Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Do You Hear What I Hear? How to Conquer Confusion in a Noisy World

I sat among friends at a leadership training event, not at all prepared for what I was about to experience. 

One blindfolded volunteer moved out of earshot so the rest of our group could receive further instructions.  A second volunteer accepted the task of directing our blindfolded friend to walk to a specific chair and sit down. He could use nothing but his voice to guide him and couldn’t touch him. 

The leader challenged the rest of our group to do everything we could to prevent our blindfolded friend from moving to the chair. We could say anything we liked to him, move closer, and even touch him, but we couldn’t use force to pull him from the instructions he chose to follow.

It was all fun and games until everyone engaged in their roles. Voices were issuing dozens of commands, each trying to speak louder than the others to gain the attention and trust of our friend. Some were quite devious in their attempts to keep him from reaching his goal. As I looked at the face of our blindfolded friend, without even seeing his eyes, I detected his confusion.

My mind immediately traveled to an earlier time in my life when the bombardment of suggestions and advice I received over a particular situation overwhelmed me. I felt pulled in multiple directions, trying to please everyone around me and desperately searching for wisdom and discernment. The Lord was surely speaking to me too, but I couldn't hear the Holy Spirit because worldly commotion was too loud and I hadn't yet learned to discern His voice above it.

If you close your eyes and imagine the exercise that our group went through, it should be easy to envision my friend’s confusion. Working through a scenario that so closely emulated life and the confusion around us was incredibly eye-opening to me. We know that the Holy Spirit dwells in us and, therefore, understand that we have our Counselor and Guide with us always. Why then, does He seem so hard to hear and discern at times? Why is it that we sometimes allow every imaginable type of worldly stimuli to drown out His Truth? 

Psalm 119:105 Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of Your Word gives light; It gives understanding to the simple

Psalm 119:133  Establish my footsteps in Your Word, and do not let any iniquity have dominion over me.

Let’s avoid basing our decisions on worldly wisdom that’s often twisted to fit our circumstance. Let’s study God’s Word from cover to cover until it becomes our key to discerning instruction that He provides. 

Any prompting that we receive from the Holy Spirit will never lead us contrary to the path detailed in His Word. The more time we spend learning Scripture, the more we understand His character and grow in our ability to discern His leading.  We can then more easily recognize His still small voice, which becomes prominent and deafens the bombardment of the voices around us.  

Discipline in spiritual matters is essential to recognize and embrace God’s best. We learn to better discern God’s will through spending more focused time with Him. With practice, it becomes easier to recognize His prompting, walk in obedience to His leading, and persevere through obstacles to ultimately reach His best.

I pray God’s best for you this Christmas season, to include wisdom and clarity. Stay in His Word and receive the best gift of all - knowing Him more.

Be Strengthened Today, By His Word,
Psalm 119:28


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