Tuesday, September 08, 2009

When I Need a Word From God

“I sat down utterly baffled” (Ezra 9:3, Living Bible)

When Ezra learned that the leaders had defaulted to the pagan mindset of the surrounding nations, and had by their example permitted the people to believe and behave in manners that were directly opposed to God's Word – “he sat down utterly baffled.”

As indeed he should have. For they were in the midst of a historic move of God; a great revival of epic proportions. And now, their indifference to the ways of God threatened the entire thing!

Have you ever been faced with a situation that left you utterly baffled? I have; many times over the course of my life. Most recently I encountered a real dilemma; a personal challenge that, despite my best efforts to sort it out, nothing worked. I was gut-punched and heart-broken....and “utterly baffled.”

In times like these I go to the only source of life and love I know to be sure and unchanging -- I go to the Lord. And I seek from Him a word that will enlighten my darkness, and empower me through the darkness of any situation. And God is faithful -- He speaks, and the entrance of His words bring light and hope.

I thought it would be of benefit to you for me to tell you the steps I take when ever I need a word from God.

First, I get quiet. By shutting out all other voices, I can zero in on the one Voice that truly matters.

Then, I get alone. Often the distractions of familiar things can preoccupy my thoughts and prevent me from actually listening for the still, small voice of the Lord.

Next, I open the Bible. It is the Great Lexicon of God's language, a complete panorama of His astounding Vocabulary. Somewhere in these worn and proven pages there awaits for my searching eye a life-impacting word from the Lord.

Then I open my heart. God speaks to our heart far more clearly than He speaks to our heads. It is not knowledge that I am seeking; it is revelation. And that can only happen when the eyes of my heart are opened.

The next thing I do is look and listen as I read. I am in no hurry, and I take in all the sights as I stroll through the passage of Scripture. I pay close attention to every word, pondering both its obvious and deeper meaning; ever waiting for that flash that comes when the Lord turns on the lights.

Then, I write what I see and hear. This is important; for the Lord may indeed have much to say to me, and if I trust all to my feeble memory I will do a great dis-service to my soul.

Afterwards, I reflect upon it. I mull it over and over in my mind; and as I do so, each pass seems to unpack even more insights than I at first had gleaned.

And then I tell it to others. This is one of the great secret of the Kingdom -- if you want to keep something that the Lord has given to you, give it away to others! For by doing so you not only bless them with fresh bread from heaven, but you solidify the word in the depths of your own soul as well.

This process has served me well now for over forty years of following Jesus. I encourage you to try it for yourself, and you will find that it works for you also!


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