david maxey

November 24, 2009

Why Can’t I Hear God’s Voice?

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 5:38 am

The heart cry of so many believers is to hear the voice of God. We hear others say things, like, “God told me…”, and sometimes it makes us wonder, “Why don’t I hear His voice?” It can make us feel left out and inferior. Even worse, it can make us think that hearing God’s voice is only for “chosen” ones, and is unattainable for us. These notions are incorrect and are not in line with God’s will.

Think about it. If you were in God the Father’s place (don’t get too carried away with this thought!), and your will was for all to come to the knowledge of the truth as revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ, and the way you had ordained for this to happen was through the ‘foolishness’ of preaching facilitated through the members of the Church, wouldn’t it be in your best interests to devise a form of communication with the members of the Church that was simple and accessible? Why would you ever limit it to a group of a select few? Why make it so difficult that few could ever decipher it? No, you would make it as simple and accessible as possible. You know what? God in all His infinite wisdom did exactly that: His forms of communication with us are the simplest, most accessible forms of communication in existence. There’s nothing similar that could even remotely compare to them.

Now, most of you are probably thinking, “Here it is, ANOTHER article about prayer. Ho hum.” But this article isn’t about prayer. “What?” you ask, “But you’re talking about hearing God’s voice.” Actually, that’s not really what I am talking about. I am talking about communication with God: the way He relays information to us. Most other people equate praying to God with hearing God’s voice, but I am going to go out on a limb by faith and make a distinction between the two.

You see, most people limit God’s methods of communication to just one – hearing His voice. Therefore, since they limit communication with the Father to just one channel, they actually end up missing out on the bulk of the information He relays to them. Also, people of this persuasion tend to limit hearing God’s voice to designated blocks of time set part for this purpose only. So not only are they tuned into one singular channel, they are tuned in to it only at specific, unfrequent times. Sadly, this eliminates the greater part of the day, during which, incidentally, receiving information from the Father is VITAL.

Another important point is that even those who do “hear God’s voice” often use the term “hearing God’s voice” as a broad qualifier which actually includes other forms of divine communication. In other words, they have a tendency to group all forms of divine communication under one broad heading: hearing God’s voice. While they are sincere, as a pastor, I have seen how this terminology can confuse and mislead others, especially new believers. It would be best to get our terminology right.

So, David, what is your point? My point is that God has devised many means of communicating with us, and the chief method is not hearing His voice, as many have thought. The chief way that God communicates with us (relays information to us) is through our spirits. Now, I realize that may sounds vague, but stay with me. Instead of searching for a voice to lead and guide you, realize that the main way God is going to communicate to you will be through your spirit, your inner man. Yes, you may hear His voice within your spirit, but chances are you will more frequently receive information from Him through an inward “knowing”, “teaching”, “peace”, or “desire”. Let me share a few verses of Scripture with you to support this:

1).  I John 2:20: But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. ESV. Make sure you read the next verse which tells us where this anointing is located.

2). I John 2:27: But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything—and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you—abide in him. ESV. You see that this anointing dwells in us and it gives us knowledge and teaches us: imparts knowledge unto us.

3). Colossians 3:15: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. ESV. The word “rule” in this verse means to “umpire”. In other words, it means that peace should be the determining factor in the decisions we make. It should act as an “umpire” in our lives, deciding what we should or should not do.

4). Philippians 2:13: for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. It is God who produces the willingness to do something or go somewhere. He leads us by the desires of our hearts. Incidentally, the Russian translation of this verse has the word “will” as “desire”.

5). Romans 8:16: The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

As you can tell, these different methods of communication may or may not include a literal “voice” speaking to you. I have found that the most often do not. However, each one is a viable method of divine communication. If we realized that God communicates to us in these ways, we would comprehend that He is in constant communion with us, we just don’t realize it because we are busy straining to hear a voice.

Most often, the Lord leads me by an inward knowing, followed by a willingness in my heart to do something. For example, the other day this “knowing” came to me that I should call a certain brother in our church. On the heels of this knowing came a desire to call him. I never heard a voice saying, “David, you must call so-and-so.” No. It all happened inside, in my spirit. Thankfully, I realized it was the Lord and called the guy. It was the right thing to do. I called at the right time when he really needed to hear from me. Mission accomplished.

I encourage you to follow these leadings of the Holy Spirit. Don’t just expect to hear a voice. Realize that the Lord will lead you variously. When you start expecting Him to lead you by these other methods, in addition to a voice, you’ll discover that He is communicating with you all the time!

