Throughout my Christian life, like many other believers, I have had to learn to be sensitive to the call of God. In the beginning, it took time to understand when it was His voice and when it was my own fleshly desires. I desired to be an obedient child, but at times my aspirations, regardless of how noble, were not in His plans for my life.
God has placed me in a position to mentor other leaders in the last several years, and I have had many ask me, “Jane, how will I know when it is God telling me to do something, versus my flesh or the enemy?” My reply, though somewhat candid is, “It will always line up with the WORD of God.”
Now I realize that some folks just aren’t keen on the Word of God, thus they lean on others to help them decipher God’s will for their lives. Here a few things every believer needs to apply to their life if they want to know the perfect will of God.
1. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what He sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. (John
5:19) To know what God wants for your life, you must be able to know what the Father is doing. To connect to our Heavenly Father, we must pray and study His Word. How can you know what He is saying without knowing His Word? It is impossible dear one!
2. For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure. (Proverbs 11:14) Seek Godly counsel of other believers. Daily we are called upon to make decisions. Most folks seek the counsel they want to hear, and not necessarily the counsel they need to hear. Lay aside your own preconceived ideas when seeking Godly counsel and then trust God that He is able to show you His perfect will.
3. The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. (Proverbs 14:8) Life seemingly does not always afford us the time needed to make prudent decisions, yet, without taking time to evaluate, pray, seek God’s face in a matter, our choices can lead to our demise. For example, I was asked by a pastor several years ago to pray about coming to his church to lead worship. I had never heard of his town, nor was I seeking such a move. As I prayed, I got neither a yea or nay answer from God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27) My past experiences helped me to know that when God is silent, that I am to do nothing, thus I waited on the Lord. That decision was wise, as the pastor moved on from that church in a few months.
If you are seeking God diligently, laying aside your own desires and simply desiring to please God, then trust that He will reveal His will to you. Ask for wisdom and you will receive it, for that is how the Father moves in our lives. We can hear from God on a daily basis when we take time to hear from Him. God is always speaking to His children, but unless we stop and listen, we will miss those moments of communion, reflection and sweet fellowship that bring enrichment and assurance to our Christian walk.
Psalm 92:12-15“The righteous shall flourish like the palm-tree: He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of Jehovah; They shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and green: To show that Jehovah is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
I have just returned from leading Freedom Conference 2012 in Choctaw, OK. It was a whirlwind trip in more ways than one. Tornadoes threatened the area for the biggest part of the weekend. It reminded me of what we ---as God’s children should do when a pending storm is approaching in our lives. Many will run for cover and bury their head in the sand, so to speak. If in times of trouble we choose to bend low to hear God’s voice--- like the palm tree, we will not only survive the storm, but we will be strengthened in and through it. The palm is flexible and does not have any forseen damage from the storms in life, because it is capable of bending as it is going through a storm. Trees that cannot bend, often are left without leaves and limbs. while some are altogether taken out of the ground and tossed about by the winds of fury. Those that do not bend are easily recongnizable as they have damaged limbs and roots, and can appear very ugly. People who refuse to bend low to the voice of the Lord, can become ugly in spirit, as most of us have witnessed.
One of my ministry prayer warriors was instrumental in bringing this matter to light in my life, and I am so grateful for her honesty and dedication to the ministry. Many folks were affected by the recent occurrences of tornadoes throughout OK, Kansas, Iowa and onward. The destruction was a wakeup call to many who were caught off guard. The result was injury and death to some, destruction and homelessness to others.
This was a difficult weekend as I also became ill and required medical treatment prior to the conference. It appeared that there was not only an onslaught physically in the land, but spiritually. Fear dominated many a soul.
In times of a storm, I hope that you have learned to bow low to your Maker’s voice and to seek His face, so that you can overcome such adversity. Those who do not submit, who shake their hands in the face of God, will incur further harm and delay in their deliverance. I for one want to prosper in the things of God, and as spoken this week, “Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not break,” I too did all that I could to focus on the tasks at hand and not to let the pending storm distract from the purpose of the conference. The WORD to the church last Sunday night was “Wake up, wake up, wake up church, you’ve e been lullabied too long!” It's time to wake up CHURCH and bow so that adversity becomes a blessing of strength and not a curse meant to destroy our lives.
