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May 5, 2003

What Fills Me Up?

John 4:34
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

I have restarted my fast today following my caving in at my daughter's birthday party yesterday (she's 5 today. My fast was only 2 days old). Even this morning I am torn about my motivation for fasting. I need some things to change in my life - an "addiction" to television, a subtle slothfulness that keeps creeping in (not laziness - not doing anything, but a growing tendancy to procrastinate) - so many more areas where I want to bear the fruit of self control. In addition, I want to see breakthrough in our church; for the presence of God to become even more tangible; for growth, both spiritual and numerical, to take place. All of these are impostant reasons, yet I was still wrestling with whether a food fast was the key.

So today I find myself readin the account of the woman at the well. And here's this side note in the larger story of Jesus being hungry (like I am right now). This quote was His response to his disciples who were concerned with His well-being. I have a note in my Bible on this verse from something Pastor Dale Evrist said back in 6/98 - "Are you filled by doing the will of God, or by the affirmation and admiration of men?" Ohhhh...this really helps me to focus on the bigger reasons for my current fast. It is about what fills me. Although I have grown in killing my pride, being at ICFG Convention reminded me of how far I have to go. I still talk about myself too much. I still compare too much. Instead of an authentic, Godly humility, I struggle with the "humiliation" that my lack of "success" has produced.

I want to be a man who find fulfillment in obedience, not results. I want to be "mature" (also "complete" - GK for "finish" in this verse) completing my God-given assignments, not being immature and only doing the stuff that comes easy. There certainly seems to be a lot riding on this - the growth of our church, my family's future, etc. But I am confident that as I find fullfimment in completing His work, He will complete His work in me (Phil. 1:6).

November 3, 2003

Drifting Away

Hebrews 4:2; 2:1
4:2 - ...but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.
2:1 - Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.

As someone who is a public speaker, I try to take the truth of God's Word and communicate it so that is can be understood by the hearers. I work hard at being accurate with my interpretation, interesting in my presentation, and practical in the application of the truth to everyday life. But I find a lot of people "drifting." No matter how "entertaining" the message may or may not be, it still is the eternal truth which has relevance for our lives. But it is the responsibility of the hearer, not the speaker, to draw out the truth for themselves.

Very few people on Sundays practice "active listening." Most of us listen only for what catches our attention, then we focus in for a few moments before fading again. We wonder then why we are not seeing our lives changed, our minds renewed. We must engage the message. We must meet the Word with faith, or it cannot produced the intended results. Romans says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." (10:17) When we do fully engage, our faith is built as well.

Still, faith without works is dead. So we must give "more earnest heed" to what we hear. If we do not put things into practice, that's when our faith is weakened and we begin to drift; drifting out of God's purpose and covering.

Lord, I want to be a good listener. Not only that, I desire that truth becomes action because Your Word has been engaged by my faith and obedience.

February 3, 2010

Hearing God's Voice...literally

Exodus 19:19 (NKJV)
...Moses spoke, and God answered him by voice.

Observation:
Wow. What would that be like? Not just the "still, small voice," but to hear God's audible response? It was God who said that He was "in the thick cloud, that the people may hear. When I speak with you and believe you forever." (v 9) Not only did God speak to Moses, He came down to meet with him (v 20). yet the people were afraid - "let not God speak to us lest we die." (v 20) 20:21 says that the people stood afar, but Moses drew near to where God was.

Application:
As a leader, the people you are responsible for want to know that you hear from God; they want (and need) to believe you, to trust you. Why? Because most of them are afraid to or unsure that they are able to hear Him for themselves. Our job is two-fold: to hear from Him, and to teach them how to hear from him. The first is to create confidence in people that God speaks. For them to believe it, they have to experience it. That's why it's important for a leader to hear from God, the otcome of which must bear the fruit of God's approval. The second is to model a method - drawing near to God. Who sees me do that? Do I model it?

Prayer:
Lord, let me hear. Help me lead.

About Disciplines

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to JustJeff | Life Journal in the Disciplines category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Discipleship is the previous category.

Evangelism is the next category.

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