Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hearing and Doing

1 Peter 4:10-11 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

I reflected more this morning on joining in with the work the Father is doing in this world. I've found that if I step out and act after hearing his voice, he often confirms my words or actions in some way. It often feels as though he's teaching me to obey and encouraging me by saying, "That's right, you're on the right track. You heard me correctly."

As a writer, sometimes I feel excited at what God has given to me to share. I can't wait for a moment to write it all down and pass it on. Other times it seems that what he has given is so short or simple, that I wonder, "Did I hear him, or is this just me?"

It's often at those times that someone will write back and say that something in that piece touched them deeply. When that happens, I am encouraged anew to trust him more and hesitate less!

Sometimes God prompts me to say or do something that requires me to step outside my comfort zone. I remember two times when reading the Bible, God impressed on me that I had to deliver the words I'd just read to someone in particular.

The first time, the verses God told me to share, made no sense to me. They were to go to a Jewish man dying of cancer and they were from 1 Peter4:1-6. I remember thinking that God must surely have got it wrong. Wouldn't it be more appropriate to share a passage from the Old Testament? Isaiah 53 perhaps? But I was learning at the time to be willing to be "a fool for Christ's sake," (1 Corinthians 4:10), so I sent him a letter with the verses before I could lose courage, explaining why I was sending it. I heard after he died that he kept that letter with him and would ask for it to be read out loud when he could no longer hold it. The words didn't come from me but from God.

The second time was equally profound and following God's lead resulted in a significant turning point in a family's life.

I don't think anyone ever obeyed God and regretted it but I have heard people say that they didn't follow his prompting and regretted it.

Dear Lord I thank you for the way you teach us, as a gentle father would teach his children. Please make me quick to obey and to leave the result with you.

John 2:5 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
5His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

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