Overflow Monday is upon us. Each Monday I blog from the overflow of the weekend message I just preached. This weekend we were in Nehemiah 7. Make sure to catch the other Overflow blogs HERE. You can watch or listen to the Unruined series in the Awaken teaching archive.
Nehemiah uses a phrase in Chapter 7 that I’m always cautious to use. When I hear others say this phrase, or something like it, it puts me on alert.
Then my God put it into my heart to assemble the nobles and the officials and the people to be enrolled by genealogy. – Nehemiah 7:5
You’ve heard someone tell you something like this, right? God supposedly told them to do or say something. I’m cautious around this phrase because plenty of people do ridiculous things because they say, “God told me to.” Sure. Sure He did.
How can we say that accurately, and how can we tune out all the other voices and hear only God’s? Here are a couple thoughts on the topic…
Sometimes it’s not other people’s voices that are too loud; it’s the motion of our own busyness that drowns out God’s voice. “Be still (SLOW DOWN), and know that I am God!” – Psalm 46:10. Don’t roll out of bed and check your email or Facebook. There will be time to hear from others throughout the rest of the day. Make it a priority to slow down and talk with God.
Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” As we make time to delight ourselves in the Lord (thank Him, confess sin, talk to God about our lives), He removes our self-centered desires and replaces them with His. Then as we delight ourselves in Him and ask Him to fulfill the desires He has placed there, He gladly does!
Who cares if God told you to do something, if you aren’t willing to do it? Although all of the previous steps are important prerequisites to this one, obedience to God’s directive – despite the cost – is the most important part. If God has told you to do something, DO IT, and don’t look back. Keep in mind, if “God told you” to do something, but it would be sinful and contradictory to His Word, you can know it wasn’t God who was speaking. It might be those bad tacos you had last night.
And by the way, when it comes to developing a relationship with God, don’t overcomplicate it. I think Dave Harvey puts it well in his book, Rescuing Ambition…
Drawing near to God…is not like climbing an endless spiral of steps toward some unknown destination. Drawing near to God is a life of intimate fellowship with a Person, a life of overwhelming wonder that puts everything else into perspective.