Acts 5: 29: Peter and the other apostles answered “We must obey God rather than men!”
And by men they meant anyone who is not the Lord Almighty and that includes yourself. One preacher put it perfectly when he said “when God isn’t involved in it, it is merely a good thing …when he is involved in it… it is referred to as a Good Work” and as Christians concerned with the business of bringing Glory to our Lord we should be more concerned about good works. This means we have to clearly discern the Lord’s voice and then exercise good judgement in order to bring this about in time. Good works set you apart as a Christian because, as you know, the wicked do good things (Luke 11:11-13) but with God’s special touch added in the mix, we deliver exactly what He wants his people to receive.
So your effort counts, every little bit of it does. I forgot this for a while, I was turned more to myself than the cry of those that probably needed just a little effort of love from me. In the end I was ashamed, I beat my chest thrice and confessed my selfishness, my procrastination and my failure to listen to what the Holy spirit was saying to me.
The Holy Spirit’s gentle direction: Ever since I came across this beautiful morning prayer in which the writer of said prayer calls on God to “… Interrupt Me anytime…” I added that little bit to my daily prayers. I am sad to write that I did not listen keenly to what He was saying to me last week. We’d received news of our uncle’s admission in the Hospital… and more than ever I felt the need to go visit show support… I kept trying to get in touch with my cousins till I finally got the details of his ward and visiting hours. I was so keen on doing this however I let other people’s wants get in the way of what I was supposed to do. Someone needed to go out and do something I let their need come before mine saying I could do this tomorrow, someone wanted my help finding something… there ran super Anna to the rescue… I chose my own voice over the Holy Spirit’s gentle prompting…
Learn to clearly distinguish between what the Lord is actually saying and what ‘you think’ He is saying.
Lack of good Judgement: I look back and none should have taken precedence over what I NEEDED to do honestly. I demonstrated a terrible lack of judgement. On the day I finally planned to make my way and visit I received the saddening news that he had passed on early that morning (May he rest in peace). And then I miraculously had time to be available for the vigil and funeral … asked for permission from work and all… I was so embarrassed amidst all this. I bit my chest three times again and asked for forgiveness. This is not who I want to be I said to myself… it wasn’t the legacy I wanted to leave behind when my turn came. Legacy was the theme of the preaching during the funeral service. The Legacy of Good works. The legacy I wanted to leave behind was to be there for my loved ones when it counted most within my abilities.
Priorities! Priorities! Priorities! Get them straight. We need to know and be clear about our priorities in life and how to defend them when necessary. The bible cautions us to be alert and self-controlled and I’m thinking this does not only apply to weaknesses but also to the important things Vs the merely good things. Obeying God’s Voice and instructions being at the top of the list. Obedience is better than Sacrifice 1 Samuel 15: 22- 23. Take me I sacrificed for other people instead of immediately Obeying his voice.
How can you tell it is His Voice? You feel it within your soul first… a gentle prompting or idea becomes imprinted on your mind/ heart. The reminder keeps on coming back… not forceful… soft but so clear. When it the Lord, it is within His will and unquestionably something that if you asked yourself “Would Jesus do it…” like in my case…’yeah’. Ask yourself “ Is it biblically the right thing to do… or supported?.” That’s how you know… Also as you familiarize yourself with God’s word you start to recognize His voice when He speaks because His spoken word is consistent with His written word! This is a very important point for Christians because the devil knows how to disguise himself as an angel of light to mislead Jesus’ flock.
Prayer: Almighty Gracious Father, I repent and ask forgiveness for all those times that I have failed to heed your instructions. Look on me with mercy Lord and do not take your Holy Spirit form me. I pray for a heart that is malleable to your voice, for spiritual sensitivity to you that results into quick action, for clear judgment and discernment between my voice, the enemy’s voice, acts of kindness and Obedience to your Will for the glory of your name. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
In the words of Peter and the apostles end by saying “We must obey God rather than men!”