Light for May
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” ~Isaiah 30:21
Do you ever wish you could see a map of your life? Where you are meant to go or maybe at least be given a clue on the ending destination? Can you imagine having an internal GPS that says, “Take that job”, “Move in with that friend”, “Join that Bible study”. Or better yet, have it freak out when you are heading in the wrong direction and quickly show you how to “turn around” as it were. That would make me happier that I could imagine or so I think because I’m a planner. I love knowing, minute details of where I’m going, events, timeframes…anything that gives me some semblance of control. Of course, life does not work that way and often we feel like we are stumbling along in the dark but the verse in Isaiah gives us a different perspective.
Now, if you are expecting to hear a physical voice in your ear telling you what decisions to make, I’m afraid you will be sorely disappointed, plus that would be kind of creepy. Rather you have to be in an intimate enough relationship with the Father to discern His voice, to recognize the lies and to step out in faith.
Recognizing the Voice
Think about it. Have you ever heard someone speak and without turning around you knew who it was, even if they were a great distance off? You see this will children in a nursery. They may see 50 parents walk up and they continue to play yet they perk right up when they hear THEIR parent at the door because they know that voice. Or better yet, how often do you hear a child cry for their mother but not all the women in the area go running because they KNOW the voice of their child. They even KNOW if that cry is a true emergency. They KNOW them. That’s how it works with the Lord. I’ve had friends (and I’ve been guilty in the past) who complain that they have been praying for wisdom in an area but God hasn’t answered but if you look at their Bible it is covered in dust. How do you know the Lord hasn’t answered? Maybe you just don’t hear his voice or maybe it is getting lost in the noise of everything around you? If you don’t spend time getting to know the Father, how on earth do you expect to recognize His voice?
Recognizing the Lies
Then you have the flip side of discerning an answer that ISN’T from God. Once again, this goes back to truly knowing the Father. There’s a woman I know who enjoys bad mouthing people around her in creative and colorful ways. I’ve had her tell me a story about a mutual friend and within moments it was obvious that what she was saying wasn’t true. I know this person. I know how they behave, what they believe, their strengths and weaknesses. To believe what she was saying, I would have to ignore years’ worth of interactions. But I’ve seen her tell the exact same story to someone else who quickly believes it because they don’t know that person well enough to discern the truth from the lies. (Yes, I did damage control for my friend.)
The same is true with Satan. I’ve seen people say that the Lord told them to do something that clearly isn’t Biblical. I’m sorry I don’t care if you think Gabriel, himself, stood at the foot of your bed and told you to take a certain action…If it goes against the Biblical teachings, it’s not true. It’s the whole, “I know the Bible says this is wrong but I prayed about it and the Lord told me it was okay in my circumstance.” What makes you such a special, little snowflake that the rules don’t apply to you? Satan is great at justifying his plans. Think about the temptation of Christ found in Matthew 4. A lot of Satan’s arguments could seem quite logical if you skate around a few Biblical truths. If he was willing to pull something like that on the Lord, don’t you think he will try to get you to fold as well?
If you are ever unsure if an answer is from God go to the scriptures, ask a godly friend, find a mentor or pastor. Sometimes an outside perspective can help you see beyond the lies.
Recognize the Call to Action
Truthfully, this is the hardest part for me. I want to be sure that I’m sure that I’m sure before I take action and sometimes that’s just not how it works. Faith requires faith, duh! The Lord will never try to trick you or con you into something wrong but He also asks you to step out at times when you can only see one step in front of you. I don’t like this. It would be like heading on a cross country journey with a GPS that is only telling me to turn right at the end of my street and won’t give me further instructions until I’ve completed that step. The very thought gives me anxiety but that is sometimes how faith works.
You have to believe that the Lord has a plan, truly knows you, won’t leave you and will provide what is necessary WHEN it is necessary. Not when you want it and not necessarily in the way you expect. Sometimes, these moments of dim pathways are growing our faith, sometimes they are protecting us from our own fear and sometimes they are meant to keep our pride in check but never are they meant to leave you floundering. Understanding this doesn’t always make those steps easier but it is reassuring to know God’s faithfulness and see it in your life.
So the next time you are faced with the unknown, come to your Father with an open heart, open eyes and open ears. He gives wisdom faithfully and walks every step of the way with us so we can rest easier knowing that even if we can’t see the path we can feel the presence.