He Always Responds

The next step I’m suppose to take is often not clear.  There are a lot of blind curves on this road I’m on – I can’t see what lies ahead.  I’m usually pretty sure about the final goal but the specific actions God wants me to take to get there are smothered in a fog of options, questions, and unknowns.

When I’m in one of these ‘unclear’ spots on my road, I ask for a confirmation from God that I’m on the right path – or not.  And he always either gives me a confirmation or opens up my eyes to a change in direction.

So I know how Gideon is feeling in Judges when he is putting out fleeces, asking God to confirm that he is doing the right thing.

For me, I have decided not to ask God to do a specific ‘sign’ for me.  It feels too much like asking God to do a trick.

I’ve developed my own process of asking God to give me clear guidance sometime today and I will be watching.  When I do this, I try to stay extra aware of anything that could be encouragement from God telling me to “keep going’ or something that opens up my eyes, helping me understand a different direction I should be taking.  I believe my process works because it acknowledges that I know God is always trying to guide me and show me the way.  Asking for a response today also helps me maintain a special awareness of God moving in my life in the next 24 hours.

And he always responds.

And then I smile.   Of course he does.

Thank you for your faithfulness, Abba Father.

 

Looking For Shade

Shade is an important issue in the desert.  I live in Phoenix so I have become an expert at looking for shade.

At my grandson’s flag-football game just this week, we were all huddled under canopies and sun umbrellas.  It might be cold where you live, but our winter – especially this year – is hot and sunny.  It was really hot at his game with the sun beating down on us.  Some of the grocery stores in our city are starting to cover their parking lots with solar panels – getting some extra revenue and providing shade for their customers and their customer’s cars.  It’s a great idea!  There are a lot of us who would drive several extra miles to get covered parking while we shop.

Shade.

In their journey to the Promised Land, the Israelites spent many years walking through the desert.  In Numbers, we are told that ‘the cloud of the LORD was over them by day when they set out from the camp.”  I have read that many times but I just realized that God was not only guiding them.  He is providing shade for them.  Much-needed shade.

At night, God’s cloud would settle over the tabernacle and look like fire.  This made it possible for everyone to still see it in the dark – a constant reminder of God’s presence and care for them.

When God wanted the Israelites to move, the cloud would lift off of the tabernacle and become a shady guide for their journey.

How great it would be to have my own cloud!  It would show me the way – telling me when to go and when to stay.  I have air conditioning, covered parking and sun umbrellas so I don’t need the shade but I could really use his clear guidance.

Oh, yeah.  I have my own cloud.  God has given me his Word and the Holy Spirit.  He has promised to light my path as I read and listen carefully and obey.  He constantly reminds me through his Word how he is with me and he cares for me.

I’ve got all the guidance I need.

Thank you for still being our cloud, Abba Father.

Before He Finished

I wonder what’s next.  What’s the next step?  Where do I go from here?

And I sometimes forget that God has a plan.  He has a map.  He knows the way.

I imagine a field stretched out in front of me that represents my life.  In that field, there are many landmines.  The land mines represent bad choices and wrong in my life.field-of-landmines

What if I knew someone who could guide me through my field so I could avoid these landmines?  Would I ask for their help and listen to them?

Definitely.

There is someone like that and he is God.

He knows where all of the landmines are and he wants to show me the way around them.  He doesn’t just want to guide me, he wants to walk through my field – the rest of my life – right next to me, giving me hope and love and joy.

In order to do that, I need to ask, listen, obey and trust.

In order to do that, you need to ask, listen, obey and trust.

God tells us in Genesis 24:15 that he answered the servant of Abraham’s prayer before he finished praying.

Before he finished.

I bet God does this all the time and we just don’t know it.  But has he ever done this for you and you knew it?

Last April, I was praying about whether or not to retire soon.  My company was reorganizing and I had a small window of time to take advantage of a ‘special offer’ and retire early.

Big decision.

I wasn’t sure.

I needed guidance from God.

On the last day before I had to decide, I was praying saying, “I need an answer” and, as I said Amen, the phone rang.

I knew it was my answer.  That conversation confirmed the direction I was leaning – to retire early.

And now I can clearly see God’s hand guiding me around a couple of landmines and onto the next step for his plan for me.

I wish it were always that clear.

I think it can be if we ask and listen, obey and trust.

What do you think?

Thank you for your guidance, Abba Father.

How Do I Know?

What choice should I make?

What direction should I go?sign_roadsign_world_270309_l

What am I supposed to be doing?

We have lots of questions for God.

And there won’t be any answers unless we’re listening.  Unless we’re watching.

If I’m listening and watching – believing that God will direct my life – then I will get answers to my questions.

I don’t believe in coincidences.  When conversations/things I read/things I hear line up with each other, I call that a God-incidence.

God is speaking.

He is answering.

He is guiding.

road-closedI can choose to pay attention and relate his answer to my situation and know which way he is pointing.

Or I can just call it a coincidence and go on with my own plans, still wondering how other people hear God speaking to them so clearly.

As I read about the Wise Men going to visit Jesus, I realize they were pagan kings but they showed their wisdom when they correctly interpreted the dream they had and did not go back to Herod to tell him where Jesus was.  The Wise Men went home by a different route.  They were watching.  That’s how they saw the star that led them to Jesus in the first place.  And they were aware that a supernatural event was going on so they realized the dream also had significance.

It wasn’t a coincidence.

How about us?

Do we realize that there is a supernatural thing going on?  When we are redeemed, God’s Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us.  He resides in our mind, in our heart and in our soul.

And he guides us – supernaturally.  If we watch.  If we listen.

And the closer our relationship with God becomes, the easier it is to hear him….

because we know his voice.

Thank you, Abba Father.