RECAP: DIVINE GUIDANCE based on James 4:1-10
If we are a believer in Christ Jesus, we all want to know the will of God. Sometimes, it is very difficult to hear. And when we do hear something, how do we know it is indeed God’s will? This is a reality every believer has faced in their lifetime. How can we know and discern God’s voice?
James addressed that very question with the Jewish Christians. They had recently come through controversy with the Judaizers which led to the first church council meeting. The Jewish Christians were also expelled from Rome, meaning they were scattered throughout the empire. And things were only becoming worse in their homeland. In a few short years, Rome would stomp out a rebellion in Israel, destroying the temple yet again and scattering the people. So this was a people that desperately needed the guidance of God.
To receive God’s divine guidance, we must first identify the areas that keep us from hearing God’s voice. James identified four areas:
- Fights and quarrels (4:1). These fights and quarrels take our focus away from following after God’s instructions and instead set believer against believer in an attempt to be right. There is a price to being right; sometimes it is not worth paying. If we are right because we are following God’s Word, then we are standing for what is right. But if we are trying to be right because we think we are right, we actually lose, because our focus is more on winning the argument than serving God.
- Impure motives (4:2-3). Too often we are driven by our internal desires, lusts, passions, and motives. Instead of asking to follow God, we ask to spend what we get on our own pleasures. The pursuit of selfish gain keeps us from recognizing God’s voice, for we are the master!
- Friendship with the world (4:4). James is very harsh here. Friendship with the world is adultery and hatred toward God! Those who chose to be a friend of the world become an enemy of God! Why is this so? Because when we are living for the world, we are declaring other people and the world’s system to be of greater importance than God. Remember, the first commandment is to have no other gods before God! We can’t have a dual allegiance and truly seek God’s will!
- Pride (4:5-6). When we are proud, we say we do not need God–we can do this ourselves!
These areas keep us from truly being able to hear God’s voice and discern his will. But James then pointed us in the right direction with six things we can do to orient ourselves to hear:
- Ask (4:2). We won’t hear God’s will unless we ask him to show us. When we ask God for wisdom, he gives without finding fault! But we must believe and not be double-minded (1:5-8).
- Submit to God (4:7). We need to come under God’s authority and align our life under his instruction. When we refuse to conform to the pattern of this world, when we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, and when we allow the Spirit to transform our minds, we can know the will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
- Resist the devil (4:7). We can fight the enemy. We can stand against temptation and remain strong. And when we resist, he will flee from us!
- Draw near to God (4:8). The more time we spend with God, the more we know his heart. The more we know his heart, the more we can hear his will!
- Spiritual house cleaning (4:9). We need to cleanse and remove all sin from our hands and heart. Let’s not just put it in the attic; let’s remove it completely!
- Humility (4:10). When we humble ourselves in the presence of God, he will lift us up!
Questions for Reflection
1) Do you actively seek the will of God for your life?
2) What obstacle stated above do you personally struggle with?
3) What two practices can you implement to help you listen to God’s will?
This Sunday, Pastor Ryan will continue the study in the discipline of guidance with the sermon titled, “Ask for It!”, based on Matthew 7:7-12. What should our disposition be when we ask of God? And how should we view God? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for May 9 – 15
May 9: Genesis 24 What guidance did Abraham give to one of his servants? Did he listen?
May 10: Genesis 41:1-40 What guidance did God give Pharaoh? Did he listen?
May 11: Exodus 18 What guidance did Jethro give Moses? Did he listen?
May 12: Exodus 20:1-21 What guidance did God give Israel? Did they listen?
May 13: Leviticus 19 What guidance did God give Israel? Did they listen?
May 14: Leviticus 26 What guidance did God give Israel? Did they listen?
May 15: Numbers 13:26-33 What guidance did the spies give the nation?
This Week’s Events:
Wednesday, May 10–Ministry Team @ 7 pm
Saturday, May 13–Mother/Daughter Banquet @ 5 pm
Sunday, May 28–Instachoir Picnic @ 5 pm
Sunday, June 4–New Bible Study begins
Sunday, June 18–Graduation Recognition Sunday
Sunday, June 25–Outdoor Worship
Sunday, June 25–Summer Vespers @ 6 pm
Guidance– Spiritual Discipline Challenge
In order to receive guidance, we need to first evaluate our readiness to receive guidance. This week, write down first everything you think you do not need guidance for. Then second, write down every area that you do need guidance (knowing God’s will, etc.). Third, write down your personal obstacles to being able to receive guidance (pride, stubborn, etc.).
After doing the above, then take some time in prayer. Ask God first to soften your heart to receive guidance in the areas you listed first. Then confess to God the obstacles you have in hearing. Then ask God to make his way known in the areas we need his help.
Mother Daughter Banquet
The Mother-Daughter Banquet will take place on Saturday, May 13 at 5 pm. Food will be provided by Men’s Fellowship. Perform from the InMotion School of Dance will be the evening entertainment. If you would like to attend, please contact the office for a head count so enough food can be provided. The men need a final head count by Thursday, 1 pm!
