I had a bit of a sleepless night last night. Like most of my sleepless nights, as I lay in the dark, I started to pray. I don’t know if my sleeplessness was brought on by age, worry or the cup of coffee I drank at 4:00 in the afternoon, or maybe it was a combination of all 3-but worry definitely played a role.
The worry comes from decisions that I need to make. It comes from wanting to know for sure that what I want to do, what I plan to do, what I hope to do is God’s will. I wish he would just tell me what to do. I wish I knew for sure that the decision I am making is right. I wish, like the children of Israel in the wilderness, I had a pillar of cloud and fire and when that pillar of cloud moved I would follow it wherever it went. I would know when to move and where to move to. Or maybe God could send me a donkey like he did with Balaam that would talk to me and tell me what God wants me to do. Hearing from random farm animals sounds better than the “crickets” I feel I’m hearing from God.
The first thing that I need to remember is that in this life of walking by faith and not by sight, there will always be an element of the unknown…that’s why it’s called faith. But there are some things that I can do to grow my faith to the point that I can distinguish the Holy Spirit’s voice from all the other noise in my head.
1. Be in the Word…If I ever feel like I am not hearing from God there is one way that I know for sure I can break that silence and that is God’s Word. Scripture is God-breathed so when I open that book I know that printed on those pages are the thoughts of God. I don’t need to wait for a voice from heaven. I have printed instructions, encouragement and wisdom right there in my hands.
Scripture is also the measuring stick for all of the other resources that I have at my disposal to distinguish the voice of God. If my thoughts, desires and plans don’t meet the measuring stick of scripture then I can know for sure that they are not from God.
2. Be in Prayer…I need to have a real conversation with God. I don’t mean the type of prayer that seems more like I’m leaving a voicemail with God to let him know my plans and needs and he can get back to me at his earliest convenience. No, I mean an exchange that includes me being quiet and still enough to allow the Holy Spirit to monopolize the conversation. I need to hear from him far more than he needs to hear from me.
3. Be willing to act…James 1:5-8 says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” God promises to give us wisdom, but if we refuse to act on that wisdom and just keep asking, maybe hoping for “different” wisdom, it is a sign of doubt. At some point we have to trust God and take a step. I know this can be scary but if we are in the Word and in prayer then we can trust his wisdom.
4. Be willing to wait…God works on his own time schedule. Many times in scripture we are told that “when the time was right, God…” Back in the days before GPS and Google Maps, my husband and I traveled all over the country. We would get directions from people on how to arrive at our destination. Sometimes the directions were very easy to follow and sometimes, not so much. We would be driving and start feeling a bit like maybe we missed a turn or it seemed like we should have been there by now. At those times, my husband had a policy and that policy was “keep going a little further”. Nine times out of ten we would stay on course and within a short time we would find our turn or arrive at our destination. The “keep going a little further” method works with God too. Stay on course. Keep following the directions that have been given. Keep going in the direction you have been shown and “…at just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NLT)
God is not hiding from us. He wants us to find him. He wants us to know him. Psalm 37:23 says that “…he delights in every detail of our lives.” Keep on seeking him, keep on listening. Do it with all your heart and you will find him.
"Crickets From God "
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