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January 21, 2011

Mind Your Own Business

Matthew 16:3b
You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.
...
Matthew 16:9
Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up?
...
Matthew 16:23
But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”

OBSERVATION
Jesus has just miraculously fed the multitude (Ch15). The Pharisees/Sadducee present came asking for another sign. Jesus told them how their life's experience has allowed them to learn how to predict the weather, but they had little discernment for things in the spiritual world.

In the next encounter Jesus is trying to teach the disciples a principle from His encounter with the Pharisees, but they weren't hearing Him correctly. They were so focused on the immediate (what they we're going to eat) that they missed what He was trying to teach them (although v13 shows they eventually got it).

Lastly is the discussion about "who Jesus is" with the disciples (which could be an exercise in helping the disciples develop some spiritual discernment). Peter correctly provides the answer and Jesus helps him understand how he got there. But in the follow-up conversation, Jesus tells Peter that he is "not mindful of the things of God."

APPLICATION
Taken together, these three scenes bring to my attention the importance of developing a new (or additional) filter thought which to understand the circumstances of my life. Like the Pharisees, there are certain aspects to my life for which I've accumulated some practical knowledge. But if I only rely on my knowledge, then I'm going to miss the the other layer that is just as real - the spiritual layers. If God is working in everything, that I need to develop the ability to perceive what He's doing in the midst of everything else going on.

Other times I'm so focused on the immediate, that I can miss the moments when God is trying use the circumstances to teach me a spiritual principle. Why? Because like Peter, can often be mindful of earthly thing, and not the things of God.

I'm called to live in these dual (but integrated) world; the material and eternal, physical and spiritual. But as a "new man" I need to be able to live with a new discernment so that I don't miss what God is doing or teaching.

PRAYER
Lord, help me to be mindful of all of the layers if life. Help me to see You in all things. Help me to listen and learn.

February 23, 2011

Taking Prisoners

Leviticus 24:12 (NKJV)
They put him in custody until the will of the LORD should be made clear to them.

OBSERVATION
In the middle of a conflict, an Israelite "blasphemed the name of the Lord and cursed..." So he was brought to Moses to determine what the man's punishment should be.

APPLICATION
How many times have I rushed to judgment? There are many situations that I have a tendency to make immediate decisions based on the emotion of the situation, or my own intuition, or assumptions that prove to be underdeveloped at best. What caught me in this passage is that Moses and the elders found a way not only to buy time, but determined to to take any action until the will of the Lord was clear.

This brings to mind many scriptures...
* We can discover and "prove" the will of God: Romans 12:2 - Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
* We need to place our thoughts in "custody": 2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

* There's even the precedent set by the apostles when determining the biggest issue they faced addressing the inclusion of the Gentiles: Acts 15:28
It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us...

I've said in the past that I've never made a mistake by moving to slowly, but I have made big ones by moving too quickly. I need to place the pressing issues in my life in custody, not to forget about them, but to give me the necessary time to process with the Lord (and my counselors) and determine the will of God.

About Hearing God

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

Discipline is the previous category.

Identity is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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