14th May 2015: Guidance (3) -- Conductive Deafness
He who has ears to hear let him hear. Matthew 11:15
There is a saying that there are none so deaf as those who won't hear. It is possible to shut our ears purposely (Zc 7:11). In fact problems of the will may be more significant than those of spiritual perception. Words of Jesus, taken completely out of context, yet enshrine a principle, 'If any man's will is to do his will, he shall know' (Jn 7:17). It is true in experience that not until we are truly willing can God make clear to us which of the options before us is right. This may involve a major spiritual battle. We may think we are unbiased when we are not.
God's guidance may come in the language of a look (Ps 32:8 AV) -- provided that we are watching for it (Ps 123:2); or by the whisper of the Spirit in the heart, as with Simeon and Philip (Lk 2:27; Acts 8:29). If we do not hear his whisper, he may speak, or even shout to make himself heard. If we are still unresponsive, he may need to 'goad us' to attract our attention, or even to stop us in our tracks (Acts 26:13-14). And all the time we are wondering what is happening to our lives!
The trouble sometimes is that we are seeking his will with minds already made up, and asking him to confirm our plans rather than reveal his own. We can deceive not only ourselves but other people into thinking that we only want God's will, thus effectively stifling any further discussion in the matter.
This man could have been set free if... Acts 26:32
There was no doubt about the rightness of his decision. Directed by the Spirit he had planned to visit Rome (Acts 19:21). His wish to go was certainly of God (Rom 15:22-24), and his call was later explicitly confirmed (Acts 23:11). Paul saw the future mapped out in front of him; he would finish his work in Macedonia and Achaia, deliver the gifts to the church in Jerusalem, then set out for Spain via Rome.
But things went badly wrong. Arrested in Jerusalem because of a total misunderstanding (Acts 21:28-29), he became the object of a smear campaign. The scandal grew. His enemies were quick to cash in on the situation and brought charges against him on accusations that were totally false and which he persistently and vehemently denied. But it was no good. The trip to Spain was 'off', and he found himself instead unjustly jailed for two years in Caesarea (Acts 24:27).
And then -- what irony -- justice at last -- but too late! Agrippa's judgment was in his favour, 'this man is doing nothing to deserve death or imprisonment...He could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar' (Acts 26:31-32). Had he made a horrible mistake? could he have gone to Rome and Spain a free agent just as he had originally planned?
But Paul's plan would never have materialised. He would have been murdered in Jerusalem before he even started, God's plan was better. He actually used Paul's captors to save his life, to facilitate his work and to ensure the spread of the gospel to the west. Five times the Romans saved him from death (can you find them between Acts 21:31 and 27:44?). They gave him free and safe travel, so different from his missionary journeys. Not least they gave him guaranteed accommodation for four years under military protection, with his friends coming and going at will, with freedom to preach, teach and write unhindered (Acts 24:23; 28:16-24, 30-31).
Worried about injustices in job appointments? about unfairness and favouritism? about the malicious and false things people say? Afraid that God's plan for our lives is being spoilt? Our plans may not materialise, but God's always do.
had a very very humbling and demoralizing shift, yet the most inspiring of my entire life. am a great fan of the metaphorical being kicked in the ass, nothing like that to make you buck up STAT. the inspiring bit wasnt the part where a six year old drew me a picture of a magician pulling a rabbit out of her hat (im sure the sixyr old didnt mean to remind me of how slow i am, but if my pt can draw a magician in the time it takes me to document my neuro exam findings....) anyway it was really sweet of her, no qns bout it :) the inspiring bit was the ass-kicking bit. really need to step up and be an mo. the problem is i have NO IDEA how to be an mo. yeah. that's the truth. hellow ive only done this for 2 weeks! im learning, albeit very, very slowly. i wish i could learn abit faster. or maybe that if i just knew how to act like an mo and magically knew everything; i guess if i was a magician and could pull rabbits out of my hat or do magic tricks, maybe somehow i could magically see 20 pts a day. not 8. (secret tip from a 6 yr old maybe?)
anyway. there are things i can change & things i can't, things i thought i couldnt change but actually could. by the end of this year (eh actually by the end of this posting. or maybe by next wk. or best of all starting tonight would be ideal), i need to prove to myself that i can step up as an mo and DO IT. i dont have to get my foot into the door of anything. i dont actually care about the physical paper accomplishment part of it. 1 yr ago i would have been paralysed with wondering WHAT DO I DO WITH MY LIFE. i honestly don't care anymore cause there are many ways one can do God's will even if i dont take the EXACT SPECIFIC path my 22-23 yr old self envisioned. you just have to look for the ways to do it, if you really want to. after twenty-five yrs of existance i have finally come to the understanding and maturity to accept that his ways are higher than mine. took a bit long heh. it's actually kind of nice to be in a position where i can truly be at peace with the knowledge that even if what i planned does not materialize, as long as God's does, that'll be ok. probably better. THAT i'll attest to. im actually kinda looking forward to what his plans are, since they're universally better than mine.