Did I hear you, God? But, it doesn’t look like it!
It’s been a while since I’ve written a post.
Seems like I turned 50, and stopped writing.
It’s kind of true. Life suddenly took on a different direction in business. And, God graciously handed me a new tool to use to process “stuff” amid old, yet new scenery.
Not that it hasn’t been the best, the deepest healing and growing season of my life, because it has.
Not that it hasn’t been fulfilling, because my heart-bucket has overflowed.
And, it’s not that I didn’t want to write, I just didn’t know what to say.
As my internal filter and processing changed, what I had to share shifted. And, amid all of the goodness and hope and peace filling my soul, one thing that haunted me, for the past several years,
Did I hear you, God?
I questioned because the path He called me to has been REALLY hard to swallow.
This path is filled with fiery darts, and steeped in circumstances that testified to the contrary.
Did I REALLY hear you, God?
Since letting go of my beloved mountains, too many scenes have brought me to my knees, begging to go back to that juncture. I wanted to plant my feet in a different direction. Because, CERTAINLY, your voice would not lead me HERE!
I’ll be a fool for YOU, God, any day, all day long, but don’t let me be a fool for the Darkness.
All along, I knew that God caused ALL things to work for the good to those called according to His purpose[Rom 8:28].
So, did I miss God, and He simply did His incredible sovereign thing by bringing SO much good out of my missed turn?
Many have said so, and I have experienced it enough to know, “Could be.”
But, I want to stay on His straight and narrow. Not have Him clean up my mess-ups of misguided turns, or walking blinded by clouds of circumstances that confuse.
He’s cleaned up enough of those, especially in my heart.
This question has literally stopped me in my tracks, in many ways of life. As I’ve journey along, with so much confirmation in spite of circumstances, I’ve reached a place of peace.
I hope to help settle this for you, too.
You who find yourself surrounded by wolves and wonder,
“How did I get here?”
If following God’s leading is a priority in your life, there’s a high probability that you know exactly what I am talking about.
When I first allowed myself to hear God’s voice, and took steps of faith in the direction He laid out, my naivety led me to believe the journey would be filled with “roses” and “cake”.
You know, a “bed of roses” and a “cake walk.”
Since leaving everything, my comfort zone, in 2000 to follow the Voice that set me free, I have found myself at many hard-pressed junctures asking, over and over, “Did I REALLY hear you, God?”
I’ve been on my knees–no face down on the floor, begging God to reveal the turn I’d missed, because certainly, “You would not break my heart like this?”
“You would not have me face THIS rejection from those I thought were your people? My friends?”
“God would not have me face those wounds that sit so deep, my heart will turn to complete ashes if burned again?”
“You would not have your daughter live under THESE conditions, where ‘mice and men’ try to poison me, unto death.”
“Your people wouldn’t persecute me when I follow your voice?”
Certainly, …Excuse me God,
“Do I know Your voice at all?”
“Your voice, Your unction was so clear on this particular point.” And, “What about all of those confirmations you sent?”
Quite, spot on, I might add.
Yet, when I look back on the past 15 years, when I let my whole life go for Freedom, I can see that it’s riddled with the same.
Persecution! Rejection! Gossip! Attacks! Financial distress!
All of this has led many well-meaning friends and family to say in so many words,
“You must have missed it, if the results look like THIS or THAT?”
And, at times I have agreed, and doubted, and cried even more, because the circumstances all added up to completely missed turns…in the eyes of the world.
In the eyes that I could see.
As I’ve sought God through each impasse, each fiery dart, each difficult scene, I am reminded of so many others before me.
Not the least of which, the One who hung on a cross for ME! The person who I had reject in my “luke-warmness” from my life and ways for over 30 years. I chose a life of sin.
And, my sins cost Him his life!
Yet, my pain had not even come close to his! And, Jesus was sinless. Not wretched and weak like me.
Who I am I to think my obedience to God’s voice should be PAIN FREE?
Recently, I woke to these words, “Yes, I know your wounds, my child.”
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him, or think of as King–God’s chosen one. Jesus was despised and rejected by mankind. He knows suffering, and is familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces, he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. [para Is 53:2-3]
Jesus surely heard God’s voice.
Yet, didn’t his own disciples question,
Did you, JESUS, really hear God?
Jesus, are you sure God wants you to ride into town on a donkey? We can find a better horse, for sure. Or, a chariot, no less?
Jesus, the King of Kings?
Jesus clearly heard the voice of God, even amid his walk of pain. He was called to take a path of persecution, and endure unimaginable suffering–
It is God’s will for none to perish, yet we all have FREE WILL.
Yet, Jesus never questioned and doubted like me. He walked in peace while being arrested. The kind that surpasses all understanding, even knowing what was before him.
He asked for the cup to pass from him, yet followed the will of His father, he took the cup, and drank up all of the sin and suffering.
Jesus knew that I’d never be holy or righteous enough without the Blood of the Lamb. He knew that I’d need a “choice” to have abundant life with Him, or stay blind, in the darkest dark. Jesus knew the will of His father was for me–and you, to choose God’s best each day.
Yet, the choice had to be presented. And, the choice remains available, each and every day.
I can only imagine how the rejection of those he hung to save must’ve felt inside of His heart.
His PURE heart, whose motive was purely love. Is pure love!
Each person–whether a follower of Christ or not, has a daily choice as to whether we will surrender to God’s will, or not.
We do not walk out our faith in a vacuum . We walk our faith against the flesh every day, and quite frankly, it affects all of those around us. It effects the destiny of others, BUT GOD!
How often have I seen the choice of purity, righteousness, truth, in my daily life, yet I’ve chosen the darker option?
Too many times to count, which is why my deepest longing is to follow the voice of God.
The choices absent of His Light have left me with so much less than what God has to offer.
How often do we reject God’s goodness and ways, in spite of the path that He took to get to me, and the one He laid out for me to surrender all.
To date, the number of years that I’ve lived apart from God are still the greater. I am all too familiar with the emptiness of the other, and want only the fullness of Him, all day, every day long. Yet, each day reminds me of that emptiness as I war against the desires of my heart and flesh. As I allow God to heal what’s been triggered or revealed.
And, as God reminds me that His ways are not mine, he also whispers,
We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:6-9
This guarantees us that following his Voice will be hard, challenging us to our very core, causing us to dig more, and dig out, what’s not of Him. Offering up our entire being upon his altar to burn away what’s not of Him.
That burning process is painful.
“If there’s not a trail of ashes in your wake, then you should wonder, is this path from Me?”
We will war against our flesh, the ways of the world, on a daily basis. I am reminded it’s a daily dying to myself to reach the end of me.
The circumstances are hard when following the Voice of Freedom.
So, why follow?
Because the end result is sanctification.
The end result is the peace that surpasses all understanding.
The end result is abundant life, not as the world may see, but as God has created me, in me, to thrive and shine for His glory alone.
- When you’ve confirmed that a pathway is of God,
* Receive the goodness
* Receive the grace He offers up as comfort
* Sacrifice, praise and trust Him through each fiery step
* Yield your heart to what He’s trying to reveal, to do through you and in you.
Trust that God WILL cause ALL things to work for the good when you are following His voice!
God is making you a choice for another to see.
A choice to choose God’s faithfulness that comes with a price that was paid on Calvary.
A choice that will help others be set free, and live whole, to see a ripple-effect of freedom where it matters most–
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