Sunday, May 24, 2015

Search Me O God


What occurred inside of us in the midst of painful childhood events is often hidden and buried outside of our awareness (stuffed, unconscious, difficult to discern). In the same way, what goes on deep within us in the midst of difficult life experiences in the present is hard for us to recognize and fully grasp.

But here’s the Good News. You haven’t been abandoned and left all alone. If you know Jesus, the Holy Spirit resides in your innermost being. He can reveal these things to you if you will only ask Him.

The Holy Spirit searches out everything and shows us God's deep secrets.
       HE was present when you were wounded.
       HE knows what happened down deep inside of you:
       What you came to believe.
       Whether you made an unbiblical vow.
       If you began to follow a defective strategy.
       He also knows how to heal your heart.
       As if this is not enough. HE also has the power to communicate with you in a way that can set you free.

Look at these helpful passages from God’s Word:
The Holy Spirit searches all things and reveals the truth to the heart as in Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24 NASB
But as the Scriptures say, No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard and it has never occurred to the human heart all the things God prepared for those who love Him. God has shown us these profound and startling realities through His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep mysteries of God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 Voice

Would not the True God have known it? For He can see the hidden places of our hearts. Psalm 44:21 Voice
The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that no one can figure out. But I, God, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human. I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be. Jeremiah 17:9-10 MSG
Ask GOD if there’s an area you’ve been struggling with that He’d like to communicate with you about.
  • Ask Him to help you clarify what you were feeling?
  • Then, Lord Jesus, what happened down deep inside of me?o   What did I come to believe? 
    o   Was there a vow I may have made? 
    o   Is there a strategy I may have began to follow? 
  • What life giving truth do You want to communicate with me?
We’d enjoy hearing what God is doing in your heart, any feedback you might have, questions, or other comments. Either leave a comment below or write us at L2G.Forum@gmail.com.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

L2G Forum Visitors, Nations, & Favorite Posts


The “Listening to God Forum” was created in September of 2011. So far there have been 194 new posts or 1 post per week over a period of 3.7 years.

To date there have been 121,877 page views from 142 nations. The top ten countries that view the L2G Forum are as follows:

1.    United States
77649
2.   Ukraine
5518
3.   Russia
4590
4.   France
2581
5.   United Kingdom
2100
6.   Canada
2094
7.   Germany
1779
8.   Argentina
1127
9.   China
1013
    10.  Mexico
767

The most popular Posts so far have been as follows:

VISITORS
DATE of POST
TITLE of POST (Click to View Post)
10,883
08/07/2011
5,154
08/11/2012
2,196
05/13/2012
1,900
09/23/2012
1,530
07/17/2012
1,357
08/05/2012
1,181
05/12/2013
1,173
07/22/2012
867
01/06/2013
596
01/12/2014

Here is a complete list of the nations that have visited the L2G Forum. If your nation is not on my list, please drop me an email to L2G.Forum@gmail.com and I'll add you.

Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Austria, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo [DRC], Costa Rica,Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, Fiji, France, French Guiana, Ghana, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guam, Guyana, Haiti,Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Macedonia (FYROM), Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Réunion Island, Romania, Russia, Saint Lucia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Sint Maarten, Somalia, Slovakia,Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan,Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

We'd love to hear from you. Write us a L2G.Forum@gmail.com
Tell the nations about something that God communicated with you! 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Creative Power of the Voice of God: Satan – No. 7


Satan deceived Eve, and Adam joined in her rebellion by eating of the forbidden fruit. Adam and Eve had been given clear instructions by God, but were given a choice regarding whether they would follow them. They chose to disobey. 

God in His mercy, wisdom and love for His creation made a way for our redemption and the defeat of Satan through Jesus Christ. In temptation, Jesus gave us an excellent example to follow when he responded to Satan by saying, “it is written.” 1  We can also employ the written and authoritative word of God against Satan when he seeks to tempt us: "Be gone, Satan, for it is written, 'You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.'"

Click on the roaring lion to hear " Lies" by Keith Green
The “father of lies” 2 is constantly seeking to put doubt and disbelief in our minds. 1 Peter 5:8 in the NET version exhorts us to “be sober and alert” because our “enemy the devil” is “on the prowl looking for someone to devour.” It compares Satan to a “roaring lion.” 3

The second stanza of “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” was written by Martin Luther in 1529. It proclaims the secret to emerging victorious in our battle with Satan:
“Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.”
This is the seventh part of some thoughts I wrote in the fall of 2012 in an attempt to capture the incredible power, glory, splendor, radiance, and majesty of God speaking in the creation as well as the rebellion of Lucifer and his fallen angels. I'd enjoy any feedback you might have: L2G.Forum@gmail.com. ~ Rusty Rustenbach © 2012
FOOTNOTES

1    In Matthew 4:10, Jesus responded to satanic temptation by wielding the authority of the Word of God, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'" Jesus also did this in Matthew 4:4 and Matthew 4:7.
2    John 8:44 says that the devil “is a liar and the father of lies” and that “there is no truth in him.”
3    “The Pulpit Commentary” notes that the following about the devil: “He is called a serpent to denote his subtlety, a lion to express his fierceness and strength.”

