Alec Wright - Serima Zimbabwe Convention - 2006

Hymn 282.

We know there is a difference between speaking and a message.  A message is for a specific purpose and we have come here not only to speak but to get a message.  A message from God's heart to our heart, talking is from one person's mouth to another person’s ear but what God would like is to give a message from His heart to our hearts.  At this convention we can all be messengers, we can all try to bring a message from God's heart to the heart of someone else, not only in the meeting when we have a time of open meeting but even between the meetings, if there is genuine care in our hearts for somebody.

It could also be a way of God taking a message from His heart bringing it via somebody and bringing it to your heart.  Someone said that a woman had to go far to fetch water and one day the clouds started to gather and she thought to herself, "Maybe tonight it is going to rain."  She took her drum for water and she put it under the roof, under the gutter.  That night, she heard it was raining.  She was very happy, "It means that tomorrow I don’t need to go and fetch water from far away."  She went next day to see how much water she had gathered into the drum and found that there was nothing there.  She had not taken the lid off the drum.  This worker then told us, "What a pity if we come together and there is lots of rain from above, lots of messages coming to us, it comes onto the ear, but it does not go into the drum, not go into the heart."  We hope it won’t be like that with us.

Human beings speak to animals and they respond to the voice.  Can it be harder for God to speak to us than for a man to speak to an animal?  The animal listens, but the human finds it very hard to listen to the voice of God.  One time we were asked to look after a house of our friends.  They had a little dog.  That dog could not speak, but that dog could tell us, "I want you to take that lead off the wall and take me for a walk."  There was no doubt in our minds.  The message of that little dog to the human being was, "I would very much like that you take me for a walk."  He stood by that leash, looked at it, then looked at us and he wagged his tail and made little noises.  We had no doubt what the message was, even a dog could speak to a human being.  I hope that we are going to find it easy to get the message from God in these days.

Luke 2:10, we read about a message, one of the most wonderful messages that ever came to earth, this message was to everybody, the people that live far away in the sticks, the people who live in palaces, the rich, the poor, the sick, the healthy, this is a message to all people.  Did all people get the message?  No.  Did a lot of people hear the message?  Yes, but the lid was on the drum, it didn’t go in.  Can you imagine a shepherd going to a great man in this world and saying, "I want to share a message with you.  Do you know that this day was born to us a king, a saviour?  It is good tidings.  It is God's greatest gift he ever gave to mankind."  Do you think they would have believed that message?  For most, the lid was on the drum, no rain went in to that drum.  Those great Priests who studied the bible and could preach and could pray long prayers, if that shepherd went to them and said to them, "There is a great message that we want to share with you, a message of great joy."  They would have said, "Look, just leave us alone.  We have enough messages we can give the people.  We are making converts.  From bad people we are making good people.  We believe in Moses and we have all the prophets we read about."  They did not need that message.  I hope we all need the message, the message that comes from God's heart to our hearts.

You people live out here where it is easy to see the stars.  The Psalmist looked up and he got a message, he saw the greatness of God.  I have looked up to the stars on many nights and I have got no message.  I’m so sorry about that.  Many a time God wanted to show me His greatness.  I didn’t get the message, seeing all that God has done, his creation, his intelligence in how he made us, but we don’t get the message as to how great God is.  I look back on my life, and you look back on your life, you get a message.

One time a worker said, "I sat on the platform and the thought struck me, goodness and mercy has followed me all the days of my life."  We do not know where we are going to get the message.  It could be in the meetings but it could also be outside of the meetings.  Can we look back on our lives and say that goodness and mercy has not followed me?  We think of us being together here today.  Do we get the message?  This is a wonderful privilege, that this is a wonderful place to be at.

We sing our hymns, wonderful words, that came from the hearts of those people who wrote those words, but who put it into the hearts of those people who wrote those words?  Didn’t it come from the heart of God, and go to the heart of the person who wrote?  Now, do we have the lid on the drum, can’t go into my heart, I sing, nice tune, nothing goes into the heart?  We listen to one another pray; don’t keep the lid on when others are praying.  I would like to tell myself, "It does not matter who is going to speak in this tent, it could be that God has a message from his heart."  I look back on my life.  The message I get is that, in God, there’s lots of riches.  Did God give us who are in the work a few mothers and fathers?  Jesus said, "You will have a hundred fold mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters."  When God gives, it is not a little.

