Rabbi Schneider - The True Voice of God
Haverim, we're gonna continue today, haverim is the Hebrew word for friends and those of you that love the Lord we are friends and we'll always be friends. And God's Spirit is working within us a deep sense of love and a deep sense of community. And if we're resisting that it has to be broken down, because God's anointing falls most heavily beloved one, where there's unity. And so I call you friends today in Spirit and in truth. We are in a series on Apostolic Prayers and I've been in the book of Colossians for several weeks. I want to encourage you today to stay patient with me, as we once again review beginning in verse number 9, because there is such a depth of revelation here.
You know it's interesting that in Judaism when we study the Torah we actually have four levels of meaning for any specific Torah verse. In other words, we see that there's a meaning that's very straight forward and then there are meanings that keep on going deeper and deeper and deeper and the truth is, is that the revelation that can come to us through God's Word has no limits on it. So we have to be patient with God's Word, not just skimming over it and think we've got it, because we've memorized it in our head. But then we have to give the Holy Spirit time for Him to drop into our soul and spirit the color of God's revelation, so that we'll really see in the light that it will transform us.
So let's continue now. Once again, we've been here, but we're gonna press on and press through. Verse number 9 of chapter 1, Paul is praying. "For this reason since the day we heard of it we have not ceased to pray for you". And if you were with me, remember I challenged us to be more concerned about praying for other people and not just ourselves, because Paul said, "I haven't ceased praying for you". So let's pray for the body of Christ to be formed, for the church to be made complete. Paul goes on, he says, "I've not ceased to be praying for you". And here was the purpose of his prayer. He was asking, listen now, "That you would be filled," you and I would be filled, that the church, "Would be filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding".
I want to pause. Some of you can identify with this. We've read Jesus', Yeshua's words in the Gospel. Yeshua said, "My sheep hear my voice and a stranger's voice they will not follow". But I can tell you beloved ones, beloved friends, that there have been many times that I've said to Yeshua, "But Jesus I don't hear Your voice. I have all these thoughts that are coming into my head and I'm not sure which one's Yours. I'm not sure if that thought is Yours, if that thought is Yours, or if that thought is Yours". And if you're honest today, I know that all of you can identify with me if you have the self awareness to be able to examine your thoughts.
So there have been many times that I have cried, "Yeshua, Your word says that Your sheep know Your voice and a stranger's voice they will not follow, but Jesus often times I don't, I don't feel like I'm hearing Your voice and I don't know if these voices are the voices of strangers, or if they're Your voice". But praise God as we continue to mature, as we continue to grow up in Christ, as we continue to be formed according to His image, we're more and more able to discern His will. And the way that we're trained to discern His will often times comes through being filled, listen now, verse number 9, "With the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding". In other words, when we have the knowledge of God's will with spiritual wisdom and wisdom is not something that you can gain just because you've memorized something.
Wisdom is a gift of the Spirit. Yeshua's often times as I've mentioned made known in scripture as wisdom personified. In the book of Proverbs for example, or when the scripture says that, "He has become wisdom to you and I". When we have the spiritual gift of God's will mixed with spiritual wisdom and understanding, then we're able to know whether the voice is Jesus' voice or whether it's a stranger's voice, because we have the knowledge of God's will with all wisdom and understanding that we can tell the difference. Now I want you to think about this, if you examine your life and if you examine your heart you'll notice that there are times that you did things that were contrary to the will of God in your life, not because you were deliberately sinning. In fact many of you can recall times you did something that now you know is wrong, but at the time you didn't even know you were sinning, because you didn't have spiritual wisdom and understanding to know the difference between light and darkness.
See the Bible says that our spiritual senses get trained as we mature in the Lord, so that we can discern the difference between good and evil. Once again Paul is praying here in verse number 9, that we'll be "Filled with the knowledge of God's will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding". Now I want to try to bring this down and make it even a little bit more practical for you. When we don't have spiritual wisdom and understanding we can fall on our face in our pursuit of God. Thank the Lord that HaShem always picks us up. We learn from our mistake, we go on and we grow. But the point is, that without spiritual wisdom and understanding and a knowledge of God's will, we may be doing our best to follow Jesus, but we're often times gonna fall on our face without the knowledge of God's will.
