Monday, October 29, 2007

Hearing His Voice by Bob Yarbrough

The following is from Bob Yarbrough—a man who has "dug down deep" (Luke 6:48) concerning the inner life of intimacy with the Lord. He served many years as a missionary and pastor. He is the founding pastor of New Covenant Fellowship in Manassas, Virginia and is deeply respected by those who know him. He no longer the pastor, but is still lovingly referred to as Pastor Bob—and he has much to offer the body of Christ through his writings. If you are a pastor in the body of Christ, I highly recommend that you prayerfully invite Pastor Bob to minister to your congregation.

As I write this, I am lost for words to adequately capture or express the depth and quality of this man's life and ministry. In fact, I'll let Bob's words speak of his heart for the Lord.

This is part one of two part series.


The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:15,16)

The Spirit told Philip, ‘Go to that chariot and stay near it.’” (Acts 8:29)

A few books from my shelf deal with a subject of universal interest:

Does God Still Guide? By J. Sidlow Baxter: “Countless hearts today keep asking, “Which is the right way? What’s at the end? Is there a sure guide? Does God still guide? How may I know? The Bible answer is : Yes, there is guidance. God offers it to godly men and godly nations: and they may live safely in it.”

You Can Hear the Voice of God by Steve Sampson: "Countless Christians are tired of fleshly hype and hoopla, and desire to hear the Master’s voice. Sincere Christian leaders involve . . . baby Christians in church activities, quickly giving them a job title, doing special projects, and have them immersed in all manner of religious busyness. Yet Nothing is being done to train those spiritual babes to exercise their spirit by listening to the Lord…The simple truth has been forgotten. It is the most basic New Covenant principle."

None shall teach his brother, saying, ‘know the Lord, for all shall know me from the least of them to the greatest” (Hebrews 8;11).

The Sound of His Voice by Kim Clement: “The Bible says, ‘Let everyone who can hear, listen to what the Spirit is saying’ (Rev. 2:17). Our great concern should not be how the Spirit has directed us in the past, but what the Lord is saying now.”

How to Recognize God’s Voice by Graham Fitzpatrick: “When you are born again, your human spirit and the Holy Spirit become one with one another. 1 Corinthians 6:17 says: ‘But the person who is united to the Lord becomes one Spirit with Him.” Therefore, since your spirit becomes one with the Holy Spirit, your human spirit can very easily find God’s will.”

I seek to bear witness to the rising revolution of the manifestation of sons of God who are led by the Spirit of God. I have been assured that before it is over a purified Bride will gladly hear the voice of her Lover and obey His heart. For now, there must be those willing to be “heavenly misfits” who are an affront to culture’s religious ideas because they are living a life suited for “a new heaven and a new earth”—the suitable home of righteousness. Listening to heaven’s drumbeat, they walk “out of step” with the multitudes who live surface lives.
Thus we escape “the degrading slavery of being a child of this age” (Chesterton).

Proverbs 23:23Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.”

Bargain conscious Christians will buy cheap imitations at cut-rate prices. There are many slick salesmen ready to offer short-cuts to the palace of wisdom. Discipline is the expensive element missing in all such imitations.

Philip is our example of a normal believer hearing the voice of the Spirit. Look at Acts 8:29


He speaks. (“The Spirit told Philip...") The Book was not intended to replace the Voice.

Hebrews 12:25See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks.” (Acts 13:1,2 corporate guidance)

He speaks specifically. ("Go to that Chariot and stay near it." See also v. 27 “so he started out…”) Guidance is personal and progressive.

He speaks specifically to obedient servant spirits. (Philip ran…)

Jesus indicated that this would be the assignment given to the “Counselor” (John 16:13). Why are such incidents of guidance rare? Not because the Spirit is not speaking, but for lack of listening ears and intimacy with the “Counselor.”


Isaiah 50: 4-4,5The sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious.”

There is a mysterious balance between a “Sovereign Lord” who alone opens ears and a listening heart willing to be “wakened morning by morning” and “not be rebellious” but “putting the Word into practice” (James 1:25). Listen, hear, obey!

