Mark Affleck

SHOULD is Definitely NOT the same as MUST

February 5, 2018
Spiritual Growth

We should pay attention to God, right?

A quick take on that line is “of course.” But that is a superficial response because the word SHOULD often stands in for the word God would use–MUST.
We must pay attention to God.
And the best way to do that–I think the ONLY way—is to immediately turn to God when a challenge surfaces. For me, that means asking God to SPEAK into the situation, and for me to make time to LISTEN.
This is an ongoing challenge that requires a diligent commitment to be disciplined in paying attention to God and listening for what he is trying to tell us.
It’s hard enough to stay alert for God’s input even when we are in spiritual rhythm. But it is impossible if we are careless and zoom down the road of life thinking we SHOULD be listening to God when, in fact, we MUST be paying attention to God.
“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is…” Ephesians 5:17
For me, I want God to shake me when I am not paying attention to his perspective along my life’s road. And I want him to remind me that spiritual maturity is not a destination but, rather, a life-long process of discovery, learning, and adjustment.
All of this demands that we LISTEN in order to hear and respond to God’s piercing questions. There is no walking with God without listening to God, and in order to know the divine will, we must learn to hear the divine voice.
Listening requires a deliberate action step on our part to be concerned about what God wants to say to us through Scripture, the Holy Spirit, prayer, our circumstances, and other followers of Jesus. We must want to hear and know what God’s direction is for our lives.
Every time challenges and circumstances press in, say “Speak, Lord,” and then make time to listen.

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