As I think about myself as a young believer, I can think about times when I was, I mean I loved God so much as I do now. I was totally going after God, but because I was not raised in a home that trained me in righteousness according to the scriptures I did not have a good revelation of God's will when I came to faith in Jesus. So there were things that I was doing that I thought were perfectly fine, completely okay and it wasn't until years later that the Holy Spirit began to show me some of those things that I was doing were not according to His will. And I'll tell you one of the biggest stumbling blocks for God's people today and in ages past, is that they have been led by their feelings rather than spiritual understanding and wisdom. And that was one of the primary areas in life that I had to learn. I had to be trained to live by God's word through spiritual wisdom and understanding and knowledge of His will. I had to, I had to be trained in that to learn how, listen now, to live above my feelings.
What about you? How many times have you felt in love with somebody and if you would have pursued that relationship it would have absolutely caused destruction in your life and in the lives of other people? You see feelings no matter how strong they are, are not necessarily truth. Something can feel so strong. How many of you have ever felt in love with somebody that you don't even hardly know and you have these tremendous feelings of love? They seem so real. They seem so true. Where did those feelings come from? Are those feelings really God?
A lot of times what happens is when people aren't trained in the knowledge of God's will as Paul is speaking of here, with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, they have a feeling. The feeling seems so strong. It feels like love. They're convinced it's God and so they go off pursuing the feeling and they end up in a divorce, they end up shipwrecking the lives of their kids and loved ones. And if some of us have made that mistake, some of you watching if you've made that mistake there is no condemnation for you that are in Christ Jesus. This is not meant to condemn. God loves us. We learn from everything. We go on. I'm just trying to point out how important it is to live in wisdom and understanding and not to be led by our feelings.
Feelings are a gift from God, but feelings are made, listen now church, feelings are made to be subjected to your mind. We live by our mind. Not I'm talking about the natural mind, I'm talking about the mind of the Lord, the mind that God has given us in Yeshua, in Christ Jesus. So the knowledge of His will, having wisdom and understanding. These are facilities of the mind. You see if you're being led by your feeling rather than by the wisdom of the Lord in the knowledge of His will, you will absolutely fall on your face no matter how sincere you are and no matter how much you love God. So Paul is, he's praying, church, listen, for what you and I need.
Now let's continue on. He says that as a result of having this wisdom and understanding, you're gonna be able to choose what's right, listen, you'll be able to choose what's right and in choosing what's right you're gonna bring God joy and make Him glad. So he says in the tenth verse, "So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord". In other words he's saying, "I want you to have the knowledge of God's will with all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you can walk," Paul says, "In a manner worthy of the Lord". Now even this concept of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord is foreign to some of us. What Paul is talking about here church, my friends, it's holiness. Holiness means to be set apart. It means to be cut out of. It means to be unique. You see the purpose of our salvation is that we would lead lives, listen now, that are worthy of the Lord, that please the Lord, listen, that are holy. Listen again, Paul says, "So that you will walk," verse 10, "In a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects".
I was recently in Israel. I spent a month in Israel with Cynthia my wife, just studying the scriptures, studying the Torah, trying to immerse myself in the atmosphere, asking HaShem, asking the Lord to fill me and anoint me with everything I could receive there. And I think the thing that cut deepest, at least one of the things that cut deepest if not nothing, because there were so many things that the Lord did there, was just the revelation in the Torah of how God is expecting and calling His people to be cut out and to be different. That's why when you look for example, at Hasidic Jews, they wear the long peyot, the long sideburns. You know they still dress like they did you know several hundred years ago, but the whole reason is they're wanting to be different. In other words, they're not looking to fit into the culture around them. They're looking to be unique and different for HaShem.
