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September 13, 2020 12:01 am
Carter Conlin from the historic Times Square Church in New York City hear him, hear him your voices don't matter, your plans will come to nothing. Your strategies will not build this kingdom that you can't even see with your natural here is Carter Conlin from Times Square Church in New York City with a snippet from today's message on a call to the nation. What is it that causes you and me to be unable to fully hear the voice of God and what is the Bible say we must do to be able to hear him. That's also the title of today's message on a call to the nation. Let's join Carter now to unravel these questions on the word of God.
Matthew chapter 17 beginning at verse one now after six days Jesus took Peter, James and John, his brother and led them up to a high mountain by themselves. He was transfigured before them, his face strong like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light, and behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them talking with him numbered were looking at a spiritual experience probably unparalleled in the sense to anybody. Their generation. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here if you wish.
Let us make here three tabernacles one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah while he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. Here him and when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. Here you see humanness and divinity meeting together on a mountain or God's about to do something that is absolutely powerful.
It's phenomenal and Peter in his humanness. It's true it's true in our humanness will always gravitate to present or past experience for our sense of comfort and well-being. These computers, a kind of amended said hey it just doesn't get better than this. This is awesome where the son of God. Here we have Moses we have Elijah, a represented course the law and the prophets being fulfilled in one sense in Christ we have the presence of God. The Transfiguration were alone with God were on a mountaintop we don't have to deal with the people are all around us.
This is a great place to just camp and let's stay here forever. That is the human condition. That's what we you and I always want to do. First of all we wanted to clear something to be good as equal or better than the best.
In other words to remember Genesis chapter 3 verse five. The temptation of Satan was, that you can be as God as ours as judges and says there is a King James and you can be the arbiters in the sense of what is good and what is evil and so we have this propensity when God's trying to show us something to jump in and make a declaration of something that we think is good and in our humanness. We always want to camp in a certain place. That's why churches that have known revival generally died. You know that I met you work that you will go through history, great, great revivals have happened. I'm talking about real revival not not a lot of the stuff that's going on.
Maybe in some places over the years, but real revival were people coming in there turning to God the repenting, the glory of the Lord is is in the actual physical building and you go back there. A few years later and you you have the same people trying to relive the same experiences of three years ago five years ago 10 years ago I had the privilege of preaching in Wales in one of the buildings that was so significant in the in the walls revival 1904 and I remember that people are still sitting there with it for the walls revival happened again over 100 years later and the not moved in the church says there's a dullness there are because they've not really moved on with God where God is moving. It's a danger that we all face. Our tendency is to jump in and declare something to be good and say were going to camp there were going to stay here were gonna revel in this. This is going to become our identity. From this day forward and while Peter is speaking. It says in verse five. While he was still speaking so here's here's Peter, representing humanity, making declarations about what is good and this is God's year and everything he's saying actually is good but it's not it's not complete it's not where God is leading it's not what God is speaking while he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them in a voice came out of the cloud, saying, this is my beloved son in whom I well pleased hear him now this is not being said for the benefit of Moses or Elijah or Jesus. This is being said for the benefit of Peter, James and John mail put it bluntly, God is telling these men stop speaking and start listening to the son of God.
He is going to lead you somewhere your opinions in the kingdom of God. Don't matter. Your opinions don't produce life.
Your opinions don't lead into the supernatural. Your opinions don't bring about deliverance to people who are hurting at the base of this mountain, for example, your opinions are worth nothing and all you can build is something that will ultimately become irrelevant.
If you're not willing to walk with the son of God.
That's why many churches that have known great movies of God in the past are now irrelevant today go to New York City to find great stone buildings all over the place that are now just museums their empty and when you walk into the essay.
Surely something must've been here at some time because people put a lot of time and energy, money into the building of these billings yet is nobody left here anymore. What happened to these people. It's time for us to stop losing their own voices and listen to the wonders been sent to lead us not Christ came to seek and save that which was lost and he calls you and I to follow him and not to spend our full time seeking personal revelation, comfort and spiritual experience as a whole segment of the charts today.
