Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daily devotional: Hearing from the Lord

Scripture
By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.
Exodus 13:21 NIV

Observation
I'm reading in Exodus how the Lord directly made his will known to Moses, how He guided the Israelites out of Egypt by a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire, and then in Acts how the eleven disciples prayed and cast lots to replace the apostolic position they felt was left vacant after Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus. In different ways and times to various people, the Lord has made His will known to men.

Application
Consider how I am to seek the Lord's will. A few ways are as follows:

  • Read the Bible regularly so that I will know those things that fit within the commands and desires that God has revealed to us.
  • By prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to God.
  • Integrate prayer and fasting into my practices to be in tune with the Lord. Jesus often went to lonely places and prayed late into the night, and fasting is a practice modeled throughout Scripture.
  • Seek wise, godly counsel. By an abundance of counsel, plans can succeed.
  • Pray for the Lord to reveal His plans to both me and my spouse, and carefully seek His will together.
  • In all my ways, acknowledge the Lord, and know that He will direct my paths.
  • Daily lay down my selfish ambitions, take up my cross, and follow Jesus.
  • Listen to people when they have a word they believe is from the Lord, and carefully evaluate to see if it is consistent with what He has revealed through Scripture and other circumstances.
Some ways that aren't as clear to me are whether there is still a place for casting lots to give the Lord the ability to show His way through what would otherwise be chance, since that would be dangerous if the Lord is not a part of it. Also, praying for the Lord to open and close doors to lead me into His will is good, but also could be dangerous if there are doors that the Lord chooses not to close but are not where He is leading me.

Prayer
Lord, You are mighty and gracious. Thank you for leading Your children as a shepherd leads his sheep. Help me to hear Your voice and be guided, not misguided, into every thing You have for me. I love you!

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