THE SOUND OF THE TRUMPET
DO YOU HEAR HIM CALLING
HEARING THE VOICE OF GOD THROUGH THE POWER OF PRAYER
By Pastor Thomas Boris kingdom Life Chapel
The Book of Habakkuk chapters 1, 2:1-3 & 3:2 &17-18
We are going to be studying from the book of Habakkuk. Habakkuk was a prophet of God who was seeking an answer to several questions that he had concerning the evil that was taking place in his country. It sounds like you and I today could be asking God these very same questions as to why He does certain things the way he does. We find that at times, history has a way of repeating itself. We often find that some of the events in the bible also have a way of repeating themselves. Amen! Habakkuk’s first question is why does God permit evil things to continue in our midst? This seems to be a very fair question that you and I could ask God today. Amen! Let’s turn to the book of Habakkuk chapter 1 and read verses 2-4. But before we do, let’s look at the condition the country was in. Habakkuk vs.3-4 Why do you make me see iniquity, (unjust acts) and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes destruction and violence are before me; Strife exists and contention arises. Therefore the law is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted. Judah by all accounts was in one of its worst critical times. The economy was collapsing, poverty was on the rise and the government and legal system were corrupt and in a mess and there were wars all around. Does this sound a little like the situation we are facing in the world now? The reason for this condition was that Judah refused repeatedly to repent and change her sinful ways. This is what happens when nations turn away from God. We see this happening in our nation today. The rights of Christians are being stripped away while we see gay rights being promoted and advanced through our government and society and even in some main line denominations. We see abortions rising higher than ever in our history. Within the last ten years gay rights advocates rose from 32% to 53%. We see the family breakdown increasing at an alarming rate. The divorce rate is over 60% and the out of marriage birth rate is at 41%. The family is one of the very strongholds in Christianity. That’s why the devil is attacking it. While all of the above mentioned is taking place, we ask where is God? When the real question is this!! Where are Gods people?? We need to repent and rise up against this evil. Remember the Kingdom of God is violent and must be taken by force just like the land of Canaan. Instead we complain and blame God when it is not His doing, but our disobedience and unrepentant sins that are allowing this to take place. And now the prophet of God is seeking an answer. (Verse 2) how long, O Lord, will I call for help, and you will not hear? I cry out to you, violence! Yet you do not save. This is what the pastors and prophets and believers should be doing today. Crying out to God!!! While we are busy playing church, the enemy is destroying the church and the nations. Thank God that Jesus said He is building a church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. He will have a remnant people that will rise up and cry out to Him just as Habakkuk cried out. At this point Habakkuk seems desperate. You and I should feel the very same way because we are under these same circumstances. Amen! We could very well ask the same questions of our God today. There’s violence, destruction, strife and contentions all around us. Why is not God doing something about it? Habakkuk a prophet of God tells Him that the laws are perverted and even unjust. God gives His answer in (verses 5-11). Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days; you would not believe it if you were told. God is trying to tell His church to wake-up but she is not hearing because she is too busy with other things. The church is loaded down with all sorts of programs and social events that keep the pews full but the sheep are starving when it comes to Gods word. Remember God’s warning to His people in Amos 8:11 in which He says the following: behold, days are coming, declares the Lord God, I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the Lord. I believe that we are there right now. No one seems to be concerned with what is taking place in this nation and in the churches because the pastors are not making God’s people aware of what is taking place around them. So God continues His answer to Habakkuk in (verses 6-11). For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans, (Today we have Isis, Al-Qaida, Islam, and all false religions that claim Jesus as Lord but do not teach the true word of God) that fierce and impetuous people (right now they all are not bitter and hasty towards the remnant believers, but eventually they will join together as the world church) who march throughout the earth to seize dwelling places which are not theirs. They are dreaded and feared; their justice and authority originate within themselves. Their horses are swifter than leopards and keener than wolves in the evening. Their horsemen come galloping. Their horsemen come from afar; they fly like an eagle swooping down to devour. We see the same thing happening today. Isis is recruiting both men and women all around the world who are willing to go and fight with them. Verse 9 – 10 all of them come for violence. The horde of faces moves forward. They collect captives like sand. They mock Kings and rulers are a laughing matter to them. They laugh at every fortress and heap up rubble to capture it. Does this not sound exactly what is taking place around the world today? These groups are evil their violent see and hear about all the murders all of those that they take captive and then killed them in