Thursday, September 18, 2014

Prepare yourself

I've been thinking lately about why sometimes I feel like God is speaking to me and other times, even though I'm doing the same thing, I hear nothing.

I think it boils down to having a heart that's prepared to hear from God. 

It's funny. I was thinking about this and then I came across the following devotion from Rick Warren. I think he captures what I want to say better than I can say it:

Let’s say you’re a gardener. You’ve learned that you can take the exact same seed and plant it in three different locations and get three different results. In one spot, you’ll get giant tomatoes. In another, you’ll get small tomatoes. And in a third, you’ll get nothing. What’s the difference? It’s not the seed; it’s the soil. The soil must be prepared for the seed.
The same is true when you hear God’s Word. Your heart has to be prepared for the Word. If you get up late, have trouble finding a parking spot, and are irritated as you rush into church, you’re probably not going to hear God’s voice! You’re not in a receptive mood.
That’s why you can take two people to church, set them side-by-side, and one will walk out thinking God really spoke to him and the other won’t get anything out of the service. The heart of one person was prepared; the other’s heart wasn’t.
The Bible says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you” (James 1:19b-21 NIV).
For good reception, this passage teaches that you have to have four attitudes:
  • You must be quiet. You can’t hear God if you’re talking.
  • You have to be calm. You can’t rush God. If you’re frantic, you’re not going to hear him. The Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.” My translation of that is: “Sit down, and shut up.”
  • You have to be clean. Before you can meet with God, you need to take out your emotional and spiritual garbage. You need to get rid of the stuff that stinks in your life. You get rid of the garbage by confessing your sin to God and agreeing with him that what you did was wrong.
  • You need to be humble. Be ready to do whatever God tells you from his Word. A prideful attitude won’t work.

I especially resonate what he says about being calm. I am too often rushed.

In light of what Rick says, I have a challenge to issue, especially if you call Hub City Church your church home. Before you come to our worship gathering on Sunday, prepare yourself. Before you show up at your Hub Group, prepare yourself.

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