A New Beginning

INSPIRATION    Suppose you gave yourself to the Lord-to be wholly and altogether His, made and molded according to His own divine purpose, determined to follow Him wherever He may lead you. It is just at this point that you are faced with a new and very practical difficulty.

How are you to know the voice of the Good Shepherd whom you have pledged to follow?

Many Christians live in constant doubt and confusion as to His will for them.

And this confusion is further compounded. Maybe there are certain "paths" into which God seems to be calling you, of which your friends disapprove -- and it may be that these disapproving friends are older than your-self in the Christian life. You can hardly bear to disagree with them, or to see the distress on their faces.

The first thing you must do is to ask the Lord to help you quietly examine the motives of your heart. Be sure that you really have set you will to obey the Lord in every respect. If this is your purpose then, and your soul is merely waiting to know the will of God in order to consent to it, then you have done your part.

From this point, you can be certain that He will make His mind know to you and will guide you on the right paths for "He calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. . . he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (John 10:3-4) . . . And, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given him" (James 1:5).

Let no hint of doubt turn you from a steadfast faith in God's willingness and ability to guide you.

Remember this though. Our God has all knowledge and all wisdom. Therefore it is very possible He may guide you into paths where in He knows great blessings are awaiting you just around the next fearsome turn--paths on which, to our shortsighted human eyes, there seems to be only confusion and loss.

You must become settle on this spiritual fact: God's thoughts are not like mans' thoughts, or are His ways like our ways. He alone, who know the end of things from their beginning is able to determine what the results of any course of action may be. (From "The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life" by Hannah W. Smith in Safe Within Your Love)

APPLICATION Do you keep a devotional journal? If not, try it for three weeks. Write down thoughts form your daily study or devotional time with God. If you already keep a journal look back and read what God has been showing you recently?

EXPLORATION: Listening--Deuteronomy 5:1; 1 Kings 19:11-13; Proverbs 1:23-28; Mark 4:9; Luke 6: 49; Hebrews 2:1-3.

The Devotional Bible - Experiencing The Heart of Jesus, Max Lucado Editor, Thomas Nelson Publishers, pages 196-197

Listen to the Sound -Building 429

Are you in over your head?
Are you in water so deep you're drowning?
Do you think you've been left?
And there is no one to feel your hurting
Well, everybody has been there
And everybody's felt lost
If you're in over your head
Lift it up, lift it up

Oh, listen to the sound of hope that's rising
Up over your old horizon
Listen to the sound, listen to the sound
And listen to the sound of a new beginning
Oh, this is where the old is ending
Listen to the sound, listen to the sound

I hear you say you're alone
I hear you saying that you'll never make it
I've got to tell you you're wrong
'Cause I have been down this path you're taking
You'll never know what faith is
Until you don't understand
Sometimes it takes a silence
To finally hear His plan

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
I once was lost, but now I'm found

His grace is reaching for us
His grace is reaching out
Listen to the sound, listen to the sound
Wherever you are

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