Tuesday, April 22, 2008

GP are ya listening?.......... Feeling a little Kirk Franklin this morning :)

Whenever a message keeps repeating itself--you can better believe that my ears are going to perk up and I am going to stop and listen to what God is saying.
Just Sunday we heard Charles Stanley preaching on Nehemiah
and now on Tuesday I received this devotional.
I want to hear what He is saying.
Are we listening?

Author: Elisabeth Elliot
Source: A Lamp For My Feet
Scripture Reference: Nehemiah 1:8-9

Satan's Opposition or God's Punishment

Sometimes when we are in trouble we are not sure whether the trouble is the opposition of our enemy Satan or a punishment from God. It may be both, and in any case the thing to do is pray--first, confession of sin which is known; second, asking to be shown sin which has not been acknowledged; third, prayer for deliverance in God's way and in God's time.

When the people of Israel were in great trouble and disgrace and the wall of Jerusalem had been broken down, Nehemiah sat down and wept. Then he mourned and fasted and prayed "for some days" before the God of heaven. The exile of the people and the destruction of the wall were surely the work of evil men, but they were also the means employed by a sovereign God to punish the people. "If you are unfaithful I will scatter you." Nehemiah reminded God in his prayer of this threat, but he also reminded Him of his promise: "If you return and obey...I will gather them" (Neh 1:8, 9 RSV). Nehemiah became the intercessor and the means in the hand of God for their restoration, just as their enemies had, under his sovereignty, been the means of their punishment.

It is not required that we sort out all the possibilities--"Is this God?" or "Is this Satan?"--it is required that we confess our sins and put our whole trust in the God who is in charge.

Are we listening?

Where are the repairers of the wall?


12 comments:

luvmy4sons said...

Oh that I might have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart after God's voice more and more.

mandy said...

Sharon:
gosh this is so true! we get so caught up in the "WHY" of the difficulty that we forget the correct response is to get right with God & confess & cry out & seek Him.
wow.
i LOVE elizabeth elliot

eph2810 said...

Wonderful devotion you are sharing, Sharon.
I don't know if you have heard about "ReignDownUSA"? There is a huge event going on this weekend in Washington DC - call for prayer and repentence.

Be blessed today and always.

Dee said...

TY for this post. I just read the Charles Stanley outline (I'd printed it out - TY) w/ my bible reading this morning & I read through Nehiamiah. I also was convicted of some sin this past weekend and I made that right -- it felt so much better and I didn't realize that it was eating away at me. ((( hugs ))) I loved the video too, and have been listening to that song. I have the CD and that song has never jumped out at me -- until you pointed it out. I've put it on my other blog and will be posting another version of it on my blog tomorrow. D

MelanieJoy said...

I didn't comment when you posted about Charles Stanley...however,
God has been drawing me back to the book of Nehemiah for almost two and a half weeks (before my ladies retreat trip). I am planning to post on it as soon as I get home so I'm not going to get into details...too much to type right now. Anyway, I'm with you on turning up the volume on the ears. I told you I was sitting with you on the porch waiting for the Son to shine through!

BunnyGirl said...

I love that this post is so short, sweet and to the point.
Ultimately, its our response that counts, will we examine ourselves and repent or will we find excuses? Too often, I'm making excuses!
Hugs
X

Denise said...

We better start listening sweet sis, great devotional.

Mary said...

Sharon,

When I was young, I used to get these "feelings" about things and at one time ignored them and did my own thing. I soon learned that these "feelings" were God's way of speaking to me. Now when I get them, I heed what is being told to me.

Thanks for posting this. We all need to be reminded to listen to God's voice.

Blessings,
Mary

Cindy Swanson said...

Good words, Sharon! I love Elisabeth Elliot...and I love that picture of the wall by the ocean...gorgeous.

freetofly said...

I am so hungry for Him & hungry for Righteousness!

I love Nehemiah! There is so much for us in that book. Love the pic, too. It is a terrific illustration!

Thanks, Sharon!

xoxo,
Maria

Vicki said...

You know, I used to worry about every little thing that came my way, but the Lord showed me that when I'm trusting Him and abiding, I have nothing to fear. I don't have to fear God's punishment, either, because He took care of my sins on the Cross. Discipline is another matter.

Isn't the whole point to just abide in Him? If I'm abiding, my conscience won't likely harbor unconfessed sin - His Spirit has a way of shining light on our hearts when we come to His Word in confession of need and worship.

My sister told me last year that I was being punished by God for some unconfessed sin--that's the only explanation she had for our season of medical issues. She acted just like one of Job's friends in my life, but that's okay 'cause I'm learning that sometimes God allows suffering for His glory. Which makes me wonder...why are we surprised when trials come? Jesus said in this world we *will* have trouble, but to take heart - He has overcome the world. I like to remember, too, that Satan had to ask God's permission to touch Job's life, so when we know the Lord God as Mighty & Sovereign, we start to trust that whatever comes to us in this life will always be filtered through the loving fingers of our Heavenly Father.

We can be obedient and still suffer, is what I guess I'm trying to say:-)

luvmy4sons said...

Read your comment at Maria's place. Praying dear sister...May Jesus and His glory be seen. May you be found victorious through Him who died for us. May you find peace and comfort and joy in the knowledge of the truth and in the presence of your God. May angels surround you and the enemy get behind you. Jesus, touch this sweet servant and bring her wisdom and grace and power and strength, not for her glory, but for Yours. Amen!