November 20, 2014-Trust and Obey

By on November 20, 2014

By Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live (Ecclesiastes 3:12, NIV).

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Friend to Friend

The Bible is not only God’s personal love letter to His children, it is our instruction manual for life. It is the blueprint of God’s plan for our lives.

You were created in response to God’s plan for your life. You are not an accident. God never has to say “Oops!” Even if you were never wanted or planned by human heart and mind, you were wanted and planned in the heart and mind of God. And you were created for purpose.

How do you discover God’s plan and purpose for your life? Through the Word of God and through prayer.

God’s truths are both personal and practical, but it is the practical that puts truth into play.

It is truly an awesome thing when God speaks to us, directs us, or encourages us personally. It builds faith – big time.

But it is even more awesome when we do something about it – because then the truth takes on life-changing power.

Hearing the truth is only half the battle.

Obeying the truth is where the real battle begins.

Time and time again in the gospels, Jesus gave personal words of truth to those who were following Him. Many heard the truth, but turned away without acting on it.

Jesus taught about this very thing in the parable of the soils. He compares those who hear the truth but do not act on it as follows:

The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away (Matthew 13:19-21).

We have all done this.

We get excited when we hear from God and “receive it with joy.” But because we do not apply it, that word from God only lasts a short time in our lives. When trouble comes, we fall right back into our normal pattern. We go right back to being the same way we were before we heard God speak.

It is not hearing from God that changes our lives. It is applying what we hear from God that changes our lives.

When God speaks to us and gives us new truth, we need to ask ourselves what our next step will be.

What am I going to do about the truth God has given me?

How am I going to apply that truth?

What changes do I need to make in light of that truth?

How should I pray as I walk in that truth?

There is a valuable reason James gives us this amazing challenge:

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22, NKJV).

When we hear from God and think we are done – that is self-deceit.
When we hear from God and put it into practice – that is godly obedience.

I once attended a leadership conference that changed my life in many ways. The speakers did not talk about money or success. They focused on the fact that God created each one of us in response to His unique plan for our lives. One of the simplest but most powerful mottos I came away from that conference with was: “Do it now!”

The thing you should want most is God’s kingdom and doing what God wants. Then all these other things you need will be given to you (Matthew 6:33, NCV).

Truth is for now. God is not impressed with good intentions. Obedience today is the greatest preparation for every tomorrow. When you hear the voice of God, when He gives you a new truth – act on it. Apply that truth to your life and see what God does in your life.

Do what you know to do today!

Let’s Pray

Father, please teach me how to pray. Help me learn to hear Your voice above every other voice in my life. I want to obey You, Lord, but sometimes my faith seems so small. Forgive me when I let fear keep me from walking in Your steps. Give me a hunger and thirst for Your Word. My heart longs to be the kind of woman who hears Your voice and then steps out in radical obedience to You alone.

In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

Record James 1:22 in your journal. Circle the action words. Ask God to show you the first step you need to take in order to obey the truth He has given you.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22, NKJV).

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from a new E-Book, Chair Time, written by Dan Southerland, Mary’s husband. Chair Time is a simple but powerful must-read for anyone wanting to learn how to pray and hear the voice of God. Check it out!

And be sure to connect with Mary on E-mail or Facebook.

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 1311
Huntersville, NC 28070

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About Girl Friends in God

Girlfriends in God is a non-denominational devotion and conference ministry that crosses generational and racial boundaries to bring the Body of Christ together as believers. Just as God sent Ruth to Naomi and Mary to Elizabeth, God continues to use women to encourage and equip other women in their spiritual journey.

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November 20, 2014-Trust and Obey