I know... reading Oswald Chambers isn't equal to reading the bible... but I have been so loving reading his daily devotions! He puts things so bluntly, so plainly that there's no way around the truth in God's word.
Today's devotion really puts me in my place. It's about ignoring the quiet persistence of God. When you can hear Him clearly telling you something and ignoring it - it is one of the worst things we can do. Our lives can be blessed so much further if we would only listen to His voice.
"To put my view of His honor ahead of what He is plainly guiding me to do is never right, even though it may come from a real desire to prevent Him from being put to open shame. I know when the instructions have come from God because of their quiet persistence."
He goes on to say that we try to have debates in our minds of what is really God and what is ourselves. We try to make conclusions based on our own findings to cancel out what we KNOW God is telling us.
Lately I have been in that place in my life. I know that He wants the best for me... and sometimes I think I know what that is, but then He goes and proves our own conclusions wrong again. I know I shouldn't get annoyed with that, but sometimes I do! It's hard for me to just back up and let go of what I want. Our happiness seems to be the only thing that drives us. What will make me the happiest? I think I ask myself that question more than I'm aware. I tend to make decisions based on temporary happiness instead of decisions based on the gentle pull of the Holy Spirit. It scares me. It's something that's unknown. It's like walking in a forest with a blindfold on hoping I wont run into a tree or fall off of a cliff... I do trust that God will provide and protect... just pointing out how hard that is.
God has never promised our happiness, but he has promised to strengthen His relationship with us. Strengthen our faith in Him.
After I wrote the part above about walking blindly, I read the next part of the devotion... Chambers went on to say, "Faithfulness to Jesus means that I must step out even when and where I can't see anything." I guess Chambers and I had the same picture in our minds about what faith looks like. :)
"Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
"Faith, however, is not intellectual understanding; faith is a deliberate commitment to the Person of Jesus Christ, even when I can't see the way ahead." - Chambers
"Simply obey Him with unrestrained joy." - Chambers
"Whatever he says to you, do it!" John 2:5