order to invoke fear upon the world. They laugh at leaders all over the world and even mock the president of the United States and do not fear this nation. You are probably wondering at this point the same thing that Habakkuk was wondering. What kind of an answer is this? I am seeking an answer to end the violence and destruction and strife and God is seemingly adding more violence, more destruction and more strife. Before we go any further let’s stop and remember that God’s ways are not our ways and our ways are not God’s ways. Remember in Verse 5 where God said He is already doing something to cause an end to all of this evil, but the people will not see what His solution is. Why can’t they see? Answer, because they do not recognize what caused the problem in the first place. Do you remember the prophesy that we received from God? 2nd Chronicles 7:13-14 If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked way’s, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. God is trying to get the attention of this nation just as He was with Judah. This nation is exactly where the people of Judah were and Habakkuk was trying to get an answer from God. As a nation are we trying to get an answer from God?? Not at the moment!! But God is trying to sound the alarm to give us a wake-up call. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is speaking! Let’s pay close attention to what God said to Habakkuk in verse 11. Then they will sweep through like the wind and then pass on. Remember to God a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day, so in God’s eyes this battle to shake this nation and the world has not been too long. For America it has been about 14 years. However He is getting impatient with us to repent. Then He tells Habakkuk what the final outcome will be to the Chaldean’s. This outcome will also hold true for Isis, Islam and all other religious groups who oppose God’s truth with their false teachings and of course all those who do not repent. Their end result is this! But they will be held guilty, they whose strength is their gods.
This brings us to Habakkuk’s second question. Why will God use wicked people and trials and testing’s or hardships upon His people? We must remember that Judah as well as this nation was not being obedient to God’s word at that time and God was calling them to repentance just like He is calling the nations today to repentance. Let’s read Habakkuk’s conversation with God. (Verse 12) are you not from everlasting, O Lord my God, my holy one? Habakkuk like you and I, when we go before God, we should always acknowledge Him for who He is and reverence our Creator. Our Lord, our Savior, our God!! And then Habakkuk makes a profound statement of faith because I believe he received a revelation and an assurance while praising God. We will not die. You, O Lord, have appointed them to judge; And You O rock, have established them to correct. Through these evil events we find God’s deep love for His people. You are probably wondering how this could be possible. Hebrews 12:6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. Do you see the spiritual change in Habakkuk as he began to understand what and why God was permitting these events to take place in the lives of His people? I pray that this will help us to understand more clearly why things like 9-11, the rise of Isis, economic difficulties around the world, wars and rumors of wars, more nations coming against Israel are taking place, just as the prophet Habakkuk saw Gods intent for raising up the Chaldeans and causing difficult events to occur in their lives. In today’s religious world most people sitting in churches could not even begin to think that God would allow things like this to take place, let alone cause them.
(Verse 13) You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness. Even though he did not fully understand everything that God was about to do, however, he had the faith that God would not fail him. We must have this same confidence in God today. Amen!! Then Habakkuk asks this question, the question that many people are asking today. Why do you look on those who deal treacherously, and hold your tongue when the wicked devours a person more righteous than he? This seems to me to be a very logical question that one might ask. That’s because we have become dull of hearing and have not spent quality time with our heavenly Father who redeemed us through the shed blood of His Son Jesus Christ. If we are to endure to the end and hold fast to the inheritance that was given to us through the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, then we must begin as never before to hear the voice of God. Habakkuk continues to ponder over God’s answer and continues his questioning about God’s ways. (Verse 14-15) why do you make men like fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them? They take up all of them with a hook; they catch them in their net, and gather them in their dragnet. Therefore they rejoice and are glad. Habakkuk is comparing God’s people to the fish of the sea where fishermen are gathering them up in their nets and are rejoicing over there catch. This is a false sense of victory. (Verse 16) Therefore they sacrifice to their net, and burn incense to their dragnet; because by them their share is sumptuous and their food plentiful. Shall they therefore empty their net and continue to slay nations without pity? What we see here is evil seemingly triumphing over righteousness and wickedness seems to be winning over goodness. Little does wickedness and unrighteousness know that God will deliver His people from the fishermen’s nets. Praise God!!! Through much tribulation shall we enter in, but we will enter in. Through our God we shall do valiantly!!
