A few months ago, Gloria and I were watching a televised interview with a panel of experts discussing solutions to a major issue facing our country. I noticed that not one of those experts had seen the situation coming, each had a different plan for turning it around, and all were talking at once. “Now that’s what the Lord showed me that that system out there is doing,” I told Gloria. “Each of them thinks he or she has the answer. All of them are talking at once. And nothing is coming out but a bunch of confusion. None of them has a plan—at least not one I want to follow.”
Gloria and I were observing what is described in Proverbs 16:25: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” “But, Brother Copeland, if it seems right, how will we know if it’s not right until it’s too late?”
By discerning which system is at the source of the information presented and the plan being advocated—the world’s way of thinking (the Babylonian system which begins and ends in confusion) or heaven’s way of thinking (THE BLESSING way— the Eden system).
In God’s system nothing is hidden or confused. He communicates clearly and freely to those who will hear according to John 16:13-15: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.”
Confusion Is Not God’s Way
Look at a definition of confusion from the Noah Webster 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language: “In a general sense, a mixture of several things promiscuously; hence, disorder; irregularity; as the confusion of tongues at Babel.”
Remember, at the building of the tower on the plain of Shinar, God heard what they were saying and saw what they were doing and called it babel, or confusion (Genesis 11:7-9). Confusion is “a mixture of thoughts and ideas blended together creating disorder in the mind. It’s the state of being mixed or blended so as to produce indistinctness or error; indistinct combination; disorder; tumult.”
As we saw in John 16, God has a better way of guiding us through the various upheavals of the world’s way of thinking and doing things. His way of having us discern which thoughts proceed from Him, and dealing with those that are not, is simple: “Though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself [raises itself up and makes itself a presentation for you to choose] against the knowledge of God…” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5).
The believer has been designed and equipped to recognize and refuse confusion and to hear clearly and act confidently on information from heaven, regardless of the situation.
Clean Out Your Spiritual Ears
Never has this impacted my spirit more strongly than on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008. I was hungry to hear from the Lord, and He woke me up that morning very early. As I prayed in the spirit in my study, the Lord instructed me to read John 16:13-15.
There is no way to even venture a guess how many times I’ve read this scripture and preached on it. But the Lord began to break these verses down for me. He came at me head-on—spirit, soul and body—especially with verse 13: “The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.”
As I was reading those verses, it struck my thinking that Jesus is responsible for me being led and guided every step of my life. He is a faithful High Priest, speaking the word of heaven’s plan, THE BLESSING, into my life faithfully. The Holy Spirit is hearing and willingly relaying that word to me. He will and does show me things to come that glorify Jesus, and He shows me how to glorify Jesus even in things that don’t bring Him glory. Jesus is speaking.
If there’s any problem here, the Lord said to me, it’s not with Me speaking and leading and guiding. And it’s not with the Holy Ghost hearing and transferring it to you. It’s you. Clean out your spiritual ears.
“They’re clean right now,” I declared. “You are a responsible Lord and Savior. You are faithful and You are just. And You’re not only faithful to God, the Father, You’re faithful to me. You’re faithful to Your Word…”
By this time I was shouting back at Him. “…and I open my ears to hear!”
The unfolding of His plan always begins when we choose to open our spiritual ears. Only then can the Lord begin to lay out His answers to our questions for the days ahead.
Don’t Listen to the Wrong Plan
Immediately I heard these words:
Don’t pay attention to or make any plans based on what the media say or what [politicians] say. Stand on My Word in John 16. Pay attention to Me. I [the Holy Spirit] will obey verses 13-15. I will show you things to come. I will lead you through troubled times. I already have THE plan for you, and it’s very good. Follow it. It will not only get you through, it will place you in a very high place—a rich place—a strong place of victory.
You will have to discipline yourself and be diligent to listen to Me. All the other voices will have a plan, a word, an idea for your future and security. Don’t listen to Babylon’s system. It has fallen apart. My system is stronger than ever. My kingdom is flourishing, and THE BLESSING is the place to be.
Keep your eyes on My Word. Listen to it. It will guide you and I will perform it. Love Me. Love My people as I have loved you. Walk in it. Love never fails, and neither does My plan.
