Feeling really tired and groggy this morning. Very little sleep. Massive headache. Completely lacking inspiration. I sit here with my Bible open to Hebrews. I intensely read the introduction that describes the time and place it was written, and the meaning and message contained within. About four verses in, my mind wanders…why am I “studying” Hebrews this morning? Or perhaps the better question would be, what am I avoiding by studying Hebrews this morning? Why am I not reflecting on the real stuff that is on my heart right now? And I’m fairly certain I know the answer. My heart is not good currently. In a lot of ways, it is hurting. I have some serious issues going on in my heart right now and I guess I just don’t really want to face them. I really have some serious work to do on my heart – NO, I need to let go, realize I can’t do the work that needs done, and allow Jesus to work on my heart, because right now, its a bit of an ugly mess. I am ashamed and embarrassed…but I can’t fix it. I have to sincerely admit that my heart is not right, and ask God to work in me…to take it away from me. That is so hard for me to do. Through Christ I have grown so much and have found amazing freedom from all that has held me down in the past…but everyday its like my human nature (the old me) fights my redeemed self for control. My nature is to wall up, crawl into a hole and choose to be numb when things get tough and I am hurting. But the Spirit that lives within me will not allow me to live that way any longer. The Spirit within me prompts me to fight the good fight, and fights for me to break old ways, destroy negative habits and be who I am in Christ. Its a constant battle that rages between my old self and the new me in Christ. But it is surely a fight worth fighting.
Hebrews 3:15 says “Remember what it says: “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts as Israel did when they rebelled.'” This passage is referring to an original passage in Psalm 95, but this morning it really speaks to me. The scripture doesn’t say “Today IF you hear his voice…” It very clearly says when. Today WHEN you hear his voice. So I ask myself…will I be listening for his voice today when he speaks? Will I be in tune with the Spirit and listening for the voice to speak? Or will I allow the noise of the world to drown out what he has for me today? And when I hear his voice speak to me, what will I do with it? Will I follow the prompting of the spirit? (James 4:17 – If you know what you ought to do and don’t do it…). WIll I hear but then decided to do things my own way today?
My prayer this morning is that WHEN I hear the sweet voice of the Spirit today I will listen with an open heart and follow. That I will not be too distracted or caught up in my day to hear the voice that guides me in the right was, but instead I will be so in tune with the Spirit that it drowns everything else out – the doubts, the fears, the negative talk around me. I pray that I will hear and receive what is given to me today…with a willing heart.
For this post, I thought I would do things just a little bit differently. I will share the text for the story, and then the discussion questions. I think this will give everyone a chance to really dive into the Word, study it, come up with their own observations and share them through comments. I hope that makes sense.
The story I want to share can be found in 3 of the 4 gospels. Let’s look at it in Luke 8: 22-25. On this day, Jesus told the disciples to get in the boat and to cross to the other side. As they did, Jesus took a nap (justification for my afternoon naps! Even Jesus napped!) A violent storm surrounded the boat…you can read the rest!
1. Jesus napped…do you think this was intentional on Jesus’ part?
2. What does this tell us about the authority of Jesus?
3. What do you think about the way the disciples reacted?
4. Talk about a time that you felt Jesus slept through your storm.
5. What lessons is God teaching us through this story?