BEING USED BY GOD
(Newest ones are last)
|Part 1: Bible Studies on Being Used by God|
|Be a Light Bulb in a Windowless Room|
|Put Your Brain Down|
|Good Leaven or Bad?|
|Glorify God With Fruit|
|Where Are the Greater Works?|
|God Uses Sinners|
|Not of This World|
|Pleasing People or Pleasing God?|
|Can You Go Out Without Knowing Where?|
|9/2/04 Be a Light Bulb in a Windowless Room|
|"And the Lord make you
to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even
as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts
unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints."
desire is that we be unblameable in holiness before Him. Have you
noticed that when you are doing things that you know God doesn't want you to
do that most of the time they are directly related to loving yourself more
than you love other people? He knows that. That is why He will
help us to increase in love towards each other.
God will help us to do what He desires us to do. He doesn't expect us to achieve holiness by sheer will power alone! He will give us all the tools we need. The only thing we need to provide is the DESIRE!
If we desire to be walking in God's will then He will guide us in that direction. He will give us strength. He will give us patience. He will give us more love for people. He will give us whatever we need. We have to desire to be what He wants and, as a result, we have to choose to use the tools He provides.
The more we choose to obey the easier it gets. Walking in the flesh turns out to be not all that wonderful and fulfilling. Well, I could talk about that all day and nobody would believe me until they found out for themselves I would imagine. It is living in the flesh that is the hindrance to our being in God's will.
Walking in God's will, being holy, is what it is all about. Our ministries would be all they can be. We would have maximum impact on the people God brings our way. We will make a difference just like a light bulb makes in a windowless room.
If you haven't read it there is an article entitled A Call to Holiness. It provides scriptural documentation showing that it is possible to achieve holiness. God won't ask us to do something that is impossible. Of course, some of the things that hinder us are painful to remove, but that's only because they have been part of our lives for a long time. It's like breaking a bad habit... not easy but definitely worth it!
|Link to 9/2/04 welcome message|
|10/27/04 Put Your Brain Down|
|"Let no man deceive
himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him
become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is
foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own
|It doesn't matter how
smart we are. It doesn't matter how logical we are. We cannot
use our brains to understand spiritual things and that's that!
There are way too many people picking and choosing what to believe about God and about spiritual things. There are way too many opinions on what God will and won't do.
Let's get back to basics. God is GOD! He made everything out of nothing. Does that make any sense? Of course not. We can't comprehend how He did that. He is everywhere and yet we can't see Him, smell Him, or touch Him. Does that make any sense? No. One more time: GOD IS GOD!
Don't get locked into any mindset about the things of God UNLESS God tells you to get locked into it. Stay open minded about the things of God. Even in your own life, if God does something a particular way one time it doesn't necessarily mean He will do it that same way every time.
Too many people are preaching about how God does things based on what He has done in their own life. That's fine, but unless God tells them otherwise, they need to understand that God might do it differently for other people. Yes, God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, but if you read your Bible you will see how He did the same thing in different ways.
The sad things is that when someone gets locked into a mindset about something about God then there is a possibility that God can't work within those boundaries. The person's mindset may hinder them from understanding what God wants them to believe or it may hinder them from being used. It isn't really God that is hindered, it is just that His will may not be accomplished in a person if the person won't allow Him to show them a new thing.
Every once in a while God pulls up one of my beliefs and shows me that He never approved it. What we need to do is to allow Him to teach us. We should listen to what pastors and teachers teach us, but then we need to take those things to God and ask Him about them. God does enable people to teach us, but sometimes He wants to add something to what they said or He wants to revise something.
God touches each of us in an individual manner. He may teach me something and teach you something on the exact same subject. Then, when we get together to share, we find that there are slight differences in what we learned. Those differences may be so each of us can understand more fully based on our own learning abilities and/or our past experiences. Those differences may actually not be differences, but may create a more complete picture once they are put together.
Just because God shows us something that is different than what He shows someone else does not mean that we should argue with that other person until they see it our way. There is a possibility that they did not understand correctly. There is a possibility that we did not understand correctly. There is a possibility that God intended for us to believe differently than them. Only God knows. We need to ask Him first before we try to hammer home a point with someone.
There are so many things about God that are hard to understand. He doesn't do things the same way as we do things. When we take a class in school we are expected to learn everything in detail about the subject that is taught. When we are "in class" with God He may not want us to understand all the details. We can't close our mind to a spiritual thing just because we don't understand it.
