Greetings again my Brethren.  God most certainly has His means to teach us His divine ways.  Last month we looked at a few means and this month we continue by looking at: in need and in the storm. Who would believe God would use such means to teach us His divine ways? Most Christians think God would use a great blessing in our lives, well not so.  I am not sure, but I do not think I know a man or woman who does not have a need in their lives.  Of course the greatest need in our lives is more of the knowledge of God, but God also uses physical and spiritual needs in our lives to draw us closer to Him so that we will come to personally know Him as the only one who can meet our need and our needs in our lives.  In John we read where Jesus used the physical need of hunger to satisfy the spiritual need of a multitude of people. “And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased. 3And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh. 5When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? 6And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.”  (John 6:2-6)  Jesus already had a plan to feed the people (see verse 6), but He wanted to teach the disciples more of the ways He operated.  God’s means that teach us of His divine ways are always “proving” or testing us.  Jesus was testing Philip to see what of God had been built in Him over the many days he had walked with the LORD.  So too in lives God proves or approves us always testing us to see if we will follow Him and His ways not to punish us, but to reward us. In Exodus God told Moses,  “Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.”  (Exodus 16:4) The reward here was manna, heavenly bread. And in Deuteronomy again God was talking to Moses, “And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no.”  (Deuteronomy 8:2)  God led His children 40 years in the wilderness “to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart.”God changes not so too He will lead us to humble, prove, and to see what is in our heart.  Sadly the folks in John 6:14 with a full belly only saw Jesus as a prophet,

“This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”And not the Christ the Son of God. When we allow God to approve us we will have the right revelation.

Storms and conflicts in our lives can last for minutes, days, even years, but make no mistake storm and conflicts are the greatest means God uses in our lives. Troubles in our lives makes for great teachers.  In Mark we find the disciples right after a mighty miracle launching out into the deep with the LORD. “And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”  (Mark 4:36-40)  From the start even before the storm (back in verse 35) Jesus told them they were crossing over to the other side how safe is that? Even if the ship that the disciples were in sank they could have gotten picked up by another ship that was in the flotilla crossing over.  Well they had to wake up Jesus to take care of the situation. They were afraid the storm was raging, but the fear was not from the waves and the wind, but from their lack of trust. Jesus had to calm the physical elements so that the disciples could get their emotions in check, so too in our lives.  God often will use physical means that affect our spiritual understanding.  Many Christians quote, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (1 Timothy 1:7) And “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.”  (1 Corinthians 14:33) well I am here to tell you God is the author of confusion; God creates all things (see Isaiah 45:5-7) and serve Him long enough and you will feel fear in the pit of your stomach like being hit by a  sledge hammer. The fear is from the word that the LORD speaks to us that threatens our self-life.  Our self-life rises up to reject God’s word in disobedience.  I have felt it many times. When I started to travel many years ago I would feel it when God spoke to me, but now it seems I feel it after I buy my ticket, now I have some skin in the game.  God will use fear to prove us and to see what is really in our heart.

Next month we will look at two other means, in conflict and by private teaching. Who would ever think conflict to be a teacher? Do you hear Him now?