Thursday, January 10, 2008

Notes For Night #2

Class went very well last night. Our small group turned into a group of about 32 ladies - All ages (mostly mid 30's, but some 40's, 50's and some 20's). We had a fun time with our get-to-know you game - we laughed our heads off at some of the ladies' answers. One of the questions I had to answer was : What is your biggest pet peeve? There are so many, how is a girl to decide? Anyway, I went with girls/women who wear thong underwear and want us all to know it. You know, the women who wear thongs that come up over the back of their jeans - - these women bend over - alot. Some of them say things like "I always wear a thong so you can't see my panty line". Now, I dont tell you about my granny panties, so what makes you think I wanna know about your thongs? The criteria for the underwear I buy is that it WILL NOT go into places that it shouldn't - who wants to constantly have to pull your underwear out of 'there'? Why would anyone want to buy underwear that purposely goes right into 'no man's land'? Defies all logic, if you ask me. Apparently the ladies in my group know the women of which I speak because they laughed -- hard - they laughed hard.

Anyway, I wanted to type up my notes for next week early so I could add/subtract over the next 6 days. Here is what I have so far. . . . . . . . . . . .
We Christians are funny people. By that I mean that we place emphasis on alot of unimportant things. We argue over dress, over styles of worship, over music, and all sorts of other differences. The truth of the matter is that for a Christian there is only one thing that matters eternally. For a Christian, everything rises or falls on RELATIONSHIP.

This week we have learned how to aniticipate God's voice.

Jeremiah 33:3 says 'Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.'

Last week I asked if any of us have ever had doubts that God speaks to us and almost everyone of us raised our hands. Let me ask you this.......

If God Himself came to you in person and spoke a word just for you, would you believe Him? Would you believe that He speaks to you?

Our first reaction is to say "Of course, I would believe!", but the Israelites saw what He did in Egypt - they saw the plagues and the passover and the exodus, but they still didn't really believe Him. His presence was with them in the form of a cloud yet they still didnt believe in Him fully. So, what did they do? They made idols. They worshipped hand made images instead of the God that delievered them. Maybe we shouldnt be so quick to think ourselves so civilized and spiritual---we have much in common with the Israelites and unbelief is just the beginning. The Israelites were fickle people. They believed God when things were good and when things didn't go as they wanted, they made idols----remind you of anyone?

In Habakuk 1:2-3 we see Habakuk asking God "How long?" and "Why?". Everyone of us has asked that question at some time in our life (maybe several times in our lives).

Habakuk 1:5 gives us the answer to "How long?" and "Why?" --- It says, "Look at the nations and watch— and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told". In other words, the answer to your questions "How long?' and "Why?" are coming if you will only look, watch, and be amazed at ME. God says, the work is not yours to do, but Mine. Sometimes there is work to be done on our part, other times God says, step back, hold your hands up and let Me do My thing for your good and My glory.

Could your expectancy level be a factor in how often and how clearly you hear God's voice?

In Matthew 9:22, Jesus told the woman who was bleeding "take heart daughter, your faith has healed you" - this woman had faith that she would be healed. Could it be that our faith determines whether or how often we hear a word from God?

Many of us pray with doubt in our hearts - we are praying doubters. It's like we are saying "God, I want you to do this, but I doubt you really will". Expectancy is KEY. We pray with an attitude of defeat not expectation - we pray as though God is not big enough to handle our requests. Not only do we doubt He is big enough, but alot of the time we pray asking for direction when we know full well we are going to do what we want to do anyway.

When you were dating, if your future husband came to you and said, "I want to marry you, but we have to wait three years", would you have said "I love you, but I really dont want to wait so ---see ya, I need to go my own way". No, you would have said, "I dont like the wait, but I am willing because I love you that much." Same thing in our relationship with God. If we value His opinion and presence in our lives, then we should be willing to wait on Him.

We have to realize that there is purpose in the process of waiting on the Lord. The things you experienced as a child and teenager have shaped your personality and character and made you the person you are today. Had your life been different, your personality and character would be different as well. There was purpose in your growing up experience - there is purpose in your 'wait time'. During your wait God can change your heart or the hearts of others, He can change your circumstances, He will make things work out for your good in His time. The wait time is not wasted time, but a time for you to grow and change -- it is necessary for His plan and for your growth.

Luke 8:18 says "So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them.”

Those who listen and OBEY will be given understanding - those who dont will lose what little understanding they have. That should scare us to death! We do not want to lose our understanding of the things of God........

Habakuk 2:1 says "I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved".

Habakuk expected reproof --- are we willing to accept reproof or do we expect God to be our "yes man"?

Over and over in the Bible we see examples of how God responds to people who do not obey Him. When we know His word and dont obey it we sin and therefore must reap the consequences. When we disobey for an extended period of time, we eventually lose our ability to hear God's voice. Anyone who has ever lived through a period of blatant sin knows this truth all too well. Our hearts become calloused to the things of God and our ears close to His voice.

Eccelesiastes 5:1-2 says "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.
Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few". In other words, keep our ears open and our big mouths shut!

There have been times that my kids have wanted to help me do something and I have told them no - I wouldnt tell them this, but the reason I said no was because they might mess up what I am trying to accomplish.
We know that Psalm 46:10 says "Be still and know that I am God". Sometimes we are supposed to act, sometimes God says to just 'be still and let Me work My plan because you would just mess the plan up anyway.


jennyhope said...

i left you something on my blog

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

I love reading your notes! They are just full of the word.

I laughed out loud at your pet peeves story! Amen sister!!


Fran said...

"Expectancy is key." AMEN and it is. I need a dose of expectancy in my prayers.


Kelly S. said...

Good Stuff... I just read the Ecclesiates the other day and Psalm 46.10. hmmm I will have to "ponder" that awhile. Repetition gets my attention!

And yes Luke 8:18 does scare me to death: Precious Lord, grant us a teachable spirit and a humble, obdient heart. Train our senses to distinguish Your voice. (Heb. 5.14) Amen.
Philippians 1:9-11:
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, 11filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Yes, we are all feeling better, Thanks!