Tag Archives: God’s Word

Hearing Voices

14 Jul

Recently, Pastor said “How much do you trust the voice who is giving you your marching orders”?  That statement brought so many things to mind. Scripture tells us that Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 NKJV

I’ve heard many people say that they don’t hear God’s voice or that God doesn’t speak to them. John 10:27 tells a different story. If we are born again Christians we are His children, His sheep, and His Word says that we hear His voice.

I like the way Pastor said it – “How much do you trust the voice who is giving you your marching orders”? We hear voices constantly – so much so at times that we can’t rest. Where do they all come from? They are not all God’s voice. We can’t claim that everything we do is directed by God because it isn’t. God’s Word, the Bible, is His Word. To know God’s Word is to know God. Without reading the Bible, we can’t know which voices we are hearing.

We hear voices on the radio, the television, people all around us, our inner thoughts, the devil and the still small voice of God. Even Jesus was tempted by satan as he fasted. Jesus, in turn, spoke the Word of God to Him and told him to flee.

Today the world around us moves so fast. We do our best to keep up, and in doing so we sometimes don’t take the time to consult with the One who was given to us as a counselor – the Holy Spirit of God. We don’t always have to stop everything we’re doing and get on our knees to talk to God although there is a time and place for that.

God is with us all the time, everywhere we go. We can talk to Him on and off all day. We can thank Him as we are blessed, call out to Him when we have a question and need guidance, or seek His knowledge and direction, as needed. He can, and will, give us instant direction if we need it. One of the shortest prayers in the Bible is “Lord, save me.” He hears us, and He knows us.

Sometimes we blame things on God that He didn’t do. We may not have trained ourselves to  focus on what God is saying to us. Listening to God and taking our marching orders from Him will assure that we remain in His perfect will. Ignoring that “red flag” we sometimes sense in our hearts is dangerous and can get us off track which gets us out of the will of God. Following God’s voice sometimes takes courage – especially if it takes us out of our comfort zone, but our comfort zone is not always part of God’s plan for us.

The “red flag” is that little bit of uneasiness we feel when we’re about to do something we shouldn’t do. A feeling that something isn’t just as it should be,  is reason enough to stop and reconsider our actions. The problem can be that we are facing a deadline and time is of the essence, but God isn’t limited by clocks and deadlines. Our trust in Him should be so great that we trust Him to work beyond a deadline. Ignoring His warning can lead to bigger problems.

God always has our best interest at heart. He knows the path we take and can lead us around the pitfalls. Our part is to listen to Him and obey His direction. The fear we feel inside can be transformed by prayer into faith. God looks on our hearts and knows we are doing our best to follow His lead. He is well able to turn things around for us and will do just that as we dedicate ourselves to following Him as He leads us.

God has a divine plan for each one of us. Getting to the finish line will be much faster and less complicated as we let Him lead us rather than take unwanted detours and distractions by following voices other than His.

 

 

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God Is Not Like Grandma, He’s Not Old Fashioned or Behind the Times!

7 Jun

Many of us don’t think much about the spiritual side of things. We believe we have our lives under control and we are ready for what comes our way. Conversely, we are experiencing more and more stress and frustration. We have been taught by the world around us that we need to be strong. We dare not let anyone see us as weak.

Perhaps our spiritual condition doesn’t seem like much of an issue. Some of us may even think that our spiritual lives are separate from our daily lives. Definitely not! We may try to keep it separate thinking it isn’t part of daily living. Besides, it’s not cool to be spiritual. Exactly the opposite is true. Our spiritual condition (our heart of hearts) is where our true character resides.

• Prov 16:9 “ In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.” NIV

• Matt 15:18-20 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart , and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man ‘unclean’; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him ‘unclean.” NIV

The ways of God obviously are not the ways of man. If man had his way there would certainly be no suffering. It is imperative that we realize how much we need God every day with every step. We could not take another breath, or another step if He did not allow it. Whether we believe it to be true or not doesn’t matter. Our denial of God’s truth doesn’t invalidate it.

God is always with us, not just for our bedtime prayers, but as we get dressed, eat breakfast, drive to work, and in all else that we do. We can talk with Him at any time about any and every issue. It’s kind of like being at home with a loved one. We are busy in one room and they are busy in another. We know that we can call out to them at any time and they will answer. Only God is not in the other room, He is right with us – wherever we are.

Our conversations with God are not one way. He will speak to our hearts. He will take away our fears and direct us through our every concern, if we will allow Him to.

• John 10:26-27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” NIV

God has His own time-table. It most often does not agree with ours. He is not intimidated by our deadlines. Don’t think that just because He does not work like the high-speed internet that He is old-fashioned and out of date. To the contrary, His ways far exceed that. He created the universe out of nothing. He knew us before we were formed in our Mothers’ wombs. He can handle today’s technology. God is actually the one who gave knowledge to the creators of our technology. What? You think they did it on their own?

Scripture tells us that there is nothing new in the world. Technology was part of God’s plan from the beginning. Don’t think for a moment that we have moved on without Him. No, Friends, He is the one who made it all possible. He is not just our Grandma’s God. God’s miracles and ancient stories of the Bible didn’t stop when the Bible was made into a book with a cover. God is the reason we have progressed to where we are today.

