Monday, January 7, 2008

Running Ahead

Don't you hate it when you open someone's blog page and it is the same post you read a week ago? If you said yes to that question, then you are hating me right now ;-). I have been busy with back to school and 'new house stuff' and quite frankly, I haven't had anything blogworthy to say in the past week. I have been studying for the class I begin leading on Wednesday night (Priscilla Shirer's Discerning the Voice of God). It is another great study by Priscilla and I highly recommend to everyone. I think discerning the voice of God is sometimes confusing to all of us, especially to new Christians. I think it is puzzling because many people are not sure how or IF He really speaks to us.

Do you believe that God speaks to people today? I mean do you REALLY believe it? We say things like "I believe the Lord is telling me to...." or "The Lord is really speaking to me in the area of.....", but do we really mean that or are we taking our own thoughts and pretending they are the voice of God? OR, how many times do we pray about something knowing full well we are going to do what we want to do?

It's been years since I did Experiencing God, but I remember one of the big parts of that book was about the ways God speaks to us (circumstances, people, His Word, etc). I think when it comes to hearing God's voice, we have two main problems: 1. We don't know how to listen 2. We don't like to wait.

God can speak to us in any way He chooses, but much of the time we are too busy worrying to listen to what He is saying. When we are praying for or about something, He may bring the subject up in lots of different places with lots of different people and use them to confirm which way we should go. He may direct us to a verse in the Bible that speaks to what we are praying about or He may orchestrate circumstances to just 'work out' for us. The truth is that sometimes we are just too busy or preoccupied to see what He is doing for us.
It's funny, there is something that I have been wondering and praying about for a few years now. I feel like God may be leading me to do something and it is a huge undertaking. Lately, I have been feeling an urgency about starting this 'project' and I cannot tell you the number of people who have mentioned this same thing to me. I have had people whom I dont even know and ahve never even spoken to before talk to me about this very thing in one way or another.

The other problem, waiting, is one that I personally have the biggest problem with. I mean, really, does anyone LIKE to wait? I like to make things happen on my own and hope that God will bless it, but I usually end up falling flat on my face. In my own experience, running ahead of God never works. We live in a fast-paced society and we dont like to wait for anything. We feel as though we are wasting time when plans aren't coming together as fast as we want them to. We want to manipulate God and manipulate circumstnaces when what we really need to do is wait on Him. There is much to be learned in the process of waiting - there is purpose in the process of waiting.

God is not McDonald's. There is no 'may I take your order, drive to the first window' with God. He will carry out his plan in His own time and teach us in the process. A brain surgeon doesn't become a brain surgeon overnight. He starts out with core college classes, then moves on to med school, then to specialized training, then residency, and so on. He starts with the desire to become a doctor and ends several years later with a license to practice. The many years of learning and training are what makes him ready to perform surgery-- without the process he is just a 'wannabe' (and nobody wants a 'wannabe' opening up their brain). Same with us. We start out with a desire, we pray about it, we wait and while we wait God changes us and teaches us. He may make our desires a reality or He may change our desires to fit His will. Either way, the wait has a purpose only known to God. The wait is just as, if not more important, as the end result--that is a hard concept to grasp, but one that can change your life if you let it.

God's job is to work everything out for His glory, not ours. Our job is to continue listening for His voice (everywhere) and to continue praying for His will to be done. His job is NOT to conform to our wants and our job is NOT to run ahead of Him and go our own way. Easier said than done sometimes, but necessary - very necessary.

Pray for me and the women who will be taking my class. Last time I had around 38 women -- not sure how many will be in this one. I see women who never open their Bibles except on Sunday mornings - pray that they make a habit out of daily Bible study (they say habits are formed in 6 weeks - this class lasts 7 weeks). These women come to class from work or from a long day with their kids and they are tired - pray that they will make time to study and see it as a blessing not another chore. Pray that my kids stay healthy during this time so that I will not have to miss (my husband works odd hours sometimes and may not be able to keep them). Pray that unsaved women will come and hear something that pricks their heart.

I am thinking that I might post my notes for each weeks class for you guys to read.

Time to get in the shower -- more later.


Anonymous said...

Too funny that you were talking about "waiting" when the name of your Blog is Waiting For the Shout! :)

You are right, we live in a "microwave" world where we are use to getting it NOW! How spoiled we've become.

I pray that the Lord blesses your study and that you all will not only grow closer to the Lord but to each other as well.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

I will be praying for you and those precious women in this study. And please post your notes!!


Fran said...

Praying for you and those amazing women that will come. I would love to see your notes too. I'm wanting to do one of her studies mid-semester.


Alana said...

Please post your notes! I will be praying for your study. I wish I could be in it, sounds like one I could glean a lot from right now.

Garnett said...

I am in a very small Bible study in my neighborhood and we were debating doing 'He Speaks to Me' or 'Discerning the Voice of God' next. Which would you recommend? We will not be buying the videos due to the expense. I would love it if you would post your notes. I will be praying for your group. Thanks.

BethAnne said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog1 I would do He Speaks To Me first. The videos are wonderful - you might check with your church library or another church library to see if you could borrow them. If you don't have the videos, the study is still excellent! I hope your study goes well and I will be praying for your group also.