Be very cautious to stay completely clean from covetousness. First Timothy 6:10 must live in the forefront of your thinking. If you will do these things and continue therein, you will come into your wealthy place. A place lifted up. A place in Me already planned and prepared for you now. Here. Not heaven—not yet. But it will seem like heaven right in the midst of all the trouble, and you’ ll be able to reach out to untold numbers of suffering people with the good news of the gospel.
I’m coming very soon. Sooner than you think.
Keep your eyes on Me and you’ll get the job done.
This is Eden’s promise. God’s dream and provision is that every man and woman walk through the world’s uncertain days with a sure word and unswerving confidence. But the only way we will do it is to focus on God alone and open our ears to hear His voice.
What we need is not the world’s plan, but God’s—a plan for much more than just survival. He said, I already have THE plan for you, and it’s very good. Follow it. It will not only get you through, it will place you in a very high place—a rich place—a strong place of victory.
Jesus has given us everything heaven has to offer, and He wants us to step into our wealthy place in Him: “We went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place [a place of great abundance]” (Psalm 66:12).
Look again at what He is saying to us: If you will do these things and continue therein, you will come into your wealthy place. A place lifted up. A place in Me already planned and prepared for you now. Here. Not heaven—not yet. But it will seem like heaven right in the midst of all the trouble, and you’ll be able to reach out to untold numbers of suffering people with the good news of the gospel.
Far more than a plan to just get us through, God is giving us His plan to put us in a higher place than ever. God’s plan is to bring us through the midst of trouble and for it to seem like heaven. The plan He offers will not only meet our needs, but will provide for us in abundance so we can give and reach out to untold numbers of suffering people.
Tune Out the Confusion
But one thing God is not going to do is force His plan on anyone.
Each of us has a decision to make. We must decide what we will give our attention to. The Lord said to me, Don’t pay attention to or make any plans based on what the media say or what [politicians] say.… Pay attention to Me.
So, what does it mean to pay attention to Him? It means we stop talking and start listening.
I learned many years ago that, if I made a quality decision before going into a church or ministry service, nothing could distract me from hearing what the Spirit of God had to say. It amazed me how much greater the depth of my understanding was when I purposely “paid” my attention to hear. My attention “paid” became my seed sown for a harvest of clarity and insight into God’s direction for my life. And my attention mixed with my faith brought greater understanding.
I have noticed over the years, when God moves in an unusual way, the devil attempts to draw attention away from what God is doing, and does his best to bring discouragement and hopelessness. If he can get God’s people to pay attention to what he is doing, then he can steal the Word from them and cripple their faith.
Of course, Satan is the spirit of fear so he is the true source of it all. But remember, he is a thief and works in the dark. He uses people, situations and things—things that look complicated and dangerous; incurable, unchangeable messes of destruction. However, they boil down to five basic things—all of which Jesus has defeated by the Word, by His Name and by His blood: affliction, which is pressure; persecution, which comes from the root idea to pursue, or to stalk; cares of this world, or distraction causing anxiety; deceitfulness of riches, or faith in money; and lusts of other things, or pressure from desires of the flesh and mind. (See Mark 4:14-20.)
Whatever the devil can do to create a distraction and draw attention from the Word and God’s Blessing at work in the world, he will do, whether it is reports of flu epidemics, hurricanes and tsunamis, or terrorism and threats of war and economic distress. His tricks can work, but only if a person will make room for them—only if the believer will take his or her focus off the Word and “pay” attention to the cares.
His tactics don’t work on those who stay rooted and grounded in the Word. Those believers who allow the seed of the Word to grow in them come to a place where the sources of fear cannot enter in and tear down the stronghold of faith.
It comes down to this: Where is your attention? Your focus?
Dealing With the Noise
When you understand the devil’s limited but persistent weapons and tactics, you understand why the Lord said to us: You will have to discipline yourself and be diligent to listen to Me. All the other voices will have a plan, a word, an idea for your future and security.
If you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of noise out there. Some of it is confusion among the “experts” and political leaders—people who did not see the problems their previous policies and theories were creating and now offer multiple theories about how to fix it.
But some of the noise is personal. It includes anything that is screaming for your attention over what God is saying.
The love of money, or things, will try to draw your attention from the promises of God’s covenant—promises that are far greater, more enriching and fulfilling than anything money alone can buy. Don’t focus on what you don’t have—give that over to God. Praise Him for what you do have, and out of that look for opportunities to bless others in need (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).