Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Provoked by the Voice of God
One of the most challenging things I've encountered over the last few months has been the voice of God.
I'm not talking about the external, audible voice of God, please don't get me wrong!
What I mean by the voice of God is a deep sense of leading, guiding and directing that has come through a myriad of different sources, both Christian and non, that have all pointed and poked the same raw areas of my rebellious heart so as to provoke a genuine internal reaction that I just can't dismiss, avoid or escape from!
Friends hear this: When God wants your attention He can (and will) get it!
Ever since I became a Christian (and definitely before!) I have struggled in the area of pride. I have a tendency to convince myself that I'm right, know that I'm right and tell everyone, well, that I'm right!
My own opinions, no matter how misguided, ill-informed or unfounded can often become bastions from which I will dig in and fight to the bitter end with any and every foe that dare challenge or dare I say it, even disagree(!) with my Solomon like wisdom.
The truth be told I know little about anything - I'm a Jack of all trades but a master of none.
A generalist eagerly desiring to be a specialist, yet lacking the fortitude or resolve to really put in the time, commitment and dedication that could potentially result in a lifetime of fruitfulness as I'm too easily distracted, disinclined or demotivated to really step up to the plate and do what is needed to knock the ball out of the park.
When I stand in the presence of a Holy God I quickly become aware of my own inadequacies, insufficiencies and ineptitude. I come to understand that I was never meant to do it on my own!
That's not how I was designed to operate and when I started to try and play the game by my own rules I should have realised that God was going to keep calling the foul until I stopped trying to run off ahead of my own accord long enough for Him to come close, pinpoint my own self-sufficiency as a faulty game-plan and point me back to the power of the resurrected Jesus as the only true way of sustaining the calling He has laid before me.
Friends, please hear this - God knows you intimately!
You may or may not be wired like me, but trust me when I say that God is so invested in you, interested in you moving forward with integrity and with steadfast character that He is willing to keep blowing the whistle at the expense of slowing down the game so that He can supernaturally coach you through the areas of life in which you just aren't quite getting how the Kingdom really outworks itself in a practical way.
You see we all have hard places, or blind-spots, where the Kingdom rule of God, the rule and reign of Christ, hasn't quite penetrated. We all have these bastions, these places that are strongholds of wrong-thinking, malpractice or faulty ideology that hold us back and prevent us from entering into the more that God has ready and prepared for us in the place of breakthrough.
I want to ask you what is that area in your life where if you could speak it into being, God would bring radical transformation overnight?
Take a minute and think about that! That is one of the most humble prayers you could ever put before God.
It says in Romans 12:3 that we as Christians are to judge ourselves soberly - This means that we have to have such a constant gauge on where we are at, where we are winning, where we are failing, that we can go to God without any sense of weight or condemnation and request that He give us extra grace to overcome in the areas where we just seem to struggle time and time again.
The great news is that there is a promise of breakthrough for you!
God doesn't intend for you to stay standing in the same place, gazing into a mirror of self-pity and regret that you just can't seem to scale the wall that your circumstances or your choices have placed in-front of you. God has firmly promised you the power that is available through faith in the life of the resurrected Jesus Christ that will enable you to overcome and scale any obstacle as long as you keep your eyes and your heart fixed firmly on Him.
Pause for a minute and take some time to take stock of where you are at in your life right now...
Turn off the TV, turn down the mp3 player and get yourself into a quiet place, isolated from the busyness of life...
Take some time to give thanks to God for all the great things He has done in your life. For your friends, your family, the people that He has placed around you to support you, for the journey He has taken you on thus far...
Then take a few minutes to soberly judge yourself before Him.
Remember that in the presence of a Holy God there is no place for condemnation, there is no sense of guilt or shame, but an invitation into freedom and joy!
Lay the things down that have been getting in the way of what God is trying to do both in you and through you. Visualise yourself physically offering them up to Him and ask Him to exchange them for Heavenly peace and joy that can only be graced through the power of the Holy Spirit.
God is there, both ready and waiting to release you from the chains of oppression that the devil, the world and your own sinful nature have managed to shackle you into.
True freedom is yours, it is a right and a privilege of being a child of God, you only need take the next steps and walk right into it!
Settle for nothing less than the full and total freedom that the Father has made available to you through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Friends, this is a new day, and God is ready and waiting for you!