Posts Tagged ‘voice’

Purpose in Meltdown

08/23/2014 2 comments

We need to be okay with having a meltdown occasionally. Find out what Father wants to be for you there on the floor in a puddle of tears. Jesus had a melt-down in the garden; his tears were like drops of blood coming from his brow. A meltdown may be an indication that Father is about to do something radically different from what he has been doing in your life. It’s normal to cry out, “let this cup pass.” But then it’s time to listen for his will in the middle of the puddle.

We must work hard at seeking God’s will, but then we must rest in silence to receive the call that comes from beyond our garden. His intention is to glorify himself in the middle of your muddle. A meltdown is an invitation to seek the path in the sea. Paths in the sea? Yes. God’s way is always a mystery. It can’t be known through reason and logic. It can only be known by listening to the still small voice.

Sometimes his will is discerned while reading Scripture; sometimes it’s discerned while reading or listening to a teaching. Many people only read authors within their denominational backyard. They’re afraid to read someone who disagrees with them. If you never read anything you disagree with, you will only be exposed to what you already know. You’ll only find new ways to say what you were taught in the confines of your church school. You may be in the muddle because of some false perception of reality.

When I was about five years old, a new gas line had been placed under our yard. The trench was filled up and there were some small rocks on the surface. I remember picking up a rock that had little “sparkly” grains in it. I ran into the house to show Mom. “Mom, look at the sparkly rock,” I exclaimed. She pretended to be impressed, as most moms do. That was in the planes of New Mexico, far from the mountains.

My concept of an impressive rock changed when we went to the mountains for vacation. I was about nine years old at that time. My brother and I went exploring and found some petrified wood and petrified seashells. (Yes, petrified seashells on top of the mountains in New Mexico!) That’s when my curiosity began to move beyond my backyard.

So how do we get out of the mentality of the yard we grew up in? How do we come into the larger perspective of the kingdom of God? Visit another yard!

The first step out of a crisis is something that’s seldom experienced by those who only play theology in their denominational backyard: Humility. We begin our journey out of the puddle by acknowledging we don’t yet know everything, and that we could be wrong in what we think we already know. I’ve personally experienced several meltdowns. In the middle of the predicaments I learned to rest in “crunch time,” to sleep with Jesus in the bow of the boat in the middle of the storm, if you will. After the storm my understanding of life in the Spirit had been adjusted each time.

Writing what I’m struggling with in a journal has helped me discover what life is all about. As I read through what I’ve written, it’s easier to see the good than it was while I was in the middle of stuff. Several trips through the valley taught me to be as relaxed in the difficult times as I am in the good times. Life begins to take on an even keel when you learn to simply be with the one who promised to be with you at all times.

He is with us even when we feel like he is far, far away. As St. Augustine said, “he is closer to us than we are to ourselves.”

Fount Shults, President
On Word Ministries

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One Happy Lady

I will never forget the pain I saw in her eyes as Lynda and I ministered to her. Many in the Korean culture have little appreciation for women. When a girl is born in Korea, she is often unwanted. The parents want boys because a boy child is worth more in their eyes. This woman was the third girl born to her parents. They already had one boy, but they wanted another boy.

She was given over to her mother’s sister to get her out of the house. Although she was allowed to return to her mother, she continued to be rejected while her brother was honored. As you might imagine, she always wanted to be a boy so she could have value as a person. Even as an adult her mother continues to give good things to the brother and gives her nothing, not even attention. She was much in need of a touch from Father God.

During ministry she saw Jesus come and say he was happy she was a girl. She heard his voice.  He had knit her together in her mother’s womb. He had made a girl because he wanted a girl. She was deeply moved as she accepted her femininity. She felt the love of Father God and was healed of her self-rejection. She now has freedom.

We are done with our teachings here in Korea. It has been a very fruitful time of ministry as we shared the love of Father God with students in the various classes. Our hearts are full of gratitude for the privilege our Father gives us to share his love with so many people in so many places.

We will be returning to the USA Monday. I will be leaving almost immediately for Wallkill, New York to share with the Mid-Hudson Christian Church. I was close to this fellowship for many years while I was teaching at Elim Bible Institute in Lima, NY. I am looking forward to being with old friends and making some new friends.

By the way, on our website there are several teachings available for you to listen to online or download to an MP3 player without charge. We try to post a new teaching every month if we can. Any donations to help us continue to make these available without charge will be greatly appreciated.

Always looking forward,

Fount Shults

Seeing and Hearing 13: Hearing the Shepherd’s Voice

03/16/2012 1 comment

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers…. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” (Jn. 10:4, 5, 27)

In the early 70’s a group of young people invited me to speak to them on hearing the Shepherd’s voice. At that time I was still a novice at hearing from him. Sometimes I thought I was hearing and it later became obvious I was listening to a stranger’s voice. I agreed to teach the group but was very insecure in my own ability to hear.

I went to the text above and became even more insecure. “If I am a sheep, why do I listen to the stranger’s voice?” I asked myself. “Perhaps I’m not even a sheep!” My insecurities were increasing as I meditated on these verses. I realized I had been allowing words from the stranger’s voice form and frame my life (see blog #4 of this series).

Then I noticed he said, “I know them, and they follow me.” I remembered the statement in the Sermon on the Mount, “I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23). He knows those who hear his voice and follow, but he doesn’t know those who cast out demons and prophesy in his name but do not do the will of his Father. (I understand that to mean hear and respond to his voice. See blog #12). Wow! Now I really need help.

I had deceived myself into thinking I understood his will because I had learned to read the Hebrew and Greek Bible (see blog #8). The revelation of the function of the human spirit in hearing God had not yet come to me (see blog #5). I had been trying to live by every word written in the biblical text without hearing the word that was presently proceeding from his mouth (Lk. 4:4, see blog #11).

The secrets of the kingdom have always been available to those who have hearing ears (see blog #7). I realized that I would never have access to the secrets of the kingdom if I don’t learn to hear his voice. The desire to bring a good teaching to the young people was no longer the thing driving me. I wanted to know for myself. Serious prayer time followed.

As my insecurities and self-condemnation mounted, I heard the shepherd say to me, “Read the text again.” So I did. But it still said the same thing. “Read it again,” he responded. After a few times I suddenly noticed what it did NOT say. It did not say, “My little lambs hear my voice.” The little lambs play around with one another and pay little attention to the shepherd. One becomes a sheep when he arrives at a level of maturity where hearing the shepherd’s voice is normal.

Every shepherd has a goad (a staff with a hook and a barb on the end). When the lambs are beginning to lag behind, the shepherd grabs their hind-leg with the goad. They soon learn that they must respond his voice to avoid the pain. “I’m still a lamb,” I said to myself. “I am in the process of learning to hear his voice,” I sighed with relief.

“The goad has been in my hind-leg quite a bit lately. My Shepherd loves me enough to get my attention,” I thought. So the presence of the goad in our life indicates we are still learning – we are not yet perfect. The goad encourages us to move to the next level of maturity.

Through this process over the next few years I learned he wanted to be my friend, not just my Lord Master. He wanted to do the work of ministry with me. He didn’t want me to do it FOR him; he wanted to do it WITH me (see blog #12). Friends do things together. He is our friend and enjoys working together with us to accomplish Father’s will on earth as in heaven.

The work of ministry is different with each of us. We find our place in ministry as we hear and respond to his voice. For some, ministry is in the market place or in the work force. For others, it is at home raising children or in the Mall talking to people. We are all called to ministry. Listen to his voice for the call each day.

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Fount Shults
On Word Ministries