Have you had those days where you just feel lost, or confused and frustrated? Days where you keep thinking, "I know I'm suppose to cast all my fears up to the Lord," but you ask, "how can I do that when the same problems are facing me day in and day out and they never change?" Well that's what it's been lately.
I'm concerned about the well being of my grand kids, very concerned, and now my heart is breaking for my little sis. She is going through some terrible struggles, health wise, which includes physical, and now her marriage is coming to an end. I've been talking to the Lord, asking to be led to the right answers. Asking for the right words. Asking what it is I should be doing.
One thing that has hit me is I've been lacking in solid prayer and meditation, and definitely lacking in getting in the word the way I had been. Too many excuses letting the way of the flesh drive me instead of the Lord. The only thing I have been doing is being in constant conversation with the Lord.
So I went searching, and this is where I've been led so far. Charles Stanley's "Life Principles Bible" was my first place to look, since he has all the life examples, answers to life's questions etc. in the front. I came to "What steps can I take when I really need to hear from God" under Answers to life's questions.
Dr. Stanley talks about how we tend to complicate our desire to hear Him. He states, "we already have everything we need in order to discover what He wants for us." He also talks about daily things we can be doing through spiritual discipline. He lists four basic steps to take and dwell on.
1. Get in the Word, really read it. We need to be doing this every day. This is where we will find what it is He wants us to do. Stanley writes, "We learn about God's truth, mercy, love, and forgiveness." So very true.
2. Prayer, we need to pray in order to seek Him. We all know the most powerful position is to be on our knees, but as Dr. Stanley says, we can also see Him by simply bowing our heads in prayer as well. Praying should be done in a private, quiet place, where we can fully open ourselves up to Him in order to hear Him. We need to be able to listen for Him. Pastor Ken had said something that has always stuck with me; sometimes we put too much emphasis in talking/praying and not enough time just being still and listening. God doesn't want to listen to us go on and on, as He already knows what we need, but instead He wants us to come to Him and then listen. This makes very good sense.
3. Meditate, which we will hear most Pastors, Priests, Fathers, Preachers, etc. tell us. Meditating on His word will allow us to receive, hold and "take root in our souls," as stated by Dr. Stanley. By meditating on what He tells us and His word, we are allowing Him to build a solid "foundation in our hearts." I can't remember when I sat and really meditated. How sad is that. One of the basic foundations needed to be a part of Him.
4. Last but not least, "Listen." We not only need to listen with our ears, but with our hearts as well. Disruptions, noisy areas, minds some where else will not allow us to hear His sweet voice. We are going to hear sounds around us. Some distractive noises are often unavoidable. But we need to focus and gear our minds into "active listening" in order to really hear what He is telling us.
I thought this was some pretty good advice. I'm going to make sure I stick to this now. It's so important to have a good healthy relationship with God, which is one of my personal goals. The other area I was sent to was "Bearing One Another's Burdens," in the category of "What the Bible says about." This is referenced from Galatians 6:1-3.
"Many people object to the idea of accountability because they don't see how other people's actions are any of their business." But, the Bible says it is our business when others are known to sin, we need to be their to tell them and get them back on the right track.
Of the examples Dr. Stanley used was a woman who had been married only a short time when she found out her husband was a homosexual. Once she found out, friends of theirs told her that they had known before they even married. She was upset that they had not told her. They told her they felt it was none of their business.
How many of you feel her friends were right? On something like this, I think I would have to say something, as allowing someone to go ahead and marry someone that will eventually end up in divorce, spare them the pain and agony. The man was being deceptive. But I will admit, there are times I feel it's none of my business. There are times when I feel we are suppose to keep our mouths shut and let God handle it. So this piece is very befitting with what is happening here. Hubby & I have finally decided to talk to our daughter and her fiance about what we see.
Proverbs 28:23 "He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor than he who flatters with the tongue." This is an area that I have trouble with my little sister. I'm afraid to be upfront with her for fear of hurting her and making things worse. We have such a bond, I'm afraid of losing it. Dr. Stanley goes on to say, "Remember this, in an accountability relationship you are not responsible for how the other person responds to you. But you are responsible to tell the truth and then continue to love that person through the process." Those are some pretty powerful words.
1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Then last but not least, I started reading Max Lucado's "For these tough times: Reaching toward heaven for hope & healing. What great inspiration in this book. He is another of my favorite writers. I'll soon be making a list of books that I've read, what they are about, and whether or not I think they are worthwhile purchasing .
I hope this may have helped anyone else out there struggling with a problem or more. Sharing is a way of helping us all get through difficult times. It was amazing how calm I became after reading all this. God is so loving, forgiving, and always there. As Heather put it, "God is our All in All.! Amen!!! Be Blessed and have a great weekend!
Stanley, C.F., May 30, 2009. The Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Bible. Holy Bible, New King
James version, p 439 par 3 ln 7-9; par 5-8; pp 1375-76 par 1, ln 1-5; par 4, ln 10-14; p1376
par 2 v 1-3. Thomas Nelson, Inc.