Friday, November 2, 2007

November 2, 2007

"And He walks with me and He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And the joys we share as we tarry there...none other has ever known". (In the Garden, C. Austin Miles 1912)

I recently read that someone has written a book that is getting a lot of attention entitled GOD IS NOT GOOD. How sad. That person obviously does not know God.

God is not an impersonal deity high in the sky, totally removed from our daily life or one who is peeking through the clouds, watching us humans run around and destroy ourselves. Quite the contrary.

He is a BIG, BIG God who knows each of us intimately and personally. After all, He created us! He desires for us to have a close, personal, intimate relationship with Him. That is the one thing about God that sets Him apart from all other "gods". There is no other religion where the object of worship has a relationship with the worshipper.

I am daily blown away by just how personal He is, how much He cares about the smallest details of my life. I think if there is any one aspect of His character that I am most drawn to it's the fact that He is so very personal and so very, very precious in His great love for me.

And the more we look for Him, the more keenly aware we are of His presence in our lives, the more we will see the evidence of that. In the Bible study I have been a part of, the author of the book we were studying said that she put a dry erase board on her refrigerator and wrote I SPY GOD on it. Then every day she would write where she had seen God moving and evident that day. Neat idea!

We have a good friend who was in a terrible accident several years ago. He has been in and out of the hospital with various problems since then. Not quite a year ago, he was in for some serious complications and was battling for his life. His daughter had been there all day and was on her way home around 11:00 pm. She was tired, she was agonizing over his condition, her heart was heavy. She had a long drive home and about half way there, as she was approaching a church she saw one of those lighted signs next to the road. She could not believe what it said. It read "Michelle....God loves you". Her name is Michelle.

Now some would argue that was just a coincidence, but Michelle and I both KNOW better! When she relayed that to me, she said "I KNOW that God put that there just for encourage me and remind me that He was in control." I have no doubt she was exactly right. That is just how personal our God is!

And, because He is so very personal, he desires to communicate with us. He wants us to know and do His will for He has good plans for us, plans to prosper us and give us a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Sometimes, however, we struggle with knowing His will, with being sure that we are correctly hearing His voice, and not our own or that of the enemy.

Priscilla Shirer shares the Five M's of Correctly Hearing God in her Bible study, Discerning the Voice of God. This has blessed me and helped me SO much. I pray that it will be a help to you as well:

1. Look for the message of the Spirit: Listen to the Holy Spirit. Don't just casually ask God for guidance. Consciously turn your attention inward to see if what you are sensing carries the weight of God or if it is the unsure, unsteady voice of your own conscience.

2. Live in the mode of prayer: Submit what you hear back to God in prayer. Throughout the day when the issue comes into your mind, don't spend time worrying; spend time handing the issue over to God.

3. Search out the model of Scripture: Carefully consider the Scriptures. Does what you think you're hearing in any way contradict the character of God or the Word of God?

4. Submit to the ministry of Eli: See the counsel of a wise, more mature believer who can discern God's leading in his or her own life.

5. Expect the mercy of confirmation: Ask the Lord for confirmation. God desires for you to know His will. He's not hiding it from you. When I ask the Lord to confirm what He is saying to me through the Holy Spirit so I can be sure He is indeed speaking, He allows the Holy Spirit to speak to me and verify His message through His written Word, circumstances, or even another person.

In the same way we love our children and desire a close, intimate relationship with them, God loves us and desires that closeness with each of His children. He is waiting for us to come into His presence, to seek Him, to walk with Him and fellowship with Him. Open your eyes today and ask Him to show Himself to you. You will be amazed at just how close He is !!

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