Years ago, God gifted me with the ability to sit with, pray for, and comfort sick family members who were in the process of passing. In many ways, it gave other family members encouragement. It started with my grandma, then my dad, my mom, and then my brother. It was undoubtedly the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. It was also the most humbling. I couldn’t understand why God chose me, but I followed my heart and really believe that I had the privilege and honor of walking each one home.
When my aunt got sick, I didn’t even try to see God working. I did the “responsible” things but not the “spiritual” things. She passed away, and I was left feeling like we’d both been cheated. I wasn’t focused on what God was doing, I wasn’t looking for the Spirit to lead me, and I wasn’t being obedient.
This weekend’s bottom line is obey God and trust him with the consequences.
Proverbs 29:18 (MSG)
If people can’t see what God is doing,
they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
they are most blessed.
When our spirit is made alive through Jesus, we need to attend to what he reveals. We take steps in obeying him, and we can be focused on seeing what God is doing in our circumstances. Obeying and trusting God is easier said than done.
Thankfully we have someone to help us learn and see what God is doing. We read in the gospel of John, Jesus’s promise to send us the Holy Spirit.
15If you love me, obey my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you.
He will never leave. He will lead you to the truth—he lives within you. He will teach us to trust him.
But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
So, I am learning to live, trusting in God’s spirit, because the consequences of living without that trust, in my experience, have been so much harder to bear. Through God’s will, things just simply fall into place, but when I exert my own will, it’s often like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. It NEVER works out! I guess that’s really how I know if what I’m doing is his will or mine.
Have there been times when you knew you were working according to God’s will. How did it make you feel? How do you feel when you know you are not following the will of God?
If you haven’t already, join in the 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Set aside time daily to be in the presence of God: reading, praying, and listening to praise and worship music.
Here’s a good song to start with: You’ve Got This by Love and the Outcome
Heavenly Father, thank you for all you have given me: all the time, resources, relationships, and abilities. I now give them back to you. I surrender it all. For I am only a steward—it all belongs to you. God, guide my actions. Teach me to use what you have given me according to your will. Help me to listen for and obey your directions. May your will be done in me and through me. Amen.
For today’s prayer focus for parents click here.
This post was written by Julie Estep, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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