All The Help Comes From God

Advertisements

Be That Positive Change

I was just watching Schindler’s List, 071618 1700hrs and thinking, ” how can we be a positive change, when we can’t or won’t be a change within ourselves?”

In doing my bible lesson this past week “Soul Rest: 7 Days of Renewal ” I read this.

FOCUS ON THE SOURCE

When we take the time to look inward to understand the condition of our hearts, sometimes what we find there can produce feelings of guilt, shame, and disappointment. Although this is completely understandable, this is not God’s intention for your life. We may even begin to feel a bit overwhelmed because the number of areas we’ve identified as needing rest and healing seems insurmountable. The beautiful good news is that rest will not come from our work but from God’s finished work. We know that a vacation, sleep, or other restful postures will not be enough to restore us fully. When unrest is at the soul level, it’s untouchable by traditional means. We need an “other than” kind of power to remedy it. God is the true source of rest.

Today, focus on the truth that God is the ultimate source of the rest we long for. When was the last time you allowed yourself to just drink in the reality of who God really is? Most of our lives are lived in light of the reality of knowing the importance of God but not truly remembering and focusing on His story. In your time of stillness, meditate on God as our source of rest. Read some Scripture to support this idea. Look at the verses that point to the attributes of God. Take note of the things that come to mind as you do.

Caution: We may be tempted to believe that there are multiple ways that we can attain soul rest. Although there are many ways for us to assume a restful posture and experience temporary rest, the true source of the rest we long for comes from God, alone.

Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.

AUGUSTINE

In reading this and the verses that go along with this, I started thinking how man said we need to change how we treat each other. How change teach change of attitudes and behavior when we must first start from within.

You know looking back since the WWII days wars were every 20 years. Filled with hate, brutality, killing without end for what? We as a people from every walk of life have not learn not one damn thing.

We teach this next generation how to hate, because of the color of the skin, language, religion, country and so on. I know I’ve walked this earth with my eyes half open, seeing only what I desire to see. For me people are people. No better or worse than the next. However, what has change is how I feel about people. Ashamed is a good of a word as any.

  1. WWII let’s kill all the Jews, gays, any thing that is not pure.
  2. Korea wanting to rule as a communist country, to have to people to do one bidding after being ruled by Japan from 1910-45. Power over a weaker neighbor.
  3. Vietnam again divided land be French Indochina although now one country but the resources this country had.
  4. Gulf war 1 Iraq decided to invade Kuwait, attacked Saudi Arabia, and Israel. None of these countries did anything to the government of Iraq. Oil.
  5. Macedonia, Bosnia Herzegovina war of independence, and more.
  6. 9-11 UBL against U.S.A. hate, religion, mostly hate.
  7. Gulf war 2 WMD real reason not sure.

At the end of the day more innocents were killed than those who started the wars in the first place.

All of the wars since the time of man have been over land, power, religion, resources. Not one war has ever been justified. Those who are stronger prey on the weak. I don’t want them as neighbors because they do not believe as we believe “religion “. They are not pure “race”. Who is pure of anything? I want their land, greed. Because we can “power”. They have what we need “resources “.

Is there problem with asking can share your resources with us? Help me(us) understand your religion. Why are you ruling over those in that way? There is but one ruler. We need more space our population has grown so great may we share your land.

Yes all that I’ve just said sounds crazy and will never happen. The sharing that is.

The place we call home or earth is not ours to begin with. We are only the care taker of this place, or at least that is what is suppose to happen. However, we can not do that right. Instead we’ve allow satan to rule over our action not as God has instructed us.

It’s time for a change.

