Nonetheless, let's dig deeper into dream and vision interpretation.

Hearing God Through Dreams And Visions

Daniel 1:17(NKJV) - As for these four young men, God gave them knowledge and skill in all literature and wisdom; and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.

Daniel 5:11-12(NLT) - There is a man in your kingdom who has within him the spirit of the holy gods. During Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, this man was found to have insight, understanding, and wisdom like that of the gods. Your predecessor, the king—your predecessor King Nebuchadnezzar—made him chief over all the magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune-tellers of Babylon. 12 This man Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar, has exceptional ability and is filled with divine knowledge and understanding. He can interpret dreams, explain riddles, and solve difficult problems. Call for Daniel, and he will tell you what the writing means.”

God has chosen to speak through dreams and visions in these last days so the ability to interpret them is priceless. God placed the gift within Daniel after he proved himself to be a man of integrity in Daniel 1. Do you know that God wants to give the same gift to you? In James 1:5-8, The Bible says that if you ask God in faith for wisdom He will give it to you. He promises to respond to every legitimate request so go ahead and make one.

In Daniel's case God placed the gift in Daniel in order to propel him to prominence in Babylon. He chose to speak to the heathen kings through dreams but only allowed the interpretation through His servant Daniel. In addition to his high level of integrity, Daniel's wisdom was a valuable asset to the kingdom. When a man walks in that type of wisdom, powerful people take notice.

Deuteronomy 13:1-6(NKJV) - “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

1 John 4:1(NKJV) - Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Hearing God Through Dreams And Visions

Be very careful of opportunists who conveniently interpret dreams using their human understanding for selfish reasons. If you pay some of them the right amount of money they will tell you exactly what you want to hear. That's one reason why all prophecy, dream and vision interpretation must be tested by The Holy Spirit living inside of you as well as the written Word of God. The Bible is your anchor so that you never drift outside of God's truth.

It's important to only rely on The Holy Ghost to interpret dreams because you don't want to be led astray. I'll give you an example. A few years ago a young lady submitted an "Ask Donnell" question asking me to interpret a dream she had concerning her friend. I asked The Lord for the answer and responded after probably a week. It took that long for me to understand what God was saying. If I chose to make an educated guess I would have completely screwed it up.

The interpretation from The Lord looked nothing like the dream because everything in the dream was deeply symbolic. I had no idea who the person was but a few years later I ran into the person at a church in NY. She thanked me for the accurate interpretation because it addressed a very specific situation her friend was dealing with at the time. She was blown away that God could speak to her so clearly in a dream and allow someone else with no knowledge of the situation to interpret it.

Jeremiah 23:28(KJV) - The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

Amos 3:7(KJV) - Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Now let's address something of vital importance. Sometimes, The Lord gives you a dream that contains a message to be broadcast but not all the time. The wisdom of God will help you to know when to tell a dream and when to keep it quiet. If Joseph had known how much his brothers hated him he probably would have kept his dreams to himself in Genesis 37. Regardless, all things worked together for his good because he loved The Lord and was called according to God's purpose (Romans 8:28). Therefore, interpreting dreams and visions is not the only important ability you need to develop. You also need wisdom to know what to do after.

Genesis 18:16-20(NLT) - Then the men got up from their meal and looked out toward Sodom. As they left, Abraham went with them to send them on their way. 17 “Should I hide my plan from Abraham?” the Lord asked. 18 “For Abraham will certainly become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth will be blessed through him. 19 I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.” 20 So the Lord told Abraham, “I have heard a great outcry from Sodom and Gomorrah, because their sin is so flagrant. 21 I am going down to see if their actions are as wicked as I have heard. If not, I want to know.”

You might not know how to respond to dreams especially ones that warn you of impending disaster but I'll tell you right now. Pray! When God tells you something bad is going to happen, do something about it. Don't get scared and wait around to see if it actually happens. Get on your face before God and pray that it doesn't happen. God won't show you something before it takes place unless He wants you to get involved.

That's what God did with Abraham. He told Abraham what was going to happen to Sodom and Gomorrah but Abraham interceded on behalf of his family who lived there. Read Genesis 18:16-33 for the full story. Abraham's intercession may have been the only reason why Lot and his household were given an opportunity to escape the destruction. If God shows you something, He expects you to intercede. It's really that simple.

I've seen many disasters happen to people I love in dreams but I ensured that by faith they never happened in reality. There is no time or space in the spirit so any glimpse into the spirit is a glimpse into eternity. Everything is clear and current in that type of dream even though what you see has not yet appeared in time. Hence, if you don't want to see it happen some kind of response is required the moment you see it.

Welcome to the last days. It's time for you to learn how to hear God through dreams and visions. Your first response to a dream or vision should always be prayer! God will tell you what to do next. See you tomorrow for Point 4.

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