November 19, 2009

Monopoly

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 4:39 am

Everybody loves a good game of Monopoly. The quest to obtain riches and influence never ceases to lure us with its bedazzling charms. Not to mention that the miniature figurines (car, boot, etc.) have an allure all their own, at least they did to me as a child. Perhaps the game is at fault for us not being more aggressively opposed to real life monopolies. Believe me, we should be! Just like the game, real life monopolies tend to only benefit the monopolists, while the rest of the “players” go bust. Life in Russia has really exposed me to the rotten, corrupt underbelly of Monopoly. Let me share a true life example with you…

There are actually many examples of monopolies that I could share with you,  in fact, in my humble opinion the entire Soviet apparatus was one GIANT monopoly. Fortunately, today, things are different and continue to change, but the essence of monopoly still abounds in many regions of Russia. Recently, I talked with someone who works as an accountant for a laboratory that studies infectious diseases. The laboratory recently decided to expand its operations, hence, determined to construct a new facility. Before commencing construction of the new facility, the lab did a lot of research to deduce how much such a project would cost. Enter monopoly. Everything seemed doable till they contacted the water company, Vodocanal, and asked how much it might cost to hook up the proposed lab to the city’s water supply. What they discovered was nothing short of shocking.

Vodocanal, being a monopoly, has the privilege of dreaming up whatever prices they so desire for their range of services. Since there are plenty of fat cats in their employ who desperately need new luxury cars, expensive raiment, exclusive watches, etc. their prices can be astronomical. My accountant friend who works for the lab informed me that the cost of hooking up to city water through Vodocanal (incidentally, due to popular monopoly tradition, the ONLY way to hook up to city water) would actually cost more than building the new laboratory from foundation to shingles. And that’s just water. There’s also electricity, which is also controlled by a monopoly. Needless to say after the lab found out how much the water hookup would cost, they canceled their building project.

What can you do when a monopoly is in control?

You are obligated to either pay what they ask, or trust in the Lord, or both. Of course, the best way is to trust in the Lord. When you trust in the Lord, even if you end up having to pay, He will give you such favor with the monopolists that they decide to charge you much less than they could. I cannot imagine having to face monopolies armed with only the strength of the flesh and the mind. What a privilege to be endued with the power of God, and possess the mind of Christ! Let me share with you an example of this…

As you probably know, we are engaged in a building project here in Khabarovsk for our church, Fountain of Life. We will eventually also need to hook up to a water source, yet we certainly don’t want to pay more for the water hook-up than the entire building costs. What to do? The short answer, as you have already guessed, is to trust the Lord. The long answer is: trust in the Lord and ask Him for direction, guidance, and wisdom. That’s precisely what we did and the Lord impressed upon my heart that we should dig a well. The church’s soil is well irrigated, with an abundance of water underground. We priced it out and were informed that digging a well approximately 100 feet deep including pipes and a pump would cost around $6,000.00. While not a tiny sum, it is significantly less than it would cost to hook up to the city’s water, and we are guessing the well water will probably be of higher quality.

So there you have it, a great way to deal with monopolies is to trust the Lord with all your heart and not reply on your own strength and effort.

November 11, 2009

Olga Z

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 6:19 am

sve.ma-0018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So many major events have taken place recently that I am rather at a loss as to which one I should write about today, however, I think that I’ll start with the most graphic one.

October 22-29th our church hosted Rev. Joe Purcell – director of Rhema Bible Training Center Singapore and Inga’s and my spiritual father. We held evening sessions almost every day with the exceptions of Rev. Joe’s arrival and departure dates. Monday evening, October 26th, we had a wonderful time in the Lord, blessed by the power of the Spirit and the Word of God. After the service, I noticed that Inga, my lovely wife, was having a pleasant, animated conversation with a young lady from our church, Olga Zinovchuk. The thing I remember the most about it is Olga giggling happily away like a bubbling brook. I was so happy that she and Inga found time to fellowship. The following morning, we received some awful news: Olga, upon returning home from church, was viciously assaulted in the elevator on the way up to her 13th floor flat, and was in critical condition in the hospital.

As soon as possible, we visited Olga in the hospital. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. The form lying on that single mattress didn’t even resemble Olga aside from the shape and form of her arms and hands (her torso and legs were concealed by a blanket). A white bandage was wrapped tightly around the crown of her head. Her face was swollen to the point that her features were practically undistinguishable. Her eyes were sealed shut by puffy mounds of purple flesh surrounding them. The fleshly protrusions around her eyes dwarfed her nose, while though thankfully unbroken, seemed oddly deformed as if sunk into the encircling facial features. I sat down at her bedside with Inga close by my side, grasped Olga’s hand, and cried. It broke my heart to see one of my lamb’s in such a broken condition. After the tears stopped flowing, we anointed Olga with oil and prayed for her in Jesus’ Name. For some time we prayed in the spirit. In spite of her critical condition, we sensed the peace of God, and a steady faith in our hearts that Olga would certainly recuperate.

