What if God has a special message just for you?
Consider His name from Isaiah 9:6. Wonderful Counselor.
Wonderful. The Hebrew word (Isaiah 9:6) is not your normal wonderful, as in “I made a wonderful pancake!” or “Daddy – I almost made it to the potty!” Answer from exasperated Dad. “Wonderful.”
No – it is “wonderful” as in describing something only God can do. Like parting the Red Sea, raising Lazarus from the dead, or giving a man or woman a new lease on life.
And Jesus is the wonderful counselor. He gives counsel that only God can give.
“Yeah yeah yeah David – I’ve heard that a thousand times. Everyone knows that! It’s common sense.”
Ok. But do you expect Him to give you counsel?
Because You should. You should expect to hear from this Jesus who is called Wonderful Counselor, all the time. You should expect to hear from Him:
- Through His Word.
- Through His Church.
- Through Godly people.
- Through circumstances.
- Through His Holy Spirit.
- Even through dreams (a little more rare, but He does).
Personally, I expect to hear from Jesus most of the time. And when I’m listening, I almost always hear.
This is why – personal testimony – when I’m not working on a Sunday – especially on vacation, if at all possible I never ever ever miss a chance to worship somewhere. Because I expect to hear from Him there and I usually do! I love that about Jesus.
Granted you have to be discerning about which church – church of the holy hand grenade won’t do it (Monty Python reference).
For 2000 years, since Christ rose on Sunday, true blue followers of Jesus have set a priority over all other things to worship their King on that day.
I thought about this a lot this week, considering the Wonderful Counselor, and here’s what I discovered:
- His most powerful counsel to me (like “changed the trajectory of my life” kinds of messages) have occurred when I was sitting in a worship service.
- All of His clearest and most concise counsel to me about my purpose in life came during a worship service.
The two most significant: when God called me to become a pastor, when He called me to start Fort Bend Fellowship (I wrote about it here).
So given the opportunity to hear from God in a place that is actually designed to amplify His voice, how could I miss? It’s like winning the lottery without spending the milk money!
Just consider – what if on a given Sunday morning God actually:
- Has a special message for me that could make me the best father I could be for my daughters?
- Has a special word that could make me love my wife better?
- Wants to tell me to stop doing something (that’s not necessarily sinful) that will end in disaster?
- Wants to tell me to start doing something that will make my family rich spiritually, emotionally or yes, even financially?
- Wants to call me to a powerful mission and purpose that He planned before I was born?
- Has a special word that will heal deep scars and damage in my life?
- Has a special word that will pull me out of depression and into His light?
- Has a word that will allow me to bless those I love in ways that I could never think of on my own.
The truth? He’s delivered every one of those messages to me through a worship service. He’s altered my destiny and that of my family through counsel He delivered through worship services. And so I’d have to be crazy to miss out on that.
“Come on David! Get real!! God could have delivered every single one of those messages somewhere else if you missed church! He’s not confined by you being there at the designated hour that He planned for you to hear it. He’s everywhere!”
True. But I don’t think He would have. Because my heart wouldn’t have heard it.
Think about it. God calls the church the body of Christ and the bride of Christ. Jesus died for the church. Jesus said “I will build My church.” The church is His prized possession.
It’s been said that 90% of success is showing up. And if I can’t even show up to be part of His most prized possession on earth, how likely is it that God’s going to trust me with bigger things like earth shattering messages and missions?
Answer: not likely at all. And that’s the bad news. Because it means many are squandering a great gift that Christ has given them.
But the good news is the Wonderful Counselor is speaking! And He’s not speaking in code or a language that only angels can understand. He’s offering counsel that you can’t get anywhere else, to anyone who will just “show up” every day with an expectation of hearing.
The Wonderful Counselor is speaking:
- Expect to hear from Him. Wake up every day with the expectation that you will hear from Him today.
- Constantly put yourself in a position to hear from Him: through His Word, through His church. Head in expecting that He is going to speak.
- Act on what you hear. And watch Him work in your life.
And Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:9