Friday, August 14, 2009

Don't Tell Me No

by Donna L. Watkins

I've been journaling a lot lately. For so many years I had mostly a one-way conversation going with the Lord ... me rambling on about what I wanted in my life and the lives of others I pray for.

It's like waiting in line to order a meal. You get to THE person and rattle off your list of what you want to be served. Then you wait for it to be presented on a tray to take away and enjoy.

That's not how our relationship with Christ is supposed to be. It's to be two-way communication. God has desired this from the beginning, but we, His people, have rejected hearing God's voice.

Remember when God called all of Israel to the mountain because He wanted to speak to them, and they were so afraid after hearing His voice, that they told Moses to talk to Him and then tell them what God wanted them to know and do. They did not want to hear God's voice. God said, 'Okay,' but He has never stopped wanting to communicate with us as He did with Adam in the Garden of Eden.

He sent Jesus and He told us we would be able to hear from God through the Holy Spirit. John 14:26 says, "The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

The book, "How To Hear God's Voice" has been very enlightening on how God wants to communicate with us, along with how to be able to hear His voice and journal what He says so we can refer back to it. You can read or listen to the four keys to hearing God's voice on the Virkler's ministry website. "

Now that God's voice has become even clearer than before, I find that there's questions I don't want to ask Him. I'm not too sure that I want to hear the answer He may have, because there's some questions that I don't want to be told "No" about. I'd like to continue in my "not too sure what God wants" realm of the mind and not get the specifics on some subjects.

Of course, that doesn't last for long. Once you know you're avoiding God's direction on something, the Holy Spirit will pursue you until you surrender and ask, and then it's our choice whether to follow His will for our lives or not. The 'not' doesn't work too well, since God never grows tired or weary of wanting to make our lives better.

We live in a culture where we're used to having things our way. We're given a multitude of options in so many areas of living. WikiAnswers says there are approximately 150 different boxed cereals. Isn't that amazing? To have cereal for breakfast we have 150 options of what to put in the bowl.

Hearing "No" isn't easy. We're used to having so many things that we don't even need because we have based our purchases on wants, not needs. Take clothes for an example. Who really needs more clothing? In the U.S. $250 billion a year is spent on clothing. According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey of 2007, says the average household spends $1604 a year on shoes and clothing. That would go far in paying off mortgages a lot earlier by applying that money to the principle.

Randal and I have a personal budget of $45 a month from which we purchase our clothes, shoes, gadgets, haircuts, perms, makeup, shaver blades, etc. Anything that's for personal use or enjoyment. It's worked well for many years and has given us a better perspective of how many clothes we really want. We use only one side of our closet for our clothes and don't need to swap out seasonal items to other storage. I love it! It's much easier to see your choices on "what to wear."

We all have areas that are more of a challenge when it comes to the budget ... but then that's why we have budgets ... to limit our spending and especially in our weak areas. Debt is a heavy burden, so asking God about purchases will make a big difference in your spending habits.

We've been disciplined spenders for a very long time ... so what my concern is on asking God is more in the realm of how to spend my day ... what He wants me to do. He's been speaking the word "Surrender" to me for weeks now. I've been the type who can figure out a solution and handle it. God wants us to depend on Him and use His strength ... and with rheumatoid issues, I like the sound of it. But we must humble ourselves and come to Him empty handed so He can fill us up. I want to be busy doing, like Martha, but God says, "Sit at my feet," like Mary.

Surrender ... it's a word that applies to all of us in one way or another. Proverbs 3:7 has been on a Scripture card I've been focusing on as I do my rebounder bouncing. Maybe it's one that will cause you to pause and ponder:

"Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil."

What area of your life is God calling you to surrender in today? Are you tired of making it on your own? Only pride keeps us from giving in. His way truly is the best way. Let's surrender together!

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