Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Obeying God's Voice - Knowing Is Not A Requirement For Going

He went out, not knowing where he was going. —Hebrews 11:8

{CHAMBERS} “Have you ever “gone out” in this way? If so, there is no logical answer possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the most difficult questions to answer in Christian work is, “What do you expect to do?” You don’t know what you are going to do. The only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing. Continually examine your attitude toward God to see if you are willing to “go out” in every area of your life, trusting in God entirely. […] Each morning as you wake, there is a new opportunity to “go out,” building your confidence in God. “…do not worry about your life…nor about the body…” (Luke 12:22). In other words, don’t worry about the things that concerned you before you did “go out.”[…] He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do— He reveals to you who He is. […] Believe God is always the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him. Then think how unnecessary and disrespectful worry is! […] You must learn to “go out” through your convictions, creeds, or experiences until you come to the point in your faith where there is nothing between yourself and God.”

{ELGIN}  Before I start .. heads up …. this is a long devotion today.  There are a couple of essentials in “going”.  The first is “knowing”.  Knowing that it is God and not your own idea of what you should do or want to do.  When God sends you, He goes with you.  It’s not like leaving your parents’ home.  You leave and they stay. But … if you go off on your own to do something that requires the power of God, but you are doing it on your own … you are in trouble from the start.  You can do nothing in the flesh that will please God. To know it is God, your heart must be right with Him … your relationship must be solid … your devotion to Him consistent.  God examines the heart.  Why do you think He chose Abraham?  The second is “leaving”.  Paul wrote …. (Philippians 3:-13-14) “Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  If you are going to follow God then you must be prepared to abandon your earthly affections and trust God. 

(Hebrews 11:8-10, 13, 17-19) “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. … 13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. …. 17 By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had embraced the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18 even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.”19 Abraham reasoned that God could even raise the dead, and so in a manner of speaking he did receive Isaac back from death.”

Both of these men were willing to put their lives, their affections, their cultural preferences behind them in favor of following God.  Jesus said if you are going to follow Him … be His disciple … your love for even your own family must be subordinate to obedience to God’s voice and His will.  I have heard many men say that their priorities are God, family, then ministry.  If I understand the Bible correctly .. ministry is doing God’s will .. it’s not a vocation … God may ask you to do something that requires not only your sacrifice, but your family’s as well.  That is a true test of higher devotion.  I do know people who think that doing comes before being.  If I immerse myself in the work of the ministry then I will be in the will of God.  That is a “works” mentality. Doing the will of God starts in the heart not in the hands.  Following God for us has meant that we have not been with our family for years at a time.  Do we trust God enough to believe that He is in control?  Even in the lives of those on this earth that we love the most?  If not, when He says go – you will say no … maybe later.

So what is it that God has been saying to you?  Nothing?  Maybe you have not been listening .. or maybe you put your fingers in your ears because you don’t want to hear.  This is my prayer for you in 2018 .. well .. the year matters not ….

(Ephesians 3:14-21)  “For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."

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