Take heed therefore how ye hear.

Posted: January 27, 2013 in Devotionals, End Times, Shared Thoughts, Uncategorized, Wake Up!
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There was a time in my life as a believer where my walk was very far removed from the Lord. I had found myself more than entangled in several sins. I remembered one night being so overwhelmed and burdened to the point of utter despair, literally fearing that I could die in my sleep and would be forever lost. I cried out to what seemed to be heavens of brass, my prayer barely out of my lips only to be falling to the ground. All this after only a couple of years  after having been promoted through a local church fellowship to be a deacon, then elder-ship and then shortly before leaving the church I was made assistant pastor.

My last message I shared with the church before I left (to the surprise of many) was about Paul’s exhortation in Galatians to those who are spiritual to restore those who were overtaken by a fault. However, at the time I wasn’t preaching to the congregation, rather I was crying out against my fellow leadership. My emphasis wasn’t about restoring the one overtaken, but rather whether those who were leaders were “spiritual” enough to even discern when a brother was over taken. There I was discourage, oppressed by the adversary, walking with sin in my life and about to begin what was to be a dark journey that almost ended in my destruction . . . and they didn’t even know it.

But, there I was really only a short time later all alone agonizing in fear and despair because I was now so far removed from Christ, scared and ashamed. I couldn’t sit still or lay down to sleep. I was so tormented by guilt and conviction, I simply walked up and down the sidewalk in front of my house trying to pray, trying to break out and break through to God . . . and it was on one of those blood moon eclipses where the terror of the Lord was almost grinding me to a powder. I was as David said, my strength was dried up and feeling as if because of my sins the Lord was bringing me to the dust of death.

I had scriptures echoing in my mind that were wounding to my heart what a man of God should be, but I was everything but, my own vile and wretchedness repulsive to me to the point if it were another person my feelings would have compelled me to murder. If it were not for knowing the terror of God I would likely have taken my own life, but I knew my hell on earth was better than hell itself. Finally I cried out to the Lord how all I ever really desired was to be a true man of God, to truly know Him and walk with Him, but now was barely existing; suffering an unbearable life.

“Lord,” I said, “We are to be overcomers, but I am the defeated one, I am overcome by my sins.” There in what was absolute hopelessness I was pleading with the Lord, how can we be called and promised to something so great and I still be where and what I was? I told the Lord that I believe in Him, I believe in His Christ, I truly do believe in Jesus . . . but I do not believe any more what I had been taught. How can the truth which was to set me free fail me so? How could sin have so fettered me to a life of no power to change in light of the Gospel? I was truly a wretch man doing the things I hated and unable to do the things God has called all men unto, to be holy for He is holy.

Mind you, I did not get to this place over night. I had struggled with things for a couple of years but was never able to get the victory. Well meaning people had told me for years that it was just part of the Christian dilemma, to hunger for righteousness but still have sin in our lives. People would tell me how even Paul admitted in Romans 7 the same thing in his own life, which he too was a wretched man unable to cease the things he hated and do the things he should. But I just couldn’t accept that as true, for I remembered how Paul when he was falsely accused in Jerusalem and had to stand before the council said, “Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day,” to which “the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth” for perceived blasphemy. Again, later before the governor Felix Paul again boldly declared, “Herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.”

Today I know and understand that Paul was not claiming to be “a wretched man” in Romans 7, rather speaking to the Jews in Rome, “Know you not, brethren, for I speak to them that know the law . . .” and was telling them what he was before Christ. But Christ delivered him from his body of death that sin should no longer reign over him. What the blood of bulls and goats could not do, God did through the offering of Jesus Christ. He set Paul free.

Ro 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

How I now rejoice at the understanding of Romans 6-8 now. Freed, not yet perfected, but co-laboring with the Spirit of God and perfecting holiness. But then, back then in my agony of darkness I no longer trusted anything. “Lies,” I thought, it had to all be lies because it wasn’t working in my life. If the truth sets free and I am not free, then I must believe nothing more than lies. I was a victim of “another Gospel” that wasn’t able to quicken me.

2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

The very “Jesus” I had been taught about too was in fact “another Jesus.” I had not been freed because “another spirit” had cunningly snuck in and ensnared me with a powerless faith in words that could not light my path of give me victory. I had no sword of the Spirit, only powerless religious rhetoric that sounded good, half-truths woven with a message of grace that was anything but sufficient.

