As I read Chapter 4 of What Happens When Women Walk in Faith by Lysa TerKeurst, and how Abraham walked away from all that was comfortable to please God, it caused me to reflect on my own walk. Abraham’s life exemplifies what my life should be like. How are we to follow His example?
God is as faithful today as He was in Abraham’s time if we listen. How do we listen? Here are some ways that I strive to listen.
SPEND TIME WITH HIM. He longs to hear from us. He is waiting 24/7 with open ears and arms wide open to welcome us. Last week we were challenged to get away to a closet or a place where we could feel His presence. For me it was on my back porch, listening to the pool waterfalls, with my Bible in hand and I flipped it open to Psalms and paused there to read two chapters before I spent time in prayer.
How can we know Him if we don’t talk to Him? That’s how we get to know a person, and it is no different with our Lord. He wants us to share our challenges, our successes, our fears, our questions, our failures, our hurts. He wants us to talk to Him all throughout the day as we are doing housework, running errands, changing diapers and whatever we may be doing. Talk to Him. Thank Him for what He has done for you every moment of every day. Yes, He knows what we are thinking but He wants that fellowship with us.
READ THE WORD. I have been in church most of my life. I’ve gone to Bible Studies, Sunday School, Revivals, but one thing that has brought me closer to the Lord is reading, really studying by verse mapping, verse chaining, memorizing, and listening. When I retired, I became a volunteer for Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, and I’ve grown so much, and it’s given me time to really spend in my Bible savoring the Word and memorizing scripture for the first time in my life.
HONOR HIM AND GIVE HIM GLORY IN TRIALS. One of the hardest ways is to give Him honor even through your trials, or I should say for me at least one awful time in my life. I was able to do it through miscarriages, death of parents, a grandson born with a disease, but I can remember one time in my life when I could not even get the strength to pray. All I could do was cry, BUT God and I’ve learned even in those times I can just say Jesus, or Oh God.
WORSHIP. If you are not in church worshiping, go read the book of Psalms. But better still worship and be faithful in the little things like quiet time, Bible study and attending church.
REVERENCE in the daily tasks no matter what they are whether it be walking, washing, studying, working, driving to and from work (yes, pray for those who almost run you off the road), and whatever you are doing. Our reverence for Him should determine our actions each and every day, sitting priorities, boundaries, preparing to-do lists, spending time with Him.
We also shared faith-walk stories and this was mine. For me one step of obedience has resulted in so much fruit.
I have many faith-walk stories of miscarriages, infertility, a grand baby born with a serious disease, having a Mom who suffered depression and lost her leg and that list goes on and on, but God has brought me through all of it and sometimes kicking and screaming and crying and praying. The moral to those stories for me is that ALWAYS I’ve had something to be thankful about and He has shown me miracles and grace that I know I don’t deserve.
One of my stories of listening and walking in faith was how I planned to retire much in the future, and one day how God spoke to put in my papers. I was like now this is crazy, but He would not let me rest so I did it. My mind was like we’ll have so much more in retirement financially if I stay and keep putting money in our 401K. What was I thinking? Money, money, money – but God was saying He had a plan and it was perfect. So glad I listened. I did it. I retired and because of that obedience, this is what happened:
First – I found Proverbs 31 ministries just searching for on-line Bible studies because the ones at church were in the evening and I wanted to be with my husband. So I dove into them in June 2012. Little did I realize at the time that God was working with me that day surfing on the computer to move me from a back row of daily Bible study to His front row with Him every morning.
Second- in September 2012 I decided to substitute teach to meet more people in our community so I could be a witness to students and teachers. That first job I ended up in special-needs even after I said no at orientation I could not do that. God said you can. I got to school and when they told me where I was going for the day, I literally was so afraid I wanted to run out the doors, but God had a PLAN as you’ll see in number 4 below and again He was moving me from a back row of not understanding special needs at all to the front row of loving and wanting to work with special needs children.
Third we lost my Mom in February 2013. I got to spend a year with my Mom before she died going to the nursing home taking her lunch instead of rushing after work with dinner, staying and reading to her and being with her and even watch her nap.
Fourth I was available when our first grandson was born with a horrible disease to go help Mom several days a week and even now 1 or 2 days a week and another day or two with the new baby. Had I been working it would have been difficult. Had I not been put in special needs at school that first day I am not sure how I would have handled that disease because I could see so many others that were going through similar or worse things with their children. God had a PERFECT plan knowing what I would be going through in the years past retirement. He also gave me a front-row seat in ministering to my children because I would not have had the knowledge and the words to say.
So you see that one act of obedience led me to where I am today. I don’t know what He has for me next, but prayerfully I want to be ready when He speaks to listen. I want to be in His front row no matter what I am doing in my life. With Him leading I’ll always be on the front row.
Linking up with Suzanne Eller today 3/31/16 at #livingfree. The prompt today is from Back Row to Front Row.
This post was featured on http://blogghetti.com/2015/05/wake-up-wednesday-linky-party-2.html on 5-12-2015.