How Do You Know When God is Speaking to You

bible-SunlightOne of the things I tell people is that it’s better to read one verse of Scripture well than a thousand badly. What does that even mean? What is that talking about?

Well, to read scripture well is to read scripture, listening for God to speak. Listening what He is trying to say. Listening for what He is trying to tell us.

Ok then, what does that mean? What does that look like to listen for God’s voice? Let me show you, from something God is showing me. This is the passage that I read today from Titus 2:11-13:

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

It talks about God bringing salvation. It talks about living different from the world. Talks about the hope of glory. But, in the middle, it says to live “self-controlled.”

That phrase right there is how God is speaking to me right now. Nearly every passage of scripture that I’ve read recently has had the phrase control within it . I have read this, I have read about having self-control. I have read of fruits of the spirit and self-control being one of them.

It seems like every time I open the bible recently, there is control.

So, this makes me ask, where in my life am I living out of control? Where am I not having self-control? Where are the places in my life where I am out of control?

I have some places like that. And I stop. And I pray about it. I listen for God to speak. And I consider how I can place these things under the authority of God. Why?

Because what I’ve found in my life is that the only way that I can live a self-controlled life is to submit myself totally and completely to God, second by second, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day.

Constantly slowing myself. Letting the spirit guide. And living under His control.

And then I try to allow that to happen in my life.

To have control in my life, I must allow myself to be controlled by God.

That’s how God speaks to me through Scripture. I hope this word, and I hope this example is helpful to you!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

Live in Peace

I have a joke I make sometimes about how I want folks to see me. I never want someone to see me walking down the aisle at Walmart and think to themselves, oh no, there he is! And turn and walk the other way!

I never want to be that guy! I always want to, in my life, build community, make folks feel better, help folks experience grace.

I want to live in peace with others. And that can be hard. That can be a challenge. It’s not always easy to live in peace with each other. Sometimes it’s not even easy to be a peace with yourself.

But, as Christians, that’s part of our calling. To live in peace. To make things better. To be salt and light. To make a difference.

Listen to what Paul says today in Romans 12:17-19:

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

communityRepay no one with evil. Don’t respond to evil with evil. Our first response will be to respond back. Hit back. Hurt back. That’s what we want to do. That’s what comes natural. That’s what we feel like we should do.

Don’t do it. Respond with grace. Respond with love. Respond with peace.

Why? Because that’s where life is found. In not responding back with evil.

Well, Andy, what if I extend peace, and they bite my hand off? That’s why Paul says, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all.

You can’t control them. The only person you have any response over is yourself. You can’t control what they do, what they say, what they do.

You can only control the grace you give. So, give grace.

Even when it’s hard. Even when it may hurt. Give grace. Live in peace. Be different. Be salt and light.

We can’t do this through ourselves. Only through Him.

Today, do it, through Him. Live in peace. Through Him. And in that, you’ll find more life than you think possible.

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.


urlIt’s very easy in life to be live via our passions. What do I mean by that?

I’m not talking about things like I’ve got a passion for art. Or music. Or the outdoors, or things like that Those are “passions” that enrich our lives, things that give us joy, things we can enjoy with others, things that in many ways, we can see God in.

What do I mean?

It’s easy live to be live via our passions. To lose control of ourselves to our passions of anger. Or greed. Or pride. Or sloth. Or (my favorite) gluttony.

And the thing is, when we are living in these passions, we feel like we are doing what we want! We are in control! We are in charge! We can do whatever it is that we want to do, because it’s our life!

Here’s the thing about that. We aren’t really in control.

When we live a life of anger. Or hate. Or greed. Or lust. Or pride. Or well, a million different passions we struggle with, we are out of control.

We have given control of ourselves to something else. Listen to what Paul says in Romans 6:10-13:

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.

Do not let sin reign in your body. Do not give it control.

Now, listen, we are going to make mistakes. We are going to mess us. We are going to fall. That’s the way it goes.

Here’s the thing. Don’t give into that. Don’t be satisfied in that. Don’t feel like that’s alright and good enough.

Don’t allow sin to take control. Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by these passions. Christ died to defeat that.

He died so that He can be in control. So, today, what will control us? Will it be sin? Will it be Jesus?

Today, may we not live out of our passions. May we live, via the grace of God. And may Jesus Christ have control over all our lives!

Don’t forget, you can click here to download Asbury’s mobile app and read these devotionals, as well as listen to my sermons on your smart phones.

There is a God

I used to be the token Methodist at the old Baptist Bookstore in Jackson, MS.  Now, Lifeway Christian Store. Anyway, when I was the token Methodist there, I always enjoyed the Christian shirts were used to sell. Some were good, some were pointed, some made you think.

And some were just goofy.

But there was one that we sold that always stuck with me.

On the front it said – There is a God.  And on the back it said, And you’re not it.

I always think of that shirt when I read Job 40 and we see God finally respond to Job and Job’s questions. This is what God says:

6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
7 “Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.

8 “Will you discredit my justice
and condemn me just to prove you are right?
9 Are you as strong as God?
Can you thunder with a voice like his?
10 All right, put on your glory and splendor,
your honor and majesty.
11 Give vent to your anger.
Let it overflow against the proud.
12 Humiliate the proud with a glance;
walk on the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them in the dust.
Imprison them in the world of the dead.
14 Then even I would praise you,
for your own strength would save you.

God basically says, Oh yeah?  You think you’ve got it all figured out?  You think you know everything?

What about this? Were you there when I made it all?  Were you there in creation? Can you answer these things?  Do you know it all?  Are you aware of everything.

There is a God.  And we are not it.

You.  Are.  Not.  God.

Relax.  The world doesn’t depend on you.  You are a part of the bigger whole. Everything is not life or death.

Relax. Breathe.  Listen.  Focus.  Look.

God is God.  You’re not.  You don’t have to live with the weight of the world on your shoulders.  You are just one person.

There’s a God bigger than you in control.  Relax.  He will take care you.  He will not leave or forsake you.

He loves you.

Trust in Him today. There is a God bigger than you are I.  Relax. Trust.

Even if it doesn’t look like it, He knows what He’s doing.




I don’t sit still well. Never have, never will.  I don’t like waiting. If I’ve got an appointment of some sort that I feel like will take a while, I bring things to do.  I don’t like waiting.

Not many of us do. It’s kind of a helpless feeling. You’re there, waiting on someone else, and there is nothing you can do about it.

Listen to the words from Psalm 62

1 For God alone my soul in silence waits; *
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, *
my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken.

There are in scriptures, particularly in the Psalms, this command to wait. To wait upon the Lord.

Why? Why would God want us to wait upon Him? Why is that something we should do?

For the reason we don’t like to wait.  It reminds us that it is not about us. We are not in control. It’s not, in the end, all up to us.

There is a God more powerful than us that does not conform to our schedule and our will, but will conform us to His schedule and to His will.

No one likes waiting. I detest it. But, in, the end, we need to learn to wait upon the Lord. For it teaches us who is really God. Who is really in control. Who is really at work.

It’s all about God.  It’s all about His will.  It’s all about what He wants to do.  May we have the grace today to wait upon Him.

And may we know the freedom and life that comes from waiting upon Him.