• Eccl 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” NIV

His ways are not outdated. He is the author and finisher or our faith and the reason that we are who we are. We need to recognize His authority. When we read the Scriptures we will find that events do not just happen on their own. God is the force behind them. He places people where He wants them and uses them according to His plan.

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, still operates in our lives as it did in the lives of those ancient men and women of the Bible. They are not fictional like Winnie the Pooh or Alice in Wonderland. Rest assured you will not meet those characters in heaven one day. However; you will meet many of those ancient men and women of the Bible there. You will hear from their own lips of their awesome adventures.

God is just as real today as He was when all the events of the Bible took place. He walks with us, covers us like a shield. He goes before us, behind us, beside us. We cannot go anywhere that He is not there.

It’s Never Too Late

1 Jun

OK, I just couldn’t wait to point out some more interesting things about the story of Ruth.

The main thing is that this story should definitely let everyone know that no matter what our situation – no matter how much we may have messed up – it is NEVER too late for us to turn to God. We may not know we need to – Ruth didn’t. He will lead us out of our sin and into His amazing promised life. No, it won’t be a life without problems or bumps in the road – but if we will not get in such a hurry, He will show us how to straighten out those curves in the road.

We may not know how to get out of our mess! God knows. He doesn’t expect us to jump from one frying pan on the fire to another. He just wants us to recognize where we are and look to Him for answers. Remember, God isn’t a “microwave” God. It’s okay with Him that things don’t change in an instant. When His word tells us that “All things work together for good for those called according to His purpose” – nobody knows better than He does that it takes precious time for things to work out. Otherwise, we may jump from one mess to a bigger mess!

I also think that some of us believe that when we finally decide to “follow God” we have to “do something” – like some sort of event must take place. Not so. God just wants us to live our lives, acknowledging Him. That means we turn to Him with every decision and ask Him about it. That may involve searching His Scriptures, or seeking wise (Christian) counsel. When God knows our desire is to please Him, He will move mountains in our behalf. But, it is usually not in a big, attention drawing way. It is our daily step by step walking – in our daily choices. The hardest part is to move with focus, keeping our emotions under control.

Consider Ruth. She left all she knew. That was very drastic but she knew in her heart that with her new family she had witnessed the love of the living God. Oh, I’m sure she didn’t realize that at the time. She just knew that in the midst of her new family, things were different. She felt the love and compassion – the fruit of the Spirit. She knew she wanted more of it. It was different enough to cause her to leave all she was familiar with.

When you read and meditate on this story of Ruth, you see that her way was not easy. She didn’t take charge. She followed Naomi, meekly. She was first of all, a servant, which is what Scripture tells us that all followers of Christ must be. She respected the position of the older Naomi. She wasn’t afraid to work – to humble herself. Ruth died to her emotions – her fear and anxiety. She listened to her wise mother-in-law and followed her instructions. Ruth didn’t pretend that she knew more and that she had better ways to do things.

Well, guess I have to stop for now. I just see so much in this story that will encourage those who feel that they are in too deep – that there is no way out. God has an answer for that. Stay tuned.

Let Your Faith Be Seen!

12 Jan

Matthew 9:2 says, “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you'”.

Charles Stanley, in his Life Lessons Bible, notes that it would be hard to “see” faith if it never worked its way out in meaningful action. He said that if our faith does not affect the way we live or ever get noticed by others, then perhaps it is not genuine faith at all.

As I read that in my prayer time this morning, it excited me. Many things came to my mind about faith. For example, many times we feel led by God to do something that may appear strange to others. As they begin to give us “their opinion” we begin to reason and sometimes even allow the words of others to cause us to stumble.

For the record, the word “opinion” is the view of the other person and their view of the worth or of the value of someone or something. And, according to the Thesaurus, another word for opinion is “judgment”. Just sayin’.

This works both ways. Let’s make sure we are not the ones to cause someone to stumble. After all, our opinions are just that – they are our opinions. If we give our opinion we should make sure that the person we are speaking to understands that even though we are giving our opinion on a matter — it is them who is responsible for following God’s direction. We never want to be guilty of overriding God’s direction to someone. That’s a little scary to me.

On the other hand, if we are the one presenting our situation to another about what we believe God is saying to us, we need to leave the consequences to God (another of Charles Stanley’s Life Principles). We can’t know what God is doing in someone’s life. That’s why we are told not to judge others.

I can tell you, I have done some things at God’s leading that have thoroughly convinced others that I may not be of sound mind. But, I have learned to hear the voice of my Lord and Savior and it is Him I want to please. It is important that we share with others and not hide our light under a bushel. God uses us in ways we can’t know. Others are watching and they “see” our faith in action. Then, they “see” when God steps in and takes control.

Let your faith be seen. Don’t be afraid of what others think. Don’t hide your light under a bushel. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. I think it’s wonderful when we have others praying for us and they become a part of God’s miracle in our lives. This is how we share one another’s burdens. This is how our faith grows.

Keep in mind that even Moses looked like a failure in men’s eyes, even as he was following God’s direction to the letter. Those around him doubted him and what he said. But, then they “saw” his faith through the works of God.

Ask God today to help you show your faith to others. And, ask Him to help you to encourage others and to be careful of any words of doubt you may speak.

Obviously, all things we hear are not from God. But, let’s not be too quick to judge. That’s why we need prayer and God’s Word to speak to our hearts and show us the truth.

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