The main thing is that we stay open-minded ALWAYS when it comes to spiritual things. Let's look at some scriptures:
the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding."
thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the
LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways
higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Here's one that
is very very sad:
If we insist on using our own intelligence to understand the things of God then even what happened on the cross doesn't make sense.
In most cases it isn't real important that we understand spiritual things. What is important is that we just accept them. We need to put our faith in God that the things He teaches us are truth. We need to be flexible as God may, all of a sudden, change the way He has us doing something. He may, all of a sudden, tell us something new and different.
It isn't important to have a doctrine. What is important is to be continually seeking what God wants us to say (every time we open our mouths) and what God wants us to do (every second of every day).
If the world calls me wise then I need to change because I don't want to be wise. I want to be obedient to God. I want the world to think I am crazy because that's what I am, CRAZY FOR GOD!
Remember our study for last week? It was about the power that is within us as children of the King of Kings. It isn't going to happen as long as we are keeping our minds in the world. Thinking that we understand the things of God is keeping our minds in the world. We are depending on our logic and human wisdom to help us. We are not going to be able to utilize the spiritual power within us unless we take a leap of faith. We have to jump into the unknown trusting God to handle things. We have to be open-minded so that He can take over.
My praise partner and I were pondering how hard it is to let God take over our brains. We keep trying to rationalize and understand things by trying to fit spiritual things into easy to understand worldly terms. So, we figured out that there was only one way to do it. We have to let our brains turn into mush. We can't expect anything to be the way we think it should be. We have to look around us like we have no prior experiences. We have to look at everything differently. We have to hold no expectations of the way things work or the way things should be. Rocks can fly if God wants them to fly. Cancer can disappear. Rain can turn to sun. Mountains can move.
|Link to 10/27/04 welcome message|
|3/12/05 Anger Management|
|"Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger
resteth in the bosom of fools."
|I wasn't sure what to do the Bible study on this week.
Yesterday I pondered it for a while and this morning I spent time in prayer
and pondering and didn't get a topic. Sometimes God gives me the actual
verse and other times He gives me a topic. This afternoon I got the topic.
Can you guess that something happened to me this afternoon? I'm not going to bore you with the details.
"YAY!" "That's good!" "About time!"
Who said that? All right, now I'm starting to get angry.
OK, let's get serious about this study. In a nutshell, I got a letter today regarding my being on the Board of Directors of our homeowner association. The letter was from another board member and was full of lies about me and was trying to get me to resign. Copies of the letter were supposedly sent to other people as well.
When I first read it I was MAD! My hands started to shake and my face started to heat up. My first reaction was to resign. I work hard to make sure that the things I do are in the best interest of the entire association. I do a lot of extra work to make sure that everything is documented and everything is done by all laws and regulations.
The things I was accused of doing and saying were wrong. The other board members that were there were witnesses to what actually took place. If I resigned I would be doing myself a favor and getting out of a lot of extra work. Yet, I got on the board so I could help find a way to get our entire association out from under the burden of having the huge liability involved in the ownership of our common areas... water runoff areas.
If I resigned in anger I would have been going against what God did. God put me on that board to help. He gave me the gift of being a good secretary and wanted me to apply that gift to this association. I'm going to guess that God now wants to demonstrate to the other board members how a Christian handles conflict. What part of God would I be reflecting if I resigned in anger?
I needed to not do anything until I allowed God to fill me with His peace and with some understanding and knowledge about this. Now I am calmer about it. I no longer feel like yelling (my first instinct) nor do I feel like crying (my second instinct). I need to become quiet and find out what God wants me to do and to say.
I could very easily make myself look more foolish than the person who lied about me if I react in anger. In this case God has me just pulling back and allowing the writer to chew his own foot off.
The thought occurred to me; I wonder if I can ever get to the point of never getting angry. I don't know. Even Jesus demonstrated anger when he ran the money changers and others out of the temple.
Solomon gave us some good advice about anger:
"Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin;"
"A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger."
Then, when I read this one, I laughed. The man who wrote the letter said something once about going to a Bible study. I guess he never saw this one or he might have not written that letter: "It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman." Prov 21:19
It isn't good to react in anger because we will probably say and do things we will regret. When something happens and we feel anger it is good to walk away to reflect, count to ten (or more), pray, take a cold shower, or somehow find a way to calm down.