Spiritual War

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that he may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of the world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take into you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Creator

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
By the word of the Lord were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. He gathereth the waters of the sea together as an heap: he layeth up the depth in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord : let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast.
Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

God’s Commandments

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Exodus 20:1‭-‬17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/exo.20.1-17.KJV

Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Matthew 22:35‭-‬40 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.22.35-40.KJV

Humility

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
Romans 12:3‭-‬8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/rom.12.3-8.KJV

And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them, When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Luke 14:7‭-‬11 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/luk.14.7-11.KJV

Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith. By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Hebrews 11:1‭-‬10 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/heb.11.1-10.KJV

Healing

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Matthew 4:23‭-‬24 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.4.23-24.KJV

And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
Matthew 10:1‭, ‬5‭-‬5‭, ‬8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.10.1-8.KJV

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
John 14:12‭-‬14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.12-14.KJV

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James 5:14‭-‬16 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jas.5.14-16.KJV

Discerning The Voice Of God

My family has enjoyed a long history with the Dallas Cowboys. I was a very young child when their legendary coach, Tom Landry, asked my father—then a young, 30-year-old preacher—to be the team’s first-ever chaplain.

So every now and then as I was growing up, Dad would take me along to some of their football games. I remember walking out onto that vast field at Texas Stadium. From ground level, the turf stretched out in all directions like an enormous green carpet, and the bleachers seemed to extend to the heavens. Mostly, though, I remember Coach Landry. He seemed a giant to me—his trademark fedora perched above kind, thoughtful, smiling eyes, exuding a quiet strength. Everyone honored him.

If anyone else personified Cowboys football, it was Roger Staubach, the quarterback who led the Boys to two Super Bowl championships in the 1970s. That was a little before my time, of course, but I still remember him and his friendship with Coach Landry. They were both Christians, and they appeared to be almost like father and son. But things weren’t always so close between them. Staubach admitted, as a player, he often bristled against submission to his coach’s leadership.

Despite his respect for Landry’s genius in football strategy, Staubach wanted the freedom to call his own plays on the field, to lead the team with his own approach. He thought he knew how best to run the Cowboys offense. His way.

Staubach finally came to the point where he realized he needed to decide. Would he rebel against his coach’s authority? Or would he get on board with the direction his coach wanted him to go? “I faced up to the issue of obedience,” Staubach later said. “Once I learned to obey, there was harmony, fulfillment, and victory.” Yes, lots of victories.

So there it is. The one word upon which freedom, fulfillment, and victory hinges for all of us.

Will we . . . Obey?

If it seems we’re starting this journey at the wrong end of the action plan, putting the obedience cart before the “hearing God” horse, let me just say what I’ve learned to be true. Facing up to this issue of obedience is the alpha and omega of how we hear from God. Obedience isn’t just one of the keys. It is the key that unlocks all of the blessings God intends for us.

To read more of Discerning the Voice of God, visit LifeWay.com/DiscerningTheVoiceofGod. There you’ll also find teaching videos and other resources from Priscilla Shirer.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalms 32:8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.32.8.KJV

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.21.KJV

Discerning the Voice of God

Day 2

Today my oldest two sons tower over me, both of them nearly six feet tall. Every time I hug them and notice how my head plants firmly against their chests (instead of theirs against mine), I’m reminded how growth is an inevitable indicator of life and health.

The same is true for our spiritual lives. If we’re walking with Christ and our spiritual lives are healthy, we should expect to see growth and changes in perspective simply as a natural progression. Now, I see clearly that the best way to begin a study on hearing God is where I originally ended it.

Hearing Him starts with our commitment to humble obedience. We won’t do it perfectly—we can’t always obey flawlessly—but we must do it purposefully, with ears primed to hear and discern God’s voice.

We’re not likely to hear anything from God until we’ve abandoned our tug of war with Him, between our wills and His. We may struggle to detect one syllable of divine dialogue, much less receive any clarity in discerning what He means, until we’ve first opened the floodgates of surrender so He can start piping the volume through.

Drawing a clear connection between obedience and hearing God is a critical piece of discerning God’s will and His ways.

We’ll quell the resounding voice and conviction of God’s Spirit within us the more we ignore or disregard it. He will not long waste His words on those who aren’t postured to obey. The tender, submissive heart is the one sensitive enough to continually detect God’s leading and to pinpoint the strange, alternative voices of the enemy, fear, and ego that seek to lead us astray.

