Do you remember the old E. f. Hutton commercial (“When E. F. Hutton talks, people listen”)? I was thinking about that commercial and thought the truth is, E. F. Hutton might have good advice but, what we really need to know is, “When GOD speaks – LISTEN”!
God doesn’t put people or things before us by accident. God speaks to us in a variety of ways. He speaks through His Word, a song, devotional writing, during prayer, when God answers our prayers, another person, circumstances, etc. The question we must ask ourselves is this: Are we listening for/to Him? And when we hear His Voice, how do we respond?
I am studying “A God Centered Church” written by Henry and Melvin Blackaby. We have been talking about how God uses all of us within a local body of believers to work together for the good of all and to reach those far from God with His precious gift of salvation.
The other day I was reading 1 Chronicles 22. In this chapter David is organizing the building of the temple. He knows that his son, Solomon will be the one to build it, but he is planning and organizing for him. He has gathered those who God has gifted with special talents so that it can all be accomplished for God’s glory.
After reading and sitting quietly before God… these two things came together for me. God gave me an idea to help each of us in our class to recognize our own gifts or talents and to acknowledge those of others and encourage them. I don’t know where this will lead us but just maybe (hint: God has a plan, remember?) God has something in store.
God gifts each according to His Will, not ours.
I love music. I love to sing. I would love to be able to play an instrument well. Neither of those things have been gifted to me. Why? It’s the desire of my heart and God tells us in His Word that He will give us the desires of our hearts. (Psalm 37:4). BUT, and there is a big but… it’s when our desires become whatever His desires are. That’s the kicker.
God puts us all together in a body of believers for His purposes. We don’t all have a beautiful singing voice or musical talent. We don’t all have the gift of teaching and engaging children. We don’t all have the gift of administration or preaching or a good financial mind. That’s the point. God created us all to work together using our individual gifts for the common good.
The questions is this – Do we recognize the gifts God has given to both us and others? Has it prompted us to ask God what He has in mind for us to do – together? Have we asked God (or been quiet enough to hear His still small voice) what it is He is trying to accomplish in and through our lives right now, right here? God’s timing is not our timing. God’s thoughts are not our thoughts. We must get out of the way to let God speak to us. Sometimes what we think God has in mind is scary. Sometimes it’s intimidating. Sometimes we think it’s us and not God who has this idea. But I have learned over the years that procrastinating, even if for “my good reason” that it might be me and not God or that I am not able, all I have done is miss an opportunity with good intentions and no follow-through. I have had many good intentions over the years that ended up missed opportunities. I am trying to remedy that by moving forward and stepping out of the water when God calls me to walk with Him. The criteria I tend to use now is this: If it is a good thing and not bad, if it will not hurt anyone, then no harm done if it is me, not God. God will correct and re-direct me. But, IF IT IS GOD speaking to me, I better immediately obey! Who knows what blessing is ahead – it might just be an answer to one of my prayers.