Monday, July 26, 2010

#40 - Who do you Follow?

Buenos dias! How is everyone's morning so far? Things here in Columbia are quite swell. Had a good time getting some instructions for my week from the Holy Spirit.  Praise the Lord that we can rely on Him versus rely on our own understanding, or our own direction. His way is so much better, less things done in vain when we listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit! Listening. Listening is a very valuable attribute to acquire. Learning how to LISTEN to the voice of the Holy Spirit is something that is available to everyone who is saved. When we accept Christ into our life as our Saviour we are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our "spirit" is "re-born". That is why they call it being "born again." Our spiritual compass has been reset to things of God. We have the "still small voice"... aka: the Holy Spirit, living inside of us wanting to direct us & guide us. At first... it may take awhile for you to really feel like you are "hearing" correctly. I remember developing that ability to listen. I remember working on it, working on listening. Let me tell you how it happened for me....

I was a Spanish & Bible teacher at a private Christian School. During my prep period in the morning, I would go to the library and spend time in the Word and journal. As I began to try to listen, I remember I would often get so distracted by ANY noise I heard. I would feel like it totally threw me off track. I had to try so hard to listen. I remember sometimes I would even close my eyes & plug my ears just so all I could hear was the "emptiness" inside my brain. I wanted SOOO bad to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit. I wanted so bad to experience the relationship & direction of Him. One of my struggles when I tried to listen was thoughts like this: "Oooh. I need to call Tyler to see if he got our conference tickets." - "I need to swing by and pick up some chicken so I can make chicken casserole tonight for dinner." - "Oh yah, I need to remember to return the ski pants to Robin." Literally, I felt like my time of listening was the time every reminder would pop into my head! It was very distracting & honestly kind of annoying. Eventually, I remember going through this practice each day to try to empty my mind of thoughts, and it actually worked! I would close my eyes, picture a truck... it was a truck that had a cement wall on the front of it (lol! for real!). I would picture this truck with it's cement-wall front driving very slowly and pushing all the thoughts out of my brain so my brain was empty. After all the thoughts fell off the side... cliff... whatever... my brain was a clean, empty slate ready to listen. I would say, "Good morning Holy Spirit." And I would hear back, "Good morning Amy." And there is where it began. I wrote down everything that I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying to me, instructions, things to do, stories to remember, verses to look up. Sometimes I felt like I didn't know if "I" was actually hearing Him, or if it was just me. Well... one morning, the Holy Spirit was heavily talking about a particular subject... I was writing it all down... he just kept on this subject. Then when I opened my Bible, I felt led to turn to this certain chapter, and there it was! ALL the scripture backing up everything I had just finished journaling. All the instructions, right there. Just to confirm to me that I was hearing correctly, the Holy Spirit directed me to "confirmation" in His Word. How exciting. Today... I don't have to close my eyes, squint really tight and plug my ears to hear. But, we all have to start somewhere. And, that is where I started. 

Anyways... quite a long intro to today's verses... let's get into the Word. 

Proverbs 31:30 - ....but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!
Proverbs 26:9 - Like a thorn that goes [without being felt] into the hand of a drunken man, so is a proverb in the mouth of a [self-confident] fool.
Proverbs 26 is loaded with a lot of good stuff.... but, as I tried to get past some of the obvious things that jumped out at me... I started to realize how much Proverbs 26 talked about the "fool". In verses 1-12, it talks about the "fool" 11 times! 11 verses talked about a fool. As I re-read the verses several times, I wanted to find out what made someone a fool. That led me to search it out a little. 

As I searched, I found what I would consider the ULTIMATE foundation of what makes someone a fool. Psalm 14:1, 53:1 both read this:  The fool says in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good.

Proverbs 1:7 - The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; but fools despise skillful and godly Wisdom, instruction, and discipline.