Eventually, things became clearer as to what exactly happened to Olga in the elevator, and as to the state of her injuries. Apparently, when Olga got in the elevator that fateful October night, she did so in the company of two other people: a woman and a man (unrelated to one another). The woman disembarked on the 5th floor, while Olga and the man continued upwards – the 13th floor being Olga’s final destination. Somewhere between the 5th and 13th floors, the man assaulted Olga while ascending in the elevator. Primarily her face was beaten in the attack and her skull fractured from being slammed into the elevator’s walls. Eventually, the elevator stopped (below the 13th floor), and the vicious assailant dragged Olga out of the elevator cabin and in to the corridor hoping to find a dark corner to secrete in and continue his nefarious deeds.

Meanwhile, the woman who disembarked on the 5th floor heard Olga’s screams and asked her husband to see what the trouble was. Thankfully, her husband climbed up the stairs in the building searching every floor for any sign of wrongdoing. It was his approaching footsteps which frightened away Olga’s assailant before more damage was done. When he found Olga bloodied and beaten on the floor, he called for an ambulance and Olga was taken to the hospital.

Most likely the motive of the assailant was rape. Praise God, he was thwarted in his evil plans by the good neighbor from the 5th floor. He has not yet been apprehended, but the police are searching for him.

The bulk of Olga’s injuries were confined to her head and face; amazingly enough no bones were broken with the exception of some hair line fractures on her skull. Her arms, legs, and torso were relatively undamaged. Possibly the most serious of the injuries was a “bruise” on her brain.

Today, Olga is vastly improved. I would say miraculously improved. The power of God at work in her body caused her to recuperate at a fantastic rate. The swelling on her face has receded completely. The only trace of her facial injuries are some broken blood vessels in her eyes, which make the whites crimson, but her eyes can see perfectly. Olga is able to walk around slowly with assistance; her main complaint is a ringing in her ears and dizziness. The doctors (who tend to be rather negative and gruff) are amazingly optimistic about her recovery, saying that she will recover 100%.

Olga is a living testimony to the saving power of God. She related to me that when assaulted the first thing to come to her mind were words from the 23rd Psalm. It is remarkable that this slight, petite young lady survived such an ordeal with her virtue intact and without grave injury. There is no sense in asking “why” it happened. The Bible makes it clear that we have an enemy who delights in attacking us saints. The point is that Jesus saved her life and subsequently healed her body. There is no doubt that it was He who inspired the 5th floor neighbor to search the entire building and come to her assistance. The trials of life come to us all, but, praise God, we have a Savior who delivers us out of them all!

 

November 4, 2009

Before He Dies

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidmaxey @ 3:00 am

Quit smoking

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few days ago, after Diana’s gymnastic practice, as we were exiting the gymnasium we happened upon an acquaintance of ours – a father of one of the other little gymnasts. Evidently he was waiting for his daughter, and was whiling the time away, leaning nonchalantly against the cold metal wall of the gymnasium auspiciously puffing away on a cigarette. We greeted one another and chatted for a few minutes before parting ways. As Diana and I headed out to the parking lot to our mini-van, Diana made an astute observation, “ Papa, that man must not be a Christian, huh?” “Well, Diana, I honestly don’t think that he is,” I replied. “We should tell him about Jesus shouldn’t we?” I posed a rhetorical question. “How about you do it.” she replied. She hesitated for a moment before adding, “You should tell him before he dies.”

 

Unfortunately, Russia is rife with smokers. A guest from the States once told me that Russia is a smoker’s paradise, since a pack of quality cigarettes only costs around $1.00. Since smoking people are all around us, Inga and I often have to respond to our children’s comments and questions about smokers and smoking. Obviously, it is our desire that our children realize that smoking is a deadly, nasty bondage, and, therefore, never engage in it. So, we have instructed them that smoking will hurt one’s body and eventually even destroy it. When asked why one would smoke when one knows it will kill oneself, we often reply, “They probably smoke because they don’t know Jesus, or they don’t know that Jesus died on the cross so they could be free from sin.” We are careful not to let our children think that smoking alone will send someone to hell, yet at the same time we want them to realize how harmful it is. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising to me that Diana assumed our smoking acquaintance: 1) didn’t know Jesus, and 2) was in grave physical danger. Her simple words impacted me greatly.

 

I believe that there is only one sin that will send one to hell, and that is unbelief, namely, unbelief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus stated in John 3:18 that he who does not believe in the name of the Son of God is condemned. Yes, unbelief is the only sin that condemns the unbeliever. Smoking, as awful as it is, will not condemn to eternal death, for if the smoker comes to Jesus and believes in Him, he will receive forgiveness of every sin and be washed whiter than snow. So the issue of eternal life or eternal death rests solely in believing or not believing in Jesus Christ!

 

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