Thursday, November 6, 2014

Whoosh! Storying through Acts Week 10: Discerning

Pick at random any of the saints.... I venture to suggest that the one vital quality which they had in common was spiritual receptivity . Something in them was open to heaven, something which urged them Godward. Without attempting anything like a profound analysis I shall say simply that they had spiritual awareness and that they went on to cultivate it until it became the biggest thing in their lives. They differed from the average person in that when they felt the inward longing they did something about it . They acquired the lifelong habit of spiritual response.

- A. W, Tozer, The Pursuit of God

Bless our Christian hearts.  We who really want sincerely to make a difference for God and do what he wants with our days, we can really bumble along and make a mess of it.  Many of us who have known God for most of our lives are still foggy about the question: "What is God's will?"  

Well, actually it's pretty impossible to spend much time in the Bible and not know God's will is.  The tricky part to figure out is how God wants me to do it.  What is God's way to get done what he wants?  

Here's the formula most of us follow:  I decide to do something for God, and I ask him to respond.

No wonder we have trouble following God's will, because that is not a formula for following.  

This is:  God shows me what he is doing, and I respond.

Ohhhh.  I respond.  Hmmm.

This requires that we develop and practice discernment.  

perceivemake outpick outdetectrecognizenotice,observeseespotidentifydeterminedistinguish;

Spiritual discernment is the ability to notice what God is doing around you, recognize it as the activity of God and determine what response he is calling for from you.  What's your part in what he's doing?
Paul urged the early church to grow in this ability.  He considered it essential for them.
I ask God to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do. - Ephesians 1:17-18
In this week's Wednesday Bible story, we see Paul and his companions learning how to do this.  

Click here to listen to the story and download the Bible study.
Who will you tell this story to?
In this

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