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to listen.

I woke this morning with the words "to obey is better than sacrifice" on repeat in my mind. I had to hear the full word, my soul was hungry. 1 Samuel--Saul is devoting the enemy spoil to destruction and decides to go ahead and keep the best livestock for sacrifices.

"...and to listen, than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and presumption is as iniquity and idolatry." 1 Samuel 15:22-23

I've been sitting when he said to rise. Probably because no one wants to hear what He's been saying, and I know it. "but if salt loses its saltiness, it's not even useful to be cast into the manure pile"

"how can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me." 1 Samuel 16:2

Ah, Samuel. To know that hearing is the treasure that pleases the Lord, but obedience is vulnerable!

After David's anointing: "But David went back and forth from Saul to feed his father's sheep at Bethlehem... 
Eliab: 'Why have you come down? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your presumption and the evil of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle.' And David said, 'What have I done now? Was it not but a word?' and he turned away from him toward another, and spoke in the same way...

"This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head...that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD's, and He will give you into our hand." 1 Samuel 17

I confess I heard but did not relay. "And whether they hear or refuse to hear they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house. " Ezekiel 2:5-7

Moreover, he said to me, "Son of man, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart, and hear with your ears. And go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them and say to them, 'Thus says the Lord God ,' whether they hear or refuse to hear."
Ezekiel 3:10-11
...and I went in bitterness in the heat of my spirit, the hand of the Lord being strong upon me.
v14 
If I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
v18

Here's this thing. I go in conflict and bitterness. The word I've eaten was sweet as honey and turned bitter in my belly, knowing the possible repercussions of what God calls "warning".

Hear, O Israel. The Lord Our God, The Lord is ONE.

We have no other Shepherd. We have no other Lord.

Why are we putting as much hope in Egypt and the work of pagans as those who refuse to acknowledge the Holy One of Israel?

He took me on a journey through ancient cultures. In my last writing, I'd barely scratched the surface of the origins of western culture. Applying my hunger for wisdom to His law has proven most satisfying, but at the same time it is so very opposing to the culture we've accepted. And that's why we are all malnourished.

This is a Word I bring with anguish and turmoil. Although I consider it Good News, not many will receive it that way. "Tell us nice things, tell us lies." That was the reason Israel was continually found worshiping Asherim & the Baals--they wanted God to operate as the pagan deities did--you give your sacrifice and you get what you want. The Spirit keeps showing me how we have continued to lust after the gods of the world, but say we believe in the "God of the Bible". How can we worship Him when we don't know Him? How can we say He is our God but put our hope in what we see? How can it be that idolatry has become so embedded that we don't recognize it at all and even while we choose to believe Jesus approves of our lifestyle, we know we are ill inside and continue with our diseased minds, bodies and spirits?

Satan's favorite tool--separation. The Word took me to these ancient peoples and their idols in order to get a glimpse of why we are where we are now. I've sensed disintegration in many things, but could not place the source of the lack of integrity. True to form, the Holy Spirit led into truth so deep and real that I am incapable of valuing what the world considers important, and instead I am incredibly drawn to the Healer of the body, the Instructor of the mind, the Friend of the spirit.

It's true, there is no other.

They say the word radical just means "grasping at the root". My original design has always included a willingness to dig deeper in order to understand, perceive meaning rather than simply to accept a common opinion. It occurred to me that a tree's branches basically reflect its root system, and if what the roots are drawing from are toxic, the fruit will also manifest by intoxicating the one who eats the fruit. There are three "trees" that the Spirit gave me eyes to perceive the root systems of--although buried and not clearly visible, faith opens eyes to increase discernment of what cannot be seen.

The word is this:
Religion, Medicine and Education are our modern-day manifestations of idolatry. Antichrists.
Do not fail to recognize that all that happened in Israel was to warn us. Their idolatry is no exception, and the reasons we still worship idols are the same reasons. It requires perception of the appetite.

Prophecies aren't meant to stroke and enable what can not offer life. The Spirit has fed me words that are so radically opposing to modern idols and even though it tastes sweet and has given me life, it grieves me, my heart aches--it is bitter in the stomach. More to come as the Spirit offers time.

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