You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which He swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 8:17-19

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Still Small Voice

The Still Small Voice
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1 Kings 19:11-13 So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD.” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. 12 After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Life- sometimes it can be chaos; so many things going on with everything screaming for your attention all at once. We try to prioritize and get everything done that needs done for today- but the world dictates that certain other things need done today as well to be a good parent, wife, friend, daughter, employee, church attendant; for your house to be spotless, your garden to be weed-free, your children to be happy and disciplined well, be able to cook a 4 star meal and be on a diet at the same time, be the best hostess, have the newest hair style and fashion sense, master several hobbies, and the list could go on and on. These items in our life could be shouting at us constantly. I know that especially as a young mother the list was exhausting- just trying to do all that you can in everything that you are involved in and then God is somewhere lost in the shuffle.
How is it that we can hear His still small voice when we have everything around us screaming at us for our attention?
It takes an effort. I think that one of the reasons that it is a small voice is so that we do put an effort into listening to Him- He isn’t going to force Himself on you- we have a free will. We need to turn down that background noise- after all everything is just background noise compared to the voice of our Father- and spend some time with Him. We need to be still and know that He is God.(Psalm 46:10) Find some quiet time- whether it be in the morning, afternoon, night- during a child’s naptime, wake up earlier than usual and just make a habit of being with only Him. Pencil in your appointment with Him- journal it for accountability or have a buddy or prayer partner ask you each week how your time with Him has been.
But how can we find a quiet time when we have so many other things that are vying for our attention- things that are “good and for Him” such as ministries and taking care of others. Yesterday I spent most of the day hacking out some of the wild rose bushes here. Now- wild rose bushes are certainly good and beneficial- they are very beautiful as well as provide nesting space for small birds, hiding places for rabbits and small animals, produce rose hips for medicinal use, and smell wonderful- but just like a ministry or “good thing” when it is given the space to grow wildly and where it wants, it can choke out other things, as this one was. I had planted a rhododendron bush on this little rise behind my house and couldn’t even see it anymore because I had been so busy and hadn’t had time to trim back the roses. Pare back and trim the obligations that get in the way- there is NOTHING more important than spending time with your Father. Alot of times there are things that we are involved in that ARE good, but they can take over the bulk of our time, mind, and heart. We need to be conscious about our commitments and be realistic about what we can handle and what we can’t. This picture is my swath that I cleared to my rhododendron.
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Read His Word and what I have to do so that my mind doesn’t wander before listening to Him or reading from His Word is to pray that He opens my ears and my heart so that I may learn from Him. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:22
We hear Him in our Bible, we hear Him in our thoughts, and we hear His counsel through good Christian friends but go to Him yourself rather than only listening to advice from friends. Friends are great- getting counsel from Christian friends is so encouraging and comforting, but make sure you get His Word on any situation as well(we don’t want to be put in Job’s situation where well meaning friends don’t speak for Him). Search the Scriptures and make sure that advice is from Him. Our pastor says that he thinks that the reason that there isn’t a book in the Bible admonishing the Bereans is because they were a group that searched and studied the Bible daily. Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. Acts 17:11
I want to encourage you ladies to spend time with our First Love- the one who gives us life and to listen as He speaks to us. I dare say that the more time that we spend with Him, the more we will love Him.
Lord, I thank You for all that You have done in our lives. I pray that You will give us an overwhelming desire to spend time with You and in Your Word and that You will open our eyes, ears, and our hearts to what You want us to learn and to hear. Provide us with a time each day that we can just sit and give our full attention to You. We love and praise You.
I’m leaving you with a few pictures of wild roses- the flower and a nest that I found in mine. I believe it is a gold finch.
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