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Creative Power of the Voice of God: The Fall – No. 6


In review, the scheming serpent questioned Eve by asking, “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?” 1 Eve responded. “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’” 2

The devil retorted Eve’s explanation about eating from the Tree with a bold-faced lie, “You won’t die.” 3 Eve’s decision to disobey the Creator’s only boundary ushered in the end of the innocent utopia of the Garden of Eden. Her Machiavellian miscalculation would impact her world in ways she never dreamed or imagined.

“When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it — she’d know everything! — she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate." 4 Eve was tricked. She decided to defy God’s command and instead act upon the appealing words of the devil. Inexplicably, without any hesitation, Adam took the fruit from Eve and violated the Creator’s command as well. 

Then, “Immediately the two of them did ‘see what’s really going on’ — saw themselves naked! They sewed some fig leaves together as makeshift clothing for themselves” in an attempt to cover the nakedness. Genesis 3:7 (msg) Paradise was lost. The days of being naked, transparent, carefree, spontaneous, and unguarded were over. Now they would need to cover up, pretend, hide from each other, worry about appearances, and pretend. Innocence was tossed aside and lost. It was replaced by shame, guilt, fear, disgrace, embarrassment, and remorse.

“There is an important principle to be seen here: God desires from us the obedience of faith. Such obedience is not based upon our understanding of why we are to act as God requires, but simply because it is God who requires it. The obedience of faith is based on our faith in God, not on our understanding of why God calls one thing good and another evil. Parents teach their children to obey on the same basis. You cannot explain to a young child why an electrical outlet is dangerous. You can only forbid them to touch it, because you said so, and because they trust your word.” 6

This is the sixth part of some thoughts I wrote in the fall of 2012 in an attempt to capture the incredible power, glory, splendor, radiance, and majesty of God speaking in the creation as well as the rebellion of Lucifer and his fallen angels. I'd enjoy any feedback you might have: L2G.Forum@gmail.com. ~ Rusty Rustenbach © 2012

FOOTNOTES

1  Quoted from Genesis 3:1 in The Message.
2  Genesis 3:2-3 (msg)
3  Genesis 3:6 (msg).
4  Genesis 3:8 (msg).
5 Genesis 3:7 (msg).
6  Robert L. Deffinbaugh, https://bible.org/seriespage/5-fall-man-gods-perfect-plan

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Creative Power of the Voice of God: The Serpent – No. 5


Most of us are a lot like Eve. We haven’t sharpened and trained our spiritual sensibilities by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble from what is evil and contrary. 1  Thousands of thoughts come into our hearts and minds and we blindly accept them as our own.

If we’re honest with ourselves, our underlying struggle with living wholehearted and unreservedly for God emanates from several basic interrelated internal doubts:
  • Does God really love me and have my best interest at heart? Isn’t His real desire to somehow deprive me of the things I really want and yearn for?
  • Is the Almighty really good? If I fully surrender to Him isn’t He just going to make my life miserable by sending me somewhere I don’t want to go, and make me do things I really don’t want to do?
  • Can God be trusted to take care of me? He didn’t protect me from the bad things that happened when I was growing up. So how I can trust Him to care for me as an adult?
We accept this internal struggle as part and parcel of living in our modern, pressure packed, dog eat dog, western industrial, media inundated, social networking, Internet paced, competitive, and ever-changing world. After all, most of the emerging generations of our day view the church, conservative Christianity, and what these institutions represent as irrelevant to what they are going through in their difficult day-to-day life. And sadly, this assessment is often truer than we’d like to admit.

But what if a lot of the thoughts that go on deep within us are, in reality, a facet of a pervasive, hidden, secret, occult, raging guerilla warfare that would make Iraq and Afghanistan look like the Mickey Mouse Club? What if an extremely adept and deceitful prince of the power of the air 2 has cunningly penetrated western culture and is using his years of experience in treachery, skillful deception, and well developed trickery to prevent us from perceiving the real ardor, of a non-stereotypical God who is passionately in love with His creation and therefore desires to bring about what will contribute to our genuine, long term well-being.

