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July 2, 2015

The Lord bless us tonight with discernment and understanding. Amen.

I have a wonderful teaching to share with you tonight. Something that's really helped me and Ezekiel over the years, to pick through the very interesting and twisty-turney life that He's chosen for us. That the Lord's chosen for us, that no one could guide us into but the Lord. As I've said so many times before, He writes straight with crooked lines! And the kind of wisdom that it takes to move alone in your life in His will is not readily available through man, because there are many times where the Lord contradicts man's ways in order to teach you something and take you into an area that you need training in for a season.

I wanted to share with you a couple of different methods of discerning and getting a word from the Lord, for direction, inspiration and understanding. There are many good Christian books out there, people who have led very holy lives, have great understanding and have written books. Of course we also need discernment when picking out a book, and no author is perfect, no preacher is perfect without some error in their theology, or without offense to someone. We can't please everyone. We're not called to please everyone, only God.

There are seasons in our lives. A season where perhaps we've been overcome by failure after failure to attain our dreams, and we are lying on the floor half dead. During those times we need something different than in the times when we are being propelled into success by the Lord, or we've been traveling a rewarding road for many years but Jesus wants to do something different and new in this next season.

Different authors tend to address their favorite issue, and there will be times when we are drawn to someone like for instance, Laurie Beth Jones, who wrote Jesus, CEO. She's a business woman, very established in the world of motivational speaking and helping large corporations sort out their problems, in a biblical way. She for instance is a person who is constantly looking for ways to get your mind on how Jesus did it, how He handled the difficult situations. Then she takes that wisdom, from His example and applies it to the business world.

Rick Joyner has visions of the church that are very revealing about leadership and attitudes in the Body of Christ, and obstacles through the Holy Spirit that you will encounter in any church. When I feel victimized by a church group, his books bring me comfort and hope. He also confronts sins in the Body that most pass over as acceptable. Many times Holy Spirit has used his books to give me a Rhema, a correction on my behavior or a comfort when I've been persecuted.

Then at the opposite end of the spectrum is Richard Wormbrandt, the founder of Voice of the Martyrs, who confronts materialism in the west, head on. He came and preached about compromise with the world and worldly values, at a church I was attending in Phoenix 30 years ago. I was sitting in a side wing of the church, so I wasn't in direct view of him. But he looked directly at me and said, "Everybody has a price. What's your price?" Whew! I nearly fell out of my seat. The Lord was calling my husband and I to join Youth With a Mission, but in order to do it we would have had to grossly offend his father who had just bought us a brand new station wagon to for our three children to get around town. I was foolish and insecure and still very attached to the world. I missed our Lord's calling on my life. But through a dream He promised He would call again.

That's in my testimony, guys.

Reading Richard is a whole different world than reading Laurie Beth. Or Rick Joyner. Different people have different callings, and they touch us in a very special place, a place where Holy Spirit knows we need ministry. Only the Lord knows which medicine to apply at what time. My point is, it is good to have a selection of authors who have really gotten down to brass tacks and touched us at different times.

These books are highly useful for an anointed word from God, a Rhema. In other words, Holy Spirit will use them to instruct you if you let Him choose the page to open to. Of course, as in all things use the binding prayer first for prayer time and a special prayer over the book, "In the Name of Jesus I bind every lying, beguiling spirit off this book."

Since I tend to depression and self-pity, especially after long trials, I needed someone to grab me by the collar and say, "Look here! God is with you. Get up and try again!" Joyce Myers has helped me with that. Graham Cooke has helped me. Now I am asking you right now, you may have a bone to pick with those authors, but I am asking you to put aside your bone of contention, and understand God uses people like that to motivate people like me, when I'm Oh So tired and down on myself and the world.

That doesn't mean you swallow their teachings hook, line and sinker. No, you need to be very careful, use discretion and if you pick up compromise on what Jesus taught, certainly don't absorb it. But for Pete's sake, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Such wholesale rejection is the mark of an ignorant, bigoted person, one who is long on opinions coming from his upbringing and short on intimate fellowship with God, and the wisdom and understanding that that brings. We should all be quick to listen and slow to condemn. And just because you don't like a person's personality doesn't mean he's not anointed by God.

The Lord uses the willing, not the perfect. If He used the perfect, well we'd all be in trouble. We'd all be wandering around without any teachers or inspiration. These teachers are under construction just like us, and they may have opinions or attitudes that put you off. What Holy Spirit needs from you is the maturity to be able to hear His Voice through Balaam's donkey if that's the voice He's put before you.

Listening to a teacher or preacher is just like reading between the lines of your Bible to get an anointed word from God or a Rhema. You have to cultivate an 'ear' for Holy Spirit, not only in the Scriptures when He is trying to speak to you through them, but also through teachers you might feel prejudiced against. Driving down the street you don't look at every bumper sticker, and there are some pretty yucky ones out there. But when you see one that speaks to your situation directly, you get the feeling Jesus put it right there in front of you and a light goes on inside and you are inspired. That's a Rhema.

It's the same with these preachers. They may not be living the way you would choose to live, they may have made huge mistakes in teachings before, they may be divorced and remarried, but you're not listening to the preacher, you're listening for Holy Spirit through the preacher.

