Jesus, The One and Only

Posts tagged ‘changes’

“Change of Plans”

Dove of the Holy Spirit

Image by hops_76 via Flickr

Read acts 16:4-8

“Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.” (vs. 6-8 NIV) 

God has given us the Holy Spirit but sometimes we don’t recognize who He is or His voice speaking to us.  How do you recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit?  Beth shares six key points:

  1. “Study God’s Word” – God will never contradict His Word and remember to keep it all in context.
  2. “Yield to the Holy Spirit’s control” – be open to changes when they happen.
  3. “Pray for clear leadership” – asking for discernment and where His leading is taking you.  (Ps. 97:11) “Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path.”
  4. “Pray for wisdom and discernment to recognize specific directions” – (Eph. 1:17) “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.”
  5. “Make plans, but hold on to them loosely” – We all make plans and if we hold onto them too tightly we might jeopardize the Holy Spirit sharing with us a better way.  Or sometime He may tell us to go another way or pass on by just as Paul did in the scripture references above. Not just one time but twice!
  6. “Learn to recognize peace as one of God’s prompters - When you have been dependant on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit you will have a peace that surpasses all understanding according to Philippians 4:7.  If you don’t feel that peace, then pause, wait and pray for direction or clarification.  “Christ is the Prince of Peace.  His peace will accompany His authority.”(1)

“Paul was used of God to teach about the activity of the Holy Spirit.  But Paul could not teach what he had never learned.  He learned to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit one day at a time, one city at a time.  Let’s learn from his example and be willing to change our course when we sense God has different plans.” (2)

If you have turmoil in your life today, if you don’t have the peace that Christ brings, then take some time today and pray.  Find a quiet place where you can shut off the “noise” around you and in your head, bring a pen and paper, and begin to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to direct you at that very moment.  When he speaks, write it down so you will remember and then do as He has asked.  It is in the still small voice that we can hear more clearly.  In this you shall find peace.

“Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Sam. 3:10 NIV)

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”    (Phil. 4:6-8 NLT)

“The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” (Exodus 3:14 NIV)

Aren’t you glad we have a God who listens to our hearts as well as directing every step of the way? Aren’t you glad that He has sometimes changed our plans along the way? Where or where would we be without Him!  Give Him honor today and thank Him for all that He is … for all your yesterdays and all the days to come :)

Vicky

(1-2) Paul, 90 Day’s in His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing

“Change of Plans”

Read Philippians 3:12-21

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (vs. 13-14 NIV)

“After such noble beginnings, such strict following of God’s law, incomparable attainment of the knowledge of Scripture, and every external mark of righteousness-what happened?  How did a brilliant young rabbi become a relentless persecutor of men and women?”(1)  Saul didn’t learn this from his great teacher/mentor Gamaliel. “He took matters in his own hands and tried to give them a much-needed shove.  Acts 26 describes Saul’s mental state perfectly; he had become obsessed.”(2) 

“Many a time I went from one synagogue to another to have them punished, and I tried to force them to blaspheme. I was so obsessed with persecuting them that I even hunted them down in foreign cities.” (Acts 26:11 NIV)

Some of our obsessions cause us to do things irrationally; attempting to fill a void within a deep hole of the heart.  Saul was so religious, so obsessed that he was “hunting them down” trying to “force them to blaspheme”.  “All the righteous passion turned into unrighteous zeal, and he became dangerous.” (3)

As we read previously Christ had literally caught him in the act and knocked him off his donkey!  He was snatched from himself – from his own misguided zeal, his own obsessions.

Towards the end of his life he wrote in a jail cell Phil. 3:12 and 1 Timothy 1:15:

  •  “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
  • Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

“Jesus sent Saul to open the eyes of many and turn them from darkness to light so they could receive forgiveness of sins.  No greater calling exists, as well as no room for pride.  God’s choosen servant was never more than a flashback from humility.  No one can teach forgiveness like the forgiven.’  ‘Yes sometimes things are gray such as ‘Why did He choose us?’ But some things are still black and white – I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” (4)

Has Christ ever gotten your attention and in return transformed you from a Saul to Paul?

Vicky

(1-4) Paul, 90 Days on His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/B&H Publishing

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