Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Part 1: A Simple Relationship

"I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children."  -Matthew 11:25

"Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."  -Matthew 18:4

"Don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing.  Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things?  Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs."  -Matthew 6:31-32

Have you ever found yourself so consumed with finding the answer to what you should do that you forget to do the obvious?  You know, the times when instead of praying and listening for God you call your neighbor, your mom or your closest friends.  Maybe even the times when you find something else to keep you "busy"  because you are not sure what to do next.

I, my friend, am in this time right now.  I am so consumed with how to help my child through his current behaviors that when I am given the opportunity to take some time to actually listen to what God needs for me to do, I use that time to clean my house, paint my walls, move furniture around and even worse, watch tv.  I've kept myself busy.  It's easy to do.  We bury ourselves in the world around us to help cope with what we should do next while we wait for God to give us the answer.

However, we can be waiting a very long time if we are not in the right position to hear from God.

I feel so fortunate that we are doing this study on He Speaks To Me by Priscilla Shirer.  This couldn't have come into my life at a better time.  After reading Part 1, I've realized that the three things I need to consistently be doing to always hearing God, I don't always do.

1.  A Childlike Simplicity
In this chapter, we learn about Ryan, a young girl with autism who is praising God with everything inside of her.  She's not concerned about what others are doing or thinking.  She is praising God because she loves Him.  She's accepted everything that God speaks to her and is excited about it.  That's how God wants us to be.  He wants us to accept what we hear from Him and move forward, excited for the possibilities.  I bet that Ryan hears from God to best while she is worshipping Him.

2.  A Humble Approach
Here, we learn that God wants us to come to Him like children do.  Children accept God for who He is and love Him for it.  They don't doubt what He can or won't do.  They trust God.  Children don't let pride get in the way.  The do things for God because they want to, not because they want the recognition.  I love how Priscilla Shirer writes the following on page 34:

"God's plan was so completely different from what the disciples expected that it didn't make any sense to them, and they couldn't accept it."

Ten years ago, if you would have told me that I would be writing a Bible study blog for parents who have children with autism I would have looked at you like you had three heads.  My relationship with Christ was no where near where it is today at that time.  If God would have told me that I would have a child with autism I wouldn't have trusted Him.  I wouldn't have had that child-like trust and humility that He needs for us all to have.  We have understand that God knows what we need in our lives.  We need to position ourselves to consistently hear from God so that we know what He needs for us to do.  Humbling ourselves is a great start.

3.  A Simple Trust
In this chapter, we learn that God wants us to rely on Him the way infants rely on their parents.  They need their parents for everything.  Here, Priscilla Shirer uses an excellent example of how most of us instead of relying on Him like an infant, we rely on Him like a toddler.  We adopt the defiant-I-want-to-do-it-my-way-I-can-do-it-by-myself attitude that most toddlers have.  Instead, God wants us to trust in Him and come to Him with everything.  Most importantly, He wants us to trust what He tells us as well.  On page 45, Priscilla Shirer writes:

"What we do need to do is believe and obey God, thus placing ourselves in a position for God to bless us fully."

It's really easy if you think about it.  We can take the hard road of trying to figure out what we should do for everything in our lives.  Or, we can trust in God and position ourselves to hear from Him.  After reading Part 1 of He Speaks To Me, I realized that the reason my last two to three weeks were so hard was because I was trying to hear from God, but I didn't have myself in the right position to hear Him speak.

At the end of each chapter, Priscilla Shirer writes a few study questions to help position you closer to God so that you may hear from Him.  I encourage you to take the time to answer these questions.  I'd love to hear some answers.  Feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below this post.  You never know whom you may help position themselves to hear from God as well.

*  Join us on Wednesday May 16th for Part 2 of He Speaks To Me.

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