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Archive for the tag “Discernment”

Consider the Source

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to take a little road trip with my sister and brother-in-law. I love road trips because it’s an opportunity for uninterrupted conversations, which seems to be rather rare these days. However, there was a time in my life when road trips were very stressful. When I was alone with my Mom on a road trip, I knew I was going to be in for an interrogation. She spent the time “drilling” me with questions about my life. And my life was not in the best shape at that time. I didn’t want her asking too many questions because at some point, I would only be able to give her a bunch of lies to cover up the truth. Glad those days are over! Glad I survived them!

Yesterday morning when I was in my quiet time, I recalled the conversation with my brother-in-law (BIL). We talked about a series of topics, but one of the discussions came to a standstill. I tried to convince him about something I had heard. No amount of argument could persuade him about the topic. His mind was already made up and nothing would change it. He told me to consider my source. I believed my source was good and believed the facts were true. But nothing I said led him to believe me or my source. So I dropped the subject, and we talked about something else for the rest of the trip.

As I remembered the conversation, I was reminded I need to consider the source of the argument. When I consider spiritual matters, I have to go to the source of Truth. The passage in my quiet time was about spiritual maturity. Maturity comes with walking closely with the Lord; reading God’s Word and applying what is taught. As we grow spiritually mature, we are enabled to grow in our understanding. The more we know, the more we grow. Our minds have to be tuned to the right frequency to hear the Truth. We have to be able to listen and transform our thinking to what the Lord is saying. We have to consider the source.

When I traveled with my Mom, I didn’t want to listen to what she had to say because I knew she was right; and I needed to change. I wasn’t ready to make the necessary changes. As time moved on, I began to listen; and I began to change. I don’t want to live in ignorance any longer. I want to be able to discern the truth and apply it. As I discern the truth, I change my mind from incorrect thinking. This is spiritual maturity. It’s transformation as the Lord leads.

We don’t use the term “repentance” anymore, but this is the term associated with “changed” thinking. We read God’s Word and come into agreement with Him on His Truth. In James 1:22, we are told not to just listen to the Word, but do what it says. It is written that “anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like” (James 1:23-24). Paul wrote in his second letter to Timothy, “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

In this same letter, Paul wrote Timothy about the end of times when people will not put up with sound teaching. “They [the people] will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (2 Timothy 4:4). Discernment is the key to understand what we hear and read is truth or myths. And when we are confronted with the truth, we have to be open to change our minds to line up with God’s Truth. When our stinking thinking leads us in the wrong direction, repentance turns us around.

John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way for Jesus Christ. His message was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:2). Jesus said throughout His teachings, “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Many in Jesus’ day ignored the message. They did not believe. They counted on their inheritance as sons and daughters of Abraham. Jesus’ message is still the same today. There is only one way to receive the true inheritance of heaven. Jesus Christ is the key to unlock the true riches of heaven. There is no other source for true light and life. Consider the message and change your mind if it’s not firmly established in Truth. If you have ears, please hear the message before it’s too late.

For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Then he added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. Mark 4:22-24 (NLT)

Ready to Show

I had a strange occurrence not too long ago. I had a call from a realtor about a client interested in my house. I had prayed a few weeks prior to this phone call that God would have to tell me when it was time to sell my house. I asked Him to have someone knock on my door who was interested in my house. The phone call started with a letter that was sent out to my neighbors. I think that’s pretty close to a knock on the door. I have actually been getting ready for this day for quite some time. I went through a cleaning process a few years ago. I got rid of a lot of stuff. Back in 2011, I thought I would put the house on the market and move to another city. Instead God had other plans. But in preparation for this day, I had painted the outside and inside, replaced windows, updated the bathrooms and kitchen all in preparation for the day I would show my house. I did all these projects within the last seven years.

When I got the call, I looked around the house to see where I would need to put away; to make the best effort to show the house properly. After some initial straightening up, the house looks pretty good, if I do say so myself. The house is ready to show with very little effort. I don’t know what will come of the showing. Okay, the house is ready, and I think I am too. I too have been preparing for the next move. But I feel there is still more to do where I am. So is this call from God to move or is this a distraction to keep me from pursuing the things of God? That’s still to be determined so I will wait to see if the client is interested or not, and if my price is met or not.

God gave me this house back in 1999. It is His to do with it what He wants. I am just the manager of His property. As I recall living here, I can see how God has used this house as His protection. Within six months of my moving in, a storm came through; lightning struck the house and caught fire. At that time, I was without a job. I realized the fire was actually God providing for my needs. I was reduced to a house payment and that’s about all. I could live on the unemployment pay without any problems. The insurance took care of the rest of my bills. A tornado came through my neighborhood in 2011; what a scary time! God protected me in that storm as well. I had very little damage to my house. My neighbors hadn’t been so lucky. I had been prepared as God motivated me to make changes throughout the last few years.

If God feels it’s time for a new place, then I know He has already prepared another place for me. Whatever storms I will encounter next, God is already at work preparing me for it. I am ready to show what God has already done and can’t wait to experience all He wants to show me. Whenever the time comes, I am ready – physically, mentally and spiritually!

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. Matthew 4:24-25

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