Archive for the ‘Discernment’ Category

September 4th, 2015

Be Careful Who You Follow

“And he brought me into the inner court of the house of the LORD. And behold, at the entrance of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men, with their backs to the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east, worshiping the sun toward the east. Then he said to me, ‘Have you seen this, O son of man? Is it too light a thing for the house of Judah to commit the abominations that they commit here, that they should fill the land with violence and provoke me still further to anger? Behold, they put the branch to their nose. Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them.’” Ezekiel 8:16-18 (ESV)

Beginning in chapter 8 of the book of Ezekiel, the prophet is given another vision of various abominable acts taking place in the temple of God, the culmination of which is 25 priests worshiping the sun at an altar built for the Lord. As a result of the defamation taking place in God’s holiest place on the earth, the Lord promises wrath upon not only the leadership of Israel but indeed all of its people.

When the leadership of a people forget their God and begin to worship created things rather than the Creator, all those under the influence of the leadership are also led astray and by virtue become children of wrath as well. This warning we see in the writings of Ezekiel serves as a reminder for us to be careful regarding who we allow to speak as a leader into our lives. Do the leaders you follow and trust love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength or do they claim He has forsaken us? Do they lead you into worship of the Most High, or do they focus on created things and the wisdom of man? Are they more concerned about lifting up the name of the Lord or their own name?

Be guarded about who you allow to speak into your life, making sure that your leaders are leading you toward the Lord rather than into judgment, for ultimately we are all accountable for our actions regardless of who led us there.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, September 4th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Ezekiel, Leadership.
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August 28th, 2015

A Source of Wisdom

“Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least to the greatest, came near and said to Jeremiah the prophet, ‘Let our plea for mercy come before you, and pray to the LORD your God for us, for all this remnant–because we are left with but a few, as your eyes see us–that the LORD your God may show us the way we should go, and the thing that we should do.’ Jeremiah the prophet said to them, ‘I have heard you. Behold, I will pray to the LORD your God according to your request, and whatever the LORD answers you I will tell you. I will keep nothing back from you.’” Jeremiah 42:1-4 (ESV)

Do people within the sphere of your influence run to you in times of trouble for wisdom from the Lord because they know of how closely you walk with Him? Jeremiah was a man who walked closely with the Lord and the leadership of Judah knew it. In a moment of panic after the assassination of Gedaliah, the leadership runs to Jeremiah to have him intercede on their behalf. Jeremiah promises to pray for them and communicate whatever word the Lord gives him to them without reservation. Jeremiah was their connection to the Lord because of his faithfulness in every circumstance.

What about you? Are you known for your faithfulness to the Lord? Do those who are far from the Lord come to you for help and prayer? May we be a people so in-tuned with the Spirit of God that whenever those around us at work, school, or in our neighborhoods have trials and tribulations, they immediately come to us for wisdom and prayer. May the Spirit of God flow from us as we have sought Him continually in prayer and in His word. Become a place of hope for those in need as you radiate the fruit of the Spirit, having been transformed by the gospel.

And as a final thought today, thank the Lord for the Jeremiah’s in your life, whom you run to in times of distress to find wisdom and discernment from the Lord.

Grace and peace,

Jared Richard
Mobilization Pastor (Online Devotional Guest Author)
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/jaredrichard

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Friday, August 28th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Jeremiah, Wisdom & Understanding.
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March 9th, 2015

Discern God’s Will

“On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds. Then Moses brought out all the staffs from before the Lord to all the people of Israel. And they looked, and each man took his staff.” Numbers 17:8-9 (ESV)

God reveals His will. Even when you are not clear about a direction you should take, God will bring you into the decision making process to reveal His plan. God created you and God has a specific plan for your life. Will you pursue Him daily and trust Him completely? Will you obey what God shows you?

Moses obeyed God’s directive by securing the staffs of the twelve chiefs of Israel. Moses wrote their name on their staff and wrote Aaron’s name on the staff of Levi. The morning after Moses placed the twelve staffs in the tent of meeting, he retrieved each staff and noticed that Aaron’s staff had sprouted. Through this very interesting process, God revealed His will.

Perhaps you are going through a season of life in which you would love for God to reveal His will to you in a tangible way. You would be willing to secure a staff or any item that God would use to indicate His will. The reality is that God reveals His will through His Word.

