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05 October 2012

Listening to God - 05 October

Are you patiently waiting for an answer in one area of your life? Are you memorizing one verse that helps you to remember that God wants you to wait for His answer? I pray that you are.

Today we will discuss the counsel of others. We want to focus on finding good and godly counsel, of course.

Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out. Prov 20:5 (KJV)

Who qualifies as a godly counselor?

1.       They must have a real relationship with Jesus Christ and must affirm that He is the only way to heaven.
2.       They can’t have an ulterior motive in our lives.
3.       They need to hear from God and want us to do the same.
4.       They base all their opinions and advice on God’s word, give Scripture references if possible, and tell us to check their answers against the wisdom of the Bible.
Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6  Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:5-7 (ESV)

We can’t hear from God if we’re too proud to listen. We can’t hear what He has to say if we’re busy justifying our behavior. Satan will tell you that you have the age, the wisdom, the experience to handle the problem, and our pride will agree. We need to become humble because each of us will someday be in the role of the “younger” and the “elder” when it comes to our problems. We are not competent to make decisions on our own because of our sin nature. We need to have the humility, wisdom and even maturity to know that even experienced Christians can sometimes get caught in Satan’s web of deceit. That’s why we care called parts of the body of Christ.

…so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16  from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. Eph 4:14-16 (ESV)

As a Christian, hearing from Satan will cause the Holy Spirit to give you a feeling of frustration, uneasiness, or questioning. When we hear from God, even if we don’t like what we’re told, we have a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Phil 4:6-7 (ESV)

We can’t be shaken if we have God’s peace. When we know we are in God’s Will, we trust that He will take care of us as He has promised. We give up our lives to Him and stop trying to “help” Him. He is the ruler of our hearts.

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13  bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:12-17 (ESV)

The best way to be sure that you’ve heard from God is to confirm what you’ve heard through the lens of Scripture. Next, make sure you have the peace of God. Once you have those two elements in place, don’t be anxious (Philippians 4:6-7, above). You will become like a child that hears its Mom or Dad call. Only Mom and Dad get a response from the child because they are on intimate terms with their parents. We should strive to be on the same intimate term with our heavenly father.

Next week we will discuss our baggage and its effect on hearing God’s voice.

Has this study been beneficial to you? How? In what ways have you been challenged?

It’s time to think about the next study. If you have suggestions, I would love to hear them. If there’s a topic that’s perplexing to you, it will probably be perplexing to others. Let’s unravel the mysteries of God’s Word together. Let me know if you’d like to study a particular topic.

See you Monday.HowHoHoHow

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