Our Proverbs 31 friend, we know is not a fool, she reverently & worshipfully fears the Lord. So, big check beside her name! She is on board with being wise. Now let me say this, there is hope for the fool. That's called the GREAT COMMISSION (Matthew 28:19-20). As Christians, that is part of our calling to reach out to these "fools" who say "There is no God." It is part of every Christians assignment to help fulfill the Great Commission, to GO and make disciples of all the nations. Some Christians are called to be missionaries to another country to help the Great Commission be fulfilled, others are called to be a missionary right where they are, in their jobs, schools, homes, churches, malls, grocery stores, right in the town where they live, to be a beacon of light to others, to share the love of Jesus with those who do not know Him. 

As a Christian, I believe one of our greatest responsibilities is to KNOW who to take advice from. Proverb in the Hebrew is defined as sentences of ethical wisdom. And we know by reading our Proverbs for today, that a "proverb" in the mouth of a non-believer is just foolish words. Who are you taking advice from?!? Whoa! A pretty big pivotal point of importance. Who are you following. We know if they are one who says, "There is no God", then we would be a fool to follow them. We would be a fool to take their advise. We would be a fool. Look to who you follow now in business, in politics, in books you read, in music. Are they people who say, "There is no God." And as Christians, we know just believing in God is not enough, even the demons do that and tremble, but we need to believe in the one and only way to be saved is confessing with our mouth that JESUS is Lord and believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. It is then when we have CONFESSED and BELIEVED that we are saved. Who are you following? Have they done this. Have YOU done this? If you haven't, you can do it now very simply by praying a simple prayer, out-loud, something like this: "Father, I come to you right now and want to ask forgiveness of my sins. I confess my sins to you. I also want to openly say out loud that I DO believe that Jesus died on a cross for me. That I would be saved. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord. I believe in my heart that you raised Him from the dead and that now He sits at your right hand. Thank you Father for saving me. I am now BORN AGAIN! I am now SAVED!" - It's that simple! Now begins the fun of re-newing your mind to things of God. Getting in the Word, studying the life of Jesus (the book of John is a good place to start). 

Sometimes, we may not have complete control over who we follow. Whether it is the president of the company we work for, a senator, governor, President of the United States. We may have some voice, by voting, but if we are following non-believers (aka: FOOL according to Ps. 14:1, 53:1) in any area of our life, it is our responsibility to help CHANGE it! To PRAY PRAY PRAY! For us to say that we followed not in vain, but we prayed. Pray for salvation. 

If you can change who you follow, do it. Don't take advice from fools. 
If you can't change who you follow, change it by PRAYING. 


Dylan Barry said...


Good morning, I really enjoyed this post. I sat down and reflected upon who it is I follow and some words came to mind from pastor. My pastor said that one of things this age lacks is godly men and women who would take it upon themselves to counsel or mentor the younger generations. I find this all too true. He suggested that if we find ourselves without godly lives to emulate that we seek to read biographies and writings of godly people. "Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us." (Phil. 3:17) Given how busy many Christians are today, no one really thinks of mentoring and so I look to those men who have passed on: Jonathan Edwards, John Owen, Thomas Boston and John Newton. I read their writings and they help show me things in Scripture that I often overlook. If any age needed its heroes and people of faith, it is this age. I know personally, I gravitate towards people I perceive are godly and I have no fear when it comes to asking them questions that are on my mind.

My biggest wish was that the church would stop to realize that there are many young people wanting someone to understand and lead the way. I know that I wanted that for me, but God provided me a means in face of the absence. They don't see that the future is lain with traps and mines and it should come as no surprise that the younger generation suffers the worst casualties when adults send them on ahead alone. Maybe one of the answers is that Christians need to make it a ministry to counsel and guide those younger in the faith. If time is the concern maybe I need to realize that I need slow down and let God direct my priorities. What we do now will echo into eternity. God bless Amy, it is always a joy to read your posts.

Dylan Barry

Dylan Barry said...

All the way my Savior leads me
O the fullness of His love!
Perfect rest to me is promised
In my Father’s house above.
When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way;
This my song through endless ages—
Jesus led me all the way. -Fanny Crosby

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