Presentation on theme: "“Discerning the Voice” Concert of Prayer General Assembly 2012."— Presentation transcript:
“Discerning the Voice” Concert of Prayer General Assembly 2012
A Call to Repentance Gather in groups of 4-5… We have just been given the names of the people to be weighed before the Lord as our future president. Let us pray for each (and their families) by name… – _________________ When John Baptizer appeared, he proclaimed repentance, and called everyone to deliberate turning from sin and turning toward God, followed by taking a public step… We begin our time of prayer by naming our shortcomings to each other… “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you might be healed…” James 5:16a
Discerning the Voice Name your personal issues requiring God’s grace— and then receive intercession for God to heal and deliver… i.e.: lust for power, control, unclean sexuality, etc. greed, manipulation for selfish ends, Self-focused pride/conceit, Slovenliness/laziness _____________________________
Discerning the Voice Name your local church issues requiring God’s grace, i.e. Legalism (rules that quench the Spirit) or its opposite, license (having no rules/standards at all). Failure to seek out the lost for salvation… Failure to disciple the found… Failure to seek the Lord in our decisions… Choosing to “embrace the world” in Jesus’ church, rather than “embracing the fallen” by sharing Jesus’ love. _____________________________________
Discerning the Voice Name your District/Regional Issues requiring God’s grace, i.e. Lack of care/partnership with neighboring churches/ministries. Competitiveness rather than cooperation… Local church first, rather than the good of the region… Failure to embrace other churches’ witness, and to bless their successes… ___________________________________
Discerning the Voice Our national issues needing God’s grace: Jesus did nothing unless and until He prayed. His life was entirely submitted to the Voice of God; He said, “I can do nothing unless the Father shows Me…” If He could “do nothing” apart from “Discerning the Voice,” we can do considerably less… We do most things before we consult the Lord, and ask God to bless our endeavors… We have failed to recognize that prayer is 2–way communication. We need to repent of not really believing that we can “Discern the Voice…”
Discerning the Voice In your groups repent specifically of A) mere human endeavor rather than prayerful discernment (followed by human obedience rooted in submission), B) Imitating others rather than “Discerning the Voice,” C) Trusting in the latest successful approach, the newest technology or smartest innovation rather than in doing what Jesus and the early church did always---carving out time—sometimes weeks to months—to determine the leading of the Lor d—and not deciding until the leading was completed...
Discerning the Voice Now ask the Lord for a fresh baptism of the Spirit of Holiness to come upon our Assembly, and our entire movement in all 5 “S” regions: a) Silk Road, b) Asian Spice, c) Caribbean Sun, d) Desert Sand, e) Sea to Sea… Fresh anointing, fresh in-breaking—a “falling upon us” of the powers of the Next Age on every decision we are attempting to make at this GA. A release of discernment, in spite of our propensity to place our thought processes (as valuable as they are) ahead of “sifting” those thoughts before God and listening to God’s Spirit.
5 Steps to Discernment
“Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…” Colossians 3:16
Discerning the Voice Repent of any failure to obey the Word… Most evangelical believers spend less than 20 minutes a week in reading/studying the Bible… Yet without the Word, all discernment fails… Pray for our leaders, churches, IWs and GA: – To make a plan to saturate our lives with the Word – To build the Word into every action we take as a movement – To repent of anything we do that has no express sanction in the Word – To anchor each claim to a discernment in the teaching of Jesus.
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… Colossians 3:15
Discerning the Voice God is always speaking—sometimes he uses human language! God “speaks” by Presence. The Peace “rules”… A paraphrase of Colossians 3:15: Let the peace of the Christ who lives within by His Tangible Presence direct your steps, refereeing each decision you take. Let His peace serve as the Umpire, judging/weighing each step you take, each option before you…
The Witness of the Spirit… We are not trained to pay attention to the inner voice, nor how to sift out when it is “us”, “others”, “the enemy” or God Himself, trying to get our attention. Yet the Bible testifies to its reality: “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32 NASB
The Witness of the Spirit… Therefore having been justified by faith we have peace with God thru’ our Lord Jesus Christ… and we exult in the hope of the glory of God… and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts thru’ the Holy Spirit… Rom 5:1-5 (selected verses)… Let the Peace of Christ rule in your hearts… Colossians 3:15.
Discerning the Voice Pray for our GA to listen to the increase or the withdrawing of “the peace of Christ”/”the heart aflame”/”the love of God poured out” within as we process our decisions in our hearts and minds… – The presidential selection and the next 4,8,12 years. – The ordination question. – Strategies for reaching least reached regions, including… – Church planting on Canadian soil… – Justice and compassion across the planet, including… – Justice and compassion in stopping human trafficking in Canada itself…
Discerning the Voice—Together…
Discerning Together… The early church did the ordinary, until some unusual circumstance arose. Then they would discern together… Saul’s experience of being told he would be an apostle by the Risen Lord was not accepted until years later, when, in submission to 4 other “prophets and teachers” the Lord spoke, and everyone knew that Paul and Barnabas were now called elsewhere (Acts 13:1- 4). They submitted to the voice of the Spirit when they discerned together!
Discerning the Voice Together… 1) Word is never separated from 2) Spirit which is never separated from 3) communal discerning by people of Word and Spirit! A) They took their time B) They respected each other’s devotion C) They listened together to the Word and shared their experiences of the Spirit together. D) They “tested” each Discernment before they would say “Thus saith the Lord”…
Discerning Together… In your small group, pray for – Mutual respect—for each presidential candidate, each advocate, each decision proposed and each position taken… – Bible-Based, Spirit-led, prayer-saturated communal discernment – A recognition that each leading must be “tested” (by alignment with the Scripture, and the increase of the peace of Christ within the believer), and then “tested together” (by shared agreement that “this is Biblical” and a shared peace of Christ within the community of believers).
Once decisions were taken by the early Church and they knew that God was in it, it led them to a closer walk. They would worship, even if it was difficult. Paul and Silas sang hymns at midnight, while in stocks, after their arrest and beating… Pray: – Prayers of Thanksgiving that God is guiding/will guide – Thank the Lord for the answers that He will bring through Word, Witness, Workers and the experience of Worship—all together… – Thank the Lord for each other in your prayer group…
Discerning and Deciding…
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks through Him to God the Father… Colossians 3:17 NASB After discerning through Word, Witness, Workers, and the experience of Worship, it is time to set our will to get it done… Pray that we discern and decide, not mutter and murmur… When we rise from Assembly, let it be said, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” in the choice of our president, in whatever decisions have been taken around ordination, whether further study, re-direction, or affirming present approaches…
Discerning the Voice We discern by Word, the Witness of the Spirit, by submission to Workers of Word and Spirit, by testing it through shared Worship, and by setting our Wills together to get it done. If any of these steps are missing, we have not completed the work of “Discerning the Voice Together…” Pray: – For patience to discern together – For Wisdom to know when we are “just getting started” or “finishing a discernment” leading to action.
Discerning the Voice, Together… And 2) let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts to which indeed you were 3) called in one body, and be thankful. Let the 1) Word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with 4) psalms and hyjmns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do in Word or deed, 5) do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father… Colossians 3:15-17 NASB