By Joyce Pool
Over the last several years, I have learned many powerful lessons behind the Word which says, "Lean not on thine own understanding." When the Lord has opened your ears, thereís no mistaking His voice. He said "My sheep hear my voice. I know them. And they follow Me." Those of us who hear His voice do not sometimes follow Him, or consider following Him. We follow Him... no matter what. We follow even when what He says to us doesnít seem to make sense or when weíre unsure of the outcome.
We obey, regardless of how absurd it may seem because we do not lean on our own understanding... we just follow Him. And sometimes, He will tell us to say or do something that really does seem absurd to our own understanding. But thereís always a reason... even if that reason is simply to test our obedience. I canít see someone knowing His voice, hearing His voice, and then being anything but obedient. But thatís my own understanding. His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. They are above ours... high, high above ours.
When I was a very young woman, I thoroughly enjoyed rock music. I even went to a lot of rock concerts. But when I put on Christ, when I was born again, I put away the old, including that old music and traded it in for Christian music. Thankfully, there are a lot of Christian artists who play music that satisfies my heart for a good "hard" beat. You can be a Christian and still be "cool." But I remember some of the things I used to listen to, and we ought not fill our heads with that kind of junk. So, I was really shocked by what the Lord told me to do. I was leaning on my own understanding. See...
I was coming home from church one evening and was listening to some Christian music. I have my radio tuned in to two Christian radio stations. I didnít care much for the one station, so I switched to the other. It wasnít doing much for me either. So, I reached down to just turn it off altogether. And I thought, "Iíll just leave it off and spend some quiet time with the Lord."
Before my hand ever reached the knob, the Lord said, "Turn it to that old station you used to listen to."
Whoa! Wait a minute! Would the Lord tell me to do that? But I know the Lordís voice! Why would He tell me to do that? Of course, I questioned Him.
"Trust Me. I gave you discernment. If what you hear is contrary to my Word or if it offends you, then turn it off." That was all the explanation I needed. Obedience... no matter how absurd it may seem. Okay.
I hadnít heard that song in ages! I loved that song! Offend me? Oh, no, on the contrary. It blessed me to the core. And to think... what if I had not been obedient? Oh, I shudder to even think about it.
And the Lord said, "Music is a gift that Iíve distributed to many. Some abuse that gift and some do not. I Am the One who sends them out into the world. Do you know how many lives have been changed by that song? I Am the One who sends you out into the world. There is a hurting world out there that needs to know Me. Not just the churches. Not just your fellow writers. Preach the gospel to the poor. Help the needy in My Name. Lead the blind to Me. Heal in My Name. Carry Me out into the world. Carry Me out to the people who do not know Me. Not just to the churches, but to the lost. The well do not need a physician. Yes, take Me to church with you, for I will do many miracles within the church. But do not forget about those outside the church. They need Me more than those who are inside the church."
The song on that old classic rock station?
Tit was the Doobie Brothers Ė "Jesus, Heís my friend. Jesus, Heís my friend. He took me by the hand; led me far from this land. Jesus, Heís my friend."
The Word tells us that He was a friend to the sinners. We need to befriend the sinners so that they have the same opportunity we had... to be saved by grace. How do you know that the word of your testimony will not convict the heart of the man next door to you? What if yours WOULD HAVE BEEN the only time he'd ever have heard about the Lord's goodness and you didn't say anything? Ouch.
At the same time, we need to know how to separate ourselves. If we are offended or they are not willing to come, then we can stand on the Word that says, "No one comes to the Father lest the Spirit draw him." And then, we just reach down, turn that Spirit-led switch to the off position, and do not receive into our ears or hearts the things that are contrary to the Word. Amen?
Obedience... preach the gospel... one and all. Because the Word that says "preach the gospel" was not only intended for those who stand behind pulpits. Yes, this is for you Ė you who have ears. Hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
© Joyce Pool 04/06/05
Born in Hugo, Oklahoma on March 16, 1966, Treava Tijerina now resides in Van Zandt County, Texas. She has won multiple faith-based and romance writing contests. Very passionate about writing, she has posted over 300 articles at FaithWriters.com, where she is known by her pen name, Joyce Pool. She wrote ĎThe Wedding Supperí in 2003 and is looking forward to the completion of her newest venture in writing; she is combining her love for both romance and faith into a fictional novel with the working title ĎLet Go of the Wheel.í
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