Wednesday, April 27, 2011

sounding board

There are a couple of things that have to be in line before we can move forward knowing we are doing what God wants us to do.  I remember walking down the hallway of our church about 20 years ago talking to my pastor.  He shared a simple story with me ...

In some port city there is a narrow harbor.  For ships that want to come into the harbor when it is foggy or dark, they devised a system that allowed the ships to safely enter the port.  There were 3 large lights installed.  Only when those 3 lights were aligned into 1 light could that ship safely make it's way into the harbor.

My pastor shared that there are 3 similar lights that we have to follow in order to know we are doing what God called us to do.  The first is to seek the Bible and make sure that we are following Scripture.  The second is listening to the Holy Spirit, the voice of God deep inside of us that gives us guidance.  The third is the voice of spiritually wise people around us.  Lining up those 3 lights, we know we are following God.

That made a lot of sense, and I have continued to use that model and illustration to help me make sure I don't veer off coarse.  It seems so simple, but that story was extremely profound.

I don't speak on my own authority. The Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.

Jesus is our example.  He only did what the Father told Him to do.  Over and over Jesus spent time in prayer with God.  He also said that he had to be about His father's business and that He only did and said what Father told Him to do and say.  That is a great example to follow and reason why we need to make sure we are connected to God.  This comes through hearing God in Scripture and well as allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us.

Without wise leadership, a nation falls; there is safety in having many advisers.

Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.

Having some people that you trust and who you listen to is so important.  There are several people close to me that have become my trusted, spiritual advisers.  These are not "yes" people who tell me what I want to hear.  They ask hard questions and make me look in the mirror.  They are more concerned with what God thinks than what I think.  Through the years and through difficult situations, I have learned to lean hard on these people.

I fail without God.  I will have tough times without listening to the voice of wisdom.  When those lights don't line up, it is time to stop and pray as well as reconsider the direction I am going and the decisions I am going to make.

Remember that God has not set us up to fail (see Jeremiah 29:11) but has set us up for success when we listen and follow Him.  The right sounding board is following the plan He set up for us.

Let God and godly people be your sounding board.

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