So I’ve gotta ask you a tough question: Do you intend to obey God, to obey His Word? Do you really want to do His will? Or have you already decided to follow your own way despite what God’s Spirit will say? Be honest. (He already knows your answer.) I’m challenging you to allow the Lord to soften your heart and to become vigilant in laying down your own ambitions, elevating His will above your own. It would be such a waste to engage in all this study together, if in the end, we keep allowing our stubborn old hearts to stand in the way of hearing from Him.

Please tell me you’re not going to do that.

Me either.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.
Psalms 25:14 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.25.14.KJV

If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.
John 7:17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.7.17.KJV

He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 14:21 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.14.21.KJV

Discerning the Voice of God

Day 3

I want you to know, I’m well aware of how difficult surrender can often be. Take it from me—a girl with a heart that, apart from the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, can be so steely and apathetic. So when I reached out to my Twitter family, asking them to name the usual suspects that often keep them from surrendering to the Lord, I recognized many of their responses. Things such as fear, pride, laziness, impatience with God’s timing, busyness with personal ambitions, or concern that we might be hearing God wrong.

As we dive headfirst into this study and plunge fully into the freedom of hearing the voice of God again (or maybe for the first time), we’re leaving these robbers behind. They’ve distracted and disoriented us long enough. We want to hear God clearly now.

Look at Jesus’ sentiments in John 5:30; note what He did not seek and what He did seek.

Clearly Jesus was not ignoring the fact that He possessed a will of His own. Yet He was committed to honoring His Father’s will above it. He heard the voice of the Father more clearly than anyone to ever walk the earth. The defining characteristic of His life was that He was always postured to obey. He was steeped in humility and available to do His Father’s bidding over His own sentiments and ambitions as a man.

You and I have our own will too. And that’s fine. We don’t need to pretend otherwise. Our problem comes from not surrendering that will to the Father’s superior will. His perfect will. His all-wise will. His all-good will. His “if you only knew what I could do in you, you’d never doubt Me for a moment” will.

Most of us fear the loss of our hopes, dreams, and ambitions should we ever submit ourselves entirely to the Father’s will. We imagine them being crushed and discarded, never to be fulfilled. Honoring God’s directives will indeed require adjustments on our part, but it will never leave us lacking. The will that is submitted to Him is not extinguished; it is simply surrendered. It becomes like clay in the Potter’s hand—pliant and moldable—the raw material for His most stunning masterpieces.

We don’t lose. We win.

In what ways, if any, have you been concerned about “losing yourself” if you surrender completely to God?

I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
John 5:30 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.5.30.KJV

Discerning the Voice of God

Day 4

Ultimately, submission centers us directly in the will of God and gives us the opportunity to experience the best we could ever imagine.

Surrender. That’s the key. Orient yourself toward a posture of obedience—up front!—that’s how the door flings open for His voice to be heard and His will to be accomplished. The Lord says to those of His children who freely submit their wills to His: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8).

So hold it in your hands today. The key, I mean. Right now, in your mind’s eye, picture God’s guidance and directives to you as a large, ornate, silver key. It runs the full length of your palm, extending beyond your fingertips on one end and beyond your wrist on the other. It’s unlike any other key you’ve ever seen or used before—that’s how you know it must be able to unlock something you’ve never experienced before. It’s worth it. This key. It’s as unique as your own fingerprints. And it’s yours. It is God’s specific assignment and calling for you.

Now, right here, right now, make the commitment to use this key. I promise He will give you opportunity for it throughout this study and in the days beyond. Choose right now, before you do anything else, to receive this key and take seriously the privilege of using it.

I know it’ll require courage and tenacity. Yet even without full clarity as to what He may ask you to do or where He may instruct you to use it, either now or in the future, make the choice in advance to say “Yes, Lord,” sure that this key of obedience will unlock every good and perfect gift your Father intends for you.

Think back to the things that are keeping you from surrendering to God in every aspect of your life. Offer each of them to Him.

Then, be brave enough to let God search you further. Ask Him to reveal any calloused places that may be blocking you from clearly hearing His voice. Yield to Him any area where you sense resistance and doubt.

You’re making a “key” decision here, crucial to being able to experience what walking confidently in His will is all about.

