There have been several moments in the last week that I have listened to what I thought God wanted me to do and diligently acted on it, despite my personal desires. What was the end result? I have seen and experienced the provision of the Lord. Let me repeat: I have seen and experienced the provision and guidance of the Lord! This is miraculous. God does speak. Not only does He speak to prophets and pastors but, He speaks to all His children.
I knew this was true of God. I had heard Him before but, each time it is amazing. I tested whether the voice I was listening to was truly God or something else. I had to look at the reasoning behind it. I saw that the direction God was moving me towards was not my first plan of action. This was sign number one that this thought was not from myself. I also noticed that the direction I was being guided in could potentially be for my long-term well being. God is not a God of quick fixes but of restoration. He restores death to life.
The voice of the Lord can be difficult to hear. We must wait patiently for the LORD. We may have to endure loneliness, strong adversity or natural disasters before you hear the voice of the LORD. We are not told the timing of God’s voice because God is larger than the entity of time. A promise we can hold on to is declared in Matthew 7:7-8:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” –Matthew 7:7-8
These words are not dead. There are as sure and true as the living and reigning God Himself. The voice of the Lord is hardly ever audible; but it exists. The enthroned holy One does speak to humans. However, the difficulty in hearing the voice of the Lord is not in the softness of His voice, but the deafness of our senses.
I am constantly filling my eyes with images, messages and updates of the world and hardly ever pause to listen. I want to go and learn and go and see and go and do. I don’t sit well. Even when I try to rest, I fill up my mind with social media or thoughts or conversations.
God still beckons me to listen to Him.
When I sit and focus on listening to God, it may get boring. It can be frustrating to finally get enough motivation to actually listen to God and not receive anything at first.
Patience is key with God. He continues to talk to me after I ignore Him for long periods of time.
He both exhibits and requires patience with His children. Why? He is God and we are not.
Waiting on God is worth it. When I ask God to speak and listen with expectation for His response, He is faithful to hear and answer me. The answer may not be as complete as I would like. Even in His incomplete responses, God comforts me with His presence and assures me that He is sovereign over all things. Not knowing all the answers reminds me that I am not God. Sometimes it may take years for His full response but His ways are not our ways. They are much higher and much more in our favor than we could plan for ourselves.
When I listen and obey God, it always (this is an intentional superlative) works out for good. Why? What is God’s motivation for my good? My pastor posed this question yesterday. The response came from Psalm 5:12: “For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.” There is nothing in us that makes God pursue us except for His own favor, which is put in us by His great love.
I will never understand the expanse of God’s provision in my life and I will never understand His great love. I can only rejoice in the reality that God rejoices in me.
So I will talk to and listen to this holy God who rejoices in me. He is my authority of whom I love to obey.