Tag Archive | Friend-to-friend

Listening to God in the Little Things

 

Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
“He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back” (Isaiah 50:4-5 NIV).

Friend to Friend
One of my favorite devotion books My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  On October tenth, he wrote, “All God’s revelations are sealed until they are opened to us by obedience. You will never get them open them through philosophy or thinking.  But once you obey, a flash of light comes immediately. …Obey God in the thing He shows you, and instantly the next thing is opened up…God will never reveal more truth about himself until you have obeyed what you already know.”

We must never fall into the trap of thinking that God will always give us “big” things to do.  Jesus…took a towel and …began to wash the disciples’ feet…” (John 13:3-5). Through his act of servant leadership, he demonstrated the obedience we should have on a daily basis in the mundane activities of everyday life. Yes, he raised the dead, but he also washed the feet.

One evening Steve and I were on our way to dinner. Just before we arrived, I saw three teenage girls walking into another restaurant in the same area where we were going to eat.  One of the girls had been in a small group I had led for two years. I felt God nudging me to go into the restaurant and pay for their dinners.

“Steve, there’s Christine,” I said. “I believe God wants me to pay for those girls’ dinners.”

Steve, being a man who listens to God, whipped the car around and headed toward the door.

“Hi girls,” I said as I walked up to them in line.

“Hi  Mrs. Jaynes. What are you doing here?”

“May I take your order?” the cashier interrupted.

“Go ahead girls,” I urged. “You go first.”

Each girl ordered and then the cashier turned to me.  “And you ma’am.

“Oh, I’m not having anything. I just came in to pay for these girls’ dinners.”

The threesome were very surprised and very appreciative. I ran back out to our car, feeling a warm sense of listening and obeying.

The next day, Christine called. “Mrs. Jaynes,” she said “thank you so much for paying for our dinners last night. My friends were so touched. No one has ever done anything like that for any of us before. See, last night, they wanted to go out to dinner, but I told them I couldn’t afford it.  So they were going to pay for mine. Then you came in and well…thanks.

Obeying God only cost me $19.95, but the lesson to Christine, and her two friends was invaluable. Jesus said, “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38).

Obeying God begins with heeding the simply nudges. Don’t be afraid! Many people are afraid to obey those nudges because they aren’t absolutely sure it is God’s voice. I’ve decided that if the inner prompting lines up with Scripture and is consistent with God’s character and ways, then I’d rather err on the side of obedience that the side of caution.

“We all have those times when there are no flashes of light and no apparent thrill to life, where we experience nothing but the daily routine with its common everyday tasks….Don’t always expect God to give you His thrilling moments, but learn to live in those common times of the drudgery of life by the power of God….I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it” (O. Chambers June 15). “If I obey Jesus Christ in the seemingly random circumstances of life, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God” (O. Chambers November 2).

My prayer is that I will be able to say like the prophet Isaiah, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears, and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back” (Isaiah 50:4-5).

Let’s Pray
Dear Lord, I’m listening. Speak to me. Nudge me. I will not be rebellious. I will not draw back.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Today, I encourage you to pay attention to any way that God might be nudging you to be His hands and feet.

Then join me on my blog page, look for this devotion’s entry, and tell me what happened. I can hardly wait. Don’t feel uncomfortable telling me. Don’t feel like you’re tooting your own horn. I just want to toot my party horn in celebration of your obedience!

More from the Girlfriends
One of my greatest passions is to become a woman who listens to God. If you would like to sharpen your God-listening skills, check out my book, Becoming a Woman who Listens to God.It is not a matter of whether or not God speaks. It is a matter of whether or not we will listen.

 

In His Eyes Part 2

Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:14-15, NIV).

Friend to Friend
God can set you free to be all He created you to be. A healthy self-image is not rooted in pride, and it does not exalt self above others. Success comes when we learn to accept God’s evaluation instead of our own and when we give Him permission to make us what He created us to be. Yesterday, we examined the first two steps we can take to understand who we are in His eyes. Today, we will look at four more steps.

Step three: Be yourself.
We should always be looking for something new to learn, an area where we can grow and changes that need to be made. Sit down with your mate or close friend and ask for a realistic evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses. Constantly search for gifts and abilities on which you can work. Don’t be afraid of change. It is a sign of life and growth. Change what needs to be changed, accept what you cannot change and quit whining about it! Don’t waste another minute trying to be someone you were never created to be. Stop questioning God’s design for your life. When an old man from the mountains of North Carolina was asked how he created such extraordinary wooden carvings of dogs, he replied, “Well, I just take my knife and a piece of wood and carve away everything that doesn’t look like a dog.” Learning to see your-self through the eyes of God is like “carving away” everything that is not part of the original design – God’s plan – and then learning how to accept what remains.

Step four: Guard your mind.
We are bombarded on all sides by the media, family and friends, co-workers and even enemies who have a certain identity they want to assign to us. We have a choice. No one makes us feel inferior without our permission. We will become what we allow our heart and mind to dwell on. An old adage says it well: “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head but you can keep it from building a nest in your hair.” It is impossible to avoid destructive thinking entirely. We will be tempted. We will have negative thoughts and temptations, but we do not have to allow them to dwell in our minds. God has given us a “garbage disposal” for the mind.

Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”

We once lived in Miami, Florida, a place where ships come from all over world. However, before a ship is allowed to dock, an inspection team goes aboard with one assignment. Find every bit of contamination on board that ship. If contamination of any kind is found, the ship must be quarantined until it is cleaned up and inspected again. The ship is then allowed to dock. We need to control our thought life in the same way.

Step five: Control your tongue.
Our words either build up or tear down. Scripture tells us not to curse others because they are made in the image of God. So are we. As a mom, I constantly warned our children about the danger of critical words. I wanted them to learn how to encourage others with their words as well as have a healthy picture of who they are. One day, while standing in front my bathroom mirror, I began berating myself for something I had done. I didn’t see our son who was quietly standing in our bedroom door where he could hear every word I said. “Mom, who are you talking to?” he asked. I sheepishly replied, “I was talking to myself.” He thought for a moment and then offered a convicting observation, “Boy, if I talked like that, I’d be in big trouble!” I was immediately reminded of the words in Psalm 141:3: “Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips.”

Words are like seeds. What we plant will grow. If we sow destructive, critical words, we will reap a life that is negative and critical, but if we sow words of truth, we will reap a life of peace and purpose, knowing who we are in His eyes.

Step six: Be Patient
Weeds spring up overnight but it takes years for a mighty oak to grow. Today, you can take the first step toward gaining a new perspective of who you are in Christ. Our Father says it this way in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”

Let’s Pray
Lord, I want to know You more and learn to see myself as You see me. Please help me recognize and guard against anything or anyone who would chip away at Your truth working in my life. I believe You love me and cherish me as Your daughter. Help me to walk in that value and worth and then lead others to do the same. I praise You for validating my very existence as part of Your heart’s plan. I love You, Father.
In Jesus’ name,
Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
Here is your assignment for the week. Read Psalm 139 at least one time every day. In your journal, write each verse in your own words. At the end of the week, set aside time to celebrate who you are in Christ. Have a praise party – just you and God – or invite a few girlfriends to join you in celebrating how special you are to Him.

More from the Girlfriends
I pray that these devotions have helped you catch a new glimpse of just how precious you are to God. If you were never wanted or planned by human heart and mind, rest assured that you were wanted and planned by God Himself. He is with you and for you, girlfriend. He believes in you and has a plan that will prosper you and give you hope. Turn to Him. Trust Him. You are special in His eyes.