Do you obey God and do what He wants? The message in 1 John 3:2 stresses the importance of obedience to the Father. “We will receive from Him whatever we ask if we obey Him and do what He wants.”
How do we know when God speaks and what He wants us to do? Is His voice always clear and concise? Many people ask how to know if it is God, just your imagination, or the enemy that downloads in your head and heart. When there is confusion or chaos surrounding what you hear and feel led to do, it is not of God. God speaks in many ways: through dreams, other people, a gentle nudging in your heart, or a gut wrenching feeling deep inside that gives the ‘go ahead’. When God speaks, there is a peace and persistence without pressure. The devil gets us all stirred up with emotional havoc that can lead us to wrong thinking and doing. He presses the ‘go ahead’ button with pressure to act and react before praying or waiting to think things through. Wisdom, faith, and being still to discern if it is God brings peace and promise that comes only from the Father. God gently calls and waits on us to make the choice to be obedient. The closer you come to Christ, the easier it becomes to discern His voice. Hearing from God is clearer when we get still and seek Him, when we become familiar with His Word, when we trust and obey, and when we walk closely with Him day by day. This personal relationship with Jesus is the key to happiness here and unlocks heaven’s gates with a ticket to eternity.
Mrs. Lena’s story began three years ago when God nudged her to stop at the little, white building on Northeast Boulevard to see what was happening. The day she followed her heart to Tim’s Gift was the beginning of a faith-filled friendship. We have bonded in a spirit of love, sharing prayers and praise for our Father through seasons of sunshine and sorrow.
When Mrs. Lena asked me to speak at her church, I was humbled and honored to share the word at a country church close to where my childhood roots grounded me securely. My love for praise and worship freely peak each time I visit Mrs. Lena’s church. Entering the front door at Calvary, one feels the presence of the Lord and the friendliness of the people.
Is God’s presence powerfully present where you attend church? More importantly, is His Spirit living within? We are the church, the temple God says to care for and keep closely connected to the vine. Mrs. Lena is a powerful prayer partner and ambassador for Christ. She loves to pray and tell her story of loving the Lord wherever she goes.
Sharing a good time at Clinton’s annual Kiwanis Pancake Feast, I found myself drifting from table to table with uplifting remarks from folks about the all day Christian Conference. I thought, ‘how amazing is God’s love and grace once we’ve experienced it and possess the passion to pass it on.’ Mrs. Lena stood in front of me with a pile of pancakes on her plate and a message from the Lord. Her words struck a melodic chord in my heart.
She said, “Becky, I’ve been thinking about the conference. That morning when I walked inside the Prestage Hall and saw all those red Piggly Wiggly bags standing tall in those seats, I felt something stir inside. It was like a sea of red, beautiful bags proudly proclaiming that Piggly Wiggly was filling up the building. Then, when Mr. Lindsay went to be with Jesus a few days after the conference, it seemed there was purpose in that image of those red bags filling up that room. Mr. Lindsay and his family have touched many lives and helped lots of people through the years. He was so proud to share the love of the Lord and to faithfully work and give good customer service to all who crossed his path.
I thought of her words and could also see those red bags Cameron, Bobby, and I had placed in each chair before the conference began. We moved them to three different locations before being led to fill up the chairs with the Piggly Wiggly bags. Wow, I thought! God speaks in mysterious ways. When it seemed we could not get those bags, Cathy called one day to give the good news, “Becky, we have the bags ready for you to pick up and fill with goodies for the conference.”
Reflecting on that day, the symbolism of two great men, their love for the Lord, their families, employees, customers, and this community greeted people with a sea of red. It seemed that Mr. Jesse and Mr. Elmon were sitting proudly in every seat. The brotherly love they shared and all the people they served was shining brightly; the name of their business was ablaze on each bright, red bag. That building was filled with the spirit of the Lord and a reminder of the enormous number of people the Lindsays’ lives have touched.”
Mrs. Lena and I could have talked all night but pancake patrons needed fresh coffee. I headed to the beverage table with a skip in my step and a song in my heart. I thought of it the Tuesday we heard of Mr. Jesse’s passing. That night, James and I headed to Mary Gran Nursing Center to visit Mr. James Faircloth and deliver some special Valentines to dear friends living there in this season of their lives. Before leaving, we knocked on Mr. Elmon Lindsey’s door. His nurse welcomed us with a smile. We stood by his bed as he slept, then we decided it would be best to let him rest and not speak to him. That small, still voice spoke to my heart to begin praying. Wondering if it was the right thing to do could have caused me to turn and walk away. I followed my heart and leaned close to his frail face and softly prayed. James held my hand, the nurse bowed her head, and Mr. Elmon heard that prayer and opened his eyes. I kissed him on the forehead and told him he was loved. What happened next was the best Valentine anyone could have given us, a kiss from God. A small smile spread across Mr. Lindsay’s face, and he could barely be heard as he said, “thank you, James.” We left that place with humbled hearts filled with His sweet, sweet spirit on a day designated to celebrate LOVE!
Just as God was ready for the Israelites to rise up and leave Egypt; He is ready for us to rise up, share His love, and serve Him boldly in obedience and faith. Just as He parted the Red Sea for safe passage to the Promised Land, He will work miracles in our lives today also. One day we will meet the Master. Waste no time in making right your relationships with Father God, family, friends…and anyone you consider an enemy. Forgive and forge forward in faith. Believe.