Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Part 4 A Still Attentiveness

The lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord.  - 1 Samuel 3:3

Be still, and know that I am God.  -Psalm 46:10

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.  -Isaiah 30:15

My soul finds rest in God alone.  -Psalm 62:1

Part 4 begins with the story of Samuel after he's done with his work for the day.  At the end of the day, Samuel rested and listened for God.  It is immediately brought to my attention what I do at the end of my day.  After my kids are in bed and I try to give my dogs that attention they crave throughout the day, I crash in front of the television.  That is my escape.  It is my way of turning off all of the chaos around me and escaping for a while.  I always tell myself "why not?  I've had an extremely busy day of homeschooling, cleaning, chauffeuring, grocery shopping, dog training, cooking and so much more.  My mind is spent and I need to escape."  And escape I do.  However, what kind of escape am I experiencing?  Is it refreshing and does it recharge me for the next day to do it all over again?  Or does it just let me escape for an hour or two?

After reading the introduction to Part 4, God immediately brings to my attention that I am not still.  I make myself too busy to actually hear from Him.  Yes, I read my Bible.  Yes, I read devotions.  However, I don't do it long enough to hear from Him.  My friends always joke around that unless it's something I can't do in a quick manner then it's too much for me.  Even so much that around Christmas time, I opted for the drive thru Live Nativity Scene.   It's not that I don't enjoy sitting back and taking my time.  It's just that I have always thought, we have a lot that we want to do therefore let's get it done quickly and move on.  Part 4 of He Speaks To Me spoke volumes to me and I'm hoping has made me slow down and be still.  

Here are the points that Priscilla Shirer made that spoke to me the most in Chapters 10, 11 & 12:

*  Now his chores were done for the day, everything was quiet, and Eli was asleep.  God was awake, however, and He had a message for Samuel.  With his thoughts quiet and his emotions stilled, Samuel positioned himself to hear God's voice.  p. 109
    How often have I missed out on hearing a life changing message from God because after my kids were asleep and the dogs were resting, I didn't keep myself still and listen for God?  
*  The One with the answer is right here, but the problem is that we won't sit still long enough for Him to give us what we need.  p. 112
    What if God just needed us to sit still for 10 minutes?  Even 5 minutes?  But we couldn't wait any longer than 3 minutes?  What could have we missed?
*  Are you too busy to hear from God?  p. 113
     What is cluttering up my life that is actually making my life that much harder?
*  We often miss out on his blessings because we just won't be still.  p.  114
     It makes me sad to think of how many times I could have disappointed God and missed out on a            blessing he wanted to give me but I couldn't be still.  
*  God asks us to be still enough so we can hear what the Great Physician has to say to us and get the medication He wants to give us.  I've discovered that God doesn't shout over my noise  He waits until I'm quiet.  A calm and composed spirit is open to divine revelation and comfort.  p. 117
Imagine what our lives would be like if we would all come to God in a quiet manner and hear what He wants for us to do.  
*  God desires to speak to us, but we are often struggling so hard to solve our problems ourselves that we can't hear Him.  Our panicky efforts keep us from hearing His calming voice, receiving His instructions, and allowing Him to do what He intended to do all along-save us when we might otherwise be lost.  p. 120
Why is it so easy for us to call a friend and tell them our problems and listen to what they have to say more than it is to call on God and listen to what He will do to help?
*  Satan knows we can find real peace and power in our lives when we turn to God and trust Him.  That's why he desires nothing more than to keep us from being still and waiting on God.  p.  121
Be alert for Satan's distractions while you are being still.
*  Our thoughts are one of the hardest areas for us to control, yet they are often the easiest for Satan to use against us....The Enemies goal is to keep our minds so occupied that we don't hear God's voice.  p. 122
When you feel like your mind is overwhelmed, give it to God.
*  The very power of God through the living words of Scripture combats the strongholds that take up residence in my mind.  p. 123
Always read the Bible.  Read your Bible during happy times, times of worry, times of sadness.  Keep his Word fresh in your mind.
*  If we want God to speak to us, we must keep our minds free of thoughts that stand in the way.  p. 123
What thoughts are taking up room in your life and keeping you from being still?
*  If we continue to allow God to fill us, sooner or later we'll find that nothing else will satisfy.  p. 131
Praying, devotions, Bible studies, attending church, watching church services online and reading your Bible are all ways of allowing God to fill us.
*  The more you trust your concerns to the Lord and see Him working in your life, the more willing you will be to depend on Him in the future.  p. 132
*  Peace is a crucial component in hearing God's voice and deciphering His will.  p. 134
*  God gives us peace as a means to discover where He is leading us.  When you and I walk in God's will, peace will rule our hearts regardless of our circumstances.  In making decisions that glorify God; we must constantly ask, "Am I experiencing God's peace regarding this decision?"  p. 137

It's amazing how God works in our lives when we let Him.  It's amazing the miracles He can still do today when we ask Him.  It's amazing how awesome peace feels in your life when you allow it to come into your life.

Let's all find at least one moment each day this week where we are still.  The tv's are turned off.  The kids are asleep.  Our minds are free of worry, things we have to do and things that happened.  The only thing that we hear is God speaking to us.

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