Hearing God’s Will for your life…….

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hearing GodThis has to be the singular major topic for many Christians – how do you know if you’re hearing God speak to you & if you think you do what is He saying & what is His Will for you.   Well, I’m here to tell you it’s SIMPLE – truly!!!  But more of that later.

In my own life, it happened on a couple of occasions that I learnt how to listen to God speaking.  The first time was shortly after I’d returned from South Africa and realised I would be going back there again within the year.  At that point, there was absolutely NO earthly reason for me to think I’d be going back other than an inner “knowledge” and a certainty I couldn’t explain.  I’d no money left by then and no means of getting the nearly £1000 required to consider returning.  Various events happened over the next few months which confirmed that I was to return and I’d be saving hard but was still well short of what I needed.  During this time I’d been praying hard and seeking God as to the way forward, as time was running out – I’d a deadline of the end of April that year to buy my airline ticket and book things.  God didn’t provide me any hints of what I should do other than a continued quiet reassurance that everything would come together at the right time.

I can’t tell you that I was perfectly calm at this point – a lot of me was getting hugely concerned & nervous about what to do.   But as I’d little choice, I just worked on towards my return trip as best I could.  Three weeks before my cut-off date for buying the plane ticket, an uncle I rarely had contact with, but whom I’d notified of my previous trip to SA in his Christmas Card, contacted me, wanting me to visit him & update him further on all I’d done on the trip.   Part of me was thinking “I don’t have time” as I was frantically trying to figure out what to do if I had to cancel my trip, but I duly fitted in a short visit a few days later, as it was on my mind.  (That’s hint #1 on hearing God speak!)

My uncle & I had an hour long of a chat at the end of which he absolutely floored me – he told me he’d something for me, went off, & a few minutes later came back & handed me a cheque for £1000!!!!  I nearly fell through the floor as he explained to me that he’d enjoyed hearing of my fun on the previous trip & I absolutely HAD to return to fulfil my quest.  I think he was equally shocked when I told him I’d been hoping to do so but just hadn’t the finance to until then!  SO after a whole year of waiting God finally enabled me to do the one thing He’d previously “told” me I’d get to do.

What I learnt about hearing His Voice is firstly, you don’t hear an audible voice, nor words in yourhearing God ear or any such thing – trust me, if you do, or think you do, be extremely cautious, as Satan is more likely to be behind such events than God – we don’t live in Old Testament times when God did speak audibly to His people – you read the NT & you’ll discover that apart from Paul on the road to Damascus, not even the apostles heard an audible voice when God spoke to them!   Secondly, He will never tell you to do something that goes against scripture.

Thirdly, if you really want to hear God speak to you in any sense, the simple method is to READ HIS WORD!!  I know many say that scripture doesn’t answer questions like “Should I move home” or “Is this job right for me” etc, but actually scripture still does hold the key to being sure of His Will even in those situations.

For example – if you’re contending with the option of moving home & wanting to be sure of the right path forward, you would know that God won’t honour you putting yourself into debt in order to buy a home beyond your means, so that’s the financial aspect sorted out to begin with.  Once you choose a home, you’ll know the right one when the doors literally open & open easily for you to move forward on buying it.

“The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.” Pro 22:7 

Scripture will always provide a measure of God’s opinion on pretty much every facet of life, even in our incredibly complex generation, you just have to sometimes dig a bit deeper for it.  Thus, once again, the importance of reading your bible and more so, studying the true meaning of what you read, is abundantly evident.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,…..”2 Titus 3:16

On another note entirely, it reminds me of a well-known joke:

IMG_0206There was a very religious man named Jim, who lived near a river. One day, the river rose over the banks and flooded the town, and Jim was forced to climb onto his porch roof. While sitting there, a man in a boat came along and told Jim to get in the boat with him. Jim said, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”

So, the man in the boat drove off.

The water rose higher, so Jim climbed onto his roof. At that time, another boat came along, and the person in that one told Jim to get in. Jim replied, “No, that’s okay. God will take care of me.”

The person in the boat then left.

The water rose even more, and Jim climbed onto his chimney. A helicopter came along and lowered a ladder for him. The woman in the helicopter told Jim to climb up the ladder and get in.
Jim said, “That’s okay.” The woman said, “Are you sure?” Jim replied, “Yeah, I’m sure God will take care of me.”

Finally, the water rose too high and Jim drowned. Jim got  to heaven and was face-to-face with God. Jim said to God, “You told me that you would take care of me! What happened?”God replied, “Well, I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What else did you want?” 🙂

And if you’ve any stories of how God has spoken to you using scripture to confirm His Will, I’d truly love to hear them!!

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Every nanosecond counts..