For this you need to have good discernment, that is knowing the basic faith so you won't be led astray by their errors. And a sensitivity to Holy Spirit, who will be grieved when one teaches error. He's been leading you for years and many right beliefs have been established in your soul. Now we are looking for everyday encouragement, understanding and motivation and this is where a good selection of authors come in handy.

Someone once said it's like eating peas with gravel. Can you image that? You have to sort the food from the rocks and that's precisely why intimacy with the Lord is so important. He may lead you to a teacher you wouldn't have listened to in a million years...He did that with us, just in the last two years. And you may sit there awestruck listening to exactly what you needed to hear, kicking yourself for being an opinionated bigot in the past and refusing to listen to this person.

That doesn't mean everything he says is right doctrine, it just means Holy Spirit is using them right now to adjust things in your mind, to help you move forward in your life. It takes GREAT discernment to be able to listen to different Christian preachers and get something out of what they say. Not just something, but I mean, get what Holy Spirit wants you to get out of what they're saying. It also takes courage and fidelity to Holy Spirit. If He puts a plate of spinach in front of you, you can't turn your nose up, you need to eat the spinach because He put it in front of you.

Recently, I heard an interview with a famous preacher whose teachings had helped us get out of the darkest time in our lives, but he was obviously tending towards the one world church movement. I was saddened by this, but it didn't negate what Holy Spirit taught me through this man. The knee-jerk reaction is to vigorously put the man down. Speaking against the doctrine is important, but speaking against the man and interpreting the motives that's not our job, only God knows the heart of a man and why he says something.

He may have exemplary motives but be totally deceived. That can happen to ANY of us, guys! That's happened to me. Many times. And it can still happen. That's why YOUR discernment is so important, and that's why I keep trying to teach you to listen for the Lord's voice and to be able to discern yourself. So that, even if I make a mistake, you're not going to follow what I have to say.

But it's not for us to judge that person. Remember, the Lord didn't allow the harvesters to pull the tares up lest the wheat harvest be destroyed. Hundreds of people in this man's church were drug addicts, alcoholics, homosexuals at one time, and were reformed. They refused to go to any church, until they heard him. There, they felt accepted and loved there in spite of their sins and eventually gave their lives to Christ.

Now, what's going to happen to them with this new bent in this preacher's teaching, I don't know. But if they have a relationship with the Lord, which he encourages, then they're probably gonna recoil at some of the things that he's talking about.

So if you met one of these people, a drug addict, a heroin addict that had struggled all of their life and finally had gotten free from heroin and their addiction. And they've given their lives to the Lord. If you met one of these people and you denounced the preacher that had brought them to the Lord, how do you suppose you would affect them? If they were new Christians, two or three year old Christians, they might be turned off to Jesus right then and there and never come back, being convinced that all Christians are hypocrites.

In other words, if you give a bad report about this preacher, and scandalize this new believer - he could abandon the faith, because here was a man he trusted and now he's finding out this man is a hypocrite. And YOU would be held accountable for this man's soul, by the way. That's being a stumbling block. That's what the Bible teaches is a stumbling block.

We can't afford to be controlled by denominational or non-denominational thinking. We can't afford to belong to a church with its particular doctrine, in the sense of, we'll believe anything they'll say. We must be 100% totally devoted to the Lord and go where He leads us. Every church I have been in fell short of the Early church of the apostles, but the Lord brought me there to learn and be a part of that body for a while.

This must be very important to the Lord because this is not what I was going to teach on tonight, but I just feel a very strong leading to share this with you tonight. What I wanted to say is that it is good, well rounded, well grounded to have a handful of authors that inspire you. It is good to allow Holy Spirit to open the book to what He wants you to read.

So, you don't go to a book and pick a chapter of what you want to hear, you pray and allow Holy Spirit, and open randomly and allow Holy Spirit to pick your reading.

Now I want to introduce you to the Rhema file. Once you get these readings, it is really a good practice to write theses things down on files cards and put them where you will see them over and over again. So I will write them down on a 3 and a half by 5 file cards. Sometimes I put a little bird or trees or something along with the word that I gleaned from a particular book, or from the Scriptures, and put them on the mirror, the frig, near my desk, etc. Reading these Rhemas over and over again plants them solidly in my mind. After I've absorbed them for a while, I take them off the mirror or refrigerator and I put them in a file card box, which now becomes a resource for me.

So, I start collecting these cards.

When you're sitting in front of the Lord after worship or on a hard day, and you just can't hear a thing, go to your Rhema file and allow Holy Spirit to guide your fingers to a card. You will be amazed if not knocked off your feet, when you see how very present God is to you in your situation and how appropriate the card is that Holy Spirit picked.

I wanted to clarify, that I don't use the Bible Promise Book all the time, only when I'm having issues discerning or when I want to make sure what I've been given is not from my flesh, my own mind or the enemy. It is a sacred trust to speak in the Name of the Lord. But most of the time on day to day issues, I just act from my conscience and do what I know is right. And when I feel God prompting me in one direction or another, I just follow that.

