What God Might Be Saying

Posted in Faith, Hearing God, Personal Growth, Perspective, Prayer, Time, Will of God by PCraig on August 14, 2014

What is going on when you pray?  Have you ever wondered if anyone is listening or cares?  Sometimes it can feel like your prayers are being heard and other times it can seem like God is helping someone else.  Ever feel that way?

First of all, I would like to clarify that God does answer prayer, does care about each and every one of us and enjoys it when we pray.  (See 1 John 5:14-15; 1 Pet 5:7; Mt 11:28)  Second of all, prayer does make a difference.  Clinical studies have been done and found that people who are prayed for go through surgery more successfully, and have a better recovery than people who don’t have prayer.  I’ve seen this just from the way God answers prayer requests that are turned in on the weekend services.

To help those of you who struggle with what is going on behind the scenes when you pray, I have four options that might be happening.  God may be saying…

  • NO – now that’s not an answer we like, but it’s an option, because God knows what’s best, and we need to trust Him.  Your request could simply be off-base.
  • SLOW – the timing may not right for what you’re asking right now, so don’t get impatient.  Trust that God is working even when you don’t have evidence.
  • GROW – again, the request may be okay, but there needs to be some growth in you before God brings it into your life.  If you were praying for the right spouse, but you are not the right spouse material yet, then grow in the meantime.
  • GO – this is the answer we like best.  It’s when we are ready, circumstances around us are ready, and God is ready to bring it about.

Knowing that there are more answers than just “yes” and “no” helps me to analyze my situation and see if I need to do some adjusting.  I hope this helps you.

P.S.  Be sure to pray over our services this weekend when Phil Stacey from American Idol will be our guest.  It’s also part 2 of the Frames series and somebody must be praying really hard already, because last weekend was powerful.  Let’s believe for even greater anointing and results this weekend!

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Up or Down?

Posted in Counsel, Decisions, Hearing God, Will of God, Wisdom by PCraig on April 24, 2014

Be very careful whom you listen to or get advice from day to day.  The reason is that people can hear from God one day and then be listening to themselves the next.  Shoot, they can have an impression from the Spirit of God one moment and then minutes later share with selfish motivations.

A great illustration of this comes from the life of Peter in Matthew 16:13, when Jesus asks the disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”  In a couple verses He then asks them, “Who do YOU say that I am?”  Peter steps up and answers, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Jesus then blesses Peter with this answer and tells everyone that Peter got it direct from the Father in heaven.  Wow!  It’s not a bad day when Jesus tells you and everyone around you that you hear from God.

However, as you keep reading, you find Jesus telling the disciples how He is going to suffer, be killed and then raised.  Peter evidently, still feeling good about hearing from the Father, takes the Lord aside and begins to “rebuke him.”  He says, “Never Lord!  This shall never happen to you!”  Jesus recognizes that Peter is now listening to the Satan himself and tells him that he’s saying these things because of a wrong perspective.

Now, how can you get that off in such a short amount of time?  Because we’re all human and have the ability to get off track.  That’s why you need to be praying on your own when you are taking advice from people.  A well-meaning person can be influenced by selfish motivation that skews their words.  The danger for you and I is to not know the difference.

Jesus shows that you have to be careful who you listen to each day and do your own praying so you can have discernment.  By doing so, you will be able to know what direction their advice to you may be coming – up or down.

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It’s Easier to Steer a Moving Car

Posted in Decisions, Will of God, Wisdom by PCraig on September 27, 2012

Many people want to know God’s will for their lives, but not everyone is active in pursuing it.  Over the past several weeks, we’ve looked at principles to discover God’s will.  The truth is, however, unless you get up and get moving, it’s probably going to remain a mystery.

God uses the Bible to guide us, but if you’re not reading it, then it’s not much help.  He also directs us through our gifts and unique design to his path, but if we’re hiding our gifts and abilities, then you wouldn’t know that.  He also speaks through wise, godly counsel, but if you never seek out those kind of friends, then you won’t hear it.

I don’t think it’s a problem of God not speaking, I think we’re not listening to the ways He talks.  What do you need to do to move forward in hearing God?  Do you need to pick up the Bible?  Is there a ministry you could volunteer to do and make a difference?  Who is in your life that can be that wise counsel we all need?

To get God’s guidance you need to get moving!

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God’s Playbook

Posted in Choice, Decisions, Hearing God, Will of God by PCraig on September 20, 2012

Your life is the sum total of the decisions you’ve made for better or worse.  How can we better influence our decisions so they line up with God’s will for our lives?  Understand three things:

  • The Providential will of God.  This means God is just going to do some things because He is God.  We should seek to be part of things that God has predetermined to bless, like the church (Matt. 16:18)
  • The Moral Will of God.  These are the things that God has already stated that He will bless or curse as a result of behavior.  (John 13:17; Deut. 28)
  • The Personal Will of God.  This becomes much more clear when we understand the other two parts of God’s will.  When we first submit to the providential and moral will of God, then there are fewer questions and more answers.

As we are out of alignment with the providential or moral will of God, we can’t possibly think that we will hear clearly on His personal will for our lives.  Begin seeking God’s will by submitting to the providential and moral will of God.  Then, ask Him to speak to you through His Word, Spirit and others.  We’ll talk more about this over this coming weekend in part 3 of Game Plan.

Is there anything in your life blocking you from knowing more of God’s will?

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Who Is More Important Than What

Posted in Perspective, Pursuing Jesus, Will of God by PCraig on September 13, 2012

In the search for God’s will for our lives we get all caught up in “What should I do next?” or “What should I do with this decision?”  For too many, the focus is all wrong.  The reason it is wrong is because our priorities are often all messed up and we want to know what to do when we get to third base when we haven’t even made it to first yet.

Jesus said it like this, “But seek FIRST HIS kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  The context of “all these things” is our daily needs.  In other words, instead of making the aim of your life figuring out what strategic moves you need to make next at work, or what new stock you should buy (or not), try seeking His kingdom first.

What I’ve found is that many of us are not ready for God to unveil His incredible plan for our lives because we’re too busy chasing our own plan.  Instead of asking what should I do next, why not ask “Who is truly first in my life?”  Once you get that resolved, the rest will amazingly fall into place.

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No Easy Way

Posted in Decisions, Hearing God, Will of God by PCraig on September 6, 2012

There’s no easy way to success in anything.  It’s not easy to have a great marriage, be an incredible golfer, or raise awesome kids.  Too many believe in the fantasy that Olympians and others somehow stumbled onto their success overnight.  We see them at their best, while making it look easy, so our tendency is to think it came easy.

I assure you; the basketball star shot a million free throws before hitting one just before the buzzer.  The singing sensation practiced many hours before getting on the stage.  And that author wrote many manuscripts and book proposals before finally getting someone to publish it.

Too many in our culture want to believe in the overnight success.  We want to believe that we can work out one day and become buff, diet for two days and lose a few pounds and pick up an instrument be fantastic.  The problem is – it just ain’t true!

Whenever you see someone successful, what you don’t see is the hours of hard work, training, conditioning, preparation and effort to get there.  Same holds true for walking in the will of God.  All of us would like to know God’s will, fulfill our destiny and live out our life purpose.  However, it’s not an overnight thing.  We discover God’s will through strategic steps that are laid out for us in the Scriptures.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll blog about some of these principles from the new series we launch this weekend called GAME PLAN.

Do you want to know God’s will and fulfill your life purpose?   If you’re in driving distance to Crossroads, then I invite you to join us for the next four weeks.  If not, then feel free to check out the podcast on our website: www.crossroadsavon.com

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