In the world we live in it is becoming more and more difficult to find those who call them-selves believers and also choose to live a life of holiness. In my years of ministry I have met many who call themselves “Christian” in name, but their lifestyle is anything but one that portrays Christ. Unfortunately this is becoming more and more common and the end result is causing great confusion among those who have never believed.
As a Christian we are to be living a life of holiness, for we have been called to a higher standard. This does not mean that we are infallible, indispensable, or irrefutable. It simply means that we have chosen to take the higher road, to make ourselves accountable to God and those around us, to live above reproach, to walk in mercy and not condemnation, to walk in the Truth of His Word, to not give ourselves over to sinful lust and the desires of this world.
We have decided to take up our cross and follow the Christ. We have accepted the invitation of redemption through the power of His sacrifice. We have calculated the cost and abandoned our lives to God’s mission. We have undeniably crossed the line from the past of who we use to be, into the present of what He wants us to be. We have stepped over the obstacles and traps carefully employed by the enemy to disrupt our mission. We have successfully stood on the Word of God and in doing so become victors! We will continue to fight the good fight and run the good race until His day of returning, or until we see His glorious face. We are compelled not by man, but by His Spirit. We are united in purpose and we are empowered by God. Yes, my friends, we are Christians!
How are we going to be able to go out into the highway and byways of this life and compel the lost of their need of Christ? It will not be done by blending into the backdrop of this present darkness dear friends. It is only done by shining the light of Christ into the darkness of men’s hearts and by making our lives a living vessel of His love and sacrifice.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.”(Romans 12:1) NASB
Surely you do not believe that we are capable of living holy lives without first drawing close to the only One who is Holy? A dead or living sacrifice is useless unless it is one of pure holiness. Is there enough convicting evidence of the holiness of Christ in you for a jury to find you guilty of being a Christian? My prayer for me and for you today is but one:
“Lord, Make my life a living sacrifice Lord, Holy and acceptable to You!”
(Isaiah 53:6) We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
This is Holy week for those who call Jesus the Lord of their life. As we bring back to memory the event of the cross, the cruel death, the guarded tomb and the resurrection of our Lord three days later, I can hardly contain my emotions. Each year when the springtime is fresh, and I begin to ponder upon the ultimate price that was paid so that I could walk in liberty of spirit; I am once again humbled that a God so great would take such drastic measures to save a dying mankind.
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray…..” as the scripture says. That means you and me. If you refuse to accept such facts, you may never be able to obtain the redemptive gift of life waiting for all of those who put their trust in God. When we inspect our lives and realize that Christ bore upon his body the iniquity of us all, it can almost be overwhelming. Historically men have sent many a criminal to the cross to die, but Jesus willingly went to the cross so that we could live.
"For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:45)
That is right…Jesus chose to lay down His life in our place. He gave His all---everything that He had to ensure that we could have a holy relationship that would allow us to enter into eternal life, instead of eternal death. Eternal death you ask? Yes, because eternal death is eternal separation from God. It is not His desire that any man should perish, nor is it mine. Frankly, I cannot say that I would be willing to give my son up, or to lay down my own life for another’s chance to receive eternal life. If I was sure that in my selfless act that you would choose eternal life, I may be more inclined. Nevertheless, Jesus knew there would be many who would never choose Him as the Lord of their life---yet He gave His all. This example is the most selfless,loving and merciful act humanity has ever witnessed in history and today.
While on the cross, Jesus made perhaps the most profound statement He had ever made—“It is finished.” This meant that the price was paid, mission accomplished or goal attained. I want to live my life in the same manner so that when I come to my end I can say that I completed my goal here on earth. As a follower of Christ, I will reach that goal because Jesus is with me all the way. Tell me,“What will you do with Jesus today?”