Once again this morning I’m reminded why only seeing a few feet ahead in this journey we call life—is the way God planned it.
As I listened to a sermon from Passion City Church and I hear Louie Giglio speak to, The Word Series, Part 16; Breath on the Page —once again God speaks reasoning and confirmation to me about the importance of stepping out into the unknown.
The importance of being uncomfortable where you are sometimes and not knowing what tomorrow will bring.
The bible is oftentimes described as a road map Louie says; a manual for your life. But he also brings to our attention that it is a roadmap to life but not to your life. It’s to be used as a reference in life as a Christian, but it’s not specific for your life. Only when it’s applied and prayed over and you listen to God does the bible become specific to your life.
Just like a car manual that shows how a car works and when services are needed how to find parts and what to fix, but like the bible, our Christian manual, a car manual isn’t specific to your car. Your specific area conditions, your driving, others driving; all those things change the needs of your car and shape the things needing fixing and make your car needs less predictable.
If your manual for your car said, at 10,000 miles you will have an accident and it will cost you 3k out of pocket to fix because the other driver didn’t have insurance —-you would sell that car before that happened right?!
Of course, who wouldn’t. But that’s not what the manual is for, it’s not that specific to your own car —it’s for the type of car you have not your unique situations.
Gods word is similar. It’s meant to give you insight about who you are and how to live life—but it is not a complete roadmap that shows you all the stops and attractions you will stop at.
Psalms 119:105 says,His word will — Light your next step. And your next step. And your next. Not your whole life at once. God will be a lamp into your feet and a light into your path. Because, if we saw our whole roadmap we would start driving on our own, and perhaps pick and choose where we want to stop and things we want to avoid. I know I would. “Oh great, painful breakup—No thank you Jesus—I’ll skip that and go this way instead.” And by doing so we lose the opportunity to gain valuable growth and insight learned through that stop in the roadmap that God so carefully knows, that stop that might provide the humility gained in order to be the person we WANT to be, but couldn’t be if we had to chose the difficult path taken to gain the “fruit” we desire.
So if God only lights our next step—-How do I at least see that step?
Listen to God in your life.
You say, well that’s the problem—He’s not exactly sending angels to speak to me or burning bushes so I get answers.
Guess what?! We are so much luckier than that!! When Christ died he said as noted in John 14:16-18; 26-27 (NIV) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bec in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me.26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
So we don’t have to depend on a sign from God through a prophet or a bush every once in a decade if we are lucky—but we have His spirit in us to help us each and every moment of our lives!!! I used to be so jealous the old testimony folks got more tangible and direct answers—-but then I laughed at how silly that is—and how jealous Moses and Jonah and Micah etc would be to be us —to have the living spirit of The Lord within us–walking with us daily—to guide us—if we listen.
“Ok great that sounds good, but again I can’t hear anything,” you say.
Man, trust me I have been there, and if this is you—you are in a great place because it means that you want more—you desire to hear God—and God desires for you to hear Him and is working in you to draw you closer so that you can hear Him!!
So, let’s work on listening to God together!! Are you up for it??
- Get to know God. Knowing God to the degree that you can hear God means knowing His word. How to know God? Read His word. God cannot speak anything that is not true to His nature, His written word, so if you know Gods nature through reading the bible –you will know what is from God being spoken into your life. Luke 21:33 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (NIV). God’s truth is consistent. He is not going to tell you one thing in the Bible and then tell you something different in an impression.
- Rest in his word. To me—this is the hardest part. I’m a do-er. It feels lazy and unnatural to rest. To do nothing. It goes against everything I know and with the task list in my head it is a quick way to more stress—is that how you feel too?? Psalms 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God,”.
- Listen. That’s why it’s so important to take time to actively rest. To hear God we have to know how he speaks, by knowing His word. And to hear Him speak, we have to quiet our minds and listen. Most people just pray, and talk to God but forget prayer is first and foremost a conversation with God—-a conversation by nature is a two-way communication—but so often we speak and then go about our busy day.
Well how do you expect To hear God if you didn’t take time to listen to Him?
Ahhhhhhhh (did a lightbulb go off? I hope so, because as simple as that concept is, I know it never really struck me till i read it in this book which i highly recommend you read if you struggle with hearing God—this book changed my life!)
Another great read about figuring out your purpose is one of my favorites by Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life–who also has an amazing post on this topic here.
Study His word, take time to pray, and then listen. Rest in silence. And wait for God to speak. Pray your mind is still and doesn’t wander but when it does refocus and direct it back to listening to God.
So I sit in “the wilderness”, and make sure to take time to read my life manual, and sit still in the quiet so that when God speaks, I will hear Him loudly and clearly and not prolong my trip in the desert because I missed my exit.