July 8, 2012

a very important point

So many people struggle with knowing whether or not something was from God. A sign, a voice, a coincidence... I know I do. I've been doing some rather life-changing and relationship-changing reading, and I just thought I'd share a few points that seem to, well, point to God or away from God.

First of all, whether you are interested in the Christian religion or a devout Christian, the most important thing to remember is GOD IS LOVE (1 John 4:16). Not sure what "love" looks like? Check out 1 Corinthians chapter 13. You'll get a good picture of what love looks like. Now, may I be so bold as to say - if it's not love, it's not God. Now before anyone gets all riled up about how God has commanded the death of thousands or more - let me say 2 things: first, I don't pretend to understand the ways of God's infinite ways. I know my own ways and the ways He has taught me (read: I'm often wrong about things. Pretty sure about this one though.). and second, part of God's perfect love is mercy and justice. The Bible is pretty clear that the wage of sin is death... so when He commands the destruction of entire cities/villages/people group/the world, I'm willing to bet that these are people who are living in sin. God knows hearts better than we know hearts. God is perfect - I am not. I will trust His perfection over my own misunderstandings. However, I also believe that someday we will have the wisdom and understanding to know what in hearts brought them to that judgement. I'm rambling. Just remember - God is love.

Ok, so. You get this thought in your head. Is it:
A. From God
B. From Satan, or
C. From your own random thought process
Luckily, we don't always have to guess. Here are some rulers you can use to measure the thought:
1. Does it contradict what the Bible says? If it does, it's not a thought from God. God is always consistent.
2. Is it a thought of love? If not, it's not a thought of God. God is always loving. Remember, judgement is not ours. It's God's. How we judge others is how we will be judged, so if we, not being able to see the heart, judge on outward actions, we will judged in a like manner. I don't know about you, but my outward actions are often flubs. I mess up a lot. Good thing God knows my heart and is merciful when I flub.
3. Does the thought bring about good? Will good come of it? God is the giver of all good things. If it's not a thought that will bring about good, it's likely not from God.
4. If it is a loving, good thought that is consistent with the Bible, then it might be from God, but if you are still unsure, pray about it. God isn't a God of rash decisions. Over and over He teaches us to wait on the Lord and follow His timing. So wait. If there is no time to wait, and no clear "yes" answer, there is a good chance it's not of the Lord.
5. Experience also plays a part. If you have no past experience with God, then He is keen to build them with you! If you do have a relationship with God, it is so helpful to look back and remember how He has led you thus far. When I think back to all the answers to prayer, and blessings He has given, it strengthens my faith and reminds me how He has communicated with me. Hindsight is 20/20 - use it for foresight also!

This list and reminder is not all inclusive. I'm sure I've forgotten some things, and I'm equally sure I still have much to learn. I journal here not only to share thoughts, but also to reflect on my personal growth, and as my view of/relationship with God changes, so will this journal.

Remember, God made you special, and He loves you very much.
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Yes, I do watch too much Veggie Tales, if you were wondering. ;)

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