May 28, 2015

Divine Direction, Part 2

I will look to see what He will say to me…. Habakkuk 2:1b (TEV)

We’re looking at a prophet in the Old Testament by the name of Habakkuk. His example offers us insights into understanding the will of God in our lives. How did He hear from God? What steps can we take, that Habakkuk took, that will help us know God’s will? In the first two steps, Habakkuk, withdrew and got alone with God where he waited on God to speak. As he waited, he was directed to take three other steps in discerning God’s direction.

Step Three: Watch: look to God’s Word daily. Habakkuk said, “I will look to see what He will say to me….” Are you looking into God’s Word daily to see what He will say to you? It’s really amazing how specific God will be when we do. He speaks most clearly in His Word. This is what makes reading the Bible so dynamic. We can take our specific questions before the Lord and look to His Word daily to see what He is saying. As we listen and follow His counsel, we discover His direction in our lives! When Chris and I were first starting Woodlands Church, God used His word to redirect my priorities and teach me that power flows from priorities. If my priorities were in alignment with His, I could trust Him with the church. The tension I was feeling was between the responsibilities of a pastor and that of a parent. Then, God began to use His Word to show me what my priorities should be. First, God. Then, my family. Then, the church. What good would it have been to grow a great church and lose my family in the process? Besides, only God can grow a great church. The passage that really spoke to me about this was in Psalm 127:1, 3, 5. It says,

Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain … Children are a heritage from the Lord … a reward from Him. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame….

God loves to use His Word to give us direction, if we will simply look to it daily and be willing to align our lives according to what He says. When we do, we can trust Him to do what He says.

Step FourWriteKeep a Spiritual JournalHabakkuk said, The Lord gave me this answer: ‘Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you….”  Habakkuk 2:2 (GNT) Keeping a record of what God is doing and saying in your life will provide a legacy of faith. You will look back on so many occasions where God led you, provided for you, and answered your prayers that it will encourage you for every future need. It will also become part of your unique faith story that God will use to encourage others. It’s one of the greatest evidences for the existence of God in your life! If you haven’t begun to keep a spiritual journal, I challenge you to get a simple notepad and jot down dates, events, requests, decisions and needs as well as specific ways in which God is speaking to you from His Word. Be honest and transparent. Like the Psalmist, these are your unedited emotions expressed to God, as well as His responses.

Step Five: Worship: Focus on God’s greatness! In the midst of His questions, Habakkuk says,

LORD, I have heard of Your fame; I stand in awe of Your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy. Habakkuk 3:2 (NIV)

Even when Job was confused by the ways of God, he continued to worship. Habakkuk was convinced that God was good, regardless of the circumstances he was facing. Something happens when we deliberately choose to shift our focus from our problems to God’s power. As we do, we get a God perspective instead of a ground perspective on our problems! We get clarity in the midst of confusion, and we begin to see His direction for our lives. Worship does that! Worship enables us to trust in God’s timing. God assured Habakkuk that despite how long it took, He was at work. In Habakkuk 2:3, God said,

But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!

Maybe this is the very word you need to hear today. God is at work. Don’t despair. It may seem slow, but the vision He gave you will be fulfilled in His time and in His way. Just be patient and follow His direction. What step are you taking today? Withdrawing alone with God? Waiting in expectation? Watching daily in His Word for what He may be saying? Writing down the insights you’re discovering? Or Worship – Focusing on God’s greatness?