OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years

2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).

Some other housecleaning:

A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.

B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.

C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.

D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.

As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.

[Mar 29]--Which Way To Go?

Proverbs 2:1-8

Since we talked briefly about “putting out the fleece” yesterday, I thought this might be a good time to discuss some alternate (and I think better) ways to seek God’s direction when we aren’t sure which way to go. There’s a fourfold process which I use, and I think it’s biblical.

First and most important, we should seek God’s will in his word. I realize that there are parts of the Bible which are hard to understand, but not the most important parts. One of my favorite quotes from Alistair Begg: "The plain things are the main things, and the main things are the plain things." This is why it’s vital that we read the Bible for ourselves, and we undertake a systematic plan to read it from cover to cover, not just the parts which we like.

I also acknowledge that there are plenty of issues which aren't directly addressed by Scripture, from ethical issues like cloning to personal major decisions such as which college I should attend or whom to marry. However, there are principles which we can draw from God’s word which can help us. There are plenty of Bible study helps out there, including (hopefully) this devotional, to aid us in incorporating these principles.

The second step should obviously be humble prayer. I should emphasize the word humble here. We can certainly ask God to show us the way to go, but we should preface every such prayer with “Whatever you want me to do or wherever you want me to go, the answer's ‘yes.’”

The third step is commonly neglected: godly counsel. The book of Proverbs says that “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed,” and there are several other verses which I could've picked. Notice, however, that I said godly counsel, preferably someone who's more spiritually mature than you. Even the strongest Christian has blind spots, and another pair of eyes can be invaluable. Also we have to avoid what I call the “Round Robin” approach. This means that you've already decided what you want to do, and go round to all your friends until you hear the advice you want to hear. Read 1 Kings 12:1-19 for a great example of this.

Finally, after you’ve taken all these steps, then do what you want! What do you desire to do? If you're sincerely submitting to God and trying to be obedient, then go forward and don’t worry about it.  If you have a desire (within the clear parameters of his word), then it's quite likely--even probable--that this is a sign of where he wants to lead you. Augustine, one the greatest theologians ever, advised us to “Love God then do as you please.” Today’s passage tells us that our Father “guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones.” If you concentrate on being “just” and “faithful” then let God worry about your path. Quite liberating, isn’t it?

Let me submit a word about the more unorthodox means of God communicating with us. Some people might try something like lots, noting the fact that people in biblical times commonly used them. I can’t say that they're sinning with that, but I have to point out that once the Holy Spirit came in Acts chapter two, you never read about believers using lots again. Also, I believe that the Lord can (and sometimes does) speak to people in dreams or visions. However, I also believe that since we have God’s infallible word, we shouldn’t wait for them or depend on them.

Father, most of the time I know exactly what I need to do, but I just don’t do it. Please change me into the likeness of your Son. I want to think, act, and talk more like him.

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