While listening to the praise reports and all the things people were thankful for at this mornings gathering, I began to think about the practical ways God brings us to live this life. I thought about how we actually put feet to doing something or how we respond to the words of God, spoken or read in the Bible. I didn't want to leave our gathering without doing something about those things I heard spoken. So I determined to begin looking at the practical truth of what God is saying to us.
I have mostly been an individual who goes to the "What will we do about that?" question after talking about a problem or challenge in my life. Maybe that is because I am a man and I'm told that men usually go to the point of "fixing things"; especially with their wives. I'm not sure about all of that but I do know my tendencies are to analyse and break everything apart to discover the best or most efficient way of accomplishing a task at hand. Sometimes that is a blessing, other times not.
I wonder, when we read the Bible, or hear someone speak of the things of God, does it make us want to do something about it? Or do we just think about it and accept the warm fuzzy feelings as enough of a response? Do we think, "Those were great thoughts and I feel really wonderful hearing all about it, but I'm comfortable where I am at. Please don't ask me to do something"?
The practical truth is that we most times do just that. Otherwise we may have a variety of lessor responses. Sometimes we even respond in a way pleasing to God! What ever that may be for you, I personally wish to respond in a Godly way. I don't always do that, due to laziness, business, forgetfulness or fear of making a mistake. In my heart and mind I do want to please God. Sometimes I just don't know what to do. It all seems so overwhelming at times.
That is where I see the practical truth of changing the way we think. We don't want to repeat the mistakes of our past or the ineffective ways we have embraced. We want to find new ways of thinking and seek out what works. We want to discover, understand and act in a more practical way towards God. We don't want to be enslaved to our old habits of destructive thinking and act out of them. We want to change. We want to be different.
How can we do that? I believe there are a few ways of doing that. One is to look at the lives of others. They can be inspirational to us if we believe we can learn to do the things they have learned to do. Another way is to seek and find what God has given us as examples and instruction in the Bible. Most always we can find something there if we look. That's where the practicality of "seeking and finding" comes into play. I have an electronic Bible and the Internet, where I can type in a word or phrase and find thousands of resources. God has given us an abundance of resources if we are willing to use them. A good place to start is to talk to God and ask Him to show you what you need to do. He will show you if you are sincere and diligent to look.
Finding those thoughts and examples are the beginning of what to do. We must put into practice the truth we discover. God will reveal to us those deep truths if we seek Him. Revelation then produces reality. Response is what revelation produces when it is married to the earnest desire to follow and please God. Every thought will bring a response of simple action. It may not be the groundbreaking announcement of historical revolution but it may revolutionize your life.
Let's talk about reality for a moment. Reality is simply what is real. It is the state of things as they actually exist, rather than as they may appear or might be imagined. Not just what you think about a thing but what is true about it. It takes an inspection of our lives and thoughts. This is something which is very unlikely to have happen through your own judgments. We need others to look at our lives and speak to us about what they see. We must exercise bravery and ask people to tell us what they honestly see about us. Then we must honestly look at that and respond to the truth.
What if you don't think what is said is true about you? Then go ask another person, and another person after that. Keep asking until you have a good collection of inspections from other people who care about you and love you. Pay attention to what they have to tell you. It most likely will hurt or grate you the wrong way, but you want to be in reality, don't you? Thank them and thank God for revealing the truth about your thoughts and actions. Then start getting over yourself. You are not all that and a bag of chips. Step into reality and life will be much more enjoyable.
I am starting a new blog called "The Practical Truth" and my hope is to write about the practical working out of things we see in the Bible and hear God telling us to do them. I'm not looking to persuade people to my way of thinking but to challenge people to act upon their faith. "Faith without works is dead..." You can check out my new blog by clicking here. Become a follower or just visit when you wish to find some fresh new ways of working out your salvation.
Maybe you would like to contribute to this blog. If so, there will be a page designed for you to contribute your thoughts and share them with others. Until then, please respond as you can. Email me with things that have helped you. See you at "The Practical Truth" .