We are so excited to introduce a new little portion of our blog for guest writers & for our first one, we have Sybil from Peace It All Together.
A little bit about Sybil --
Sybil fills many different roles in life. She is a School Psychologist, by profession and a Christian, by faith. But, what she has come to realize is that there is more to life than roles and titles. It is how you live your life that matters most! She believes that everybody has a story to tell. She began writing her own blog, Peace it all Together, to tell her story. It's where she reflects on the circumstances of life, faith, and issues related to having a child with sensory needs.
The Sovereign LORD has given me his words of wisdom,
so that I know how to comfort the weary.
Morning by morning he wakens me
and opens my understanding to his will. - Isaiah 50:4 (NLT)
Have you ever thought that God was speaking to you? I have felt the nudging of the Lord before, but never as much in the past eight months. What has changed? Has He just decided that He is now ready to communicate with me? Honestly, I think He was always ready. It was me who wasn't.
If you've been reading my blog, you have heard the story of the beginning, when I first began following the urgings of Holy Spirit. In April 2012, I began praying more, searching for answers, and really listening to what God was telling me. Since that time, I have attempted to follow Him more closely. Each time I feel Him speaking to me, which usually comes through an inner voice, I have tried to be obedient.
But, how do you know if the words you're hearing are truly from God? I have heard several messages or sermons on this exact question in my lifetime. The overwhelming theme has been...if it aligns with the Bible and biblical principles, then it is probably from God. While, this is a good starting point, I have put together a list of things that have helped me differentiate between my own random, sometimes crazy, thoughts and those that I believe the Holy Spirit has given to me.
If you love me, obey my commandments. - John 14:15 (NLT)
If I am being truly honest, I would say that I have had many thoughts about making a phone call, sending an email or message, or giving a word of encouragement to others, but did not often do them. Since I began developing this desire to "do more" I have adopted the Nike motto. Just do it. Instead of holding back and second-guessing, I have decided to put my thoughts into actions. The phrase, "it's the thought that counts," no longer applies to me.
What I have found is that the more I follow this mantra, the more I am used by God. He speaks to me more. Since the urging of this inner voice does not go against what I believe to be right and true, I can only conclude that since I started doing more, God has further entrusted me with even more acts of love.
You will experience all these blessings if you obey the LORD your God...
Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will be blessed. Deuteronomy 28:2, 6 (NLT)
Although getting blessings has not been the motivation for my actions, I have developed better friendships, received more compliments, and am feeling more loved by others, since this journey began. My conclusion: To be used by God is to experience the blessings of being loved. Yes, people have and will continue to be persecuted for their faith. Following God's plan is not all sunshine and roses. But, recently, I have been blessed by my choice to be a blessing. I have also chosen this as one of MY words for 2013.
For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” - Matthew 18:20 NLT
The term "coincidence" has always puzzled me in relation to my faith. By definition, this means that there are things that happen by chance, by accident. I don't know if that is true.
Last September, I had been thinking of making changes to my blog. I wanted to change its appearance, to make it more eye catching, more of an expression of me. Also, I desired to get my message to more people, and thought a fresh design might help with that vision. I hadn't talked to M about it, mainly because I knew I couldn't do a redesign myself, which would mean hiring someone, which would mean spending money. So, I researched it, thought about it some, and prepared how I was going to sell this idea to M. Funny thing is, when I brought it up to him, he had been researching it, too and was trying to figure out how to bring it up to me. This was no coincidence. I believe God was there, putting it all together, orchestrating the whole thing.
Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Proverbs 8:33 (NLT)
Okay. Okay. I get the message...don't ignore words from the Lord. Although I have been trying to live a Nike-esque life, there has been one thing that I believe the Holy Spirit is prompting me to do, and I have been ignoring it, for over a month. Ignoring it because I'm scared, because it would be a lot of work, because I don't want to fail, and the list goes on. But, my plan to ignore it is not working. That still, small voice keeps returning. It's clearly God, urging me to trust, to step out, and to stop ignoring Him. I hope that I can, soon.
This list is not exhaustive. I know there are more ways to be led by the Spirit. There are also many more things that I wish God would speak to me about. To provide me with answers. As long as I continue to seek Him, I have to believe that He will.