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"Public Signs that Lead to Secret Encounters": When Misfits Become Kings: Book Study Part 5 (weekly podcast episode #32)

Follow along with blog post/transcript below.

"Do you want God's hand only, or would you like to experience His face?" That quote comes from Mark Casto (page 42) in his book, When Misfits Become Kings. And in our on-going book study part 5, chapter 4 titled, "Public Signs that Lead to Secret Encounters", the chapter is about the misfits God uses who have a relationship with Him and who don't simply watch Him in action in other people's lives. No, they are the people who hear from God themselves. 

We know that having continuous communication with God enables us to know what He wants from us and to proceed accordingly, right? A godly relationship helps us to weed out the erroneous, false, misleading, and wrong statements and comments people sometimes make to us. We have to know within ourselves what 'thus says the Lord' and we have to keep it moving even if those people are people of God. We have to know the voice of the Lord for ourselves, otherwise we can get things mixed up if we're not careful. 

In this chapter, Casto is saying we must know the "public" signs of God and that happens when we have a relationship with Him. In other words, we have to know how God operates in our lives or we may miss Him. I have made that mistake a few times in my life. There was one time when I didn't rely on God as much as I should have. If someone I respected told me something from God, I would take it as gospel over even if I didn't sense it was best for my life for that time. Sometimes God doesn't give us a word to move immediately. It may be a future word. So we have to pray over it and seek more information and details from God. A short time back if a person was a prophet and gave me a word, I especially paid attention, which was fine. The problem was, their words were not always a current word for my life, but I would often move too fast and mess things up, because I didn't consult God about the details and the direction He would have me to go in my life. What I realize now is that if we want to go to where it is God is taking us, we must be able to know His voice just as Moses did when he was leading the Israelites out of Egypt. One of Moses' public sign's from God was the burning bush. What are some ways God talks to you? It's about our relationship with Him and anybody can establish one. 

Casto says on page 43, that "Despite his own view of himself as a stutterer, ex-murderer, and sheep caretaker, Moses responded to God's invitation for a personal relationship. It was out of this relationship that God caused him to rise above the excuses and failures of his misfit ideas and do mighty things in his lifetime." James 4:8 says, "Come close to God, and God will come close to you. And that's what Moses did. That's what we all can do. On page 45 Casto says, 'God wants lovers of Him, not simply laborers. We become laborers for God, because we are lovers of Him, in which lovers will always outwork laborers. Laborers work for pay, but lovers work for a relationship and a vision bigger then themselves.' I often tell my kids and my students, if they're willing to outwork the next person, because they truly believe in what they're doing and they're doing it for the right reasons, they will make it. We have to believe in what we're doing. We will never have lasting power and we will never have leverage if we do not believe and love the Lord God and at least trust where He's taking us. God is the secret weapon. He's our secret sauce. We can't do it without Him. How many of us have what we need from the Lord? We're going to need what He has for us. We will need it if we want God to do big things in our lives. In other words, we have to be willing to spend time with Him and not only on Sundays.

Speaking of Sundays, when I leave church I am eager to get to where I'm going and do things I desire. Most of us are, right? But I have to consciously make an effort to remember what my pastor talked about; how he preached the word; how the word relates to my life; and how God wants to use me. If I don't make a real attempt to do that and to really focus on the word, it was like I just sat there and got a feel-good motivational word and as soon as I get up it's over and done with. I refuse to live such a life. I attend my church for much more than that. And God expects more from us anyway, right? On page 46 Casto says, "Moses was a lover of God. Had it not been for his radical, personal encounter with the Lord through a burning bush, the stories of history would be a lot different." Moses understood what the deal was. He didn't need to yell it from the rooftops. All he needed to do was to stay in God's presence and go where God wanted him to go. And he knew by doing that, that God would be with him. He knew the real secret. How many of us know that, as well? It's something each of us has to answer for ourselves. 

As Casto says on page 46, "Wherever you are God; that's where I want to be." And that's what's up and God is seeking those of us who know His heart. Who know who He is. Who know His voice. Remember, just as Moses saw the public sign of the burning bush in Exodus 3, we too, have signs from God we can be in tune with when we have a personal relationship with Him. And when we know how God speaks in our lives, that's fire -- our very own version of our own burning bush.  
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