A'nesis Retreats and Counseling Sabbaticals

Come Away to a Quiet Place and Rest Awhile ~ Christian Retreats with Intensive Counseling

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“The Lord Stood and Said…”

How many times in our lives have we longed for the big billboard in the sky? There are seasons of darkness when we really need some sort of “sign.” Most of us really would prefer an actual physical sign…neon, regular billboard or perhaps even a small poster would do.

How fortunate for Paul that he actually experienced the Lord standing by him; not only this,he must have clearly heard Jesus speaking to him in an audible voice. Wow! Let’s examine a little closer before we get pea green with envy. If God speaks to us we may not want to be obedient to the message. The delivery could be a fabulous and wonderful and amazing sense of the His beautiful presence. However, the content of the message could be pretty frightening! “You say what?” “You want me to do what?”

Examining Paul’s moment of knowing the Lord was standing and speaking to Him gives us a clue to how we know if it is actually God’s voice or something we are only imagining. Here are some ways we can tell “is it God, the devil or me?”

1. He usually gives us a tough assignment that requires complete dependence on Him, not ourselves. Let’s face it…would self tell self to do something hard? No self would suggest a nice easy task!

2. The word from Him can often require a lot of “movement,” like travel or going to a new place that is totally out of our comfort zone. This could be as simple as talking to someone we would not normally talk to.

3. His message might require several steps to accomplish and also require patience.

4. It will not necessarily sound like common sense. We think God would only give us a clear,simple, and normal message. Quite the contrary. The Lord stood (by Paul) and told him very clearly to go do the same thing he just did (and almost got killed for) in yet another country (required extensive harsh travel). This time he would receive more brutal treatment, even imprisonment.

Acts 23 gives us this beautiful example of Jesus standing and talking to us in the flesh. The important thing is, if you experience His presence in the delivery of the message, you can rest assured about the content. Don’t question. Trust and obey. He will take care of the rest. You will grow and learn to depend on him more. You can’t put a price tag on an experience like that!

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Wives World~ The Silent Treatment…from God

We talked about the destructiveness in relationships when the silent treatment is used as a way to respond in communication, especially surrounding the issue of conflict.

What happens if the silent treatment we are getting is from GOD?  What’s the normal reaction??? Same as our human relationships…ANGER!  We may actively, like Job, throw our fists into the air and scream, or we may only do the gesture on the inside.

Even the Psalmist faced this problem when he cried out in Psalm 83:1…”:O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.” Three times he pleaded with God to give him a response.

Why would God do this???  Oh these are such tough times!  God’s silence is usually about one of two things.  This may be the only way He can grow our trust.  Seems like the opposite way to grow trust doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, though we just have to trust when we don’t see or hear.  I think it’s called blind faith.

Other silences from God just mean that He is acting according to His perfect timing which is NEVER wrong.  God’s timing is perfect as are His ways.  Somehow in the midst of silence we turn the corner and begin to trust on a whole new level.