I’m Glad I Did!

One of the joys of moving to our new neighborhood is getting to know all the folks who live around us!  Yesterday, we met a neighbor in a special way.

We are blessed this week to be hosting a Vacation Bible Club at our home.  The children are meeting in our garage and playing their games in the front yard.  As I was standing nearby, I noticed a vehicle slowly drive by.  I thought they were going to stop but moved on.  Shortly thereafter, I noticed them coming back this way, so I walked out toward our road.  The truck stopped and a well-dressed gentlemen got out and asked about the kids meeting at our home.  I explained what was happening, and he said, “Well, I have a gift for each of them.”  With that, he reached in the back seat of his truck and counted out insulated lunch bags for the kids.  Then he carried a box of insulated cups to the garage for every child.   The kids, of course, were so excited to receive this man’s generosity!

I followed my neighbor back to his truck and he said, “I have wanted to stop here several times and have always made an excuse.  Today, I said, I am going to do what I believe the Lord is prompting me to do, and I’m glad I did!”

To hear God’s voice we must belong to God. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Those who hear God’s voice are those who belong to Him—those who have been saved by His grace through faith in the Lord Jesus. These are the sheep who hear and recognize His voice, because they know Him as their Shepherd. If we are to recognize God’s voice, we must belong to Him.

We hear His voice when we spend time in Bible study and quiet contemplation of His Word. The more time we spend intimately with God and His Word, the easier it is to recognize His voice and His leading in our lives. Employees at a bank are trained to recognize counterfeits by studying genuine money so closely that it is easy to spot a fake. We should be so familiar with God’s Word that when someone speaks error to us, it is clear that it is not of God.

While God could speak audibly to people today, He speaks primarily through His written Word. Sometimes God’s leading can come through the Holy Spirit, through our consciences, through circumstances, and through the exhortations of other people. By comparing what we hear to the truth of Scripture, we can learn to recognize God’s voice.  (gotquestions.org)

How often have you been prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something, and you have turned away with an excuse which left you knowing you were disobedient and lacked faith in God?  How often have you been prompted by the Holy Spirit and you responded in obedience and your heart was refreshed, renewed, and blessed?  I saw the latter today.

Just a simple encouragement for all of us today.  When the Spirit of God speaks to us through His Word or that still small voice that matches up with God’s Word, obey.  You  will then say just like my neighbor, “I’m glad I did!”

Immediately

As a parent, you find yourself using the adverb “immediately” on many occasions while speaking to your children.  “Please take out the trash, and do it immediately.”  “You need to come inside immediately.  Supper’s ready.”  “I expect you to clean up your room immediately.”  Immediately means “at once; instantly; without any intervening time or space.”  Some synonyms are instantly, now, promptly, this very minute, on the spot, here and now, and without delay.   Those words clearly describe the desire of a parent’s heart and the timely action that is follow in the lives of their children.

This word is used often in the book of Mark in connection with the Lord’s actions and commands.  One instance in particular is found in Mark 1:16-20, And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17 Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.19 When He had gone a little farther from there, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who also were in the boat mending their nets. 20 And immediately He called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went after Him.  When Jesus called, they responded immediately, instantly, promptly, on the spot.

Is my response immediate to Christ’s commands and calls?  Or, do I sanctimoniously say, “I need to pray about that.”  I do not see anywhere in Scripture that I need to pray about obedience to the Lord. Since His way is perfect (Psalm 18:30), and He is God in all His attributes, character, and glory, I must obey immediately; I must act immediately.  As a father, I expected immediate response from my girls.  Perhaps our children would learn to respond in a more immediate fashion to us their parents if they saw us responding immediately to our Heavenly Father.  Can you hear your Father say, “Why do you call me, Lord, Lord, and do not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)?