Pastor Jim Sanderbeck

    June 1, 2021

    Over the Memorial Day weekend, I had some time to listen.  I listened to my wife.  I listened to graduation speakers.  I listened to some prophetic messages.  And this morning, I listened to God, and He said write this blog.  Now, some people, when you say something like “God speaks to me”, they will say “man, you are nutso.”  I even had a preacher say to me one time when I mentioned that God was speaking and healing in our home group that “I was playing God.”  Nothing could have been further from the truth ‘cause I don’t play God—ever.  The point is that, if you pursue God, you step into what I call the ‘growth zone.’  It is a place contrary to where most people dwell.  People love the ‘comfort zone.’  They like to follow the course of water—the easy way.  But God doesn’t dwell there.  He is always on the edge of creation.  The edge of creation is a risky place for men.  However, if you want to be where God is and if you really want to hear from Him, then, I’m sorry, you will have to go into the ‘growth zone’—often referred to as the ’groan zone.’  (That is where most men and even Christians will say “not sure I want to go there” and “man, you’re nutso.”  You might even be labeled a fanatic.  Oh yeah.  That’s what they say.  I say bring it on!)

    Just imagine what it would have been like for the two disciples that Jesus sent into Bethphage to get the colt on which He was to ride into Jerusalem.  It would be like saying today, “Go into downtown Sharon (local town here) and there will be a brand spanking new Lexus parked in the town plaza.  The fob will be in it.  Just get in and bring it back to me.  And, oh by the way, if anyone questions you, just tell them the teacher has need of it, and they will send you on your way.”  Risky?  Scary?  Yeah, right!  Everyone say “GROAN ZONE!”

    I have found in my life that not only is it good to hear His voice but that instead of it being a risky place it is also a place of safety.  Here is how the Scriptures combine His voice and His protection.  Psalm 95:7a tells us who we are: “For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.”  Jesus Himself tells us in John 4-5 & 27-28: “4  And when he [a good shepherd] puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. 27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

    When I was in critical condition in the hospital in 2005, after walking in the courtyards of heaven and then being sent back, Jesus spoke to me and said “speak to your heart and tell it what you want it to do.”  He was guiding and protecting me.  He would not let some low-level devil take my life.  When I obeyed, my heart returned to normal function and all the damage and related coronary issues were reformed and made whole.  That critical condition couldn’t be solved by doctors but He would not let me be plucked from His hand.

    Today, we, who are ‘groan zone’ enthusiasts in current events, should be practicing to hear His voice—not just to know He is there but also to know what to do and where to go next in our lives.  It is essential to life and the advancement of the Kingdom because there are no ‘How To’ books out there.  I have been encouraging everyone to listen and to stand firm to what God speaks to them and what He is speaking through trusted prophets and teachers.  One of the messages I heard over the weekend was from Dutch Sheets.  In this message, he talked about hearing the voice of the Lord for yourself.  He talked about how many don’t really believe God will speak to them, as individual sons of God. 

    An excellent message that can be found at this link:

    ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1_u3zCDJ-s  Please listen to it.) 

    In days past, trust has often been handed over to those who stand in places of visible leadership.  Not in this hour!  You must hear the voice of God for YOU!  I know God has spoken to me in words of knowledge that have alerted me to danger and how to circumvent that danger.  He has spoken prophetically in ways that I have seen manifest just as it was proclaimed.  He has spoken through the Holy Spirit to teach me things I had never even heard of before.  He has shown me error that if followed would lead me into a place of spiritual jeopardy.  He has directed me into things that were scary but obedience proved it to reformative and positioning for the plans He had for my life.  Who am I to have deserved such lavish care?  Just a man after His heart.  Just a man desiring above all else to be in His presence and positioned to serve.  By the way, just a man like you.

    God is speaking and He wants to speak to you.  Certainly, listen to those who cover you spiritually and to whom you submit BUT never substitute their voice for God’s.  You are called to Him first and foremost.  He provides covering for your protection and your direction but His voice is the only voice that is infallible.  It is not ever wrong.  Men, even those who are well-intentioned in your life, will miss it sometimes.  Yes, you may miss it.  That’s the risky part.  But when your heart is pure toward Him, He will work that error for good.  On the other hand, God never misses it.  Intentions can evolve into error.  Truth doesn’t evolve into something else.  Truth is truth—forever and always!  God is speaking to us.  He told me to write this blog.  Hey, welcome to the ‘growth zone.’


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