Ladies, we have made it to the end of our study of Priscilla Shirer’s Discerning the Voice of God and I’m so thankful for the chance to walk with you for this summer. I urge you to take the time to comment to this post some time this week and talk about your overarching thoughts of this book or study and what God has been doing in your heart and mind these last few weeks.
For those of you catching up, these pages will remain open and available for you to go back and comment as you read each section. We don’t want to miss what you have to say.
My small group will be starting a new book in September called Stumbling Into Grace: Confessions of a Spiritually Clumsy Woman by Lisa Harper. In it, she discusses topics like fear, forgiveness, the importance of community, resting, being less critical and yet more honest, contentment and dependence on God.
I won’t be formalizing that into an official Online Bible Study format, but I will be following along the topics of the book with posts of my own here in this space. So, I hope if you can’t join in my small group, you can grab a copy of the book wherever you are and read along with us. I think you’ll enjoy it!
And, for those of you going to Women of Faith this coming weekend, you’ll get to see Lisa Harper on stage at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC! I can’t wait!
We have a well problem at my house.
Also a but problem. And yes, I spelled that right.
I say, “Girls, it’s time to clean up. Victoria, you put away the dolls. Lauren, you put away the books.”
And I hear:
“Well . . . she was the last one playing with them so she has to clean it up.
“But playing with that wasn’t my idea; it was hers.”
“Well . . . this is too much for me to clean up all by myself!”
“But I’m not ready to stop playing. I want to play some more later.”
It’s a well and but problem if ever I’ve heard one.
I’ll admit it. God could likely say the same about me. Maybe about you also? God speaks to my heart through His Word, through others, through the heavy urging and impression of the Holy Spirit and I say:
“But, I don’t want to stop doing this. I’ve been doing it for years. I enjoy it. I’m good at it. I’m used to it. I’m comfortable and (this is the ringer), who else is going to do it if I stop?”
“Well . . . you may want me to do that, but I’m scared and I don’t know how it’s all going to work out. I’m not experienced enough. I don’t see how doing this is going to matter in the long run. What if I fail and mess it up? What if I heard You wrong and I wasn’t supposed to do it after all?”
We say we want to hear the voice of God. We long to know what He sounds like and desire spiritual discernment.
That’s what we say. Yet sometimes we’re desperately pleading from God to hear His voice and then when He speaks, we argue with Him. So, perhaps this waiting time, this sitting silent before a currently silent God, is more about our willingness to obey than our ability to hear.
Maybe He’s not speaking because He knows we’re not ready to obey. Maybe He’s waiting for our hearts to stop “well-ing” and “but-ing” and instead say to Him, “I will hasten and not delay to obey your commands” (Psalm 119:60).
Like Abraham, we should obey “immediately,” “the very same day,” and “early the next morning” (Genesis 15:10, 17:23, 22:3).
Are you an early riser when it comes to obeying God’s voice? Or are you more of a lingerer, a wait until it’s comfortable and makes sense, wait until the provision comes, wait until You can’t bear the heaviness of the Spirit any longer kind of child?
Choose to obey in advance of the command. Set your heart on obedience. It is the most precious worship to our God, more precious than any sacrifice you could lay at His feet. “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).
Chapter Fifteen: The Obedient Response
- On p. 174, she notes that “God does not speak simply to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed.” She goes on to say that if we’re not willing to commit to obedience, He may very well choose not to speak to us.
- She notes that people who always have an “escape plan” are called “double-minded” in James 4:8. On p. 177, she encourages you to check your heart for double-mindedness if you aren’t hearing from God.
- Do you have an example of a time you obeyed God even when it didn’t make sense or seemed silly or confusing, and He rewarded your obedience?
- How quickly do you tend to obey God’s voice? Has a delay in obedience ever been costly for you?
- Do you have any quotes, verses or passages that were your favorite in the conclusion of the book?
- Have you changed anything in your spiritual walk as a result of this study?
- What’s the most important concept or thought that you’ll take away from this book?
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.
Copyright © 2011 Heather King