Thursday, June 24, 2021

Wisdom For The Future

"Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days."
Proverbs 19:20 (NKJV)

When I was younger, I liked to read science fiction novels.  It fascinated me to read stories about how someone might go into the future to learn what was going on in the years ahead.  Sometimes in these stories, someone would try to find information from the future about something and then go back to the present day to try to alter the future.  Many times, because of some unforeseen situation, the people who tried to change the future would just create some other problems.

Most people would like to look into the future to have an idea what they could do now to be ready for the things that are yet to come.  As Christians, we don't need to go to some person to find out about the future, we can go to our loving Heavenly Father, He will give us wisdom for the future.  Jesus told us that God would send the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit would show us things to come (John 14:26; 16:13).  And, we have the wisdom of God's Word to be able to look into.

Being ready for the future is not about struggling to figure out what is coming, it is about paying attention to what God is telling us in His Word and following the direction of the Holy Spirit.  Too often we filter what God is showing us by what we know now, rather than realizing that God is giving us council and instruction today that will give us wisdom for our future.  We need to spend time with God in His Word and prayer, and learn to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, to recognize what God is saying to us today and to be ready for what comes in our future.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Finding The Way

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye."
Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)

Recently I took a trip, and I knew the way to go, but I was delayed because a car had broken down in the road.  A few hours later, I almost got lost because a road was closed, and no alternative route was given.  You might be thinking, "Well, why didn't you just use a map or an app to give you directions?", and that is a good question, but I had already done that.  The problem was that the broken-down car and the construction were not yet in the map system that I was using, so it could not help me find my way.

Very often, when people think about God giving them direction and guidance, they think of big things like finding the right job, knowing who they should marry, or becoming a pastor or a missionary, and these are all areas where we definitely want to have God's guidance.  However, as we are living our life, we don't want to just check in with God and get His direction when there is some big question, God wants to guide us in every area of our life.  And God wants to help us as we go and guide us all along the way.

God will give us direction through His Word and by the Holy Spirit, and as we move forward, doing what we know to do, God will guide us along the way.  We need to continually be listening to God because He not only knows the big steps we need to take, but every little step as well.  There are things along our way in life that we don't see ahead of time and we are not aware of that God will help us deal with.  As we live our life, we need to trust God to guide us, in every area and with all the details necessary to find our way.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

But They Said ...

"Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, "Ananias."  And he said, "Here I am, Lord."
So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying.
And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight."
Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem."
Acts 9:10-13 (NKJV)

Have you ever had a disagreement with someone about what to do?  Sometimes when you talk to a person about what needs to be done, they reply, "But they said ...", referring to what someone else who has a different idea or opinion about the thing has said.  In this kind of a situation, nothing is going to get done until what you said is acted on by the other person, instead of them just listening to what "they" said about it.

When Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, met Jesus on the road to Damascus, it brought a dramatic change in Paul's life.  Paul was instructed to go into Damascus and that then he would be told what to do.  Meanwhile, in Damascus, God spoke in a vision to a disciple named Ananias to go and pray for Paul.  What is fascinating to me is that even though Ananias was hearing from God, Ananias first response to God was about what other people had said about Paul.

Have you ever seen something in God's Word, or the Holy Spirit led you to do something, but rather than just obey, you did what Ananias did and you first think and talk to God about something that someone else has said about it?  Like Ananias, we may hesitate in following God's direction for some reason, but we need to keep God's Word as a higher authority than what anyone else has said.  God's Word and the Holy Spirit give us the direction we need in life and we need to follow that, no matter what anyone else might say.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

What Will You Write?

"My heart is overflowing with a good theme; I recite my composition concerning the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer."
Psalm 45:1 (NKJV)

Today we do most things electronically, but in the past, most things were written out with pen and paper.  If you did sit down to write something, would it be normal to expect the pen to start writing on its own?  Would you stare at your pen and tell it to get busy writing, or would you start doing the writing yourself, using the pen?  You are of course doing the writing, the pen is just the instrument, the method, that you are using to write with; the pen itself is not doing anything, you are doing the writing.

David wrote many of the Psalms and it is easy to see that he was simply expressing what he had in his heart.  What David wrote was something that David was thinking about, experiencing, or feeling; David was writing from what was in his heart and mind, not what was in someone else's heart or mind.  David could not write about things he did not know, just like a pen cannot write things on its own; David's words came from David, just as our words are coming from us and not someone else.

The things we say are the things we have in our own heart and mind; our tongue is just the instrument we use to express those things.  You would not say something and then get upset with your tongue for saying it, you said it based on what you were thinking about, experiencing, or feeling.  A pen will not write things on its own, and our tongue is not just going to say things we don't allow it to say.  We all need to be determined that we will use our tongue and our words to "write" good and godly things for ourselves and others.  What will you write with your tongue today?  It is up to you.