Part 4 of 4: Three Responses to His Voice
We all desire to hear God’s voice, but when we do, what is our response?
Do we move forward with His direction even though we didn’t like what we heard?
Do we decide to ignore the message because we question if we heard Him correctly?
Or do we listen and go forward, walking on faith and knowing “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Years ago, when I felt like God told me to attend seminary, I was gung ho at first, but then started back-peddling, and began to question God’s voice. Just like the enemy of our souls asked Eve in the Garden, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” He was whispering the same question in my ear: “Did God really say for you to attend seminary?” So I threw up roadblocks and there were other roadblocks that I did not personally construct, but I watched the power of God blow through each of those barriers and in the end, knew that my heavenly Father did indeed say to attend seminary. As a result, he provided everything I needed, emotionally, physically, and financially, to get through those five rewarding, yet difficult years, even to the point of showing me where to focus as I prepared for exams. It took a little coaxing, but I listened, and proceeded in this aspect of God’s plan for my life.
What does God think of those who listen and don’t act? James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word, but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
I believe it’s okay to test what you hear. Was this God’s thought or my thought? I always need confirmations, but once you get them, it’s important to move forward, even if the direction doesn’t make sense to you. God will equip you for the calling in your life. Just be available.
You may be faced with a lot of decisions right now, and you could be asking “Which way should I go?” “Do I need to relinquish responsibility in one place to proceed in the new direction that I am being called?” These questions aren’t too hard for a loving Father who wants to guide you. As Jacob wrestled with God until he received a blessing, you should stay put until you receive God’s blessing on a certain direction. He is All-Wise, He wants to have input in your life, and His strategy is far greater than any you could ever create on your own. Once you receive His guidance, then it’s time to get out of the starting block and run forward without questioning His voice. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Wavering will only slow you down.