An Ear to Hear
How do you know when God is speaking to you? You know, hearing from God requires listening. It’s hard to hear anything when there is too much noise and distraction. And it’s impossible to have a conversation with someone who never stops talking.
Sometimes we’re our own interference; praying, praying, praying and never stopping to hear God respond. Sometimes it’s the commotion all around us that confuses our senses.
I think that’s why so often God speaks clearest in the darkness. When we find ourselves alone, when there is nothing else to say and no one else to contend with, our ears are open to His voice.
Paul was alone in a jail cell when he wrote the epistles. John was alone on the isle of Patmos when he wrote the book of revelation. Jesus was alone in the garden when He won the battle over the flesh. Elijah was alone in the cave when he heard the still small voice of God.
Once we have ears to hear we may be surprised, even reluctant, to follow God’s instructions. The Scripture says “the steps” of a righteous man are ordered. Step by step is usually the way we hear from God. He doesn’t always lay out the whole plan, but guides us by faith … one step at a time.
The Lord is intentional about the directions He gives us. He is much more concerned about the journey of obedience than He is with our journey to the next destination. Not giving us the whole picture keeps us reliant upon Him.
Cherise and I faced a fork in the road when we were first asked to pastor Free Chapel. We felt the Lord leading us to say yes, but in the natural realm, the decision didn’t seem to make sense. It would require taking a substantial pay cut, leaving a supportive denomination I loved, and giving up what had become comfortable for me as far as ministry.
Yet, there was something in us that said, “This is the right step.” When God speaks to you, it will be clear. He will confirm it through His word and through two or three witnesses that you’re heading the right direction.
The Lord speaks, and there is nothing like the thrill of following Him. With Cherise behind me every step of the way, we took that giant leap and obeyed our vague, but pointed directions. I love this quote I heard once, “Bravery is not the absence of fear, but acting in spite of fear.”
Following the voice of God takes guts!
I look back on that decision now and I am overwhelmed by God’s provision. It seems as if a dream has unfolded right before me. The thought that this message is traveling all around the world is a miracle. What if we hadn’t listened?
What if you don’t listen? What lies on the other side of your obedience?
I could list story after story of how the Lord has guided me through unfamiliar territory, sometimes with discomfort and fear, but ultimately into victory. And there is no greater fulfillment this side of heaven. He who has promised is faithful.
What are you facing today? Is God calling you to pursue something new? Is there a relationship He is calling you to restore? That gift inside you He has been stirring up, maybe it’s time you put it to use. Even if you must do it afraid … do it anyway.
I promise you will never regret being obedient.
God bless you as you follow his voice!