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God wants the combination of his steady, constant calling and warm, personal counsel in Scripture to come to characterize us, keeping us alert for whatever he will do next. (Romans 15:4)

Ever stop to consider what it is that God may do next in your life? I imagine things, but sometimes my imagination gets a little carried away, while at others God outdoes anything I could ever possibly imagine! We don't want to miss what God is doing, or is about to do in and through us. God calls for us to be alert. Alertness is the ability to be keenly aware of your circumstances - so in tune with what is going on around us nothing misses our focus. Rarely, if ever, do we enter into this realm of true "alertness" - we almost always miss something despite our efforts to do otherwise! In fact, we most often think of alertness as being awake! God expects more, though. He expects us to be aware!

There is a condition of heart and mind that is fully aware and totally attentive to the move of God. In the stillness of the moments preceding his movement around or within us, there is in awareness of his voice. In the hubbub of a busy day, there is the attentiveness to his little nudges that moves us closer and closer to where he wants us to be. Two things are utilized to give us this ability to be both aware and attentive - the steadiness of God's calling and the totally personal counsel of the Word of God. The first describes the continually steadying effect of his voice in our lives - leading and guiding us. There is nothing more uplifting than the sweet sound of his whispers deep within our soul. Then we have the Word of God as our personal place of counsel. In the Word, we find encouragement for living, warnings against unwise choices, and examples of both that help us to learn to make the correct choices.

His calling within us is both constant and steady. His Word is both warming to our spirits and personal in its touch. His Word within, moving in us, is a hallmark of God's action in our lives. The 'stability' of the Word is to "characterize" our every move. The calling of God and his Word within come to represent God's activity within us, moving us to behave in ways which are not usually customary for us. Both are intended to keep us alert for what God will do next. Most of us would love to know what the future holds, not wanting to be caught by surprise when life throws a few curves our way. If we come to embrace his steady, constant calling (listening well to his voice), and embrace his warm, personal counsel in Scripture (doing more with the Word than just reading it), we will be less likely to be caught by surprise by life's challenges. We need to see the leading of a dependably steady God and a warmly personal God. Most of us lack this kind of dependability in our lives. We struggle to find footing most of the time. God gives us this kind of "footing" through the counsel of his Word and the direction of his still small voice.

God's desire is to get "personal" with us. We often resist this kind of "closeness" in relationship with him because we might be afraid of what he will find out about us! It is time we realize he already knows it all! There is nothing hidden from him - even what we do in secret is an open book to him. Now I have gone to meddling, I know, but it is true! When someone whispers we have to be close enough to them to hear the stillness of their voice. If we never let ourselves get close enough to God to actually hear the steadying effect of his call in our lives, how will we ever develop the alertness and attentiveness he desires? We can have bookshelves filled with all kinds of books written to help us through life's darkest challenges. If we never open the cover of the most important one (The Bible), how will we ever discern the wisdom contained in the many other books on the shelves? Isn't it time to get personal with God? Don't fear his closeness - embrace it! It is a closeness like no other you've experienced. You can trust him with anything - even your long list of short-comings! Just sayin!

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