Jesus used parables extensively in His ministry, to talk to us. Because Holy spirit is and will interpret them to us. At one stage Jesus says “All these things Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables, and He was not talking to them without a parable.”(ref,Matthews 13*34).
Why does God speak in such vague ways that require interpretation? That’s a question one can ask.
Parables are often pictorial and a picture’s meaning can express ten thousand words. Those who linger in front of a picture in an art gallery are the ones who will start to understand what the artist is trying to communicate.
People who mull over a parable, and try to work out its meaning, are opened up to God speaking to them through it. Parables thus work well with those who are hungry for more of God, but are not immediately responsive.
Parables provide space for the receiver of the parable, who, because they are not directly identified as the person involved, they are then able to identify themselves in it. The ability to respond in their own way is much more open to them, as they are not confronted directly and pressured into making one.
Parables can reach closed people in a way that other things cannot.
God uses parables in His communication to us. When Jesus Christ asked why He kept speaking in parables He replied “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from Him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” (ref,Matthew 13*11-13 )
God when He speaks like this wants us to search the Bible and to pray to Him for interpretation and answers. This will mean that we get closer to Him in the process of understanding what he is saying. We will also own the information in a personal way as we have made it ours.
(ref,Jeremiah 33*3) “Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognise, and have knowledge of and understand).”
(ref,1 Kings 19:4-5:)
“He (Elijah) came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep.
Haven’t you, at times, been so discouraged you told God you’d “had enough” and that you didn’t care if he took you right then? We’ve all felt that way,
But often this sadness comes because we want something very much and can’t seem to get it. Notice that I didn’t say need. From our limited perspective, we often get our wants confused with our needs. That’s a problem I had for too long in my life.
You see, God promises to satisfy our needs, but not necessarily our wants. What’s the difference? Many of the things we want are not a necessity in our life.
Also, many of our wants are not what God wants for us. He never has any trouble distinguishing between our wants and needs, although we frequently do. In the case of material things.
We people are often too close to our own situation to see it clearly. We may insist that a want is a need, when it really isn’t. And, we may pray for something, hoping God will drop it down from heaven in our lap, with no effort on our part. Wrongo!
We need to do whatever we can in the situation, while still asking God for his help. You’ll never meet your goals by just sitting home and praying about it!
So what can you do when discouragement hits? How can you get through it and send it on its way as quickly as possible?
Recognize that these feelings are a part of everybody’s life and are nothing to be ashamed of. Christians, as well as nonChristians, get discouraged. Don’t let guilt be added to the situation as well.
Remember that when Elijah became discouraged, God ministered to him compassionately, building up his strength and courage again. God hasn’t changed. He’ll do the same for you.
Remember that a “wait” answer to your prayers is not the same as a “no” answer. You may think you’re mature or ready for what you’re asking for, but God knows you better than you know yourself. He may be preparing you for this gift so he can give it to you in his perfect timin
Like Elijah, take a rest. The worry and frustration of discouragement can be exhausting. It makes us want to quit because our strength is running low.
At times like those, a strategic retreat is in order. Get away for a while, do something you enjoy, or, like Elijah, get some much-needed sleep. The world always looks better when you’re well-rested.
After you’ve rested and can see things from a fresh perspective, take inventory of your real needs, now–and determine whether God is meeting them. Health? Food, shelter, clothing? Friends and family?
Then resolve, again, to get back into the battle. Ask God for enthusiasm, determination, and faith. Be realistic in your expectations. Break the problem down into smaller steps that are not so intimidating. Start nibbling away at those smaller steps so they can lead you to the accomplishment of your bigger goal and your dreams.
Thank God every day for His help, believing that he will bring people and resources into your life to assist you. Keep a close watch on your health, energy level, and mental attitude. Back off when you get too tired or frustrated.
No matter what disappointments or discouragement you may be going through, God’s love for you is eternal, supreme, absolute sure thing in your life. That never changes, just as God never changes.
And the God who never changes can change your situation in one surprising, stunning moment of time. God never gives up on you, and you should never give up on Him.
Jesus walked with God and no situation took him by surprise – He knew Judas was going to betray him (ref,Matthews 26*25,)that Lazarus had died (ref,John 11*14,) that Peter would deny him three times Mt 26:34. He knew what people were thinking in their hearts. (ref,Matthews 9*4)
Jesus was able to clearly see situations before they arose. He was able to describe to the disciples that when they entered Jerusalem “A man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters. ”(ref,Luke 22*10-13).
This gift of seeing clearly, is in the reach of those who will do “greater works than Him” (ref,John 14*12 ) especially corporately, together as the body of Christ.
The ability to be able to see/hear clearly for the body of Christ so that, even if the odds are overwhelming, we may walk victoriously forward with sure feet, and not be surprised by anything in our path of life with God.
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God” (ref,1 Cor 2*9-10)
(ref,Roman 10*19) “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, by a nation without understanding will I anger you.”……He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
If you’re a Christian, you can be absolutely certain that God does have a plan for your life. Everybody wants to know the future. We all want to know God’s plan or will for us. But in His wisdom, God chooses not to share our future with us. So is there anything you can do to learn and fulfill your purpose?
Strangely, the place to start is the Ten Commandments. Many people feel restricted or threatened by the Ten Commandments, but they’re viewing them from a negative perspective. If you understand that the Commandments are positive and for your protection, you’ll not only find it easier to obey them, but you’ll also appreciate them for what they really are: God’s gift to keep you out of trouble.