We now find Habakkuk giving his response to God’s answer. Chapter 2:1 I will stand my watch and set myself on the Rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me, and what I will answer when I am corrected. Habakkuk’s response to God’s answer was precise and right to the point. He was not long-winded and let God know that he was ready for whatever God instructed him to do. Then God quickly answered him in verses 2&3. Then the Lord answered me and said: write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. We can see that Gods response to Habakkuk’s commitment was precise and right to the point. God made it clear to Habakkuk what he should do and how he should do it. Then he assured him that what He had spoken will come to pass at the appointed time for Judah to come to repentance and again in our time as we are called to repentance. We are also assured that God will accomplish what He has spoken to us as believers today. Verse 4 tells us Behold the proud, the soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith. Now that God has instructed His church, the true believer, on how we are to accomplish this, what are we going to do? This is our answer; we must hear the voice of God! I believe that there are five keys that will open the door to God’s throne and enable us to hear His voice. Hearing the voice of God is the birthright of every born again believer.
What then must the church and this nation be doing
#1) We must meet the Lord regularly and whenever possible in a special place. It must be in a place that will enable us to hear His voice without distractions. Habakkuk told the Lord that he will stand his watch and we must also do the same. But it is not enough to just hear His voice, we must then follow His instructions. John 10:27 – 28 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.
#2) We need to truly look for God to speak to us not just in our prayers, but even in visions and dreams. Joel prophesied in chapter 2:28 – 29 and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. Habakkuk said that he would watch and see so we must do likewise. When was the last time you had a dream or vision from God? How would you determine if they were from the Spirit or not? I believe Gods word tells us that if they are from God, they will always be directed for the good of the Kingdom of God whether by encouragement or warnings to repent.
#3) We must listen carefully to the instructions of God. That is why we must try to find a place with minimal interruptions so that we will not only hear God’s voice but we will understand what He is speaking to us. Then we must act just as we have been instructed to do without doubting.
#4) We must keep notes in order that we don’t forget the instructions that God has given us for our own personal life and also for the church. Remember Habakkuk’s concern was for the whole nation of Judah and not just for his own well-being.
#5) We must wait for God to make it happen. All of these five keys are important to every believer in order to hear the voice of God, but number five might be the most difficult. Maybe that is why God tells us that patience is a virtue.
The church in which all born again believers are, should be the leaders, the role models for the nations to follow. We should set the example by our leadership and our lifestyle. We have to be men and women of great faith in order to accomplish God’s plan for His Son’s soon return. We must have a vision for the kingdom of God because visions create hope and bring about change not only in our personal life but in nations as well when shared with enthusiasm. When we share God’s vision with other believers or even nonbelievers it must pierce their hearts, it must motivate them that they have a desire for the things of God’s kingdom.
There are severe consequences for those who do not believe the truth of the word of God. Read for yourself in Habakkuk chapter 2:5 – 20 these verses tell us of the woes (meaning great sorrow or trouble) to those who refuse to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus for their salvation.
In closing we find the prophet Habakkuk in prayer. Chapter 3:2 Lord, I have heard your speech and was afraid; O Lord, revive your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make it known; in wrath remember mercy. Here we find Habakkuk acknowledging that he has heard and understood how and what God was going to do to restore His people and their nation. We also must know and understand how and what God is going to do to restore His people today and also this nation. Once Habakkuk and plan he gained confidence in God’s word in spite of the circumstances. (Verse 17-18 a confession of faith) though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stall: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. This same confidence and same attitude and same testimony needs to be shown forth in the life of every born again believer today. When we look around and see the moral decay that is taking place in this nation and the lack of love for God’s word we need to look up onto the Hills from whence our help cometh. We need to wake out of our slumber and begin to stand up for Jesus who stood in our place and is still standing in the gap for us even though we have not truly been standing up for Him. Yes we go to church but where are we in our homes, work places and in our cities. Jesus said if we do not confess Him before men, He will not confess us before His Father. Get out of the buildings and become the church in the streets so that we might make a difference. Amen!! Let’s make a choice to stand on the side of righteousness, the side of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be found pleasing to God our Creator.
So let’s make a commitment today to hear the voice of God
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