It is only in times of dryness or confusion that I use my Rhema file or Bible Promises, or the book of Psalms, which is wonderful, because when you get a rhema from the book of Psalms, you're going to get one Psalm. It's on the pages, and that helps you to really pinpoint what the Lord is trying to say, and the Psalms are the prayers of Jesus, they're so encouraging. So, on those times when things are dry, I use those books as well as inspirational reading, like I might read Lori Beth Jones, or Rick Joyner, Richard Wurmbrandt.

When you've been in prayer and worship and you need to hear from God, that's the perfect time to choose a book for a Rhema. The word you get will point you in the right direction and break the ice. Very often after I've received a Rhema, I have a breakthrough with the Lord and a stalemate is broken.

Another time when a Rhema is very important is for confirmation. We all need a second and third witness before we act on a certain direction. If you go to a book and find the chapter and verse you want, just because it addresses your issue, you're not letting God lead you. It would be far better if you opened randomly after you prayed so the Lord could point you in the right direction. Your problem may have a root that you don't recognize, and allowing Holy Spirit to pick the reading will allow you to get to the meat of the matter immediately, rather than beating around the bush. Or maybe never figuring out what's at the heart of it.

Now, it's been my experience that people who really don't want to give up their own will, reject this method of discernment and prefer their own intellect to guide them. And people who are given over to dying to self, hunger after this method of discernment and are very suspicious of their own will and intellect.

Remember: "unless you become as a little child...."

So, this is about having the faith to believe that the Lord is going to guide you. He's going to guide your fingers and He's going to pick the reading that YOU need.

So really, what I am asking you to do here, if you want to have continual guidance directly from the Lord, is pick a handful of books you've been led to for inspiration, keep them in your prayer place or even in the bathroom, and when you are praying you will find that Holy Spirit will draw your attention to one of these books. You know, you'll be glancing at the books and one will just catch your attention. So, pick it up, pray over it binding a lying spirit and open. Then sit and read and consider. God has just spoken to you in this book. Now, write down what He has said on a file card. Keep it visible for a few days and then put it in your Rhema file box. In no time you will have at least 100 cards in that box, which gives Holy Spirit a wonderful selection of readings to choose from.

Sometimes He leads me to pick a card and it absolutely contradicts what the devils have been whispering in my ear: condemnation, self-hatred, lies. And all of a sudden a cloud lifts off of me and I am restored to my former joy. In the beginning you may want to spend an hour making your own Rhema cards from Scripture and your favorite books. That's awesome. In that case you can use your card file immediately. I like to pick three cards at one sitting. That helps me navigate to the very location of the problem, but each with a differing viewpoint. You have to be flexible and creative in interpreting these Rhemas because this is the Lord's mind you're dealing with. It's so much higher than our minds, you have to be flexible.

Recently when I asked about whether or not the Lord was speaking to me, I got scriptures under the heading of, Humility, Laziness, and Brotherly Love. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China I asked myself???

Then because I've been doing this for so long the pieces started to come together. Humility refers to me being corrected for my pride...which is a major open door for a familiar spirit, as I have taught you in other videos. When I am operating in pride, the Lord allows me to fall in discernment. Ok, red flag...the Lord is warning me that my pride is rising up again.

Laziness is about working hard, working on teachings, being faithful to teach the things the Lord has given me.

Brotherly Love nails it. 'Cause I have a history of Brotherly Love and Humility and Laziness, I've seen those before and I've seen how the Lord uses those to direct my attention to my faults. Brotherly Love is about loving and deferring to my husband. Yes I see it, I've been impatient and proud with him. I haven't honored him as I would honor Jesus, I am under correction. Chances are good, whatever I've heard is not from God.

Now this is just the way the Lord has dealt with me in the past. Then I pick a card from my Rhema Files: on this card Jesus is speaking directly to me, "I have no other recourse than to correct you this way when you fall into pride."

Wow... That's what I suspected the problem was, and indeed the Lord confirmed, that's the problem.

So, how do I apply these readings, now. First of all, I'm under correction right now, I need a major attitude adjustment only God can make, but I will certainly repent and keep trying. In the meantime, even though Jesus isn't giving me a word, I need to work hard and feeding His flock with teachings.

So you see, you don't always get a nice clean, direct answer like, you know when you ask the Lord, "An I hearing from You, Lord?" and you get Holy Spirit. That just nails it. Rather you get what you need, an attitude adjustment. And a warning to be very careful, you've opened a door.

Well family, I've shared with you how to get your own word from the Lord. How to expand on that for a well-rounded word using different books. How to write it down and how to build a whole box of Rhemas to draw from when you need a word or an icebreaker in prayer. And how to avoid becoming a bigot, a hypocrite and stumbling block that pulls the wheat up with the tares.

I pray now that these tools will become a source of growth for you. Lord, your words in any form are absolutely precious and vital to our lives. Please help us to discern, meditate and obey them...Dwell with us, Lord. Abba Father, Holy Spirit, for without You we have nothing of any value in our lives, and we are blind men and women stumbling along the treacherous paths of life...but with You and Your words our path becomes brighter and brighter everyday.