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Friday, July 29, 2011

Maybe We Should Listen to God

There are a lot of things I know to do in the Christian life. Most of them are not working. In fact, I only have one thing I know to do working right now. I know I need to spend some time with the Lord each day. It's amazing what a difference that has made in my life.

On the other hand, most of the other "spiritual" things I have done come from tradition. I worship like I do because I have done so for so long. I do church like I do because that is what I am familiar with. I do it because I can examine what I have done in the past and continue to make decisions from my past. I look at the circumstances and say, "O, this is what I am supposed to do."

I know that God expects me to use my brain. He wants me to recognize certain circumstances and make decisions. He does not expect me to call for a prayer meeting if the church is on fire. He expects me to dial 911. However, He does not expect me to depend upon my decisions which come from interpreting circumstances. He expects me to depend upon Him.

And sometimes He expects me to do something completely outside of my own interpretation. He expects me to go where no one has gone before. He expects me to listen to Him for every step I need to take.

This is the case of Moses, Joshua and really every person whom we know has stepped out in faith with God. God takes us out of what our circumstances tell us and does something that we would never have thought of. He even does it in ways that we would never have expected.

Doing church must never be a formula. It should not be choosing five songs that match the sermon or making sure that the offering is accompanied with the special music. It should be first and foremost listening to what God wants to do.

This is true for the Christian life. I may be that God wants you to spend the rest of your life in the job that you have but He does not expect you to remain in it without the ministry He has planned for you. This too does not mean that He wants you to simply interpret the circumstances and do what your senses tell you to do. He expects you to listen.

Failing to listen makes us mediocre. It will have us making decisions with dire circumstances.

Listening in creative. It brings solutions which we would never have dreamed. Who would have thought of splitting the sea or marching around a city to see the walls fall down? Who would have imagined that going to prison provided the opportunity for the writing of most of the New Testament?

I have a totally radical idea, though really not radical at all, of how we should walk in our Christian life.

Maybe we should listen to God.

Joshua 9:14-15 (ESV)
14 So the men took some of their provisions, but did not ask counsel from the LORD. 15 And Joshua made peace with them and made a covenant with them, to let them live, and the leaders of the congregation swore to them.

1 Samuel 3:8-9 (ESV)
8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the young man. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down, and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant hears.’ ” So Samuel went and lay down in his place.

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