Wednesday, May 30, 2007

This is My Story This is My Song

Last week I shared how the teens in my youth group came up with a list of questions they have about life, God, faith and the Church. The plan is to use their questions as the direction of the weekly youth talk. This Thursday we will be looking at their second question:
How do we hear from God and know his will for our lives?
I would like to show biblical principle and share examples. I need your help with the testimonies. If you are have an experience that you feel would help answer the student’s questions and would let me use it this Thursday please leave a comment or email me at pastorliz@hotmail.com.

2 comments:

matthew said...

I recently taught on this subject, so I have some things fresh on my mind

1. CREATION
Romans 1:20, Psalm 19:1, 50:1, 93:1-2, 104:24, Acts 14:15, 17:23-27

I think sometimes we hear from God through creation. Creation communicates God's bigness, gives us perspective and quiets us. Creation probably won't give you specific guidance, but a nice long walk might prepare you to hear more.

2. CONSCIENCE
Romans 2:15, Genesis 20:5-6, Acts 24:16, Romans 9:1, 1 Timothy 4:2

I think God speaks to us every day through our consciences. He lets us know what is right and what is wrong.

3. CHRIST
John 3:34, Romans 3:25, Heb. 1:1-2

God has spoken to us through Christ. Sometimes we wonder what we should do in a situation where Jesus has already shown us what He would do. In that case, no need to wonder!

4. COVERT COMMUNICATION
Audible: Deut. 5:24, Dreams/Visions: Acts 16:9-10, Casting Lots, Listening in Prayer:

Praying is, perhaps, the most popular way to hear from God. I think it's really important to practice silence in our prayers

5. CANON
Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:16,
Hebrews 4:7, 2 Peter 1:20-21

Some people wonder how to hear from God, but don't read the Bible. That's pretty silly. He has spoken to us through His Word.

6. CHURCH
1 Peter 4:11, 1 Cor. 11:1, Hebrews. 13:7

Churches contain some pretty awesome people. They might have some real life changing insight into your life. We should always be seeking Godly counsel.

7. CHILDREN
Matthew 11:25, 18:3, 19:4, 21:15-16

Sometimes a lil kid will say something so pure, so innocent, and so just what we need to hear. I think we should really listen to children when they speak. We may see pure faith or maybe pure selfishness, haha.

8. CRISIS
James 1:2-8

CS Lewis said that God shouts in our pains. We can really learn some things about ourselves when we're going through a difficult time. That is God speaking.

9. COINCIDENTAL CONFIRMATION
2 Kings 8:1-6, Acts 17:16, 23

The world calls it coincidence, Christians call it providence. Sometimes God just lines something up so neatly that it's hard to explain it any other way than God's voice.

10. CLOSED/OPEN CORRIDORS
Romans 1:10, Acts 16:6-8, Jonah

If God provides a great opportunity, that's probably Him saying take it! If things just aren't coming together at all, it may be Him saying don't go there.

11. CULTURE
Genesis 38:26, Titus 1:10-13

Sometimes a non-Christian will say something about the church that really makes me think. I think God is powerful and providential enough to speak to His people through those who are not His people.

12. CONCERNS/PASSIONS
Zech. 9:1, 12:1, Malachi 1:1, 1 Thes. 2:17

Sometimes we develop a concern for some particular person or a passion for a certain kind of ministry. Those may be God given. We should pray about them.

...........

Those, I think, are the primary ways that I hear from God. I just gave the principles. Maybe I'll leave some personal examples later on.

matthew said...

ok, i am going to share a few specific times that God led me.

1. When I surrendered my life to Christ, I was in COMMUNICATION (prayer) with God and sensed a call to pastoral ministry. To make sure this was from God, I asked that He provide some assurance. The next week, at church, my pastor (though I had mentioned it to nobody) asked if I had been called into ministry. Thus, God spoke through his CHURCH.

2. When I was trying to consider where to go to college, I looked at finances. Houghton, near my home, was super expensive. Thus, I used COMMON SENSE (which I think is from God!) to make a decision to look elsewhere.

3. Soon after, my youth pastor decided to take 3 of us to IWU. I went to evaluate the school. It never felt right. I had no sense of peace about going there. I think God used this CONCERN to help me decide to continue looking.

4. I never thought I'd get a chance to visit Bethany to determine if it'd be a good fit. But it just so happened that a mime team from our church won a TNT competition and the finals were held at bethany. So I tagged along. So a door that had been CLOSED became open and I took this as more than COINCIDENCE. Even though I didn't really have a good time at bbc that weekend, I sensed peace about going there.

5. While I was at Bethany I started to wonder if I should be a church planter. I was seriously considering this when my devotions brought me to Matthew 13. As I read the parable of the wheat and weeds I realized that I had some prideful ambitions to start a 'perfect' church. That parable reminded me that there won't be any perfect church on this side of eternity. I came to realize that my interest in church planting wasn't from God. God, therefore, led me to His will through a daily reading from the CANON of Scripture.