Are you reading your Bible? Are you spending time in prayer and spending time diligently seeking God’s will? As you obey what God has already revealed to you, He will illuminate the path He wants you to take. As you obey, God will show you the way.

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Monday, March 9th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, God's Will, Numbers.
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February 24th, 2015

Distinguish the Sacred

“And the Lord spoke to Aaron, saying, ’Drink no wine or strong drink, you or your sons with you, when you go into the tent of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. You are to distinguish between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and the clean, and you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the Lord has spoken to them by Moses.’” Leviticus 10:8-11 (ESV)

You are made to worship. God has placed within you the desire to worship. If you are not careful and attentive, you can drift into worshiping creation rather than worshiping the Creator. You determine the focus of your worship. It is vital that you not only worship God, but that you worship God His way.

  • “Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it and laid incense on it and offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.” Leviticus 10:1-2 (ESV)

Aaron’s sons made a decision to forfeit worshiping God His way. Instead, they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord and God removed them from their priestly service by instant death. As you read this encounter, it appears to be abrupt and extreme. God is demonstrating the value He places on His holiness and the way we worship.

God has given us His Holy Spirit to help us distinguish between that which is holy and common, between the clean and unclean. Guard against becoming too casual in your worship of the One true living God. Revere God and esteem God as you worship Him privately and corporately. Affirm the holiness of God. He alone is worthy!

Riding HIS Wave,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

 

 

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, February 24th, 2015 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Holiness, Leviticus.
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October 12th, 2014

Choose the Right Path

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” Proverbs 14:12 (ESV)

Decisions determine direction and direction determines destination. Life is filled with incremental decisions that place you on a particular path. You can be living in the center of God’s will and make one small decision that causes you to divert from the path God has for you.

Think about the condition of your relationships. Measure the health of your relationship with Christ, your relationship with your spouse, your relationship with your children, and your relationship with others. The decisions you make impact the level of health in each of these relationships. One decision can enhance your relationships or hinder your relationships.

Assess where you are right now in your life. How did you get to where you are? You are a product of the choices you make. When you chose to trust in Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, your forever changed. You made a spiritual decision that placed you in a right relationship with Christ. Consider the choices you made academically to position yourself for a bright future. The location of your residence is a result of a decision you made.

Sometimes the choices others make impact you directly. Perhaps someone in your family made a poor choice that led them down a path filled with consequences. You are now reaping a portion of what they have sown. God will give you the grace to navigate that path. Remember, if God allows it, He will use it! If God allowed the consequences to drift in your direction, He will use them for your good and His glory.

Walk in unbroken fellowship with the Lord and ask Him to enable you to discern His will. Ask the Lord to illuminate the path He wants you to take for His glory.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Choices, Discernment, God's Will.
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August 19th, 2014

Obtaining a Proper View

“For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.” Romans 12:3 (ESV)

Do you have a skewed view of yourself? When you examine your life, what do you see? Perhaps you have a low view of yourself. It may be that you have an inflated view of yourself. Someone has remarked that we view others based on their actions and we view ourselves based on our intentions.

How does God want you to view yourself? The proper way to view yourself is in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. How do you measure that faith? You need a standard! The wonderful news is that Jesus is our standard. He is the benchmark for our assessment. God wants you to use sober judgment. In other words, you are to measure your life with accuracy. Instead of comparing yourself to others, examine your life in light of Christ.

Assess your current reality using Jesus as your standard. He is the model to follow. Jesus is the example to emulate. Obtain a proper view of yourself. Allow the standard of Christ’s life to produce an element of brokenness and humility inside of you. Embrace the desperation and invite Jesus to take you to the place of being more like Him.

Begin to view others through the lens of the journey you are on. Recognize that you haven’t arrived. Start viewing others through the prospect of their life fully yielded to Christ. What if they became like Christ? View yourself and others through the measure of faith God has given you. You are in Christ because of God’s unconditional love.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Faith, Humility.
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July 30th, 2014

Pick Your Path

“Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.” Proverbs 4:26-27 (ESV)

Have you ever peaked into the rear view mirror of life and wondered, “Why did I choose that path?” Perhaps you made a decision to go in a certain direction at a critical time in your life that catapulted you onto a path that took you places you really did not want to go. You may be living with regret even now as you revisit your moment of decision that placed you on the unhealthy path.