Examine me, O Lord , and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
Psalms 26:2 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.26.2.KJV

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalms 32:8 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.32.8.KJV

Discerning the Voice of God

Day 5

Obedience can be an intimidating word. Depending on our upbringing and other influences from our early life, it may invoke different emotions. For some, it conjures up odious thoughts of harsh, seemingly pointless regimens of rules and regulations that are stifling and oppressive instead of life-giving and fulfilling. For others, it seems oddly devoid of intimacy and relationship, more of a never-good- enough attempt at measuring up. And for even more of us, the word itself feels like a threat to our innate desire for independence. It bristles against the fabric of our self-reliance and autonomy.

Obedience—at least the kind that our good, loving, sovereign God requires—is neither legalistic nor lacking in affection. Although it places needed boundaries and demands on us—as in, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matt. 16:24)—each bit of instruction He gives is born out of the tenderness of His heart toward us and His desire to steer us toward His best for our lives. Obedience is not a no; it is actually His best yes. It swims in oceans of grace and leads us to freedom, wholeness, and health. It opens us up to His unbridled blessing and abundance.

The irony of obedience is like a delicate dance of trust. It may require real sacrifice from us, while somehow leading to blessing and incomparable abundance.

• It binds us while concurrently loosing us.

• It holds us tightly while also letting us go.

• It redirects us only to replenish and renew us.

• It restrains us while simultaneously releasing us.

• It limits us while also opening up spacious possibility.

Without our intentional surrender to the former, we cannot experience the benefits of the latter—benefits that are so important and hold so much incredible promise, we can hardly afford to leave them to chance. We must plan and intentionally strategize to pursue them, to pursue obedience. If left to our flesh’s tendencies toward rebellion, we will live in a consistent state of resistance toward God and His ways.

But if we (literally) plan to obey, we put ourselves in position any day of the week to hear what He wants us to do next, and then to have Him bless us with the supernatural joy of following Him.

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Matthew 16:24 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/mat.16.24.KJV

If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
John 13:17 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/jhn.13.17.KJV

Discerning the Voice of God

Day 6

My three sons and I have a morning routine. Maybe you do too, whether you’re wrangling toddlers or teenagers or just trying to get your own self out the door in one piece. For my brood, our morning plan typically involves a strategic engagement of assignments for which each person, or at least somebody, is responsible—bed making, bathroom cleaning, dishwasher emptying, taking out the trash. You get the picture.

Now listen, I’m not saying it comes off without a hitch every day. Don’t ask me to take this illustration too far, unless you’re willing to come over and help me sort some laundry. The only thing I’m trying to say is, I don’t come up with this list of chores on the fly. That would never work.

Know how I know? Because I’ve tried that before. And trust me (or say a firm, confident, head-bobbing amen with me), it’s a recipe for chaos and frustration.

Despite my own affinity for spontaneity and impulsiveness, I learned a long time ago that nothing—and I do mean nada—is accomplished during our mornings without a plan. Spur of the moment, flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants operations invite complete mayhem. Only a predetermined commitment to a plan is able (or, again, at least potentially able) to hold our mornings together.

Let’s pivot here and apply this same logic to something even more important than mama’s sanity on an average weekday. Let’s talk about that key we shared a conversation about earlier—the key of surrendered obedience that leads to actually hearing from God and being able to live with the pure satisfaction of doing His will. Is anything really more important than that?

No? Then what’s your plan for doing it?

We aren’t haphazard with a lot of the things we deem important in life: our health, our retirement plan, our monthly calendar of appointments. We even enlist others to help us stay on track with some of those things—help we’re sometimes willing to pay for! So, what about our commitment to being spiritually aligned with the God of the universe and with how He wants to direct our hearts? If we don’t put an intentional resolve and strategic course of action for following Him in place, we’re basically leaving it up in the air, susceptible to the flighty whims of our circumstances and feelings. There’s simply too much eternal treasure at stake for that.

Seek the Lord , and his strength: seek his face evermore.
Psalms 105:4 KJV
https://bible.com/bible/1/psa.105.4.KJV