We are thrilled that our Lesotho Bible study has grown to 125 children! It was so fun spending time with them – meeting new faces and reconnecting with those we have known a while. I can’t wait to see what 2015 brings with new opportunities…and especially…growth both physically and spiritually in the kids!
The the act of hearing that Jesus was referring to was more than just hearing the words, it included processing what was heard. Hearing His words was intended to shape one’s perspective, so much so that God’s Word was to determine the way the hearer views all the issues of life. . .to completely reshape one’s outlook and determine his values and attitudes. Truly hearing God’s Word meant putting into practice what was heard.
How’s your hearing?
Are you hearing the words spoken on Sunday morning and living them out Monday through Saturday? How are you implementing what you hear?
When do you seek out God’s Word?
Are you reading God’s Word to hear God’s voice?
How has God’s Word reshaped your outlook towards life? towards people? towards your spouse? towards your neighbor? towards your children? towards your dreams? towards your desires?
Jesus: “. . . consider carefully how you listen.” Luke 8:18
For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (NIV) Colossians 1:9
What does it mean to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will? The word “filled” means to be “made full.” In the book of Colossians the word carries the idea of being “fully equipped.” According to Colossians 1:9 the knowledge of God’s will is found in “spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Knowing God’s will isn’t something that we magically dream up. It comes from knowing the God of the Word through the Word of God.
Does it seem like at times that you’re out of step with God? Do you have an important decision to make? Do you need to know God’s will?
The first step towards being filled with the knowledge of God’s will is to know the Word of God! Will you join me today by digging deeper into His Word to know His will?
Do you have a lot of knowledge about God but not much of a love relationship with Him? Has your head knowledge reached you heart so that it affects how you live? Where are you looking for your knowledge of God? to a radio personality? a pastor? a friend? a self-help book? How about trying the real thing. . . God! Go to His Word and You will find the Person, not just the doctrine.
Once you have prepared your heart by praising God and cleansed your heart through confession of sin, you are prepared for powerful praying in God’s will. The Bible tells us: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us– whatever we ask– we know that we have what we asked of him.” (NIV) I John 5:14-15
There is one sure way to know that your requests are according to God’s will. If there is a verse or passage of Scripture that directly relates to your request or a principle from God’s Word that applies, you can pray with confidence!Â God’s Word will never contradict God’s will.
George Mueller (1805-1898) of Bristol, England was one of the mightiest men of prayer in his time. He raised over $8 million dollars (think of how much that would be in today’s money!) through prayer for the several orphanages that he founded. But, George Mueller never prayed for anything just because he wanted it, or even if he felt that it was needed for God’s work. Here’s what one author writes about Mueller’s prayer life:
“When it was laid upon George Mueller’s heart to pray for anything, he would search the Scriptures to find if there was some promise that covered the case. Sometimes he would search the Scriptures for days before he presented his petition to God. And then when he found the promise, with his open Bible before him and his finger upon that promise, he would plead that promise with an open Bible before him.” (from The Power of Prayer by R.A. Torrey)
Are you that kind of a “pray-er”? Do you pray with complete confidence because you know it’s God’s will because it came from God’s Word?
Does not the Word come like a soft shower, assuaging the fury of the flame? Yes, is it not an asbestos armor, against which the heat has no power? Let the affliction come–God has chosen me. Poverty, thou mayest stride in at my door; but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, thou mayest intrude; but I have a balsam ready–God has chosen me. Whatever befall me in this vale of tears, I know that He has chosen me.
Fear not, Christian; Jesus is with thee. In all thy fiery trials, His presence is both thy comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. “Fear not, for I am with thee,” is His sure word of promise to His chosen ones in “the furnace of affliction.” –C. H. Spurgeon
Pain’s furnace heat within me quivers,
God’s breath upon the flame doth blow;
And all my heart in anguish shivers
And trembles at the fiery glow;
And yet I whisper, “As God will!”
And in the hottest fire hold still.
He comes and lays my heart, all heated,
On the hard anvil, minded so
Into His own fair shape to beat it
With His great hammer, blow on blow;
And yet I whisper, “As God will!”
And at His heaviest blows hold still.
He takes my softened heart and beats it;
The sparks fly off at every blow;
He turns it o’er and o’er and heats it,
And lets it cool, and makes it glow;
And yet I whisper, “As God will!”
And in His mighty hand hold still.
Why should I murmur? for the sorrow
Thus only longer-lived would be;
The end may come, and will tomorrow,
When God has done His work in me;
So I say trusting, “As God will!”
And, trusting to the end, hold still.
The burden of suffering seems a tombstone hung about our necks, while in reality it is only the weight which is necessary to keep down the diver while he is hunting for pearls. –Richter
The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert. This first edition was published in 1925 and the wording is preserved as originally written. Connotations of words may have changed over the years and are not meant to be offensive.
By far and away the most oft asked question that I field is: “How can I know God’s will?” The primary way of knowing God’s will is through God’s Word! God’s Word will never contradict His will. If you don’t know God’s Word, dig in and you will find His will! Look at some of the ways that God’s Word works in our lives.
Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (NIV) Joshua 1:8
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (NIV) 2 Timothy 3:16-17
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (NIV) Psalm 119:9-11
He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.” (NAS) John 14:21
How well do you know God’s Word? Not just your favorite passages, but the whole book? What will it take to for you to become better acquainted with God’s Word so that you will know His will?