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Few Good Books

Since we’re talking about the topic of books on the subject of the prophetic, I thought it would be worthwhile to ask Brad Herman his recommended books on this topic. He humbly asserted that he himself was not necessarily wired prophetically—nonetheless, he could point me in the direction of books that others have spoken highly of. Brad is the owner of The Arsenal Bookstore based in Colorado Springs. I met Brad back in 2004 and I have tried as much as possible to purchase my books through his website in order to support a business that is definitely a Christ-centered enterprise. The bookstore was initially founded by Peter Wagner and it continues to sell books at conferences hosted by Wagner’s ministry.

Here is what Brad wrote…

Concerning Prophetic books, I would recommend several:

1. Understanding Prophetic People: Blessings and Problems with the Prophetic Gift by R. Loren Sandford - This book is a sound look at the character development that prophetic people will go through. This is one of the most well rounded books that would be good for someone who wants to understand the gift of prophet. Sandford does a great job of exposing the excesses.

2. How to Hear God’s Voice by Mark Virkler - Prophetic or not, every believer should read this workbook. This book is a classic that has helped many of today’s top prophetic people get their start. It is a sound, practical approach to hearing the voice of God.

3. The Seer: The Prophetic Power of Visions, Dreams, and Open Heavens by James Goll - For those who have open visions or are Seers, this is a good book that will help them understand their gifting.

The only other books that come to mind would be Graham Cooke’s new titles. I have only read bits and pieces of them, but he is a sound prophetic voice. End of Brad's recommendations
Personally I have only read Jim Goll's The Seer in its entirety, which I thoroughly enjoyed and found useful. Jim applies an exhaustive biblical study on this seer dimension that I am comfortable with—whereas, some other prophetic voices out there tend to gravitate towards “techniques” that are questionable. All prophetic activity stems from an intimate relationship with the Godhead—namely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Techniques can never substitute for an authentic pursuit of the hidden life that is found in the secret place in Christ. On the basis of His ongoing pursuit of us, we must pursue the deep things of His heart through the crux of the Cross. May your heart be stirred right now even as you read this to pursue the One who has pursued you! May your inner man desperately long for greater revelation of His great worth, His great splendor!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Favorite Book on the Prophetic

I recently asked Jon Cressey a question on his blog, The Days Are Coming, concerning what is his absolute favorite book on the prophetic. Jon Cressey is a guy that I've met via email about two years ago through my good friend Cesar Nieto. Jon is a prophetic voice in England and has extensive knowledge and understanding of the prophetic movement.

This question that I posed to Jon was prompted by my recent pursuit to understand more clearly the prophetic calling from a biblical perspective, and not simply through my own Western, charismatic lenses. It is a journey that I anticipate will take me well into 2008 and beyond as I seek the Lord for the greater understanding of this precious gift to the body of Christ.

What are book(s) that you would recommend regarding those who desire to walk in the fullness of their prophetic calling? Please take a moment to respond by sharing with readers of this blog what you would suggest for them to read. I too, will submit my top list once we have a few responses.

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Recommendations: Worship Music by Rick Pino

Check out these websites by Rick Pino: his home page and his MySpace page. Aneta and I first heard him on the Christ For the Nations Institute worship CD, Overtaken that came out a few years ago, which is definitely our favorite that CFNI has produced. Both Aneta and I attended CFNI so we have heard quite a few of their recordings. We definitely highly recommend this CD if you're looking for something new and fresh for your personal devotional times as you worship Jesus.

The past two weeks we have been playing the worship songs on Rick Pino's websites as we are praying and exalting Christ in our home. He definitely has a fresh sound that stirs something within the heart. My friend Darrian also got a hold of a CD by Rick and has been using a few of the songs as he leads worship at his church in Atlanta. Check it out!

For those of you in the Virginia area, Rick Pino is going to be in Harrisonburg in August at the Potter's House Worship Center. Check out his websites for more information.

Also feel free to share any worship music that you highly recommend others to check out.

