Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Experiencing God

I love the Lord because he hears my voice 
     and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
     I will pray as long as I have breath!
       Psalm 116:1-2

Picture God bending down to listen to your prayers. How awesome is that?

Sometimes I get confused about following God's direction, but when I do, all I have to do is pray to Him, and then listen, and do what He says. Like just now. He reminded me of a book that'd been helpful to me, so I stopped typing and grabbed it for you.

Many years ago, my friends and I read a book together called, Experiencing God, by Henry T. Blackaby and Claude V. King. It's about knowing and doing the will of God and it's life-changing. I can just hear the voice of my friend Emily, reminding me that when we don't know which direction to go, we just do the last thing He told us to do. That's a nugget she picked up from it and now, seven years later, it still helps me.

I was trying to find that chapter and instead, I found this great line on prayer and obedience:

"Becoming a person of prayer will require a major adjustment of your life to God. Prayer will always be a part of the obedience. It is in a prayer relationship that God gives further direction."

Before we get overly concerned about what to do, we must become obedient and we must, at all costs, be in a personal relationship with Him in order to hear his voice. Prayer is the foundation of that relationship.

I'm a big fan of highlighters and I mark up and write (in many different colors) all over my books. This page gave me a chuckle because I'd highlighted almost every sentence except one about the cost of prayer:

"You may need to let God wake you up in the middle of the night to pray. You may need to spend much time in prayer."

Apparently, my sleep seemed far more important at the time.

If you're looking for a great read for the New Year, I highly recommend this book!

1 comment:

  1. I did a study on this book in a homegroup 2 or 3 years ago. I remember one of the biggest things I learned from it that help teach me how to know what God is wanting to reveal to me was......(I am going to see if I can find my book.)...well I couldn't find it, but maybe I can later. It was a technique that involved reading a piece of scripture slowly, being aware of what I was feeling or thinking. Like if I read and I found a thought going through my head like, "I don't know what that means." or, "I like that part." I would do a word study on it to see what it means in the Greek or Hebrew; and also look at notes in my study bible to have a better understanding of the meaning behind what was written. I so often found myself realizing God was the one who had wanted to communicate with me at the very point my thoughts had prompted me to question or comment in my head. I began to see God so very personal again. I had experienced God in a personal way only a few times prior in my whole life. I had so longed to hear Him, to experience Him personally. This was one of the first teachings that helped that become a reality in my soul. He even bends down and listens to our thoughts. I just love that about Him. He cares about every question, every passion, every mistake, every wound. He longs to show up through His word, we just often expect it to look like something we have preceived in watching someone else. How I connect with God in His word is as simple as being honest with my own thoughts before the one who cares about every one of them. It just isn't always the thoughts I anticipated He would deal with. It's often the one that comes to me as I reflect on one particular chapter, or particular verses that stand out when I read. I hope to find my book so I can reference the chapter this was taught. I am sure it could work totally different for someone else. We are each so amazingly unique.