Also, if you are a gentleman in the church and would like to help with the serving of the meal to honor the ladies, please contact the office or inform Bill Wood, Joe LaPrade, or Pastor Ryan.
We will be honoring our graduates on Sunday, June 18. If you have a graduate, please contact the church office so we can make sure they are recognized and honored. We are aware of six graduates already. We also are asking for a photo of each graduate to be submitted to the office.
If you are a newer attendee at Beaver Creek, please call the office or leave in the offering plate your birth date so we do not miss anyone!
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
We are in need of both worship leaders and children’s storytellers. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Phyllis Simmons (children’s story).
Extraordinary Women’s Conference
This is an opportunity for the ladies of the church. The Extraordinary Women’s Conference returns to Lynchburg this year on October 13-14! Some of the speakers include Tim Tebow, Mandisa, Julie Clinton, Hannah Keeley, and others, with a concert from Big Daddy Weave and worship led by Michael O’Brien. The cost is $64 for basic and $84 for gold as long as you register by March 31. The Fidelis class really would like to see if we can get a group of women together to go. If you are interested, please contact the church office. If there is a large enough group, there can potentially be a discounted group rate.
New Bible Study!
During the Summer months of June, July, and August, we will be doing a new study based on Jennie Allen’s book “Get Out of Your Head.” Do you want to recognize the toxic spirals in your life that leave you feeling far away from God? Do you want to be equipped in how to win the battle in your mind and draw closer to Christ? Then this short study will be good for you!
We are still working on the details as far as time. If you are interested in possibly joining this study, please either call the office, or let Lynne Lent or Bill Wood know so we have an idea of how many books to order. Child care will be provided.
Call to Prayer
Let us continue to pray for our nation in the following ways:
1) National return to God
2) Repentance of personal sin
3) Repentance of corporate sin
4) Healing for the brokenness of relationships
5) Our leaders
7) Guidance for our congregation in the days ahead
What do you want to see at Beaver Creek? What are some ideas you have for the long-term growth of our congregation? Any outrageous outreach ideas? Please either email Pastor Ryan or write them down and place them in the brown suggestion box in the narthex. Dream big!
The Christian Education Team is looking for six to eight volunteers for the nursery during the Sunday School hour and church hour. There will be a signup sheet in the back. If you would be willing to volunteer to allow our families to be able to participate in worship, please let one of the members of Christian Education know (Theresa Eckard, Scott McAvoy, Becky Whitmore), or sign up on the signup sheet!
Children’s Church & Meeting
The Christian Education team would like to relaunch children’s church for our kids, as well as for the kids in our community without a church home. To be successful, we need six to eight volunteers who would be willing to give up one Sunday either a month or every other month to minister to our children. If you are interested, please let one of Christian Education know, email the church office, or sign up on the sign-up sheet on Sunday.
The hope is that as we build our children’s ministry, more young families will want to participate in the church.
There will be a meeting after church for interested volunteers on Sunday, May 21. This will be an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas, as well as to hear from the Christian Education Team the hope for children’s church.
Sight & Sound Interest
The Fidelis class is looking at sponsoring a church-wide trip to Sight & Sound in 2024. But before the class can investigate bus prices and total cost, we want to gauge the true interest in the church. If you are interested and would like to be considered for this one-day event next year, please contact the office or let Pastor Ryan know in the next few weeks.
Graduation Party Invitation
On Saturday, May 27 we will celebrate Samantha Cooper’s graduation from high school. The whole church is invited! The party will take place from 11 am – 2 pm in the Fellowship Hall. Please RSVP to Pastor Ryan for food purposes.
Four Ways to Give!
1) Mail your tithe into the church office
2) Drop it by the church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
3) Our online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
4) Drop off in the offering plate on Sunday!
Continue to Keep in Prayer our members in Skilled Care Facilities: Mary G Miller, Shirley Miller & Carolyn Wine
Eddie Baker (health)
Terri Burkholder (health)
Deanne Dastoli (health)
Patsy Dastoli (health)
Elijah Tucker Dean (health)
Natalie Dodge (health)
John Fix (addiction)
Cindy Heatwole (health)
Bob Hess (health)
Tori Jackson (peace)
Darlene LaPrade (health)
Lynne Lent (health)
Alma Long (health & recovery)
Mark Martin (health)
Barbara Meadows (health)
Betty Miller (health)
Norlen Miller (health)
Mary G Miller (health)
Mary M Miller (health)
Savannah Miller (health)
Tami Plaugher (health)
Ann Simmons (health)
Crystal Smith (health)
Whitmore family (house)
Mary Whitmore (health)
Jeff Wilbur (health)
Cindy Wittig (recovery)
Shelvy Wittig (health)
Joyce Wright (health)
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek Church