Monday, October 10, 2016

Doing What God Wants

Last night Toni and I went to a church small group gathering at the home of one of the group members. Toward the end of our get together one of the men asked me what I did for a living before driving bus. That opened a conversation about how it is I know God had called me to doing what I am doing in my life after moving on from my 29 years serving as a pastor. How is it, the man asked, that I know what God want me to do? How do I "hear" God's voice?

I've written about this topic at various time in this blog, and I've given teachings about the subject in church messages and sermons over the years, but I didn't have time last night to share in depth about the subject. I said something about how God has surprised me by giving me ideas and thoughts that don't seem to come from me, that come "out of the blue," and I gave some examples. I didn't say anything about the deep devotional and prayer life that the Lord has led me to that keeps me open to what it is He (God) has to say, and that help me recognize God' "voice" when He speaks, but I did say something that echoes what I read, just now, from Oswald Chambers "How Will I Know" reading assigned for today in in his classic My Utmost for His Highest.

Commenting on Jesus' words from Matthew 11:25, Oswald writes:
All of God’s revealed truths are sealed until they are opened to us through obedience. You will never open them through philosophy or thinking. But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately. Let God’s truth work into you by immersing yourself in it, not by worrying into it. The only way you can get to know the truth of God is to stop trying to find out and by being born again. If you obey God in the first thing He shows you, then He instantly opens up the next truth to you.

(Read the rest of O.C.'s devotion for today, October 10, by clicking <here>.)
That's not exactly what I said last night, but the idea is that God does open "truths" to us as we obey, as we step out in faith, making plans and then moving in the direction that we "heard" him call us to.

The "truths" O.C. speaks of in the last line of the quote above (i.e. "....opens up the next truth to you") are those that come from His Written Word, and those more personal words that God speaks directly to me, calling me and giving me direction about the circumstances and situations I'm going through.

When I step out in faith, when I obey what I believe God says, then He does reveal more about what He desires for me. It is a matter of acting with childlike faith, and just saying "yes," through my actions, to what He says.

The man then asked what happens when I'm mistaken and "think" I hear what God has to say but then, later, find out I was wrong. I'll need to consider that question some more. Normally these sorts of "calls" from God can be confirmed not only through individual thoughts and what God reveals through obedience, but also through the counsel of brothers and sisters. It's not good to just launch out alone. And, of course, what God says in His written Word, through the Bible, and through the example of Jesus, has to come first! We ought not just launch out stubbornly, mistaking indigestion (as Scrooge said) for a divine visitation!

This little writing tonight is incomplete, but it's time now for me to get a little more sleep before work.

Soli Deo Gloria.

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