Folks, it's only do that is run from place to place to place to place to seeking revelation seek ultimately seeking personal comfort and seeking some new experience and just run around talking about, you know that the tingling is that they had in the last minute he attended in the last country. They want to and the whole pursuit is is amounted Transfiguration and want to camp. There they want to stay there. They want that to be there whole spiritual experience. But you see the revelation of who Jesus Christ is begins to lead us to what he God is a those are two parts to this. The Transfiguration was there. They spoke of his decease and tells us in other places that he was about to accomplish in Jerusalem that through Christ. Everything that was prefigured through the law and the prophets was about to be fulfilled at the cross.
A church was going to be born. This church was going to go in into all of the world and this wonderful message of salvation through Jesus Christ was going to be preached to everyone who had the ears to hear. Now he was leading them somewhere. But there were so engrossed in their own ideas of what spiritual experience leaves through that they couldn't hear him yet and it's like God had to override the whole thing quiet Peter down and say to Peter, basically, and James and John, this is my son hear him, hear him your voices don't matter, your plans will come to nothing. Your strategies will not build this kingdom that you can't even see with your natural hear him. He is the captain of the Lord's army. He is the one who appeared to Joshua and told him take off your shoes and other words I don't want your plans.
I don't want your strength. I don't need your ideas.
I need your obedience, and even of my plan to seems to be ridiculous. Follow it and you watch what will happen to me talk better with a ridiculous military strategy march around a walled city seven days and just say nothing. I picked up consist of a low fit in the in the reality of it is that it's a prefiguring of what happened here in the Transfiguration Regatta sink told talk because the moment you do, you will destroy the plan of God plan of God is for you to do is walk around in confidence, blow the trumpets, and one could tell you shout. And when you shout to go to see what God can do. It was leading them to a place with a couldn't fully hear it yet.
Now the question arises why couldn't they fully hear him and what is it that causes you or me to not be able to fully hear the voice of God. I don't know about you, read it. I hope you're as I am, but I want to hear his voice more every day. I wanted to leave me.
It's easy to come up with idea and the more experience you have, the more ideas you have and but the kingdom of God is not built by men's ideas and never has been, and it never will be. Guide tabernacles will be erected.
Tents will be made and people will talk about what happens somewhere sometime to somebody and will always be about the past, never about the future of it I don't know if you ever notice that the giver traveled to places where the church literally died and the people may still come into the building, but the whole conversation is going to be about yesterday what God did yesterday and through whom he did something yesterday. They have absolutely no vision for the future because they're no longer listening to the voice of the son of God. That's why the father said this is my son hear him, hear him eat all through the book of Revelation. Every church and you'll notice he says he who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit speaks to the churches. I want hearing years. I want God to lead my life and I don't know how long I've got left on this earth but I want to live it for him and God is not interested in my I have a lot of ideas. Obviously, after after years of experience of walking with God. You have a lot of ideas but the one thing I have learned is that if he's not leading is no power in the what God does not initiate. He does not sustain. It's simple, it's equates it's it's simple if he's leading the supernatural will always follow it if is not leaving.
It was just a good idea then went were on our own with our own little tabernacle on the top of the mountain talking about our past spiritual experiences they couldn't hear him and we can't hear him yet because in Peter's case and the disciples they were still leaning on their own strength in their own understanding Jesus was trying to speak to Peter but Peter was, not listening. Yet remember in the Scriptures.
He told Peter where I'm going. You can't follow me know what was Peter's response old. Yes, I will follow you all yes and if you go to Jerusalem to die and go to die with you, and these others hear they may not have the courage to go but I will not turn back and I will not do this and I will talk to that is just full of himself is full of his own ideas is full of his own strength. Jesus is trying to speak to him and say to him, Peter, before the rooster crows are going to three times deny that you even know me. Now you can hear it because he still relying on his own strength and he doesn't understand that work. Christ is leading we can't follow without his strength. There's a lot we can do without the strength of God. But where he's leaving.
We cannot go without his strength. I been around long enough to know this. This truth there is a wonderful truth that I've espoused a few times over the years and it's just simply said in a simple statement the end of ourselves is the beginning of God.
