When we stand at a crossroad, we always look for opportunities according to ground realities. It may be our career or a crucial life decision like marriage when we look at the present to visualize our future. Often we depend on our peace of mind to determine our decision.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” – Mathew 6:21
Based on this statement of Jesus, man attains peace of mind in accordance to his possessions or ambitions. When ambitions are fulfilled, one gets peace of mind; hence, depending on our own peace of mind may lead us to take wrong decisions.
In the Old Testament days and in the days of the early churches, casting lots was used as a means to understand God’s will. In modern days, many depend on men of God to guide them to take God’s decisions. Sometimes decisions derived by men of God, does not suit the condition of the petitioner and thereby, they ignore the suggestion and go in their own direction. In spite of God’s direction, they find peace, where their interests are vested.
Many mistake this kind of peace as God’s will and get accustomed to it in spite of warnings from God. Attaining peace by achieving our own desires is nothing but a form of idol worship.
DOES GOD SPEAK TO MAN?
God’s people do say that God constantly speaks with them. Not only to God’s people, God speaks to each one of us at all times but we fail to hear His voice amidst our commotions.
God can speak to us in any language because He is the creator of languages. He can understand all dialects and recognise our accents too. At the same time, we are unable to understand his speech even if He speaks in our own language. Like a person who is affluent in English but cannot understand a mathematician’s lecture though it is delivered in English.
The reason is, firstly the mathematical terms are not familiar to him. Secondly, the concept is totally new to him. Likewise, to understand God’s dialect, we must know His words and we must be clear in His concepts. God’s whole concept is love. Without the knowledge of the word of God, and understanding God’s love bestowed on us, we cannot hear his voice.
We do not want to go through His word and we want to hold on to our grudges and hatred but still we want to hear His voice. God wants to know His words and then remind those words at the hour of our need.
“But the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” – John 14:26.
He will remind you by the following verse, when you do not know what to preach for the day. “Open wide your mouth and I will fill it” Psalm 18:10b. You may be familiar with this verse but all the time God is not reminding you with this verse. Only on specific occasions, God chooses this verse as an instrument to equip you. At that point of time, the will of God will either be shown to you or heard by you. This sense of hearing his words is totally different from normal hearing as it comes from our heart and heard in our ears because the Spirit of God is in our heart.
DISCERNING THE VOICE OF GOD
Often we do not have clarity on what we hear and we struggle to decide whether it is from God, or our own heart or from devil. Paul vividly deals on this subject by telling us the following truth.
“For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way, no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. – I Corinthians 2: 11-12.
We can easily recognise our own thoughts as that will be lingering on our own interest and comfort zone. Jesus left His kingdom and came to this world to save us and to have us with Him forever and ever. Giving first place to Him in our day to day lives will help us understand God’s will in our lives.
John in his epistle, emphasizes the need to discern the spirits. If the thought is from devil then that thought will directly or indirectly spoil the ethos of God and His principles. Devil will try to restrict the power of the word of God and utilise the word of God for our own vested interests.
In Luke Chapter 4, we can see devil’s temptations to our representative (Jesus) for filling our own stomach (lust of the flesh), obtaining God created world and its fullness from the hands of devil (lust of the eyes) and seeking our own fame (pride of life). Devil induced thoughts will end up in the above three categories.
“Do not love the world or anything in the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world – the lust of the flies, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever” 1 John 2:15-17
IF WE LOVE HIM WE WILL TRUST HIM TOO
Abraham loved the Lord so much that he could trust the Lord in all circumstances. When he and his wife were old, Abraham believed the word of God rather than the circumstances. He obeyed God even to the point of sacrificing his only beloved son by believing in God’s word and His promises. He believed that even if Isaac dies, God will bring him back to life because God will fulfill His promise.
“Then God said, “yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac, I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him” Genesis 17:19.
Earlier, Abraham was not looking at the ground realities while choosing his dwelling place. Lot had chosen his dwelling place based on ground reality but saved by God for the sake of Abraham. Abraham’s love for Lot enabled him to leave all the best watered provinces and choose a barren land for himself. God appeared to him and said “Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land for I am giving it to you”. The very big problem of mankind is that they want God to be faithful to us but man never thinks of becoming faithful to Him. Jesus loves us and cares for us. Only when we love Him, we can realise how much He cares us. If we trust Him, we can overcome our commotions while we stand at a crossroad and He will lead us through the length and breadth of the right path.