As was stated in last week's Bible study:
What are those witnesses going to observe? Will be demonstrate the ugliness of our flesh or will we demonstrate the beauty of God's love?
|Link to 3/12/05 welcome message|
|10/13/05 Good Leaven or Bad?|
|"Your glorying is not
good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?"
|In this scripture,
leaven is yeast that causes bread dough to rise. It doesn't take much yeast
to make a large ball of dough get fluffy and full of air (carbon dioxide to
I used to think that it was always a good thing to fellowship with other Christians. Yet, there were a few that I'd be with and would discover I had a feeling that things were not right. When we would part I would have a guilty feeling like I had just finished doing something I shouldn't have done.
What was happening was we were not good for each other. We each brought out the worst in each other. In those particular cases, we were each battling a critical nature. I am sure that God was dealing with each of us and letting us know that we were mis-using the gift of discerning what was wrong. Instead of using it to make things better, we were using it as a measuring stick and found people lacking. At least, that's what the problem was for me. So we spent time laughing at people and criticizing them.
So, one person would "leaven the lump" and we would all "rise" to the occasion and join in. I made a hard decision and chose to stay away from those people until I was strong enough to choose to not participate. The amazing thing is that my change of attitude then was able to create a changed attitude with my friends when I was with them.
We need to be aware of the "leaven" that other people have and make sure it doesn't cause us to sin. We have to be doubly careful that we don't cause others to sin, too.
On the other hand, take a look at Matthew 13:33, "... The kingdom of heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took, and hid in three measures of meal, till the whole was leavened."
We must be aware that we also are carrying with us good leaven. Our actions and words can make a difference in other people. Have you ever been with people that swear a lot, except when they are around you? Why do you think that is?
As individuals, we CAN make a difference. We need to be constantly aware of what God wants us to be doing and saying. (How many times have I said that here at the Clarion Call? A million? It sure seems like it. I guess God is wanting us to lock it down and do it!) We can never relax and stop listening to Him, even around other Christians. We must be a walking talking example of holiness. It often doesn't take much to begin the destruction that bad leaven can cause. At the same time, it often doesn't take much to begin the transformation that good leaven can cause.
|Link to 10/13/05 welcome message|
|11/7/05 Glorify God With Fruit|
|"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my
|As we discussed in the welcome message, Jesus actually
lives in us. Jesus said, in verse five, if we are abiding in Him and
Him in us then we are producing much fruit.
Fruit is meant to be eaten, which means it is taken into our bodies. The fruit that we produce as a result of Jesus abiding in us is taken into the bodies of other people. They see Jesus in us and they actually receive something. It might be peace, it might be love, it might even just be a desire to have what they see in us.
When we choose to live the way God wants us to live every day then we will be productive in His Kingdom. We will be producing and handing out fruit.
As a result, people are receiving what God wants them to have and He is glorified. If the fruit that is taken in by other people then is allowed to ripen to its fullest, those people are then drawn to Him and become working members of the Kingdom and begin handing out fruit themselves.
Jesus handed "fruit" to His disciples. His disciples handed out "fruit" to people who then handed out more "fruit" to more people. That's how the gospel was spread around the world. You are now expected to be a disciple and be handing out more "fruit". You can do that without even knowing what you are doing. Like I said, if you are carrying Jesus around inside and are allowing Him to guide you then "much fruit" will pour out with no effort on your part.
|Link to 11/7/05 welcome message|
|2/15/06 Where Are the Greater Works?|
|"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I
do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go
unto my Father."
|There it is. It's another one of those
scriptures that we know about. It's one of those that we want to
believe but can't quite get it into our heads and hearts.
Jesus was the one who said it. We believe in Jesus, right? It says if we believe in Him that we will do the same kind of works He did and even greater ones! What greater work is there than bringing someone from death into life? (Matthew 9:25)
Jesus wasn't a liar. He said it. We have to take it down to that bottom line. If Jesus said it then it is true.
Then, perhaps it is the belief in Him part that is the problem. That is a possibility. Maybe we just don't understand completely what He did and who He is. Maybe that is what is hindering those greater works.
Maybe the problem is that we just are not doing them. What is God saying? Is He directing us to perform greater works? Is He telling us to take a leap of faith? I've taken a few and they are really scary. When my eyes and ears tell me one thing it is hard to KNOW that God wants something else and to act like the outcome will be what God wants and not what the laws of physics or the laws of gravity or any other "laws" dictate!
So, where are the great works? Where are the miracles? Are they resting inside of us, undone and dormant? Are they not only resting inside us, but tightly locked up inside a box within us? Are we denying to believe what God is telling us? Are we too embarrassed or afraid to speak of spiritual things that we cannot see with our own earthly eyes? Are we unable to believe that God will be able to make it so? Perhaps the reason is unbelief, after all. Do we believe what Jesus said just before He went to Heaven? Here's what He said. Study it closely and lock it into your heart. Perhaps we don't completely believe Jesus after all.
