“If I Were You…”

Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world— to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” (John 18:37, ESV2011)

As I was speaking with a dear saint recently, the subject of hearing and obeying Jesus’ voice came up. We were talking about living in the truth. As we fellowshipped in the Spirit it was evident that Jesus is the Truth and to live in the truth is to live in Christ. Many of us who call ourselves “Christians” consult many sources to find the truth of how we should live or what course of action we should take. Some of us go running to our pastor or a Christian counselor for advice. Some of us research on the web, read self-improvement books, or even watch TV shows like Dr. Phil to find out what we should do. Yet again, many search the Bible and believe that in it we will find all that we need to do what is right in this life, but is that what Jesus said (see John 5:39-40)?

In the opening verse above we see that Jesus proclaimed Himself as our King. Why? So that He could show us the truth and that we would obey Him. So, many of us turn to not only the Bible, but to His words in the Bible to know the truth. Yet is that what He told Pilate? To find the truth we must listen to the One who IS the Truth! Jesus said, “Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Do we really take the time to pray and listen to His voice and let Him direct our thoughts and actions? Do we invite Him into our family relationships and fellowship with others that He might direct our conversations and our hearts?

Susanne Schuberth wrote on her blog about a breaking point in her life.

I had begun to struggle with bipolar depression beginning in summer 2000 after our family had left the Christian cult we had attended for more than 5 years. There were a few reasons why that mental disease could put a stranglehold on me several times until 2008 and one of them was that our marriage seemed to have come to its very end which was one of the most painful situations I/we had to deal with. One day as I had been pondering on the pros and cons of divorce in detail, I eventually asked the Lord what to do. Knowing the legalistic approach both of the RCC and the cult we had joined, I was very surprised to come to know a side of God which had been unknown to me before. At that time I was so insecure about what to do that I dared to ask God how He would deal with me if I really got divorced. I could not have been more amazed as Jesus said, “I will be with you whatever you do.”

Wow!!! Knowing the Scriptures regarding divorce rather well, I was overwhelmed by His answer. That it was really God who spoke to me became immediately clear because I suddenly knew that I trusted Him, esp. in these matters, without any reservation. Such a great love of God…..indeed, only having read the Bible, I would have never thought that God really IS love. From that point on as I was convinced that I could fully trust Him, I even dared to ask Jesus earnestly, “What would You do if you were in my place?” His simple answer was, “If I were you, I would stay.” (1)

In a time of desperation, this sister really dared to trust Jesus with her life and her marriage! She could have read the Old Testament and concluded that divorce was okay. Even the New Testament gives place for divorce in some cases. But she bothered to ask God what HE thought about her case and Jesus gave her an answer that a true lover of Christ could understand, “If I were you, I would stay,” and she did just that. As a result of her listening to His voice on a daily basis and following Him, Jesus has been making Himself manifest in their marriage and healing all the old wounds in their family. God has been proving to her the depth of what Paul said to that Philippian jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved and your household.”

“If I were you…” Isn’t that what Jesus is after in each of our lives? Paul put it this way, “For me to live is Christ…” Daily and moment by moment we face this choice when we abide in Christ. It is not just “What would Jesus do,” in a generic (one size fits all) sense, but “What is Jesus seeking to do in me in a moment by moment personal way?” May we all take the time to seek Him out as we surrender to His rule in our lives.

(1) https://enteringthepromisedland.wordpress.com/2015/03/16/christ-in-us-the-hope-of-glory/

15 comments on ““If I Were You…”

  1. Good article, Michael. Thanks for the link to my blog.

    I think we often would rather check out ANY source because we do not expect God to really answer our deepest questions. Sometimes I saw that I did not dare to turn to Him since I feared I would not like His answer. It seems to me we need decades, and more, until we have learned He truly loves us and knows what is best for us as He is the only one who knows our future.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Michael says:

      Once again your piercing honesty comes through, dear sister. We all tend to hide behind a veil when it comes to approaching our heavenly Father. Yes, it takes decades and a lot of dying to our old natures to come to the place where we truly trust Him and abandon our own wills to His.

      I am glad that He has made us members one of another in His body.

      “Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so does the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” (Prov 27:9, KJ2000)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Kenneth E Dawson says:

    Mike!!! What a beautiful article. It brought to my mind another saying I learned just recently–As you wish—So now I want to put them together—If I were you….As you wish. And that comment by Sue is a great answer—-I often feel the same way, I am afraid I wont like His answer.
    But most of all I love the subject of listening to His voice. Thanks to the two of you for such grand uplifts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Ken, Like Mary said, “Lord, be it unto me according to your word,” when she knew that being found pregnant outside of marriage would cost her her life. “If I were you… as you wish.”
      Thanks, my brother.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Patricia Lelión says:

    Patricia Lelion wrote:

    I thank God for such a beautiful and simple message. God often uses what he allows you to write, to be a double witness of what the Lord has been teaching me in my own flesh, day after day.

    Only in a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus can we hear him, sometimes I see so many brothers who are so distant from Jesus and I wonder why they do not go to Christ. He longs to listen to us, to speak to us and to listen to him, to obey him because His will is always good, pleasant and perfect. But many turn to their counselors and pastors. The Lord longs deeply for us to sit down and talk with Him and allow Him to guide us into all truth, because He is the truth.