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This is going to be a really short post and is in response to a search term used which found my blog over the past couple of days but which has ‘haunted’ me since – someone was searching to know “is it too late for me to ask for forgiveness?”!

So just in case anyone else should stumble upon this blog asking the same type of question, let me categorically state here and now – NO – it is NEVER too late for you to ask for forgiveness, but let me also provide you with a shade of clarification on what you need to know.

Many argue about the conscience – what it is and why we have it – no other reason comes anywhere close to providing a measure of reality about it except that which states that God alone provided it to us to reveal to us the fact that we are sinners constantly in a state of sin, but the important thing to know is that it is against God and He alone whom we have sinned, regardless of whether we commit an act of theft, murder, adultery, or even just lustful thoughts – the second you feel guilty you can be sure that it is God’s Law you have broken first and foremost, and until you say sorry to Him and seek His forgiveness (in biblical terms – repent), you will never have true peace in your life.   Man has many measures in place to try and overcome that guilty conscience, but they are all both temporary and temporal (only relevant in worldly terms).  And if you only seek that type of forgiveness (where you’re basically told to forgive yourself and move on), you will eventually run into bigger and much worse problems in your life which may become hugely detrimental, yet which can all be traced back to this one event (or more) where you know you either did something wrong or you were wronged and have never been willing to put aside your own anger/resentment and forgive them first.  And you equally cannot be flippant before God in just firing of a thoughtless “God forgive me” and move on speedily as that absolutely won’t cut it with Him either.

Before you come before God to ask His forgiveness – you should first search your heart and consider have you anyone in your life whom you need to forgive – you don’t need to search them out to do so personally (that may be appropriate later though), but you do need to at least be willing to forgive them in your spirit.   The Lord’s Prayer states this very clearly – “Forgive us our sins as we forgive others who sin against us!”    If you refuse categorically to forgive someone else God will not forgive you.  Once you have done that, then you should sincerely ask Him to have mercy on you, that you recognise that you do nothing to merit His forgiveness, but you accept Jesus has done so on your behalf, through his death on the cross, and ask that God would grant you His forgiveness and grant you salvation for ALL of your sins through Jesus.

If you then accept that Jesus is God Incarnate (made flesh) that He lived, died, & was resurrected on the 3rd day and that He paid the price required of by God for your sins by that death on the Cross, and you are willing to accept Him as your Saviour, then just tell God all of that and know that if you’ve been really sincere about doing so, then God is faithful & just and will forgive you your sins as He has promised and you will have passed from death into life – the “second” birth or being “born again” as it’s termed in Christian circles.  

3 Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again.” 4 “How can a grown man be born again?” Nicodemus asked. “He certainly cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time!” 5  “I am telling you the truth,” replied Jesus, “that no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit.  6  A person is born physically of human parents, but is born spiritually of the Spirit.  7  Do not be surprised because I tell you that you must all be born again.  John 3:3-7 

Your place in heaven is guaranteed and you will soon start noticing how your life will change over the coming days & weeks without you having to do anything – God does all the work, which is why the real Christian life as all about faith first, works second, unlike the false faiths which put works first & faith last.

And finally, if you have done that in the recent past, I’d love to hear about it so please take a few moments to comment and encourage those of us who pray for you who are indeed searching or have been in that position recently.

Hear what God says: “When the time came for me to show you favor, I heard you; when the day arrived for me to save you, I helped you.” Listen! This is the hour to receive God’s favor; today is the day to be saved!  2 Corinthians 6:2 

There IS proof God exists….

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I truly believe you can prove God exists in multiple ways, but the best is in firstly accepting that the Bible is His Word to His creation, and thus obviously He will reveal Himself through it.   But aside from the obvious texts where God just states who He is, He has placed a lot of material in there to prove Himself to a sceptical world, and to those who at the very least, are willing to consider it.

clearingThe most important proof is still Creation.   I know many of you who read this blog subscribe to Darwin’s theories, but just stop and think laterally for once.   Aside from the unbelievable twists you have to take to provide any mechanism for getting from goo to a zoo let alone mankind, think about this.   If man had evolved from an ape no matter how many years it might have taken him to get intelligence (personally I think he’d have become extinct before it could have ever been a reality but anyway), after all that hard work and billions of years of evolving why,  but why would he then have determined he needed to create a god in any sense?   Would he not have figured he was a god to have come so far in his own journey of evolution –  it would have been a backward step to consider having any Being above him, let alone a God who would demand so much!???

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A question for my Muslim readers…

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I’m curious to know what Islamic belief truly is when it comes to the person of Jesus, because to me, it seems somewhat minimalist or indeed not something a lot of emphasis is placed on, in comparison to that of Mary.   I hear often about how Mary is just as revered in Islam as in Catholicism and that made me start questioning why, given that Islam doesn’t hold to much else of Christian teaching.