God had to bring Peter to an end of himself. He had to bring them to place red. Nothing left to say he had denied all he could do was weep bitterly because he had all his ideas came to nothing. Always is trusting himself came to nothing. All of his boasting and bragging of all the things he was going to do and accomplish and how loyal he was going to be to the kingdom of God and only ability he said he had that he doesn't possess.
Finally it came to an end and what came to an end, he could start to hear now the voice of the son of God. This is my word to you.
Many who are out there and you're struggling in your suffering and and you've come to the end of your your testimony would be type of come to the end of myself while the good news for you is the end of you is the beginning of God. Now, now, your ideas of come to nothing. You've run into the brick wall with all humanity could runs into when they try to follow God in their own strength.
Now you're willing and ready to be trained. Now you're willing and ready to hear and to follow where God is leading you. Remember, it's not in our strength, the kingdom of God advances it's in our weakness with his strength manifested through our weakness. All the apostles said it this way when I'm weak, then I am strong.
He understood it the second reason why we find it hard to hear the voice of the son of God is because we are unwilling, in many cases to put away old things and to embrace that which is new. Remember, if anyone was in Christ is a new creation. Old things are passed away and behold all things are become new.
So God is not just taking us out of where we used to be, but is bringing a center where you would have us to go the Spirit of God comes into our life according to Jesus in the Gospel of John, and he shows us things to come be start speaking to us about what he has for us, not what we have for him is a huge difference. Note in our humanity which we will make promises to God that we can fulfill. And finally, when we come to an end of that. Suddenly, God starts making promises to us is by these promises that we begin to live in would become everything that God has called us to be, but there's got to be a willingness to put old things away. For example, old comforts need to be put away old experiences. Yes, we can remember them but we don't. There we don't live there. In other words, we we say goodbye to it as it was agreed it was a wonderful time.
Thank God for the time but it's over.
We got to move on now to where God is leading us. Old friends have to be put away. A lot of people want the kingdom of God but they want their old friends at the same time. Member the children of Israel. They came out of Egypt and and they they suddenly in the wilderness started remembering that the leaks in the garlic. Can you imagine over remember the leaks. Remember the garlic did they forget the children were being thrown in the river there that they forget that they cried out in their bitter bondage. And God heard their cry and sent Moses to deliver the middle were so prone. The sale was so good back there was that we forget the depression, the addiction get the brokenness and were unwilling to make that the break and sometimes were unwilling to even make the break from our achievements of the past when God's telling us we want to sit in our office.
Look at all our certificates on the wall and sick all what a wonderful person I am and look at all the wonderful things that I've done and the apostle Paul in Philippians chapter 3 all what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for credit.
He had a reputation.
Paul he was schooled among the Bastille.
He was a scholar he people would.
I thought as he walked down the street people would say there goes Paul I mean he himself declared that he was blameless concerning the law. There were not many, if any, that could even make that claim Paul's singlet and I've actually fulfilled the law. He was extremely zealous for the things of God and the garnered no doubt a reputation had a brilliant mind. This man and and no doubt people would notice him everywhere he went, but he said those things. I counted loss for Christ. Yeah, indeed. I also got all things lost for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I've suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ you see your current start to hear the voice of the son of God until you and are willing to walk away from everything that we need to leave behind us. It's really that simple know we have to be willing to be led away from even good things number. Peter said it's good to be here. We have to be willing to be led away from even good things because the things that God has for us are better than the our good. Thanks for the things we declare to be good now. Lastly, just as Jesus did in Matthew chapter 17 we must be willing to be led from spiritual experience to spiritual need pico to stay on the Mount of Transfiguration. It was God. He had Moses in the Lodge whether Ms. got his father speaking from heaven is gotta small entourage, at least of followers that he could teach could stay there forever. They could adjust the rest their lives. The submaster master, but he had come for a mission yacht at the top of the mountain was this wonderful spiritual experience at the bottom of the mountain was a father crying out for a demon possessed child, a child that was being thrown into the fire. A child that was being thrown into the water child was being virtually destroyed by the powers that I had a hold of him and you think about our generation and what's happening to our children. The unbridled passion the on the unmitigated confusion in all of their lives that that the sense of hopelessness and anger. This getting a hold of this present generation and we when I can live our Christian life just talking about old experience. Or we can follow Jesus ago down the mountain to where the human need really is. And that's exactly what happened in the book of acts chapter 2 they went from all of the places that they had been led by the spirit of God.
