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Discerning God’s direction

As I begin to write this weeks blog, I am in my office at the church. I serve as the Interim Pastor. Yesterday was a wonderful day as we met with a group of people who are a part of the 50th Anniversary Team. They began the planning for the celebration to be held in October of this year.

So today, I am working on messages that I will be preaching over the next several weeks. It has led me to the messages for Palm and Easter Sunday. I am so excited about the messages God is giving me for those weeks. However, it is the one the week after Easter that has caught my attention as the Spirit is moving me in what to preach that week. I am reading a lot of Scripture, praying and listening for God to guide me. He is guiding me as I have this thought of what it is I need preach that week. Now you may be wondering what it is but that is not important now. What is important is to recognize that God leads when we allow Him to guide us.

You can all appreciate that thought because we know it is true. Yet, there are those times in our lives when we don't allow Him to guide us. We must be extremely discerning and wise in what is occurring around us.

Elaine and I were talking this morning about some things here at the church. I commented to her that it is always important for people not to over think and attribute directly or even indirectly things to God which make us affirm His will. Now, that is a loaded statement and I am very cognizant of that fact. I hope you understand the thought behind this because it is simply that we don't always know exactly if it God leading. Therefore, we have to go through processes that reveal what is or isn't God leading.

Now, to put this in a perspective that will help you it is important to know that most things are certainly what the Lord may be leading. There are obvious things that He is not in and those are things which you know. If it is a sin, if it goes against His character, if it denies His identity then they are things we can simply discount because they are not of Him.

So it is all the other things in life that come up that can cause us to wonder is He in that, is that the direction He is leading me to go? There are times when we need to travel a particular road, entertain an idea that may not make sense to us but may well be a manner in which God is leading.

Hosea 14:9 ESV says-

9 Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them;

for the ways of the Lord are right, and the upright walk in them, but transgressors stumble in them.

The idea here is to able to discern and that is to distinguish, to separate out by diligent search, to examine. Being discerning is important and necessary for each believer because it is that properly discriminating and that leads to determining what to do or conclude. How did the writer in Hebrews 4:12 ESV put it?

12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

An important element of this process is to separate and thus control our personal desires to influence how we discern the situation. God may be leading in a direction that is contrary to your personal desires simply because He is does not make it wrong. Because if we stay in our "comfort zone" which is at best a place of personal safety we have created. We can and will thus miss the things that God may have for us.

In Isaiah 55:8-9 NKJV we read that-

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

We all remember these verses but sometimes we do not consider or remember them when we are being led by God to do something or go in a particular direction. We seem to conveniently forget that He is God and we are not. Knowing and following God's directions are not necessarily easy, but they are often confused and confounded by how we react to what is before us.

Listen, there is nothing wrong with discerning a situation in order to see and know if God is in that matter. Don't get exasperated and bothered but simply remember God's Word that tells you to “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 and don't forget Proverns 3:5 that reminds us to Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding.

God bless and I trust you have a great day and a wonderful day of corporate worship in your church this weekend.

In God's Grace,

Elbert Nasworthy

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