Is that You, God?

Reprinted from September 9, 2005
Give ear to my words, Yahweh. Consider my meditation. Listen to the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for to you do I pray. Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice. In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly. Psalm 5:1-3 (WEB)

I think the most frequently asked questions I get when teaching about prayer and an intimate relationship with God are,  “How do I know it is God talking to me?” and “How do I know that I am following the will of God?”  Good questions.  I don’t think the answers are difficult but their application is contrary to my nature!

God is truthful.  His words today do not negate His words of 2000 years ago.  So when I believe I hear His voice, what He is saying to me will line up with what He said to Paul two centuries ago.  God will not tell me that it is OK for me to worry about my children.  He will not tell me that what I am dealing with now is more difficult than anything Paul had to do — so my worry is justified.  No, God is able to take care of my concerns just like He did Paul’s.

I believe that I know I am IN the will of God because that place has a very distinctive characteristic: peace.  The will of God may be a place that is outside my ‘nature’ or my ‘flesh’ but my spirit recognizes it and it is a place of peace for my spirit.  My family and I have been through difficult ‘seasons’ including a time when my youngest son had a recurrent cancer.  Through every step as we decided about doctors, place of treatment, path of treatment, and timing, God directed each step.  The difficult task was to ‘wait’ on Him.  We might have a question at 8 a.m. on Tuesday morning and the clear answer did not show itself until Thursday at noon.  When it came, it was clear and it came with such peace!  Waiting was difficult!  I wanted the answer on Tuesday at 8:05 a.m.!!!  But waiting brought the perfect answer and the perfect peace!!!

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.

Blessed are those who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the gentle,
for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,
for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven…
But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well.     Matthew 5:3-10, 6:33 (WEB)
If you haven’t read Matthew 5 and 6 in the last 3 months, I encourage you to take time this week and do so.  There is so much in those two chapters that I think that I could read it every day for a month and still get something new every time!  Jesus’ words during the Sermon on the Mount are often quoted in discussions about God’s will and obedience until the words seem almost cliché.  They are NOT cliché.  They are succinct and true!  The tough part about hearing from God and KNOWING that I am hearing Him is the building of my relationship with God by following Jesus’ example.  Seeking FIRST God’s kingdom and a right relationship with Him and THEN put everything else in a list below that!  This doesn’t happen over night.  It comes with a growing, living relationship with my Lord.
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