Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Most Potent Hearing Aid

I love to start out my day reading Charles Stanley's Devotionals. They are posted each day at my message board. Sometimes I get behind and have to catch up on the posts the next day. That is what happened this morning.

These devotionals often speak to my heart and set the tone for the day. In some cases, they give me an answer to something (or someone) that has been troublesome in my life. When I read the devotionals for October 22nd and today, I found it uncanny that they directly addressed and answered some criticism aimed towards me from another person.

I have found that in the blogosphere, there are people who are going to have a negative opinion of you no matter what you say or do. I really think that it is a shame when it turns out to be someone who is supposed to be a fellow Christian believer. Often, their negative opinion(s) and judgments of others are based on their own traditions and/or ideology, not on what the Word of God would be telling them if they studied it diligently.

Using my own words to counter such a person isn't always the best decision. The better way is to use Scripture. These two devotionals do just that.


P.S. Today is our wedding anniversary! 22 years! The love my husband and I share grows every day. We have made it through the good and the bad times. He makes me laugh and still has that look of love for me in his eyes. He is truly my soulmate. I'm so grateful to God for bringing this wonderful husband and father into my life. I couldn't have asked the Lord for more. We have two grown children who still love their parents and are enjoying life and setting goals for their future. Our entire family loves the Lord Jesus and each other. He is our fortress and our strength. Even during the times we are apart, with and through Him, we know that we are never alone.

October 22, 2005

Recognizing the Voice of God

MATTHEW 16:13-23

The Lord wants His will to be the single factor in our decision-making—not what we want or what others think; not the size of the need, our availability, the worthiness of the request, or our previous experience.

“What God desires” is to be the litmus test that decides what we do and say.

To recognize God’s voice, we first set our minds on His interests rather than our own. Then we ask, Is what I’m considering in agreement with Scripture? Jesus’ prediction of His death was scriptural, but Peter wanted a reigning Messiah (Isaiah 9:6-7); He had overlooked the prophetic teaching about the suffering servant. (Isaiah 53:3-9) By becoming students of the Word, we will avoid the danger of missing key verses.

When an idea is supported by Scripture, then we inquire, Does it conflict with human reasoning? Ironically, a “yes” means there is a strong possibility that it is God’s voice. Peter had trouble reconciling the words crucified and Messiah, yet it was the Lord speaking.

Next, we examine the concept to see if it involves sacrifice or challenges our faith. God’s commands usually do. To accept Jesus’ words, Peter would have to surrender an earthly relationship with Jesus and believe in His resurrection.

Finally, when God gives us instruction, courage is often required. Peter could see difficulties ahead if Jesus was to be killed.

Learning to identify God’s voice is a process. Agreement with His Word is key, so always check the message against the Bible first. Then use the other steps to assess if what you are hearing is from God.


October 23, 2005

Identifying The Voice Of God

Matthew 16:21-23

The most potent hearing aid known to man is the Holy Bible. It is the standard of truth against which you can test every message that comes your way. Making a decision on an issue important to you can be extremely difficult.

Sometimes it may seem as if you are hearing two or more voices, all of which make seemingly good points but also tug you in different directions. It is important that in these times you learn to discern the voice of God.

There are several principles you can apply to what you’re hearing to gauge whether it is of God, but the most basic is whether the message conflicts with Scripture. God won’t tell you to do something that counters what He already has recorded for all mankind.

Therefore, the best way to know God’s voice is to get to know Him. Spend time in His Word and soak in His truths. You must know God’s Word before you can differentiate God’s instructions from the messages Satan or your flesh are sending you
Do you know how investigators are trained to recognize counterfeit money? They don’t spend all of their time trying to keep up with the latest technological advances in creating false money. Instead, they first and foremost diligently study the original, the real thing.

Then, held against the standard, the fake stuff stands out.

This Month’s Devotionals

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(Note: I have bolded and italicized some parts for emphasis purposes).


Anna said...

Hi Christine -

Great post. Thank you for your willingness to speak the truth in love.


Susan Smith said...

Anna: AMEN to your feedback!

Christine said: "Using my own words to counter such a person isn't always the best decision. The better way is to use Scripture."

What a beautiful and humble method to deal with others, Christine! God's Word is powerful and it divides between spirit and soul. Charles Stanley is a mighty man in the kingdom of God and his power with words is because he practices exactly what you said. Praise the Lord.

God's Word is ALIVE and it ministers far more powerfully than mere human words.

What a joy to have friends in the kingdom: Christine, Anna, Jojo, plus our soon to be radio celebrities Irene and Stephen Bennett! You are all such a blessing in my life and your constant edifying of others and words of encouragement are building the kingdom one soul at a time. It is a privilege to call you sisters and brother. God bless you. Much love from East Talpiot in the City of God. (ss)