Saturday, November 26, 2005

1 A.M. Thoughts

For whatever reason, I can't sleep tonight. I haven't felt good the last couple of days, and I should be sleeping right now, but my mind is working overtime right now on many things. Mainly, I'm praying more and more about "listening to the voice of the Lord." What exactly does that mean? I have been thinking today about the Civil War. I know that sounds weird in this discussion, but in my reading I have noticed how both the North and South believed that they were doing "God's will," and that the Lord was truly on their side. Many times in our lives, we seem to think that we know for sure what God is telling us to do or what God thinks about a certain event. Despite all the mistakes that people have made throughout history reading the signs of the times, we continue to read our circumstances as though we know what God is saying through each and every event that occurs. I have problems with this form of folk-theology for two reasons: first, we never see the whole picture...as I wrote on my devotional blog several days ago, God's thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. We think that we understand what God is doing, but many times in my life I have thought God was doing one thing, when actually years later I understand that He was doing something totally different. Second, we are naturally self-centered. We seem to see that God is doing great things in our own lives while He is certainly disciplining other people. The fact is that God blesses and God disciplines everyone, and we should be slow to proclaim that we know at anyone one time exactly what the mind of God is about anything. Rather, we probably should stick to proclaiming what we know from God - His Word.

I'm think I want to be more like Abraham Lincoln, who during the Civil War never said that God was on the side of the Union, but simply said that he hoped that the Union was on God's side. Maybe we would all do better working to make sure that we were on the Lord's side than making any kind of bold claims of what God has said beyond what He has revealed in His Word.

8 comments:

much2ponder said...

This is so much of what I have been feeling in my heart and the Lord has been faithful in my life, but as you say...it is rarely what we think it is. I can't see the whole thing and if I could I would probably run for my life, but we serve a God who knows our hearts and I am thankful for that. He always gives us what we need regardless of what we think we need.

Brent said...

Hey! If you want to check out my blog, try www.mckinneyfamily.blogspot.com. Lots of links to my daughter's blogs and all that. Anyway, I'd love to hear from you! Brent

lynnette said...

it's easy for people to run into a lot of trouble when they are certain that they are doing God's will. i know that for me, those types of thoughts have wreaked havoc on my understanding of God and myself.

Keith Ferguson said...

I'm coming to believe that the Lord is more concerned about the kind of people we are while making decisions than the actual decisions we make.

Anonymous said...

You wrote:

I'm praying more and more about "listening to the voice of the Lord." What exactly does that mean?


Here are a couple good books about whether this is even a biblical idea...

Decision Making and the Will of God by Garry Friesen

Finding the Will of God...A Pagan Notion? by Bruce K Waltke

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to a blog with some more info on finding God's will.

http://christianmind.blogspot.com/2005/08/will-of-god-in-wisconsin.html

Keith Ferguson said...

Mainly I mean, submitting "who I am and what I desire" to the revealed will of God (in the Scriptures & the person of Jesus)...which is still a full-time job..:)

Anonymous said...

Keith, I apologize...I see what you said later in the post, "Despite all the mistakes that people have made throughout history reading the signs of the times, we continue to read our circumstances as though we know what God is saying through each and every event that occurs. I have problems with this form of folk-theology for two reasons: first, we never see the whole picture...as I wrote on my devotional blog several days ago, God's thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. We think that we understand what God is doing, but many times in my life I have thought God was doing one thing, when actually years later I understand that He was doing something totally different. Second, we are naturally self-centered. "

I missed that part, and I heartily agree with it. I encourage you even more to read Friesen's book because you would like it. It is the direct opposite of the approach Henry Blackaby wants us to take in Experiencing God, were he tells us we need to see were God is working in the world, and to join him there. As if we can discern what God in his providence is doing at any given moment. Kinda silly.

I agree with what you wrote near the end, "Rather, we probably should stick to proclaiming what we know from God - His Word."