One Way Conversation
Not Listening for God
I have used index cards to keep track of whom and what I’m praying for. I could also have a convenient way to track God’s answers to my prayers as a result.
But then I noticed I was involved in a one way conversation with God. I seldom remembered to thank Him after receiving what His blessings and the new direction in my life. And that was due to my lack of journaling or writing down on my index cards the answers to my prayers. When I did give thanks they were limited to the benefits that I received when God followed my plan. And my prayers overtook the time I was spending in Bible study.
I recalled that some of my richest times of prayer came from reading His Word. Also I received much from Preacher’s sermons. And one of the most valuable lessons I learned from either concerns admonishment. Like my Preacher’s sermons, my time in God’s Word was not spent wisely if His Word was not stepping on my toes. Professional athletes will say they learn more from a loss than a win. All I was learning was what other people’s short comings were.
We should look for and not spurn God’s correction through teaching (Sunday School, Small Groups, and the Preacher’s sermons), our personal study of God’s Word, the doors that God closes to us, and being cognizant of the consequences of our actions as is reflected in the following two scriptures.
(2 Timothy 3:16-17 WEB) 16All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works.
(Hebrews 4:12 WEB) For the word of God [is] living, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
I would highlight key phrases above, but every phrase would be highlighted – don’t leave anything out when reading and contemplating these passages.
Between these two scriptures I found that God has already outlined for me what I should expect when I really listen to God, by reading the Bible, and using introspection to honestly evaluate my Christian walk. And the whole of my purpose was to be useful to the Kingdom of God and bring honor to God’s name.
What is introspection? It is to know ourself from God’s point of view. Becoming mature and well rounded (not only in areas we choose but in all areas that God determines).
- Following His lead into places and situations we would have otherwise avoided
- Always learning each day about Him, others, and ourselves
- Not for our glory but for His glory
- Seeking to have the name of Jesus respectively reflected from the lips of everyone I meet.
I’ve found greater direction in my life and peace with God in those times when it seems like there is no direction. I’ve gained his supernatural peace when there have been deaths of children in my family, including our church family. And my ministry efforts still seem to focus on men who are in left field. It’s not an area I would have thought of but “coincidences” have steered me that way (yes – I do thank God for that).
I’m thankful my boat has a rudder. And its name is Jesus!