Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hearing God's Voice

Last night I got to go to a Bible study at church and we talked about living out our lives according to God's word and how we go about doing that. We talked about testing our faith and living an examined life so that we may always be striving to be more like Jesus. I knew I wanted to write a post about that today, a post about how to make choices in your life according to God's will for you. My morning devotional had this verse and God was speaking directly about this very topic...
“So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.”
II Thessalonians 1:11 (NLT)
Wow. That's a great verse about living a life in Jesus' call, isn't it?
The New Testament has beautiful, inspirational verses in it, doesn't it? I mean, FULL of them. But our Bible isn't just meant to inspire us. It's meant to teach us and guide us on living a life in Jesus' will and also teaches us how to listen to God's voice and have a relationship with Him that is set up in a way that we aren't just reading verses, we aren't just doing "good things," but we are applying those things in our lives on a daily, even hourly basis.
Last night, we talked about right things to do and wrong things to do. I mean, reading the Bible so that you may know the difference between something you should be doing and something you shouldn't be doing. While there are many of those "right and wrong" situations that pop up in life, sometimes the choices we find ourselves in aren't "right and wrong" choices, but "which good choice is best?" decisions and "what does God want me to do with my life right now?" decisions. Those are the hardest because there isn't a clear cut answer in the Bible to answer my own specific situation like there are about other things. That's when you have to hear God's voice telling you what you need to do.
God's voice has always become clear in different ways for me. You have to really listen with more than just your head. You have to listen with your eyes, your circumstances, your heart. Sometimes, it takes a while for God to answer prayers on direction for your life. Sometimes, you have to wait and see what God says about it. But the trick is to wait and see, not make choices based on your own knowledge and understanding. It's knowing that God has plans to prosper you, not harm you, and to give you hope for a bright future. All too often, we look at circumstances that are uncomfortable and upsetting as setbacks to our Christian walk, but when you start walking with God, reading His word, and praying, you start to see those situations as curves on a race track, if you will. They are those bumpers on the side, that are bumping you to drive in another direction. Being bumped is jarring, sure, but it redirects you to where God wants you to go. Once you change your mindset, once you start to see all of these things in life as possible opportunities to grow and become closer to the person God wants you to be, you stop looking at things as frustrating and aggravating and you say, "God is really wanting me to learn and grow from this right now, I am going to keep my eyes and ears open to Him and see how He wants to me to go forward or where He is trying to lead me."
Last night, we read a verse talking about the "basics" of being a Christian and how Paul said he was tired of preaching the basics over and over again, how we should get past the basic ideas of Christianity to a knew understanding and maturity of living our lives.  "Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God," (Hebrews 6:1) Your walk will only grow if you allow God to really mold your life. Watch for situations, every day, that God has put in your path that allow you to grow into a "new creation" for Him. Those situations aren't always "bad," but rather, situations that allow you to learn and grow towards the person He wants you to be.

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