And so Paul is saying here, "I want you to be different. I want you to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord so that you can please Him in all respects". God has a call of holiness on you. The Bible says you're a chosen race, you're a royal priesthood. God has called you out of the darkness into His marvelous light. Yeshua said, "If you are of the world the world would love you, but because I chose you out of the world therefore the world hates you". Jesus said, "Woe to you if all men speak well of you, for thus they did to the false prophets of old". In other words beloved, God wants us to have the strength, the countenance, the strength of mind, the inner constitution that we know the difference between right and wrong and we obey Him, walking in a manner that's worthy of the calling. And when we do that we're gonna be set apart and unique from the world. People are gonna know we're different. People are gonna know we belong to HaShem.
I explained that in an earlier broadcast. HaShem is just a Hebrew way of saying God's name. We see Baruch HaShem, bless the name. In other words, God is the infinite one. He has no beginning. He has no end and so when we say Baruch HaShem we're saying, "Bless the Lord, He's above. He's above everything". And so I want to just encourage you here right now if you're and I are gonna ascend into walking in this type of platform we're gonna have to be strong enough to be different, because to be holy means to be different. And we're not gonna be able to please the Lord unless we're holy.
So this all goes together. Paul says here, "That you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects". We're talking about holiness and holiness by it's very definition means that you're different and set apart from the world and you have a wisdom and an understanding and a knowledge of His will that makes you different. And you're walking in it and you're not afraid of the price that you'll pay for that, because Jesus said, "Blessed are those that suffer and are persecuted for righteousness sake". He goes on now, "That you'll walk in a manner worthy of the Lord pleasing Him in all respects".
Now I think self examination is one of the keys to sanctification. In other words the Bible tells us if we will judge ourselves, if we'll examine ourselves, if we'll review our life every day before the Lord, even on a you know second to second basis, we're conscious of, "Are the things that I'm saying pleasing to God? Is the way that I'm walking pleasing to the Lord"? In other words, we have an inner sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, so that we're always monitoring ourselves, asking our self if what we're thinking, if the way that we're feeling is pleasing to the Lord. And we're always making adjustments, inner adjustments so that we can be on target and be in alignment with Him, walking in a manner that's pleasing to Him.
One of the hallmarks or one of the marks of spiritual sanctification and maturity is that self awareness and this ability to judge yourself every day, not in terms of condemnation, but in terms of being aware of your self so that you can always be bringing yourself back in to a closer alignment with the Lord, with HaShem. So Paul says that his goal for us is, "That we would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord to please Him in all respects". So the ability to please Him in all respects, it doesn't just concern what we're doing externally.
You know it doesn't just you know mean that we gave money to a person that was in need. It means is our attitude right? Are our thoughts right? Is the tone of voice that we're speaking to somebody in right? We got this consciousness of our inner lives and a consciousness of HaShem, of the Lord and we're always bringing our self as best as possible to line up with the God. And when we do this we then please God more and more in all respects. It's so much better to judge yourself as the scripture said, to evaluate yourself and make corrections than to be judged by the Lord to be disciplined by Him. See the Bible says if we judge ourselves, if we monitor ourselves we won't have to be judged or disciplined by the Lord, because we'll already have made the self correction. God's discipline won't be necessary, Baruch HaShem.
Let's continue on here. In doing this we're, "Going to bear fruit," Paul says, "In every good work". So we're in the world not just to experience our own relationship with God, but to have influence and to have impact and to have good works that follow us. The Bible says that God has even prepared before us good works that we should walk in. It's a full circle. It's a full circle starting with the Lord, starting with HaShem, circling in us, then coming back into the world with good works and back to Him. I want you to know I have good news for you today. God's got a plan for you and I, a destiny for you that's bigger than you and I could have ever imagined. "Eye has not seen and ear has not heard, never has it even entered into the heart of man the things that He has prepared for those that love Him". And beloved that includes you.