Now into the upper room and this this is a marvelous experience for me. This is something that's been prophesied about by the prophets there about to experience it something that the most profound profits in the Old Testament only could dream about the spirit of God was about to fill every one of them there were going to be given this explosive ability to communicate with people of other cultures in other languages, they could've just hated the upper room they could There it was another Transfiguration mass say that because they were the ones that are being transfigured by the spirit of God.
The they could've just stayed there and spoken times to one another for the next five years. But you see spiritual experience through them because are being led by the voice of God to spiritual need, just outside of where they were.
There was thousands of people coming from the temple making making great journeys to get the editor to try to worship God in the best way they knew how, even though it was deficient in short of redemption through the son of God, and they walked out of that spiritual experience and went right into that mountain of spiritual need and that's how the church was born. That's how the church was led all the way through the book of acts member Paul the apostle said we wanted to go to Asia, but the Spirit of God said no see. He had learned. Now to hear the voice of God. Peter learned to hear the voice of God and the best thing you could ever happen to you and to me into this present generation is that once again we might learn to hear the voice of God. It affects the way we pray if we hear the voice of God, we suddenly are are coming in is not a one-way communication anymore with him. It's a two way communication we are putting our petitions or our concerns before God, our ears are now open. He begins to speak to us and tells us which way to go. Why because we come to the end of ourselves. We are willing to walk away from old things and we need to walk away from and were willing to be led by him into the mountain of spiritual need. That is part of our generation. I don't know about you but I am unwilling to let this generation died on my watch. I am asking God lead me, lead me to where I need to go give me what I need to say, walk with me. Oh God, you never you don't send your servants are powerless. Help me to hear what you're saying. Help me to speak with you and for you so that you can move your hand.
Once again, as you always have throughout scriptural history and that you can bring glory to your own name.
Give me the grace to abandon my ideas, my dues are worthless. Give me the grace to abandon that give me the grace to recognize them give me the grace Lord Jesus Christ, to be led by you and by you alone because your voice is the only voice that has the power to bring life out of death. In light of darkness and something out of nothing. Everything else is just the tabernacle and the mountaintop, something created by the hand of man. I want to close with this. We talk about human need.
Isaiah the prophet God said through Isaiah chapter 58 verse six and onward is new is this not the fast that I've chosen to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens and to let the oppressed go free, is it not to break every yoke to share your bread with the hungry. You bring the poor were cast out to your house and when you see the naked that you cover him and hunt and not hide yourself from your own flesh. In other words, if if your whole religion is about yourself, you won't be able hear the voice of God in your prayers will amount to nothing. But if you're willing to go with Jesus into this mountain of human need, as he did when he went down from the mountain of Transfiguration and met with this man and his son and set this boy free the promises then your light will break forth like the morning your healing will spring forth speedily the righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call in the Lord will answer you will cry and he will say here I am. If you take away the old from your midst, the pointing of the finger. In other words, looking to blame somebody for the way things are in society today and speaking wickedness. Unlike the original King James is this is empty talk. If you extend your soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then your light till dawn in the darkness in your darkness shall be as the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought and strengthen your bones. You shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail in those from among you shall build the old ways places you shall raise up the foundations of many generations and you shall be called the repairer of the breach in the restorer of streets to dwell in. If you are willing to go where Jesus is leading. That is the key you have a choice now you can count on an old experience and either literally that you can go to heaven with you spiritually die and that'll experience or you can just leave it and go where God is leading you now you watch with God will begin to do you been listening to Carter Conlon from Times Square Church in New York City. For more information and resources to help you in your walk in Christ. Log on to TSC.NYC TSC.NYC, be sure to be with us next week for a call to the nation with 100,