Wednesday, February 5, 2020

When God Speaks Are You Listening And Willing To Obey?

And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, ‘Here I am!’ So he ran to Eli and said, ‘Here I am, for you called me.’” – 1 Samuel 3:1-5


Have you ever heard someone say, “God showed up?” I have said it myself, but the truth of the matter is that God was already there, He “merely” revealed Himself. When God spoke to Samuel, Samuel thought it was Eli.  God’s voice may not be audible – notice that Eli does not say that he heard God too.  Our conversations with God are very personal – private.  He is speaks to us but seldom to a crowd. I can think of one time, in Luke 9, when the Father spoke to Peter, James and John. (I will let you read it for yourself) In my experience God always speaks through more than one way – I think as affirmation or confirmation. 

After we had been in Mississippi for 5 years, Martie and I sensed that our time there was coming to an end.  We didn’t know what was next, but sought the Lord through prayer.  I recall, about that time, I was helping a friend of mine install cabinets in a home near Waveland.  As we worked, Robert, told me that he and his wife had been praying for us and he believed that we should consider coming to Alabama to help an orphan ministry that was working to bring Haitian orphans to the States.  Haiti and working with orphans was not even on our radar. Soon after I received a call from the Pastor of the church that has sent us out as missionaries,  He had just returned from Haiti with a medical team – this was just after the earthquake in January 2010.  He said, “Charley, you and Martie need to go to Haiti and do what you did in Mississippi!” I told him that I appreciated his concern and respect for our work, but I did not think that the Lord was sending us to Haiti. Not long after, I received a call from a friend in California.  He asked me, “Charley, have you been thinking about Haiti?” Like Samuel – the Lord persisted in call our names. But, like Samuel, we didn’t think it was the Lord. Until the third time.  That is when I realized that the Lord was sending us to Haiti. 

We left Mississippi and spent a year in Alabama working with the orphan ministry, but there was not one Haitian orphan. The truth was that we need to “lay by the stream” for a season to recover physically, emotionally and spiritually from the work in Mississippi.  Then it happened. Another friend told us about a couple in their church that was starting an orphanage ministry in Haiti and they needed help.  Had we not been available in Alabama, we would not have met them and would not have spent the next four years in Haiti. Nor would be still be involved in ministry there today.

Has God ever spoken to you? Perhaps you think not, but perhaps He has but you were not listening or not believing it was God. God spoke to us through prayer, other Believers and circumstances.  Dr. Blackaby said that the problem is not really in knowing it is God, the problem is obeying what He says to you.  God will never ask you to do something that you can do on your own.    

For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.’ But blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear; for assuredly, I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” – Matthew 13:15-17

I will risk repeating myself from yesterday.  God is at work all around us.  We need spiritual eyes to see it and a willing heart to join Him. God decides the role you will play.  Are you ready and willing? His Spirit makes you able. We all have a part – we have all been gifted to fulfill our purpose. All there is to do is to step out by faith, trusting God.

Tomorrow - Reality Five.

To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” – Jude 24-25

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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