    I disobeyed many times in the past, I did not hear it and how much it cost me, tears and a lot of discipline from my Father. But I have learned to go to Christ at every moment and ask him about every issue of my daily life. God has been faithful, he has taught me and guided me step by step, it is not easy, because the fallen nature likes to do everything his way, but when we learn to rest in the Lord and to listen to His voice in the silence of our spirit, we learn what Enoch learned, we learn to walk alone with God, listening to His voice.

    What is Jesus trying to do in me from one moment to another in a personal way? This question you asked is the question I have learned to tell Christ in every moment.

    May the Lord continue to guide us, because only Christ has words of eternal life.

    A giant hug my brother. I always pray for you and for Susanne and I carry them in my heart. I love you in Christ Jesus.

    Original Message:
    Doy gracias a Dios por tan bello y sencillo mensaje. Dios frecuentemente se vale de lo que te permite escribir, para ser un doble testigo de lo que el Señor ha estado enseñándome en carne propia, día tras día.

    Solo en una relación personal e íntima con Jesús podemos escucharlo, a veces veo tantos hermanos que son tan distantes de Jesús y me pregunto porqué no van a Cristo. Él anhela escucharnos, hablarnos y que le escuchemos, que le obedezcamos porque Su voluntad siempre es buena, agradable y perfecta. Pero muchos recurren a sus consejeros y pastores. El Señor anhela profundamente que nos sentemos a hablar con Él y le permitamos guiarnos a toda verdad, porque Él es la verdad.

    Yo desobedecí muchas veces en el pasado, no lo escuché y cuánto me costó, lágrimas y mucha disciplina de parte de mi Padre. Pero he aprendido ir a Cristo en cada instante y preguntarle sobre cada asunto de mi vida diaria. Dios ha sido fiel, me ha enseñado y guiado paso a paso, no es fácil, porque la naturaleza caída le gusta hacer todo a su manera, pero cuando aprendemos a descansar en el Señor y a escuchar Su voz en el silencio de nuestro espíritu, aprendemos aquello que aprendió Enoc, aprendemos a caminar a solas con Dios, escuchando Su voz.

    ¿Qué está tratando de hacer Jesús en mí de un momento a otro de manera personal?, esta pregunta que planteaste es la pregunta que he aprendido a decirle a Cristo en cada instante.

    Que el Señor nos siga guiando a Él, porque solo Cristo tiene palabras de vida eterna.

    Un abrazo gigante mi hermano. Oro siempre por ti y por Susanne y los llevo en mi corazón. Los amo en Cristo Jesús.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      Patricia, you really touched my heart with what you shared. It is always my desire that what the Lord gives me to share resonates in the hearts of those who read it. Listening to His voice and being tuned into His Spirit is the key. For that to happen in us it requires that we die daily to our old nature and its desire to manifest, allowing Christ to flow forth from within us. I have found that those through whom He manifests purely have had very difficult and painful lives. I know that you and Susanne know how that is, dear sister. When we have been made weak, then Christ can be made perfect through us. Or as Paul put it, “When I am weak, then am I strong.” “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

      Thank you for sharing Him from your weakness, dear sister,
      Michael

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Patricia W. Orr (Pat) says:

    Thank you for the blog. Wonderful word.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What an encouraging message! It is astounding the Lord of Hosts would be so concerned w/ our personal needs. Yet He is. I would note that the course Susanne chose to take (on advice from the Lord) was still in conformance w/ Scripture. Satan can masquerade as an angel of light and all too easily mislead those unfamiliar w/ Scripture, as the victims of cults would attest.

    Thank you, Michael.

    With love,

    Your sister Anna ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michael says:

      True, Anna. But one of the worst cults I ever came across used scripture to subjugate women, confiscate incomes and homes and destroy marriages. Scripture alone is not enough. Jesus relied on the voice of His Father when Satan and the Pharisees used scripture to tempt Him. We must hear and obey Jesus’ voice. Those who worship the Father must do so in Spirit and in Truth.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I agree completely. But we must first learn to distinguish His voice from Satan’s. Isn’t that right, Michael?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Michael says:

        Anna,

        Thanks for your comments.

        For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; TO ANOTHER THE DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; to another various kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: (1Cor 12:8-10, KJ2000)

        Without the Holy Spirit working in us we are easy targets for the Deceiver.

        But 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 show you things to come. (John 16:13, KJ2000)

        But he that enters in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; and THE SHEEP HEAR HIS VOICE: and he calls his own sheep by name, and leads them out. And when he puts forth his own sheep, he goes before them, and THE SHEEP FOLLOW HIM: FOR THEY KNOW HIS VOICE. (John 10:2-4, KJ2000)

        It all comes back to our close personal relationship with Jesus and listening to His voice.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Wishing you a Happy Father’s Day, Michael!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Michael says:

    Thank you, Anna. That was timely and very thoughtful of you. I say “timely” because I have been doing a lot of introspection about my lack of proper fathering skills as my kids were growing up.

    Yesterday, we went to a memorial service for a brother in Christ we had known since 1971 and his kids and many others who knew of him spoke so fondly of him as being a loving and giving man and father. At 73 I often end up going to funerals of friends and such and I often think, “What will they say about me at my memorial service?” as I reflect on the things I have done with my life. As I shared this with my wife she assured me that we both did the best with what we had with neither of us having very good fathers as models to grow up under and that our four kids have grown up into parents and people we can be proud of. I have to give the glory to God on that one, for sure, for we read in the Bible that HE is a Father to the fatherless and a Husband to the widows.

    I hope you are doing well, Anna. God bless and keep you always,
    Michael

    Liked by 1 person

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