In a world where many events preoccupy our minds it is essential to quiet ourselves and discern the guiding of the Lord. For the Lord to be the Lord, we must come to know Him and hear His voice. In my last entry on December 20, 2014 we looked at John 10:1-5; here are some phrases from this passage: “the sheep listen to his voice”, “He calls His own sheep by name”, “his sheep follow him because they know his voice”, “but they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” It is essential to know the voice of the Lord.
This past week I went to the Alberta Nazarene Prayer Retreat and we studied an excellent book by Henri Nouwen called “The Way of the Heart: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers”. This short book offers great insights to discernment through solitude, silence, and prayer. I would like to offer JesusNext.
Discernment is the ability to understand the truth of the Lord in a world where the “father of lies” (John 8:44) lives. Discerning the voice of the Lord and obeying His commands is essential for the Christian. There are two types of discernment that I want to discuss: the Words of the Lord that lead us to an event and the Words of the Lord that follow an event. The Biblical story of Abraham going to sacrifice Isaac is an example of GOD telling Abraham to follow in faith. Now faith is supported by reason, but for faith to be faith, it must exceed reason. Abraham sacrificing Isaac was not reasonable for human comprehension, but GOD’s understanding is above human understanding; “For who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” (Isaiah 40:13; 1 Corinthians 2:16). I believe GOD is calling each Christian to follow in the spirit of faith and we must discern His voice.
The second type of discernment follows an event. A unique event can be a time to reflect and ask why something happened. At the prayer retreat I read this: “All I know of tomorrow is that providence will rise before the sun.” GOD has put events in our path and no matter where you sit on the continuum of providence and free will you must search for GOD in the events of our world. Paul’s vision of the man in Macedonia (Acts 16:6-10) is a great example of events changing what Paul had planned to do. God is constantly speaking and we must follow Him in Spirit and Truth (John 4:23).
Now, where does JesusNext fit in? First, love is the greatest commandment of our Lord and Saviour, and GOD is love. So by trying to love absolutely (all the time and everyone) you should be aligning yourself with the Truth. Second, meditate using JesusNext. Take one minute of your day (1/1440) and just let the name of Jesus wash over your thoughts. Any thought that is not love, is not Jesus.
Building Hope searches for the Will of GOD. We want revival and we want to help the poor as we love in the Name of Jesus; but He must lead us. We must renew our minds, hear His voice, observe events, and follow in faith. GOD has a plan for BH, and each of us plays a unique part. Unify in HIM. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2).