Friday, January 9, 2009

This week I have carved out a  little routine for myself, which I've really been enjoying.  After work, I have been doing my quiet times at home in my room.  This is pretty out of the norm for me for a couple of reasons, one being that I am typically a morning QT person, and another reason being that I typically like to do my quiet times away from home, even if it's in my car before work, otherwise I get pretty distracted. Part of these quiet times have been going through a sermon series on Tuning Into the Voice of God, which I was initially really drawn to because of my circumstances as of late.  Now, as I think about it more, I am realizing how silly it is to think that because of my present situation and it's hardships I am finding it more appropriate to learn how to tune into the voice of the Lord.  As a person who wants to follow Christ with my life, that question of how I discern God's truth and direction should be constant.  Anyways, I've been learning a lot through this series and thinking through some good, although tough, questions.

The series is primarily taught out of Jeremiah 7:23-26 and the pastor, Chuck Bomar has been focusing the sermons on some of the key phrases out of the text.  Here is the basic gist of what I've been learning.

The overarching truth of this whole series is that as Christians, we have a personal relationship with God, and so it follows that if we have a relationship with a loving God, then he certainly desires to communicate with us and lead us into a life that is honoring and pleasing to Him.  Unfortunately there are so many things in our hearts and in our lives that distract, dilute and distort our ability to hear God's voice.

As I mentioned, the bulk of the series has been spent investigating those things that hinder our ability to hear and follow God's voice.  

1. the first point was that we can't obey when we lack the disciplines in our life to even know what God's ways are.  This was a super good reminder for me about the wealth that we possess in the Word.  So often I am hoping for the Lord to spell out my life's direction in an audible voice or a burning bush, all the while overlooking that fact that I have God's trustworthy written words at my disposal.  Some other points that were made that brought me encouragement and challenge were that as believers, we've been given sound minds by which we can understand God's word; in order to be disciplined we have to work really and literally push every distracting thing aside for the sake of striving to be Christlike in our obedience; and finally we have the responsibility to organize our lives to build in these spiritual disciplines.  Good stuff.  I need to really mull over these truths, especially the point about how the Lord has given us sound minds.  As I am stepping into adulthood more all the time I am recognizing how much of my early life was based on the decisions of others.  Now that's not case anymore, but I honestly miss that sometimes, and want to revert back to a time where it was someone else's decision making process that propelled my life forward.  I really want to be able to be stoked about responsibility to seek and follow the Lord's leading in my life, trusting that He has given me the capability to make wise, God-honoring decisions.  Right now I am certainly in a position to put this into practice as I'm praying about where God is taking me next.

2. The second part of the series looked into the meaning of what it is to walk in our "own counsels".   Chuck explained that these counsels often break down into the wisdom of the world, the advise of the spiritually unwise or immature and our circumstances.  The one that really kicked my butt was circumstances, because I am so prone to look at what is going on in my life and then to attempt to infer God's leading.  I do this all the time questioning if this or that is a sign from God.  And it very well could be, but I again I am realizing that it is far more reliable to seek the Lord in the Word and in prayer rather than to analyze the details of my circumstances to try to discern how the Lord is leading.

Hmmm...well that's a lot of writing already and that is only part one and two of a five part series.  I think for now, I will conclude, hopefully to return at a later date to write some more of my thoughts.  Writing is really good for me because I'm what they call an external processor and I often don't know what I know until I have to communicate it.  

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