I will instruct you and show you the way to go; with My eye on you, I will give counsel. Psalm 32:8
I was recently given the opportunity to write something in which I mentioned some of the ways that we can hear God speaking. Some of the ways we can hear Him include Bible verses, songs on the radio, a still small voice within, conversations with friends, a stirring in your spirit when you read or hear something, and dreams and visions. The Lord will give confirmations as well when they are needed.
Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
Another way the Lord speaks is that an idea will come to mind, and it will be the very last thing you would ever choose for yourself, because it is costly. Not necessarily monetarily, although that is certainly a possibility, but costly with regards to our lifestyles and comfort levels.
One biblical example is the prophet Hosea. Hosea was a righteous man, and he was commanded by the Lord to marry a promiscuous woman. The Lord used that marriage to illustrate His love for Israel. Though Israel wandered and would get entangled in the pagan worship around her, God loved her and continually sought to bring her back to Him. As I read the story of Hosea and Gomer, I find it interesting that nowhere does it say that Hosea questioned God, questioned His motives, or had second thoughts about obeying. He obeyed, and the Lord was able to use that obedience to both warn Israel and give her hope.
Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28
It reminds me of a time when I was asked to take in a young woman who was going through a difficult time finding a place to live. The person making the request knew her well, and spoke very highly of her, mentioning that the young woman, like me, was a follower of Yeshua (Jesus).
I said that I didn’t think so, but that I would pray about it. I didn’t pray about it very much, though, not like I should have. See, I had already experienced a roommate situation years before that began well but ended badly, and the last thing I wanted was to repeat the experience.
In addition to this, between family members and all of the pets, we already had a full house, and this full house needed repairs. So yes, I prayed, but only halfheartedly, and I really wasn’t listening for God’s answer.
One night, a few weeks later, I was getting ready to feed our pets, and realized that we were completely out of cat food. It had been a long, busy day, and I was tired. For this reason, my daughter and I drove to a higher priced store just a few blocks from our home instead of driving to the less expensive store farther away where we normally purchased pet food.
My daughter offered to go inside and purchase the cat food while I stayed in the car. I gratefully accepted her offer, and within minutes, she returned to the car, with a bag of cat food in hand.
As we pulled out of the parking space, we saw something dark moving on the ground several yards ahead of us, moving between the parked vehicles at the end of the parking lot. As we got closer, we saw that it was a kitten limping on three legs. The fourth leg was missing. Our hearts melted.
My daughter scooped some of the cat food into her hand and headed toward the kitten. As she put the food down on the ground, several other kittens came running toward the food.
As I watched this, the Lord clearly spoke to my heart.
“You’re concerned about the kitten, and that’s a good thing. How much more should you be concerned about My child?”
Ouch, that hurt! Teary eyed, I drove home knowing that we were soon going to be sharing our home with this young woman.
I wish I could say that by now I have learned that what the Lord does in my life is always for my good, and that I bend obediently to His will, but there are times when I still question what He could possibly be thinking. During those times, He calls me – calls us – to walk by faith and not by sight. Obedience always brings blessings. It may not be immediate, or even apparent until years later, but this is a truth clearly stated in the Word of God. In this case, it was immediate, and the blessing far exceeded my “sacrifice.”
When Jesus had finished speaking, He said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” Simon answered and said, “Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing, but I will do as You say and let down the nets.” When they had done this, they enclosed a great quantity of fish, and their nets began to break; so they signaled to their partners in the other boat for them to come and help them. And they came and filled both of the boats, so that they began to sink. Luke 5:4-7
I am now facing another challenge, which I will write about another time. It is another “opportunity to excel,” as a previous supervisor of mine was fond of saying whenever someone in the office was faced with a difficult task.
Have you experienced something similar? Have you been feeling like the Lord has been leading you (okay, sometimes it feels more like pushing) into a place where you don’t feel comfortable, and don’t particularly want to go? Trust God. Seek Him. Ask Him for confirmation. Then, whatever He says, do it.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” Now there were six stone water pots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the water pots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. John 2:1-11