Mary with Jesus
Mary with Jesus

Why is it that Islam places reverence on Mary (a fallen, sinful human being) to the point of agreeing with the Catholic Church that she was a “perpetual virgin” while ignoring the Deity of Jesus.    But more than that,  I also wanted to point out something I find odd in that respect.   If Mary is held in reverence because she gave birth to ‘nothing more than’ a prophet (as Islam contends Jesus was), then why did God send an angel (Gabriel no less!) to give her the news (which Islam accepts)?  No other mother of a prophet in the history of the world ever had her child’s birth announced to her by an angel – not even Muhammed!!   Muhammed did indeed have a visit himself from apparently that very same angel  but only to provide him with a “new revelation.”    Jesus, on the other hand, didn’t need to have another visit from Gabriel after his birth because He IS the “new revelation” – but not only of scripture, rather of God Himself.   And why was there a particular significance about Jesus being born to a virgin if He was purely going to be a  only a prophet – the greatest prophets in the world before Him weren’t born to virgins so why is His birth so different, and necessarily so??

Isa 7:13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

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Whose life is it anyway??….

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lifeHave you ever stopped to consider your life – truly?   Have you thought about the awesome complexity of this “vehicle” you’ve been provided for your time on this planet?   Do you ever take pause to be grateful for the immense fact that you don’t have to think about it for 90% of your life or until some event makes you take notice of the air you’re breathing, or the number of times your heart is beating – things ordinarily we never have to contemplate as they work so well, we don’t notice.   And have you taken this one step further again to contemplate why you have been granted such an awesome body to reside within?  In other words, how often have you really thought about the meaning of YOUR life?! 

I’ve thought long and hard about my own many times – being disabled brings a whole raft of problems other than the obvious – aside from the not being able to live independently at times or not be able to do even the simplest of tasks, disabled Christians in particular then face the added burden of feeling useless in their walk with the Lord.   Many consider if they are unable to be active and “doing” then they’re not of value.   Now, I know that’s not true and I don’t believe it for my own situation, but, certainly I have had many times when I have felt pretty useless or inept in the work of the Kingdom.   When you live alone and don’t have much social interaction, you find yourself very quickly sliding into selfishness as you become so used to only ever thinking about yourself.

 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1Jn 5:12

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Shades of grey or maybe not….

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What do you think about sin?   When you hear the word, what does it mean to you?   Would you prefer it to be called something else or does it not matter in the least because it’s an irrelevant concept to you?   If you do think or care about it, and you’ve not repented of those sins you’ve committed, what do you think God will do when you come before Him in judgement?

I think most of us bandy the term about without much thought, and we look at the world and much of the evil within it and think we’re okay because perhaps we’re not a murderer or serial adulterer or whatever.   Here on earth, we tend as a society to grade sin – we consider ourselves to be “good” if we figure we don’t do anything to harm anyone else, and we consider murderers and the like to be evil and utterly sinful by comparison.     I had a very interesting conversation with some Catholic ladies recently when a Protestant lady with them said she didn’t like to call herself a Christian because she still did so many “bad things” to which one of the other ladies replied “We (i.e. the Catholic Church) don’t care what you’ve done bar murder – you’re still entitled to call yourself a Christian” with the underlying implication that applied to ALL people, whether Catholic or not.   I stated I disagreed and laid out my rather more fundamentalist views on the issue and the reply I got was “Well, if you’re not a Muslim, and you’re not a Hindu, or a pagan, what’s left?” So it’s obvious it’s now become purely a label for Westerners who don’t subscribe to any other particular faith.  Sin therefore has a gradient from the least (perhaps a “white” lie) to the worst (murder/torture etc), and many errantly think their sins are so minimal as to be of no concern to God, and thus Heaven’s door should be well open to them!  Well think on…..

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The future is here and the future is ISRAEL…

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Israel

Israel

Don’t get me wrong – like many, I don’t always agree with the decisions taken by Israel’s rather humanist leftist Government but regardless of that, you have to know that Israel is also God’s timepiece.   If you want to know what the future will hold or how things are going to pan out in this world, look to Israel.   Throughout history the Land and it’s people the Jews have proven themselves to be under God’s direction and protection many, many times.   However, equally so, they’ve been under God’s Judgements many times, and while I know it’s not PC to say it, IF you believe in a totally Sovereign God as I do and IF you believe His Will is perfect as I do, then you have to accept the Holocaust as being part of His plan for His people.   To do otherwise, is to give Satan a level of power he has not got.   Read Job if you want to see why – no matter what Satan wants to do to God’s people, he has to ask God for permission first!!   I’m not saying that God was judging His people per se in the Holocaust – I’m just saying it had a purpose in His Plan for them.

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