Have you ever felt prompted by God to do something? Perhaps to give someone a call or go to the grocery store when you didn’t need groceries, only to find out someone needed you to pray for them. Maybe you felt prompted to buy someone's groceries, or maybe you were prompted to take a left turn instead of a right turn to go home and you found out that you avoided an accident.
God is always speaking and it's up to us to pay attention to His promptings. Last year, I met a lady at a park, she happened to know my friend I was walking with, this lady said to me she felt led to come to the park, and we quickly find out she was meant to speak with me and share a tidbit of what I am do for my ministry.
Also last year, I felt the Lord was prompting me to go to the grocery store and talk to someone in a green jacket. When I got there, the only person in a green jacket was a man, I talked myself out of speaking to the man because I was sure I was to find a lady. Sadly, after the man left, I realized he was who I was there to talk to. I never saw the man again. I felt terrible for not obediently following that prompting and have prayed someone else would speak to the man soon. Please learn from my mistakes and be obedient the first time!
I pray this month’s Bible Reading Plan will build greater faith as you dive into reading about just a few of God’s promptings we find throughout the Old and New Testament.
What struck me as I prepared this Bible Reading Plan, was lining up these stories side by side and learning that many times God speaks to a person way in advance of the event. For example, God told Noah to build an ark 120 years before the flood and it had never rained before that moment. Imagine the faith and obedience to preserve and believe God.
We also look at several instances of individuals who chose to ignore or disobey these promptings from God which led to consequences, some more significant than others. We will explore a few biblical stories from Abraham being impatient with God to Lot’s wife being disobedient to Jonah running from God. Each chose not to follow God’s promptings quickly or fully and chose to take matters into their own hands and therefore didn’t receive all God had for them or even died from their actions.
If God has prompted you to do something and you are still waiting on fulfilment of something, don’t give up hope. Ask the Lord to help your unbelief and ask Him to help you to wait on His perfect timing. I encourage you to lean into what God said. Next ask Him what He wants you to take away from the passage today. Grab a friend and share insights you have during your readings. It is great fun to learn from each other as we weave together stories of God’s promptings throughout the Bible and today!
Obedience and Faith in the Promptings of God
in the Old and New Testament
In the Old Testament, we encounter several instances of divine promptings where God communicates His will to His people. Here are a few of the stories in this month’s Bible Reading Plan. These promptings carry profound lessons for us to learn and apply in our own lives.
The Call of Abraham: Genesis 12 recounts God's prompting of Abraham to leave his country and journey to a land that God would show him. Abraham's faith and obedience in responding to this call lay the foundation for God's covenant with him and his descendants.
Isaac in Gerar: Genesis 26 shows how God prompts Isaac to remain in Gerar during a famine, promising to bless him and multiply his descendants. This story highlights the importance of trusting God's leading, even in challenging circumstances.
Joshua's Inheritance: Joshua 14 recounts how God prompts Joshua to claim the land He promised him as an inheritance. This story illustrates the importance of trusting God's promises and stepping into the destiny He has prepared for us.
Samuel's Calling: In 1 Samuel 3, God calls Samuel multiple times, and Samuel responds in obedience, becoming a faithful prophet and servant of the Lord. This teaches us to listen attentively to God's voice and be ready to obey His calling.
Elijah's Encounter on Mount Horeb: In 1 Kings 19:9-18, God prompts Elijah to go to Mount Horeb, where He reveals His presence in a gentle whisper. This account teaches us to seek God in the quiet moments and find strength in His presence.
In the New Testament, we see numerous instances of divine promptings where God communicates His will to His people. These promptings often lead to pivotal moments in their lives and have valuable lessons for us to learn.
Heeding God's Guidance: The story of the Wise Men teaches us the importance of paying attention to God's guidance and being obedient to His leading, even when it requires changing our plans.
God's Perfect Timing: Mary and Joseph fleeing to Egypt highlights how God's promptings can ensure our safety and protect us from harm, showing that His timing is always perfect.
Reaching Out to Others: Philip's encounter with the Ethiopian eunuch demonstrates the need to respond to God's call in reaching out to others, sharing the Gospel and participating in their spiritual journey.
Redemption through Obedience: Ananias and Paul's story showcases the power of obedience to God's promptings, leading to transformation and redemption, even in seemingly possible circumstances.
Trusting God's Will: Paul's compelled journey to Jerusalem illustrates the cost of discipleship and the need to trust God's leading, even when it leads us into challenging situations.
Ignoring Divine Promptings: Lessons from Biblical Examples
The stories of those who ignored or delayed being obedient to God's promptings in the Bible serve as cautionary lessons for us. Whether it's running from God's call, relying on human strength, clinging to the past, acting out of fear, impatience, greed, or prioritizing worldly possessions, the consequences of disobedience are evident. As we read these scriptures, may we be vigilant in listening to God's promptings, obeying His commands, and trusting in His wisdom and providence. By doing so, we can walk in alignment with His will and experience the abundant life He has prepared for us.
Abraham's lack of faith: Although God had assured him and Sarah of a son, Abraham struggled to fully trust in the fulfillment of this divine promise. Doubt crept into Abraham's heart because of their advanced age, and he took matters into his own hands and had a son with their servant. This decision reflected his momentary lack of faith in God's timing and plan.
Lot's Wife - Clinging to the Past (Genesis 19): During the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, God's angels warned Lot and his family not to look back as they fled the city. However, Lot's wife disobeyed and looked back, turning into a pillar of salt. Her disobedience shows us the danger of clinging to our past, even when God calls us to move forward. Listening to God's promptings and letting go of the past is vital for our spiritual growth and well-being.
Israel's Complacency - Missing the Promised Land (Numbers 13-14): When the Israelites reached the borders of the Promised Land, God prompted Moses to send spies to explore the land. Though most of the spies reported that the land was fruitful, ten of them spread fear and discouragement. The people chose to believe the negative report, ignoring God's promise and prompting, resulting in wandering in the wilderness for 40 years. This teaches us the dangers of complacency, fear, and unbelief when it comes to following God's guidance.
Balaam's Greed - Pursuing Personal Gain (Numbers 22-24): Balaam was a prophet whom Balak, the king of Moab, hired to curse the Israelites. Despite God warning him not to go, Balaam pursued personal gain and embarked on the journey. God intervened, using a speaking donkey to get his attention and prevent him from cursing Israel. This story teaches us about the dangers of allowing greed and personal ambitions to cloud our judgment and lead us away from God's will.
Jonah - Running from God's Call (Jonah 1:1-3): The story of Jonah is a prime example of someone who disregarded God's prompting. When God called Jonah to preach repentance to the people of Nineveh, he chose to flee in the opposite direction. Jonah's disobedience led to his tumultuous journey in the belly of a great fish. We learn from Jonah's story that running from God's call only leads to unnecessary hardships and delays in fulfilling God's purposes.
The Old and New Testament are full of instances of divine promptings, where God communicates with His people and directs their paths. These stories offer valuable lessons on faith, obedience, trust, and serving God's purposes. As we reflect on these promptings and the responses of those involved, may we be inspired to seek God's leading in our own lives and respond with faithfulness and obedience to His call.
Please share what you have learned from this 30-day Bible Reading Plan, I would love to learn your insights!
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