I spent the first part of my morning doing a lot of reflective thinking. Actually, I was simply revisiting a topic which God has brought to my attention quite a bit over the past few days. He has been showing me that the very "gifts" He has bestowed on me, have not only blessed me... they have also caused my greatest downfalls.
Many times, I have cried out to God for help in a situation. This is what we ought to do. Suddenly, I get "inspired" by an idea. Now, since I was crying out to God, one would assume that the "inspiration" is from Him, right? Well... I have learned from personal experience that this is not always so.
The enemy knows that I am an extremely impulsive person by nature. He knows if I am presented with a creative way to handle a problem I am likely to view it as divine inspiration from God and rush off to implement it immediately without giving it a second thought. It pains me to write this because it reveals that deep down inside I really am still an impulsive and thoughtless little girl, overly eager to take action immediately when what I really need to do is... wait.
Earlier today, I read an excellent blog written by@watchmanjohn about the discipline of silence. In his blog which is entitled Discipleship and the Discipline of Silence, he wrote:
We want to run and do our thing, to enthrone our wisdom on the our heart and rely on our wits, to take the bull by the horns and trust in out initiative. In Isaiahs time they said they would flee on horses and use our god given abilities. But God never guides and he most certainly never speaks through our initiative.
Those words jumped out at me because that is exactly what I do so many times. This is not the first time God has warned me that I need to .
I think Peter had some of the same struggles I had. By nature he was passionate, impulsive and impatient. He was a "problem-solver" who didn't always look before he leaped. He had a tendency to try to rush ahead of Jesus when he got inspired by some idea. Jesus chided him more than once but do you know what? Jesus loved Peter anyway.
Jesus knew the gifts Peter had been given. He knew that if Peter would place them in God's hands and use them the way God designed them to be used, amazing things would happen. Jesus loved Peter's passion and drive. He loved his steadfastness. Yes, I said steadfastness because even though he denied Jesus, Peter couldn't stay away despite his blunder, despite his shame. When he did, Peter didn't find condemnation. He found love and forgiveness. He found mercy and grace.
Years later, Peter would write these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Do you have the gift of speaking? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Do you have the gift of helping others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then everything you do will bring glory to God through Jesus Christ. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NLT)
Peter eventually learned the discipline of silence and waiting on the Lord. In doing so, God used the gifts and talents He had bestowed upon Peter to be used for the glory and honor of God. We too must learn the "discipline of silence" so that we may truly hear the voice of God, rather than our own.
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