The psalmist said, “The unfolding of your words gives light.” Psalm 119.30
“In all your ways, acknowledge him, and he will direct your path.” Proverbs 3.6
We read, study, and even memorize these words, but how does God actually direct us—how does he make his will known to us? Please allow me to tell you how he has made himself known to me in the last couple weeks. When we ask for God’s direction, he gives it to us; he does not play guessing games.
About two weeks ago, a Christian woman I highly respect came up to me after Women of Passion, and told me she had something to say that she had felt for a long time—“I do not think you belong in Long Beach (you know, my weekly ministry to the street people of that city—my bodyguard, the Duke of Earl, and many others I love); as a matter of fact, I believe it is a diversion to God’s best for you—to what he has gifted you and purposed you to do.” I looked her in the eye, and said, ‘Is that all? Do you have more to say to me?’ Indeed, there was a little more, which included—‘I know that you are not afraid of being hurt there, I know that you are not afraid of the real danger there, but you have young children at home, and they need you…’ There was more, including her recollection of what God had originally called me out to do three-plus years ago… but this is ample for now.
Here’s the question: how do I know if she heard from God, or was merely voicing her own opinion? And, is one of the ways God speaks to his children through other people? Yes.
Consider how God speaks to us: -in a still, small voice -through Scripture -through other believers - including messages from the pulpit
-visions - when awake / dreams - when asleep -circumstances - opened or closed doors; serendipitous meetings
-a "knowing" in our innermost being
So, because I know that God does use other believers to speak into our lives, I smiled at Diana and looked long in her eyes, and then assured her I would pray earnestly about what she had said. Perhaps my 14 months of Long Beach ministry was to come to an end.
And so I did. Pray. He would not tell Diana something he intended to direct my footsteps without confirming it in me as well. In seeking to understand God’s will, I knew that he would show me if I asked him, and then listened, watched, and waited. (all four of those are critical to ascertaining the voice of God.)
ASK for his direction. LISTEN. WATCH. WAIT.
I said to the Lord what the boy Samuel said,
“Speak to me, Lord, for your servant is listening…”
He did. Diana had approached me on a Thursday; I began praying and seeking the Lord immediately, asking him to confirm or rebut what she’d said. Late afternoon on Monday, I was driving back from the grocery store with food for Long Beach for the next day, when the still, small voice came to me. I must tell you, though, it didn’t seem still, nor did it seem small! ‘If you are mainly providing food and clothes in Long Beach, other people can do that…there are plenty of social agencies in that town. Look at the spiritual fruit.’ Wow! God answered….and there was no doubt in my mind that it was him, starting to show me the way to go.
The rest of the story I will give you tomorrow, but for now----
Do you need direction about something in your life? Ask God to show you, to speak to you…and he will. God does not mumble.