When I went into the work, it was here in this country.  God gave me mothers and fathers.  They didn’t just have one colour, they had a few colours.  So the message to me as I look back, God is saying, "I have given you many mothers and many fathers."  So also something I hope I am getting the message, that humble people, they can get a lot in life.  They can receive a lot in life that they can take with them into eternity.  Proud people, they can get a lot in life and they take nothing with them when they die.  There was a man that was very rich, his farms were very big.  He had lots of cattle, maybe you won’t believe it, but he had 100,000 head of cattle.  I knew that man.  You know what was amazing about that man?  He didn’t enjoy his money.  He wore an old shirt that was threadbare, his trousers were patched, his jacket was an old jacket, and he rode in an old car, a kind of car that could fall to pieces any time.  Why did he not use his money to buy good clothes, and a good car?  I don’t know, but you get that kind of people.  Now you and I, we can go to the source where we can find God and He can give us a lot of grace.  He can give us wisdom.  He can give us love in our hearts.  Why do we sometimes have so little love?  Why do we have so little faith sometimes?  How do you explain it?  I don’t know how.  We do get the message from time to time that if I am poor in faith and love and hope, it is not because it is not there.  It is just because I have not gone to fetch it.

Paul, he had a thorn in the flesh.  Three times he asked the Lord to take away the thorn.  You know what that thorn did to him?  He said it was like a messenger of Satan to hit him.  What do you do to a man who hits you?  Surely you would not stand and say, "Hit me some more."  That message was hitting Paul, and he prayed, "Lord take away this thorn."  The Lord said, "No, my grace is sufficient for you," three times.  There was a message that was hitting him, and maybe some of us have been getting messages that have come through our ears to our hearts and it is not from God.  It is hitting us, bothering us, now we go to God, "Take it away."  He says, "No, my grace is sufficient."  You see the two messages, one from the Devil, and here’s another message and it comes from God.  Which one are you going to listen to?  Maybe, for many of us, this is what is happening to us in this meeting.  You are getting two messages.  Which one are we going to listen to?  Paul after asking God three times to take away the thorn, you think that Paul had to understand, "Maybe I should change my prayer?"  Do you think maybe there is a message from God that you need to change your prayer?  I have had prayers that I have had to change.

The prodigal son, he went away and he came back.  The father had a view of that son, but the brother had another view of the son, the same son.  We have many brothers and sisters here.  Maybe some things have gone wrong in the year that is past, maybe they said things you didn’t like.  Why must they speak behind my back?  Can we say that there is anyone here today that did not speak behind somebody’s back?  I don’t think I have a person like that.  If someone speaks about me behind my back, then I want to get angry.  The message we want to understand is that there is grace for every experience that comes across our way.  Think of what one of our sisters spoke, "There was David, the Lord’s anointed."  Saul said, "I don’t like this man."  He started to know that this man is a very good soldier, the people like him, my son likes him, but I don’t like him.  He started to fight with him, with the brother, the man that should have been his brother, started to fight with him.  That sister told us that while he was fighting with his brother the Philistines were coming into the back door.  They were doing a lot of harm to the children of Israel.  While you and I are fighting with a brother or sister, the enemy comes in the back door and does a lot of harm.

There was a man who said, "I will profess when I am 35 years old."  That was the message that he had in himself.  Then there came another message, "What if you don’t live till you are 35 years old?"  Fortunately he believed that message because he died at the age of 28.  There was a woman who came and anointed the feet of Jesus.  Simon the Pharisee, a religious man, he looked at that woman and said, "A sinner."  Jesus came and looked at the same woman.  He had a completely different message.  We can look at one another and we can have the Simon view on another person.  Let us wait till the Lord tells us what another person is.  I hope these days that I don’t have the lid on the drum, I want to hear the rain falling, hear the singing, hear the praying, hear the speaking, hear the rain falling and nothing goes in.  You can have a lot of seed lying on top of the ground, but you will have no harvest till the seed goes into the ground.  Hope we can remember this.