Your daily decisions determine the direction of your life. If you don’t pick your path, a path will pick you. God wants you to walk in wisdom and to exercise spiritual discernment as you seek to operate in His will. Use Spirit infused discretion in your decision making. Ask yourself, “What is the wise thing to do?” Knowing what you know about God and His ways, make level paths for your feet. Allowing the Holy Spirit to take full possession of your life, take only ways that are firm.

God’s way is always the best way. God has a path for you to discover and to experience personally. Sometimes the path God has for you includes delays. You may not understand why you are in a season of uncertainty, but you know that God is with you and that He will allow the fog to lift in His perfect timing. While you are waiting for God to show you the next step on this path, obey what you already know. Enjoy His abiding presence. Share His love and shine His light. Bloom for God’s glory on the path God has for you. If you are on the wrong path, make a wise decision to move in the new direction God shows you.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Discretion, Wisdom.
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February 23rd, 2014

Avoiding Slippery Slopes

“Abstain from every form of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (ESV)

Have you ever done something that compromised your convictions and broke the heart of God? When you look back on the experience, you still can’t believe that you did such a thing. When you get too close to the edge, you slip down the slippery slope and immense guilt follows. Have you been there?

As we continue observing our MAP for walking in victory, let’s use the letter “A” to remind us to Avoid Slippery Slopes. Because of our resident sin nature, we have a tendency to see how close we can get to the edge without slipping and falling. God’s Word teaches us to guard our lives and to conduct our lives with caution. Slippery slopes abound. Opportunities to compromise our convictions are unlimited.

  • “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God.” 1 Thess. 4:3-5 (ESV)
  • “In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Heb. 12:4 (ESV)

God has called us to a lifestyle of self-control. Take the initiative to avoid slipper slopes. Ask God to give you wisdom to see the terrain as it is and to detect the slippery slopes awaiting your arrival. Living in a fallen world is a struggle. Resist sin at all costs.

Drawing Near,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Sunday, February 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Self-control, Victory.
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November 6th, 2013

Spiritual Discernment

“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV)

Watching a 3-D movie without 3-D glasses can be very frustrating. The images on the screen appear blurry and create discomfort as you try to fixate on the images that just don’t seem to come into focus. Once you place the 3-D glasses in place, everything becomes clear and you begin to enjoy the full effects of the three dimensional experience. It’s rather entertaining to join others in trying to reach out to touch the objects that seem to come off of the screen into the air just before your face.

Without the Spirit, trying to discern the activity of God is impossible. Life will appear blurry and the movement of God’s Spirit will be difficult to detect. Living the abundant Christian life mandates viewing life through the lens of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual perception comes through appropriating the spiritual lens provided to us by God through the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.

When you became a child of God, you instantaneously became the temple of the Holy Spirit. He moved in to take up permanent residence in your life. Your body is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. He lives in you to illuminate God’s Word and to validate God’s will.

As you come to know God better, you will learn how to detect and respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You will begin to see what others miss because you will be viewing life through the lens of the Holy Spirit. What others deem as foolish, you will deem as the clear activity of God in 3-D, namely, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, Holy Spirit, Sensitivity.
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October 10th, 2013

Spiritual Discernment

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Colossians 1:9 (NIV)

One of the most profound prayers you can pray for others is for them to know God and to do His will. Knowing and doing God’s will is the purpose of life. God has provided the way in Jesus for us to know God personally and to obey His will completely.

The knowledge of God’s will comes through spiritual wisdom and understanding. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul affirmed, “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor. 2:14 NIV). Spiritual discernment comes from the Spirit of God living inside of you. At the moment of conversion, you were filled with the Holy Spirit. He lives in you to teach you and to remind you of the things Jesus did and said (John 14:26).

Pray that others might be saturated with the knowledge of God’s will. When you pray for others, ask God to give them spiritual wisdom and understanding. As they come to know God’s will they will have the opportunity to choose to obey God’s will. You will be involved in the process through the avenue of intercessory prayer. What a wise investment of your time!

Are you in the center of God’s will? Have you asked God to fill you with the knowledge of His will? Are you willing to ask God for spiritual wisdom and understanding to know His will? Bring honor to God by obeying His will.

Pursuing God,

Stephen Trammell
Lead Pastor
Follow me on twitter at: http://twitter.com/stephentrammell

Author Stephen Trammell
Posted Thursday, October 10th, 2013 at 1:00 am
Category Discernment, God's Will, Prayer.
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