What if the devil and his angels are alive and well and conducting a raging, multifaceted, covert, clandestine warfare that would make the Central Intelligence Agency look like a bunch of rank amateurs? What if the cunning treachery of the serpent is so incredibly evil, illusory, malicious, and malevolent that it would make Jack the Ripper, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, and the BTK strangler look like Sunday school classmates?

This is the fifth part of some thoughts I wrote in the fall of 2012 in an attempt to capture the incredible power, glory, splendor, radiance, and majesty of God speaking in the creation as well as the rebellion of Lucifer and his fallen angels. I'd enjoy any feedback you might have: L2G.Forum@gmail.com.
~ Rusty Rustenbach © 2012

1 Hebrews 5:14 in the Amplified alludes to this lack of discernment for most of us. But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.
2 Ephesians 2:2 (nasb) speaks of this clandestine and deceptive warfare. “In which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.”

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Creative Power of the Voice of God – The Serpent – No. 4


Moving on into the third chapter of the book of Genesis, an unusual serpent slithers his way into the Garden of Eden. He stands out because he’s more shrewd and devious than any other created being. Cunningly, this arrogant and deceitful rebel initiates a conversation with Eve where he seeks to undermine and minimize the Word and Authority of her Creator. “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”  1  It’s obvious that this pernicious fraudster knows this is not what the Creator actually said, but he uses this ruse to establish a connection and draw Eve into his cunning web of manipulation.  

In her innocence, Eve is unable to discern the deceptive ploy perpetrated by the serpent. Naively she replies, “Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It’s only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, ‘Don’t eat from it; don’t even touch it or you’ll die.’”  2

This slithering stranger undermines the loving intent of the Creator. Though banished from heaven, Lucifer is still seeking to usurp the supremacy of the Author of Life and to trick Eve into disobeying the Truth.  Defiantly he offers, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”

This is the fourth part of some thoughts I wrote in the fall of 2012 in an attempt to capture the incredible power, glory, splendor, radiance, and majesty of God speaking in the creation. I'd enjoy any feedback you might have: L2G.Forum@gmail.com.
~ Rusty Rustenbach © 2012

FOOTNOTES

1 Quoted from Genesis 3:1 in The Message.
2  Genesis 3:2-3 (msg)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Creative Power of the Voice of God - No. 3


~ Day 6 ~ 
On the sixth day, the Father, Son, and Spirit crowned their creative work by making human beings in their own image. The Trinity wanted to place a creature on earth that would reflect many of Their incredible attributes. And so God made the first man, Adam. However, seeing that the isolation of man was not good,1 He took a rib from Adam’s side and fashioned Eve 2 as his ideal companion and helper.

God also created spirits to specifically minister His loving care 3 to the one’s He made in His image somewhere in the midst of this initial time period.4 He called them angels.5 These ministering spirits were not glorified human beings.

Marring the harmony, beauty and awe of all that God had brought into being by His spoken word, one of the most beautiful ministering spirits 6 refused to submit to the rule and authority of the Three-and-One by spearheading an ugly rebellion. The brilliance of this rebel was so great that he was allegorically referred to in ancient scroll of Isaiah as the star of the morning (or Lucifer7) and the son of the dawn.  In his rebellion, he vowed five times to elevate himself by refusing to submit to the direction and supremacy of the Creator. 8 One third of the angels 9 joined in his rebellion. Revelation 12:9 says, And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. After his rebellion, Lucifer was referred to with numerous others names such as the great dragon, the serpent, the devil, and Satan.


This is the third part of some thoughts I wrote in the fall of 2012 in an attempt to capture the incredible power, glory, splendor, radiance, and majesty of God speaking in the creation. I'd enjoy any feedback you might have: L2G.Forum@gmail.com.
~ Rusty Rustenbach © 2012


FOOTNOTES

1  This is the first time in the creation narrative that God declared that something He had created as “not good.”
3  Based on Hebrews 1:14 (amp): “Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service <of God for the assistance> of   those who are to inherit salvation?”
4   In Job 38:4 & 7 (niv) we see the angels singing praise at the creation of the earth. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.  While the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?"
5 The word “angel” and “angels” appears in the Bible 283 times.
6 Ezekiel 28:12-18 allegorically refers to the perfection and beauty of the devil and says he was originally “anointed as a guardian cherub” and that his “heart became proud on account of (his) beauty.”
7 Isaiah 14:12 employs the Hebrew word לליה (heylel) to describe this angel who chose rebellion. Strong’s concordance translates this word as either the morning star or Lucifer.
8 "How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’” Isaiah 14:12-14 (nkjv).
9 Revelation 12:4 alludes to one third of the angels joining in his rebellion.