"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged."
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye
cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come,
he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but
whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things
to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall
shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore
said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you."
|Link to 2/15/06 welcome message|
|4/2/10 God Uses Sinners|
"...unto the days of David; Who found favour before
|Of course you remember David, right? I remember when I first felt God's
love wrapping around me and when I had my experience of "hearing" Him I couldn't
wait to start re-reading Psalms. I knew that David, too, had experienced
what I had and he wrote about it. I wanted to learn more about his
relationship with God.
I knew that God thought of David in a special way. As our scripture says, he found favor before God.
Hang on. David was guilty of murder. He sent Uriah out to be killed because.... Oh my! Not only did he cause the death of Uriah, he slept with Uriah's wife and made her pregnant! That's awful!
So, how is it that God favored David? David knew he had sinned and he repented. He was deeply sorry for what he had done. God had forgiven him.
David still had to suffer the consequences of what he had done. God wouldn't allow him to build His temple. David's baby died. The rest of his life wasn't very easy.
The reason we are looking at what happened to David is so we can understand that, no matter what we have done, God is willing to forgive us.
Yes, we will suffer the consequences of our actions, but once we repent and ask forgiveness then God does forgive us. As far as He is concerned, it never happened.
A sinful past does not mean we can't be used by God. As a matter of fact, you will find that your sinful past will often enable you to be used more effectively by God. When you are talking to someone who is currently doing what you have done in the past, it often causes them to listen more closely to you when you tell them it is possible to "escape" from that sin.
By remembering that you were once in the same boat as others are now it makes your heart more open to feel compassion for those people. God will use you no matter what you did in the past. Sometimes it will cause problems with people who know about your past and who will refuse to believe you have changed. Don't let it bother you. The problem is not yours any more, it is theirs. If they choose to not observe how you have changed, then they are the losers. They have lost the opportunity to know the new you.
Never never make the decision that God can't use you because of what you have done. Give yourself to Him and you will be amazed what He can do through you!
|Link to 4/2/10 welcome message|
|10/19/10 Not of This World|
"If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated
you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye
are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the
world hateth you."
|Have you seen all those bumper stickers that say "NTW" and "Not of This World"?
This is the portion of the Bible that inspired them.
The more you seek God's will in your life the crazier you will appear to your friends and relatives who aren't seeking His will. If they find out you spend time every day in prayer and reading your Bible they will think you are wasting time that could be better spent on other things.
They won't try to understand. It is easier to just slap the label "CRAZY" on you and then proceed to laugh about you with others.
Following Jesus' example is not for sissies. Unless your friends and relatives are also seeking God's will then expect to have some or all of them turn their backs on you.
You have been chosen because you can handle it. You have to choose to dive in all the way and immerse yourself in what God would have you to be doing. You can also choose to just do certain things that He wants you to do, the easier parts. Keep in mind, however, that you aren't just choosing to DO certain things... you are also choosing to NOT DO the other things. That would translate into refusing to do what God wants you to do some of the time.
If you do what God wants you to do as long as it doesn't cause you any discomfort good enough? Jesus didn't think so. He said the world would hate you because you were no longer like the others in the world who didn't know Him.
|Link to 10/19/10 welcome message|
|7/11/11 Pleasing People or Pleasing God?|
"Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother.
And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his
What is wrong with that picture? Abel was killed by his brother
because what he did was righteous! Something Abel did pushed Cain's kill
The hard road is the righteous road. It isn't easy to always do the right thing. It isn't easy to always tell the truth, not follow the popular opinion when you know it is wrong, nor to follow God when others think you are crazy.
You will find that, as you follow God's will, people will get upset with you. Sometimes it is because they know they are doing the wrong thing and they are mad at you for having the strength and willpower to do the right thing. Also, you doing the right thing makes them look bad. Other times it is because they are so wrapped up in evil they hate good.
When Jesus did good things on the Sabbath, the religious leaders were upset because they were wrapped up in their rules. They weren't seeking God's will, they found it easier to just follow the rules. They didn't want to have to seek God's will for everything they did. That's too difficult and would throw them out of their comfort zone. Instead of seeking to find out if Jesus was right, they decided He was wrong. Jesus was making them look bad.
I raised three sons. I noticed that peer pressure was the strongest motivator when they messed up. They wanted to look good in front of their friends. When I was younger I had low self esteem. I, too, wanted to look good to other people. I often went along with what I knew to be wrong because I wanted people to like me.
