Welcome to week seven in the study of Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God. I applaud you all for sticking with us this summer as we read through her book together. I know you’re busy; I know you have a million other things vying for attention. And yet, you have set aside time for this book and I am praying for God’s blessings for you as a result.
If I can give one piece of encouragement, it’s don’t give up! Don’t leave the book half-read or this study partly done. If you’ve fallen behind, please jump back in as you are able because I don’t want you to miss some of these great chapters at the end. You can comment on any older post as you catch up on the reading.
Para Espanol, por favor pulse dos.
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Elevator music. Cheerful ads. More music to which you drum your fingers. The doodles on your paper have now progressed from swirls and cubes to intricate designs and flowers.
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I’ve been on hold with companies a lot lately and the routine is the same with each call. Press buttons. Answer questions. Listen to annoying music and assurances that they will be with you as quickly as possible.
Priscilla Shirer writes this week that God’s “entire goal, since the beginning of time, is to have a personal, intimate, loving fellowship between the two of you.” That means that He longs for us to commune with Him all the time about everything we’re facing and He responds to us both by listening and answering with love and grace.
He isn’t putting us on hold. He isn’t creating go-betweens to filter out calls until we really prove we need to talk to the Supervisor on Duty. He wants to spend time in relationship with us both in the times that we experience joy and the moments we feel pain and He’s always listening as we cry out to Him.
All that we experience is subject for prayer. In her study on Daniel, Beth Moore notes that Paul encourages us to pray and give thanks “in every situation” (Philippians 4:6). We’re compartmentalizers some times. We think, this I can handle, but this I can’t so I’ll pray about it This I can think through, but this I’m lost on so I’ll pray about it. This is too small to pray about, but this is big enough to mention in the Sunday School prayer time. This the doctor will answer, but this I’m going to have to leave to God.
There’s not some stuff that fits into a God category and other stuff that doesn’t. In the sorting bins of our needs, emotions, and thoughts, there’s just one basket and it’s got a big fat label on it marked “God’s.” Praise God that He is responsive, loving, gracious, and accessible.
Chapter 13: A Fatherly Voice
- God has a personal message for us and we cannot assume that He has the same plan for others that He has for us. Obviously, on basic doctrinal issues, on the matters of sin that His Word clearly addresses, the standard is consistent. But, on questions of personal choices–who to marry, where to work, whether to work or stay home, and more, we must remember that we “run the risk of becoming legalistic and placing other believers in bondage” if we believe what God has told us applies to everyone (p. 153).
- God’s voice may be convicting, but it is not condemning. He doesn’t harp on your sins of the past. “He desires to bring healing and restoration by forgiving my sin and throwing it into the sea of forgetfulness” (p. 155).
Chapter 14: A Challenging Voice
- God isn’t always talking about how to make us feel comfortable. In fact, He’s pretty frequently asking us to step out of comfort and into faith.
- The quote from Oswald Chambers on p. 163 is pretty challenging: “Have you ever heard the Master say something very difficult for you? If you haven’t, I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at all.”
- We may feel ill-equipped for the task God has called us to, but “it is through your inability that He reveals His power” (p. 164).
- What were your favorite, quotes, passages or Scriptures from these two chapters?
- Have you ever made a choice that you knew was God’s will for you, but also knew it wasn’t God’s will for everyone?
- Do you ever struggle with feelings of condemnation versus conviction? Is it easy for you to accept Christ’s forgiveness and move on or are you sometimes trapped by guilt?
- When has God called you out of comfortable and into faith? What has God taught you in those situations where He asked you to do something that was beyond your natural ability, experience, training, gifting, etc.?
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.