For the Cause,

Brian Francis Hume

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Produce the Fruit of Purity

Several weeks ago I mentioned in a posting titled, "Is Lust Nullifying Your Voice?" that I had been invited by my pastor to share my story during the Holy Convocation at my church on Saturday, September 15. The objective as stated by the Elders of Grace Church was to call the men to live a life of holiness and purity even in the midst of a culture ensnared by perversion and porn. I was asked to share my personal testimony of how the Lord delivered me from a life enslaved to lust, anger, shame, and pornography. This was the precursor to my introduction on Sunday as a new staff member at Grace Church of Fredericksburg, assigned to work with young adults. Truly this was ordered of the Lord!

The turnout was superb! It seemed that we had just under 200 men in attendance that morning for the four hour session. It was evident that the Lord moved powerfully upon the hearts of the men present. I do want to thank many of you for praying for me during that time. There was definitely some intense warfare going on as I shared my testimony.

You may be wondering, “How did the actual testimony go on Saturday?”

Well, I’m glad you asked!

Honestly, it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I didn’t anticipate the awkwardness that was evident as I spoke. In so many ways, I wasn’t my usual self. Prior to the opportunity, I was quite excited and had mapped out a few main points that I intended to address. Normally I enjoy preaching/teaching in front of such crowds—yet, due to the nature of the topic, primarily my own journey to hell and back—I wasn’t as articulate as I would have preferred. Several times I paused, acknowledging the difficulty of sharing such things.

At the end, finally my composure broke as I expressed the reality of my past outlook in the midst of the seemingly never ending war against lust: I wasn’t going to make it. There was a point in the journey towards freedom that I thought I wasn’t going to make it through. The battle to walk in freedom was so fierce, so difficult, so painful—that I didn’t think I was going to emerge victoriously. Rather, I thought that I had forfeited my marriage, my calling as a prophetic voice to the nations, my integrity and character, and my intellectual prowess. The pain was like none other that I had ever experienced to that point, or since. During that season I wrote about it in my journal, labeling it the agony of nothingness. This is what I imagined how Esau (the brother of Jacob) felt—existing, but not alive—haunted by the memory of forfeiting his birthright for a measly bowl of stew.

Likewise, I had exchanged my spiritual birthright for a quick fix of illicit arousal that always brought forth the numbing reality of nothingness. This corrupt bowl of lasciviousness corroded my mental and emotional faculties—all the while my spirit was defiled.

Hope was no where to be found.

How could I possibly fight against this vile wickedness that was so seemingly embedded deep within—the lust, the perversion, the rebellion, the anger, the shame—among other vices? In the midst of this, I couldn’t hold on. Hope vanished. Like a dead corpse, I stumbled on, existing, but not fully alive. And definitely with no hope towards the future.

Yet, when I couldn’t hold on, somehow, Christ held onto me. In desperation I cried out to the Lord daily. During the first year I spent my hour of power with the Lord. Often I couldn’t pray with intelligible words, simply because I didn’t know what to pray when I was paralyzed with hopelessness and despair—instead I prayed in tongues, continually. Daily I bombarded the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) beseeching God for His mercy to be released upon me. There were no other options. I can recall crying out to God with loud cries for His mercy to be released in my life through the atoning work of the Cross. I was a desperate man. Mercy met me at my lowest point. I had sinned greatly against the Lord—therefore, I had to ask Him for even the desire to turn away from the sin so that I could seek Him with a pure heart. The callousness of my own heart was so real.

Time passed—yet, somehow I persisted in the face of great adversity and insurmountable odds. I did make it. Christ changed me from the inside-out as over time I was purged of the lust, rebellion, anger, and shame that had previously held me in bondage. Matthew 3:8 was a living reality in my life—“bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” It wasn’t enough to simply have a change in behavior with the roots embedded deep within, it required that I permit the Lord to do such a deep work of transformation within.

We must continue to walk in repentance from lust until we bear the fruit of purity and holiness in our lives. We can live in the freedom that Christ attained for us on the Cross. It is not God’s will for us to live with a heart that rages within to attain the illicit glimpse of the forbidden image of a seductive pose. Hence, if you don't bear the fruit of purity in this day and age, it will cost you something. Don't get me wrong, it will cost you something to walk in such purity of heart, but it will cost you more if you fail to do so. The cost of sin is far greater than the cost of paying the price to attain the fullness of the freedom through Christ's atoning work.

