29 April 2008

Discernment and Wisdom

Have you ever been caught in a situation where you feel beat up, pressed upon, unjustly accused and vilified? Have you ever wanted to "fight back" because you know "right" is on your side? Have you had friends - some Christian, some not - giving you advice, telling you what to do and how you should handle the situation? Then you know how I feel.

Have you ever felt "called" to do something? Some ministry. Some witness. You know you are supposed to do - all the tools are laid before you, placed in your hand - and yet, you waver. You make up excuses why you should not move forward. You have friends - some Christian, some not - giving you advice, telling you what to do and how you should handle the "call". Again, then you know how I feel.

This morning, in our prayer group, the devotional was about being able to distinguish the voice of God amidst the voices of distraction from the world, the flesh and the enemy. The devotional spoke to so many of my prayer partners who are struggling with ministries and calls that have been laid upon their hearts...and I am right there with them. And I know of other of my friends (some of whom I hope are reading this blog - and who I will not put on BLAST, but you know who you are) who are in the same predicament - they KNOW where God is leading them, and yet, they will not move. "I don't have the time." "I don't have the money" "I need to do this or that before I can..." Excuses, excuses, excuses. One of my calendars had this quote earlier this month (and I paraphrase): Why keep asking God to bless what you are doing. Get involved in what God is doing - it is already blessed!

Too often, we stymie ourselves from doing what God wants us to do, has called us to do - because we start looking at the situation through our human eyes, instead of through spiritual eyes. [Don't feel bad - the servant to the prophet Elisha had the same problem - read 2 Kings 6:15-17] We listen to the voices (some of them well intentioned) of our friends, instead of listening to the still small voice of the Lord. But I am encouraged today by the story of Solomon. When his father David died and he was passed the mantel of leadership [a ministry, if you will] and God asked him what he, Solomon, desired, he asked for wisdom and discernment [1 Kings 3:7-14] and God granted it to him. He will do the same for me (and you) if we honestly seek it.

Quick testimony: last week was a trying week for me at work. As a result, I needed to have a conversation with another secretary on my floor on yesterday. In my mind, I had it all worked out. I was going to write her a letter and then have a conversation with her and I would be covered because everything would be in writing...right? My mother advised me against that course of action and frankly, it was my plan to ignore her advice. Then our prayer group got together and I requested prayer for "wisdom and discernment" in the situation. A Christian co-worker, in a later conversation, also advised me not to put anything in writing - just approach the person in love. Well, I am a firm believer that God affirms and confirms His instructions/desires for us with witnesses - and two people told me, "this is NOT the way, don't walk in it!" - and for once, I heeded their advice. And can I tell you, God worked it out! There was some initial resistance - tense body language, silence as I was speaking - but when it was all said and done, there was an apology, an acknowledgment of selfishness, and the conversation ended with a re-affirmation of friendship and a hug. God is good, all the time!

All that to say, I don't know what you are struggling with - what God may have laid on your heart - but trust Him and trust His Heart towards you. Listen to HIS voice. Ignore the cacophony of the voices of distraction. Move when He tells you to move. I guarantee you - you will be glad that you did.

Be blessed.

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