Monday, April 24, 2023

Lost in plain sight

    Commands and instructions on the Civil War battlefield took many forms: flags were waved, torches lit at night, telegraph messages were transmitted. However, the most common way orders were communicated to the waiting soldiers were by voice. A horseback messenger would ride up and say, "General Lee's compliments, sir. He commands you advance your command and engage the enemy in your front, sir." It was essential during the war to hear and obey the voice of your commanders.

How do you learn to hear the voice of God? How do you learn to recognize the Presence of God's Spirit in (your day to day life?) I think one way to be assured God is speaking, is by getting to know His voice through His Word. Let me explain.
God's character is displayed and described in His dealings with men and women throughout Scripture. We are shown His attributes: His Love, Patience, Holiness, Power, etc. The more we read and study the Word, the easier it becomes to recognize Him in this confusing world. A picture of The Lord and how He works begins to develop more clearly in our minds.

Another way to become familiar with Him, is by prayer and quiet time. When we spent regular alone time in the quiet place of prayer, His divine interventions more clearly stand out in the everyday. 
Maybe this story will help illustrate my point.
One week while visiting family out in Phoenix, Arizona, a group of us borrowed my son's car to do some shopping. Thank God for GPS to help navigate around in this strange city. We parked in the outdoor Mall lot and went into the stores. After a successful shopping excursion, we quickly raced back to find our vehicle to escape the 105 degree heat. You can probably guess what happened next, we couldn't find the car. I was sure I parked it in the row where we stood, but I can't see it there. "What did it look like again?", I asked? Our friend replied, "I'm sure it was a black car with gray interior.", but none looking anything like that is anywhere to be seen. "No!" I say. "It was silver, not black, I'm sure.", I confidently stated.  As we stood scanning a sea of multi-colored steel, melting in the heat, I began to panic inside, "maybe it was stolen" I said to myself. How did the, 'Mystery Of the Missing Car' end? Where is it? Where did it disappear to? Crazy as this may sound, we were standing right next to it. I mean, we were literally RIGHT next to it! There it sat, the lost Blue car with Beige interior. How was that possible? 

First, it was not my car. I had no personal history of purchasing it. Second, I had only driven this vehicle for the first time an hour before. My memory of its color, make, or model had not been reinforced from numerous driving experiences. That is how it is with our personal walk with the Lord. The more time you spend with Him, in prayer, in His Word, and in quiet meditation, the easier you recognize Him in the jumble of life's events. You establish an intimate relationship, reinforced over time. You build a history of experiences with Jesus Christ. "I am the Good Shepherd,.. My sheep listen to My Voice and they follow Me." John. 10:14, 27

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