It is very important for us to learn what God wants us to be doing and follow His will. That will not make us popular. We will be ridiculed. We will be hated. However, we will be pleasing God. We will be making a difference in bringing His Kingdom from Heaven to Earth. God will be pleased with us. Pleasing people gives tiny and immediate rewards. Pleasing God gives huge and long-lasting rewards. Try it!
|Link to 7/11/11 welcome message|
|1/20/12 Can You Go Out Without Knowing Where?|
"By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a
place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went
out, not knowing whither he went."
This is something we are afraid to do. We are afraid to wait to
find out where God will send us and we are afraid to go if we aren't sure where
exactly we are being sent.
Even churches/pastors are afraid to step out unless they have a road map. Have you ever been in a church service where there were moments of silence when the leadership was waiting on God's direction? I haven't. There is usually a set program and the songs are already chosen, the announcements will be read no matter what, and the sermon is set in stone.
It isn't like we are to wander around like mindless robots waiting for God to do something. We have to be prepared. We must be prayed up, full of the Word from the Bible, and we must be willing to be sent wherever God would have us go.
Serving God isn't always by doing something at church. God has much more planned for us than just being pastors, Sunday school teachers, deacons, or the like. Those are not the only service positions that need to be filled.
I used to be afraid of where God might want to use me. I was afraid He might send me to a foreign country to be a missionary or to a rough neighborhood to witness to people. The problem was that I didn't trust Him. I didn't know Him well enough to place my life, my health, my body, my family, and my heart in His hands.
After spending time in my "prayer closet" listening for His voice and reading the Word trying to learn more about His heart I ended up asking Him to use me. I didn't place restrictions on where or how He could use me. I just asked Him to use me. Boy, oh boy, did He ever use me!
It's not easy to be used by Him. It takes us out of our comfort zone that we have so carefully built for ourselves. So what? He's there with us! Is it any different than going to a new job that is completely different than our old one? Not really. How many people would gladly move to another location for a great job but won't allow God to move them?
Each morning we should be ready to be used by God. Every minute of every day we should be ready to be used by God. Those that refuse to be used are the broken arms, malfunctioning kidneys, and amputated limbs of the Body of Christ.
|Link to 1/20/12 welcome message|
|11/21/13 Sharing Thankfulness|
"Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the
heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name."
In the United States we celebrate Thanksgiving every November. It
seems like in most cases it is just a time for family members to get together
and eat. There isn't any reference to being thankful.
I, for one, always encourage everyone to think about things they are thankful for. Since it is "Thanksgiving" I'm not looked at like I'm an oddball when I mention God. In front of the "heathen" family and friends I can say I'm thankful to God and actually get positive feedback. It is a rare opportunity to get past the barriers that some people have built between them and God.
Christmas is, for me, the second easiest holiday where people are open to some mentioning of Jesus and God. They often decorate with nativities even if they don't believe in Jesus. It is another time when it is "acceptable" to discuss Jesus.
Thanksgiving is actually the best day from what I've found. Everyone is together, all at the same time, and we can discuss being thankful at length. Everyone is thankful for something, even if they don't admit it.
I have found that many people say they don't believe in God because of bad things that have happened to them. They want to blame God. It goes from blaming Him to ignoring Him and saying they don't believe in Him. That's why it is so powerful at Thanksgiving. We can discuss the good things that have happened. When I am thanking God for those good things it makes them think about why the good things happen, "if there is no God".
A seed gets planted. God will do the watering.
|Link to 11/21/13 welcome message|
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free
course, and be glorified, even as it is with you"
I generally don't ask favors of anyone. I don't
want to impose. I don't want to add to other people's "to-do lists".
Over the years I have put together all the pages here at the Clarion Call. There are almost 3,000 pages here. Some were written by other authors, but I added the backgrounds and formatted every page. For a long time a new Bible study was done every single week. I have paid for the hosting and domain name myself.
Now I'm asking for help. I need your prayers. I am only one, small, weak member of the Body of Christ. God put me in charge of the Clarion Call. He didn't expect me to do it all without help! There is more work to be done here and I need your help to get it done!
Perhaps you weren't given the job to pray for me and for the Clarion Call. Perhaps you were brought here because you have something to share. Perhaps you were brought here to take something away and to not do anything in return. I don't know, but God does. It's up to you to find out what He wants you to do. Oh, yes, then you need to do it.
|Link to 4/11/16 welcome message|
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