Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Where is the Spirit Leading You?

When we commune with God in prayer, we need to listen to hear where the Spirit is leading us. Often what we want to hear is not the direction that God intends for us. We need to be careful not to answer our own prayers and tune out the Spirit. Often when we pray, we want something so badly that we will only listen if the Lord tells us what we want to hear. It is difficult, but we need to remove our selfish desires from the equation when we petition the Lord. Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Do not place yourself before the Lord. Always keep God’s will as first and foremost in your prayers, knowing that He is in control. His plan for you may not always be obvious today, but it will ultimately become clear.

We need to submit ourselves to the Lord, to forget about ourselves and realize that our Lord is in charge. James 4:3, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives”. When we are selfish in our petitions, or do so with our hearts in the wrong place, our prayers will be ignored. Jesus taught us in the Lord’s Prayer that, God’s will be done, not ours. A foolish person will ask for advice and not hearing what he wants to hear, disregards the advice and does what he wanted to do in the first place. We must not be foolish and only listen to what our selfish cravings desire, for this is not His will. 1 John 5:14-15, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.” God answers prayers, but we need to humble ourselves before Him and be content that whatever answer we receive is part of the overall plan He has for us.

Ephesians 6:7-8, “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one of you for whatever good you do.” We need to perform our tasks well, as if we were serving the Lord, whether it be in our occupations, responsibilities as parents, or any other task that is set before us. 1 Timothy 4:10, 15-16, ‘That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 15 Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. 16 Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” We work towards leading the type of lives our Savior desires for us, both in our spiritual lives and the performance of our earthly duties. Our faith in the risen Lord saves us, but others in the world are watching us and we can be instruments for our Lord, showing others the way to salvation.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. The trials and tribulations of today will give rise to our spiritual development and growth of tomorrow. Our Lord will not burden us more than we can bear, even if it seems that we are at our wit’s end. It is when we attempt to handle our troubles alone that they seem insurmountable. No matter what we are faced with, we can be triumphant when we uphold our faith in God, realizing that He is in control. James 1:12, “Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God had promised those that love him.” When we are faced with these tests, we need to put our faith in the Lord that we accept His plan for us and that we welcome being used to give glory to our Lord.

1 comment:

  1. This is applicable in all areas of life, but particularly in regards to the ELCA. God tells us to care about all people, but we can become so obsessed with wanting to support a cause that we cannot differentiate between our passion from God's voice.

    God's voice is always consistent with His word first and foremost, and that is still not a guarantee. God's answer is not always yes even when our request and desires ARE in line with scriptures. But it IS guaranteed to not be the Lord's leading when it is inconsistent with scripture.

    The ELCA is focused on social issues that are clearly not supported by scripture and therefore, no matter how well intentioned the desires of bound conscience are, it CANNOT be Spirit lead but the passions of the human heart.