It was back then in my unfathomable anguish, my very own miry clay, that the true grace of God abounded and led me to a heart resolve to do the unthinkable, to throw away my Christianity, to forsake all I knew that I might truly find Him. I told God, “I believe in you, I absolutely do. I believe in your Son Jesus Christ, but I know longer believe what I was taught is truth. I place it all on the altar Lord; I challenge it afresh by the Bible alone. Help me Lord to seek You, teach me Your precepts, and give me understanding God and I will declare them.”

From that point forward I no longer accepted anything that was taught or believed by others, not even if it was shown to me to be in scriptures, for I needed to be sure that the scriptures they used where in fact saying what they asserted as truth. I almost lost my life over a powerless facade of truth, no more. I will prove all things and hold fast to that which is sound. I had experienced the words of Jesus to be painfully true in my life –

Lu 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

But no more, for now I know the Gospel is the power to save men, and to save them today, right here, right now. I need no other “truths” or revelations of men, I want no other Gospel than that which is afforded me by God’s own “sure word of prophesy.” The Gospel is still able to save us from our sins and this “present evil world” and to make us free indeed.

Now, I have shared these things that I might compel some to do the same as I did. To take all your belief and put them where they are most secured, on the altar of God. What greater faith is there than to entrust Him in whom you boast your faith with the very beliefs whereby you exercise your faith. Faith must be in God, Himself. It must be anchored in Christ Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings. If in fact the Spirit of Christ is in you then He will absolutely guide you, show you, teach you. If He isn’t in you then you are none of His anyway. But to those who would entrust all to Him, to them He said it was given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom. We are to be children of the resurrection, delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Mt 13:11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.  12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.  13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.  14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:  15 For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.  16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.  17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

Mt 11:25  At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.

Friends, sisters and brothers,  I sincerely ask, please prayerfully consider these words I’ve shared. I expect you to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to “prove all things,” not only what I share with you, but the things you already believe as well. It has been frequently asked, “How is it if the Holy Spirit is supposed to lead us into all truth that the church is so divided? How is it we are all believing and saying so many different things?” The answer is simple; we haven’t kept everything on God’s altar. We haven’t been waiting on the Lord as we should. Pray, pray like you’ve never prayed. Go to Him even now and buy the oil for your lamps while there is still time.

Peace,

William

Comments
  1. Hi William,
    Thank you for sharing your testimony. What you have written here is so similar to so many other Christians who get caught up in religion and somewhere along the way Christ gets put aside or ignored altogether.

    I have only been walking with the Lord for about 5 years. I was 48 years old when I met Jesus. I asked the Lord why did He wait so long to awaken me and quicken me and bring me out of this evil world. He said this;

    “Do you think it would have been any easier to come out of religion? Or both at the same time?” (Meaning the world and religion.)

    In my own walk, I have learned that overcoming is truly a symptom of very close intimacy with Christ. He said that we can nothing without Him, and that is so true!

    In Christ, Sarah

    Like

    • William E. Males says:

      Thanks for your comments. Presently I find myself crying out to the Lord to help me fall to the ground and die, lest I continue to abide alone. So many I continue to daily walk by that are unsaved, blind and deaf to the light of the glorious gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, seemingly impervious to the most excellent presentations of truth (in no way claiming I can do such). But I am becoming more and more painfully aware of the truth of words of Charles Hadden Spurgeon regarding Psalm 19-

      “It is not merely glory that the heavens declare, but the “glory of God,” for they deliver to us such unanswerable arguments for a conscious, intelligent, planning, controlling, and presiding Creator, that no unprejudiced person can remain unconvinced by them. The testimony given by the heavens is no mere hint, but a plain, unmistakable declaration; and it is a declaration of the most constant and abiding kind. Yet for all this, to what avail is the loudest declaration to a deaf man, or the clearest showing to one spiritually blind? God the Holy Ghost must illuminate us, or all the suns in the milky way never will.”

      I am come to the place then where I can only see the promise now before me that “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” Surely I know this speaks foremost of our Lord, yet I am persuaded it continues its fulfillment in us as well. Oh that God would give me such grace to so die, to fully crucify the flesh with is at continual enmity with God and ever hindering my faithful service to Him. Surely He has given us good and precious seed, now let us have such grace to bear His burden and go forth weeping over the lost with that seed that we might come again rejoicing bring in bundles of sheaves with us.

      God, refresh us again with your Spirit . . .

      Like

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