Worshipping God as your god, instead of worshipping material things, can keep you out of debt. But what does all this have to do with your purpose in life?
First, when you accept the truth that your actions have consequences, you begin to control your future. That’s a breathtaking concept, isn’t it? Of course, bad things still do happen to good people, and your life will never be completely smooth sailing in an ocean, there are waves in every ocean, but you will be able to prevent a lot of future problems by choosing what you do or don’t do today. That’s where the Ten Commandments come in.
Jesus Christ, the only perfect human being, showed us how to live a worthwhile life. Nothing dominated his time on earth more than helping and serving people,we can love others (as Jesus commanded us) by helping them. Opportunities to help and serve people are all around you. As you grasp this truth, you will see ways that you can be Jesus for others. You can let Him use you to do his work in the world.
Once you commit yourself to helping other people, God will open your eyes and heart to their needs. We all think that discovering our purpose in life will be like a lightbulb going on, suddenly making everything clear.
But it’s more like the sunrise, gradually illuminating this and that so we can recognize things for what they really are. As you obey God, love yourself, and love and help others, God will give you more understanding and insight into what he wants you to do.
You don’t have to accomplish something spectacular to fulfill your purpose in life. You only need to let God use you, for His purpose, right where you are.
It’s hard to cut through the fog. Voices shout at us from every direction: “Be successful!” “Earn lots of money!”Be famous “Fake it ’til you make it!”
But true success isn’t about money and fame. And you don’t need to let other people smash you into the mold of what they want you to become. While you were created for a purpose of God, ten commandments is good place to start. Live by them God will act in your life. He promised.
Too often we compare God to people we know. While it’s true that man was created in God’s image with intelligence, emotions, and desires, for us it’s wrong to create God in our image. The Bible says God’s ways are far above man’s ways and that God’s thoughts are way far from man’s thoughts.
The most accurate, most poignant picture of God is found in Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. This son had scorned his father, squandering his inheritence on sinful living in a far country. But when the son finally came to his senses and returned home, how did his father greet him? Let’s hear Jesus’ own words:
“But while he (the son) was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him…” (ref,Luke 15*20)
In Jesus’ day, it was considered undignified for a man to run, especially an old man. But Jesus portrays God as so overjoyed when we return to him that he runs out to meet us.
That’s the kind of incredible God we serve.
When things go wrong when a lot of things have gone wrong and when things have been going wrong for a long time, we tend to beat ourselves up, blaming ourselves for everything that’s gotten off track. We may be convinced that we disappoint God with our miserable life.
But Jesus died to rescue you from sin and guilt. And his Father, like the father of the prodigal son, wants only the best for you. More than anything, your heavenly Father wants you to turn your life around and return to Him.
You can do it, you know. With God’s help, your bad situation in life can turn around.
You don’t disappoint God, and you need to believe that. Stop the critical, discouraging voices (especially your own), and tune in the encouraging, loving voice of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Which is the word of God.
There was a time in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve walked and talked with God in natural communion with Him. This fellowship was Spirit to spirit and as such they worshipped Him. The Bible says “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”(ref,John 4*24). After they had sinned “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”(ref,Genesis 3*8) They no longer wanted to meet or talk with Him and hid in the place that they had sinned – the trees.
When the Israelites camped before Mt Sinai “All the people perceived the thunder and the lightning flashes and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood at a distance. Then they said to Moses, “Speak to us yourself and we will listen; but let not God speak to us, or we will die.” Exodus 20:20
Despite this refusal, Moses insisted that it was imperative that the people listened to God for themselves.
“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God by obeying His voice and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days.”(ref, Deuteronomy 30*19-20)
When we choose to listen to the Lord God not hide from him like Adam and Eve did in the Garden and the people had done on Sinai, then we will receive life giving sustenance and. In fact it is when we pay attention to God’s voice that we will receive divine health.
“My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth and put devious speech far from you……….My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge.”(ref,Proverbs 4*20- 5*2))
To incline your ear means to turn your head towards God to hear his still small voice (ref,1 Kings 19*12) the whisper of God. Also speaking the truth only, means that you will be discrete and keep the knowledge you have, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”(ref,Psalm 119*105)This scripture is often used to emphasise the need for study of the scripture; however the Hebrew for ‘word’ mean speech; it comes from dabar which means to speak.
Moses demonstrated the ability to hear God’s voice clearly in his life “Hear now My words: if there is a prophet among you, I the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household; with him I speak mouth to mouth, even openly, and not in dark sayings.” (ref,Numbers 12*7-8)
God’s desire under the New Covenant is to speak with us mouth to mouth just as He did with Moses and Jesus. “The Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.”(ref,John 5*19)
“I do nothing of my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught me. And He who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.(ref,John 8*28-29)
The trouble we often have is the ability to distinguish God’s voice from our own thoughts as He speaks Spirit to spirit or mouth to mouth with us. The following verses from Romans can help.
“It is the Spirit which testifies with our spirit that we are children of God(ref,Rom 8*16)
The same word is used in(ref,Rom 9*1)“I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart.”
It is in the same place and way that Paul’s conscience and the Holy Spirit testified within. What this means in practice, is that as we show obedience and follow Gods ways, our conscience is sharpened and we hear God clearer. In the same way disobedience blunts and dulls the voice of God.
(ref,1 Corinthians 2:*12-14) “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.”
In the Greek the words ‘thoughts’ and ‘words’ are not present it is just “Combining spiritual with spiritual.” In other words God’s Spirit combining with our spirit is what enables us to know the things freely given to us by God.