Thursday, September, 22, 2016 | 10:04 AM | by ledington
Focus Scripture: 2 Corinthians 1: 12 - 24.
Last week, we read about the trials that Paul endured and now, he must confront the trials of communication. Have you ever felt as though you were transported back to the moment when God confused the language of the people gathered at Babel? To not even be able to comprehend what someone is saying is very frustrating for both individuals.
In Paul's case, he felt assured that he had listened to the LORD, yet the people of Corinth took offense at the change in his plans. This portion of scripture is Paul's response to their reaction. He is not only acting with integrity and compassion, but encouraging them to listen to the LORD.
As Christians, this can be one of the most difficult challenges or trials that we face. Trusting in God with how our messages are received, with how our intent is viewed ... amongst other Christians. We know that the world will no understand, because they are not of God. So - how do we know who is who? Well - we don't. So then we leave it up to God, for He alone can provide the perspective that each of us needs.
In our first class, I talked a little bit about an illustration that I have about perspective and discussion. I liken perspective to a sphere. If the center of the sphere is the topic at hand, then all of the points that surround that to the outer edge of the sphere are the potential points of view. We come from different backgrounds, different families, different traditions, different age groups ... a lot of different. And yet, we share in some points of common reference. By using each other's view, we are better able to grasp the topic at hand. The simple fact is that by trusting and listening to God, the Creator of the Universe - the One who is Omniscient (All knowing), Omnipotent (All powerful) and Omnipresent (Always present), during the discussions - He will provide us the discernment to navigate the situation.
Our Pastor challenged me when we discussed forming this class to curtail (cut short) my propensity (strong tendency) for using uncommon words :-) It is a challenge for me, but I also understand that the right word in the right place lays a foundation for a deeper understanding. As I talked with a member of our class recently, we discussed the reality that the Bible was not originally written in English. To better understand some scripture, we need to understand the language in which it was written. To understand God's language, sometimes we simply need to be still (Psalm 46: 10) and listen.
So, I encourage each of you to stop; wait for the earthquakes that distract our lives, the windstorms that scatters our possessions and the fires that purify our very hearts to pass. Then LISTEN for the gentle voice of God to guide you in all that you do.