Keep pressing in until you bear the fruit of purity in your life. In the grace of God it is possible. Here are a few things that must be in place of you truly want to live in the freedom that Christ purchased by his blood. This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it serves as a starting point for wherever you are today.

Accountability—You won’t make it without this critical discipline, and it must be a person who is walking victoriously in this area. Don’t have someone who is struggling in this area to be the primary accountability partner.
Intimacy with the Lord—Cultivating this is the absolute key to long-term transformation. Without this dynamic, there will no true heart change even though behavioral changes may persist for a season. This includes the reading/studying of Scripture and the daily time spent seeking the Lord.
Pray in the Spirit—I’m specifically referring to the charismatic notion of praying in tongues. In this battle against lust, there are countless times when you will have no strength within to pray, but enough to pray in tongues. It builds up your spirit as you pray in agreement with the Father's perfect will over your life.
Friendship—This is so important. I’m talking simply about cultivating God-ordained friendships with others. Often these types of struggles cause us to isolate ourselves, which is very dangerous. The joy of friendship is priceless. Treasure them. Honor them with utmost diligence.
Small/Care Group—Find a small fellowship group to be a part of that meets consistently. Commit yourself to serving the needs of others within the group. This was also a context where I could encourage others even in my darkest hour. The group leader was aware of my situation and he sought my input during group discussion times.
Develop a war mentality—You have declared war once you have committed yourself to the process of walking in repentance. It isn’t a walk in the park—hence it is a crawl in a war zone with deadly bullets whizzing by your head.
Boundaries—This include getting rid of television and/or cable. My wife and I don’t have cable and we never will. Also she has ensured that nothing comes into the house such as women clothing magazines or anything of that nature. And I don’t have unlimited access to the Internet. Even though I walking in victory in this area, I am planning on installing software that will allow my accountability partner to receive weekly checkups as to what sites I’ve visited.
Education/Learning—For me this was a lifesaver. I was enrolled at Regent University pursuing my M.A. in Organizational Leadership. Continued lustful thinking destroys the mind. Pursuing my M.A. helped me tremendously by forcing me to think critically and abstractly, which strengthened my cognitive capabilities. Plus I was able to focus on other things rather than own my struggles.
Deliverance—Pornography does open the door for demonic spirits. There is a critical need to undergo some measure of deliverance from demonic spirits, especially once accountability and boundaries have been established in the life of the believer. However, if the person does not have these other dynamics in place, they probably won’t have the necessary inner fortitude to walk out the deliverance. Often in many charismatic circles, deliverance is seen as the only necessary key to being set free from porn, lust and perversion—I beg to differ. Deliverance alone doesn’t assure that the believer will have the necessary inner fortitude (self-control) to walk out that deliverance. However, it is a critical component of the overall equation of producing the fruit of purity. Also many want the deliverance, but they aren't willing to cultivate the repentant heart that precedes purity.

These pointers represent a starting point to implement in the quest for freedom in Christ.

So in spite of my inabilities that morning, God moved powerfully upon the hearts of the men. I had guys come to me sharing with me their vulnerabilities. Interestingly there was one thing I had forgotten to share that morning, which was a common theme in my conversations afterwards. During my darkest hour, one of the most intense desires was to meet another guy who had actually overcome an addictive lifestyle to lust—one who was walking in victory. I could never find anyone even though I read a few books about guys overcoming this sin.

Oh, how my heart longed to simply have that reassurance face-to-face that it was indeed possible to overcome the bondage of lust! Others that morning reiterated the same desire, and my testimony proved to be the assurance that they were longing for: In Christ all things are possible!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Ezekiel 37:1-14

The Valley of Dry Bones

1 The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. 2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, "Son of man, can these bones live?" I said, "O Sovereign LORD, you alone know."

4 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to these bones and say to them, 'Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5 This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath [a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.' "

7 So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. 8 I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them.

9 Then he said to me, "Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.' " 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet—a vast army.

11 Then he said to me: "Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. They say, 'Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.' 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.' "

Ezekiel 37:5-The Hebrew for this word can also mean wind or spirit (see verses 6-14).