I said in yesterday’s blog that one of the easy things about blogging is that you can begin a new topic each day. You do not have to follow on from the last one the way you might have to if you were preaching a series of sermons. However today I felt I was to continue on from yesterday.
Basically, if you don’t want to read yesterday’s blog, I was talking about not ignoring warning dreams from God. I would hate you to think that I never fall into that mistake. I don’t want to do anything in this blog other than to exalt the mercy of God to us all. I realised that the blog yesterday might sound as though I never makes mistakes in terms of listening to God. I make plenty…
So let me tell you about a time I did ignore a warning from God. It came not so much as a dream but as a thought when I was praying. The setting is Stronsay, the 7 miles by 5 miles island that was part of my first charge. A man had gone missing . That actually was quite worrying as suicide was not unknown. Perhaps it was the negative side of the draw of the sea. People were searching. I prayed as I was driving around and felt the Lord put this thought in my mind; “He is in his house.” I decided to go to the man’s house to investigate. As I approached the door, a picture flashed into my mind. It was a picture of a farm gate with a warning sign, “Beware of the bull.” So what did I do? I ignored the warning from God and opened the door and walked in. The missing man was nowhere to be seen. It was only later that night that he was indeed found in his own house. He had crawled between the plasterboard and the outer wall and was hiding there… with a loaded shotgun in his hands. I hope you can see why I want to stress that anything that appears to be positive from these blogs arises from God’s mercy, not from my spiritual strength or obedience. I find it as difficult to do the right thing as anyone else. I often get it wrong.
However, let me tell you what I really pushed against as I pushed open that man’s door. I pushed against an agitation I felt within. I pushed against a lack of peace. For me, I learned then and many times thereafter had to relearn that one of the best ways to know what God is wanting us to do is to look for the sense of His peace resting on an intended course of action. If that peace is not resting upon me personally, then it is a good sign I am about to step out of the will of God. That day on Stronsay ,I pushed against a lack of peace and stepped out of the will of God quite deliberately and intentionally. The consequences could have been dire. I am indebted to the mercy of God. Mercy is what you need when you have not got a leg to stand on, when you have no excuses for deliberate sin and disobedience.
I think I want to encourage you to learn to read the peace of God or the lack of it in your deepest heart, in your spirit. After all, according to Colossians 3 verse 15 the peace of God is like an umpire helping us to know when something is out of or inside the court of God’s will. I know that verse is perhaps more talking about collective church decisions but I think it has a valid individual application as well.
So may the peace of the Lord Jesus Christ be upon you. May you learn to discern that peace, both its presence its absence.
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