and ramblings on everything in between
God spoke to me three times last night. He told me to turn on the porch light not once, not twice, but three distinct times. I didn’t listen. And then I bit it. I fell down a few steps and have a bruise the shape of California on my knee as a souvenir.
I had to drop something off at my brother’s house late last night. It was dark and he wasn’t home and during the two minutes I was in his house, I heard God say I needed to turn on the porch light before leaving. Thinking it was unnecessary and I would be fine, I didn’t take the time to listen. As I stepped out of the house, I was distracted by my phone and thought there was only one step down before reaching the sidewalk. I was wrong. There were two. My phone went flying, my high heel caught on the edge of the step and flipped into the grass, and my knee, ankle, and wrist went skidding across the concrete. I haven’t fallen in years. I can’t remember the last time I skinned my knee and I certainly forgot how painful it is. Embarrassed, I popped off my other shoe, reached for my phone, snatched up the wandering heel, and bolted to my car, praying no one was pointing and laughing from a neighbor’s window. I envisioned God looking over my shoulder, shaking His head, and saying, “I told you to turn on the stupid light.”
How often does God speak to us but we don’t care to listen? No, I don’t mean when a deep voice booms down from the heavens saying something with “ever so severely” at the end of it. I’m talking about our conscience that points us in the right direction, which I now associate with God. Learning to recognize that voice takes some time. Learning to listen to it takes extreme discipline.
This little California-shaped scrape has me thinking about all the other times He has spoken but I chose to ignore Him. You probably know what I’m talking about. That small voice in the back of your head saying “wait,” “yes,” “no,” or “stay.” I’m in the middle of contemplating a big life change. I’m ready to make a move, to scamper off to the next adventure. But when I pray about it, I can feel this tinge of anxiety in my heart and hear a small voice say, “Wait.” This isn’t the answer I want. I’m ready to hear “GO!” And because I’m a selfish human, my first instinct was to tell the small voice that I know is God, “I’m not asking permission. I’m telling you that I’m doing this. Oh, and while we’re on the subject, can you pour Your blessing over it for me? Pretty please?”
I have fought so hard since becoming a Christian a few years ago to understand when God is speaking in my life. Now that I can tell the difference, am I really going to ignore it?
Over the past few months as this decision has been on my mind, verses keep popping out at me when I read the Bible.
- “Walk in obedience to all the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.” Deuteronomy 6:10 (NIV)
- “As for God, His will is perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:31 (NIV)
- “Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below – You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way.” 1 Kings 8:23 (NIV)
- “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” Isaiah 48:17b (NIV)
And the kicker – one day this week my alarm went off and the local Christian radio station popped on just in time for me to hear their Moment with the Message segment. I was awakened to this:
- “Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, ‘Why did you shape me like this?’” Romans 9:20 (MSG)
I looked up at the ceiling and exclaimed, “Seriously God, you’ve made your point already!”
So my prayers have shifted to, “If I can’t have this, Lord, then take it away. Take away the desire so I won’t disobey Your will for my life.” Deep down I know God isn’t going to magically do that. Why? Because He needs me to get to the point where I can say, “I want this so badly, but I love You more. So if You say wait, then I will wait.” You know, that whole ‘Your will be done’ part that I agreed to four years ago? This must be what that term of agreement was referring to.
I’m not gonna lie – I haven’t come out and wholeheartedly said that to Him yet. My hand is still holding on with a firm grasp. Yet, I don’t want to end up with another skinned knee as God looks down with the dreaded ‘I told you so’ look on His face.
How has God been speaking in your life? And have you been obedient enough to listen?