Have you ever been frustrated with your walk with God? Have you felt as if you are doing good things yet God does not seem to be in it? Could we be silencing God’s voice? If we are continually doing what we feel is right, we will over time silence God’s voice from leading us. That is a very frustrating place to be. We think we are doing good but it is empty because it is our good and not God’s. I would like to share with you what I learned on how to be led by Him. The bible says in John 10:27 “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me…” I have learned that if I wanted to hear His voice and follow Him, I needed to have a heart of surrender. Surrender equates to a heart that loves and trusts Him. We may not fully trust Him when we surrender. But surrender is a walk; trusting Him for the step that we are on. Step by step we can walk with Him. I am going to share some real life, daily examples of how God has taught me how to hear His voice and follow His lead. Some may seem unimportant but God will use everyday life experienced to teach us.
Throne or the phone? When I would get aggravated or frustrated, I would immediately go to my phone because my heart wanted to vent to a close friend. I remember the day that I reached for the phone and God convicted my heart. He said “Dawn, why do you run to the phone and not run to my THRONE?” I knew that He was really calling me to run to Him with my aggravation or my frustrations. When I was led by my flesh, I always desired to get things off my chest by talking to a friend. But God made it very clear to me that day, I am to run to Him.
The next time I got aggravated, I reached for the phone and conviction hit my heart. Letting go of the phone, right there in my kitchen, I got down on my knees and cried out to God. I told him of my heart issue; the frustration that I was going through. As I prayed, I surrendered my pain to Him, and He changed my heart. As I spoke to him, He dealt with the problem as no one else could. Most times, I did not have to speak to anyone else about it. Sometimes after my time with Him, if I still had things to work through, I would ask him if I could call a friend but this time not to vent but to get counsel.
Rummaging for food. There were times that I would go to my cabinets open them up seeking something eat. I don't believe I was hungry. God revealed that I was empty. As I stood and searched for something to fill me, God convicted me saying to my heart, "You need more of Me. Fill up with Me." He was right, after I had more of His word, prayer or worship, I felt full. I now had less need to stare into a cabinet hoping that something would jump out and satisfy me. I now am full and satisfied by Him. Food is something I now enjoy. I now know when I am full, but still searching for something to satisfy, it may be God my Spirit is longing for.
We can silence God's voice by doing what we want and ignoring the inner voice that convicts us. Once we recognize the way we are living, repent and surrender, and then listen for His small still voice, He will start to lead and guide us. Don’t be surprised when He speaks to you about everyday situations like food, phones, and shopping carts. Yes, He taught me to hear His voice in a parking lot. Many times as I was returning my cart, He would point out other carts that needed to be returned. He put it on my heart to go return those carts also. I would second-guess Him and even argued if it was His voice or not. But more than anything I wanted to be obedient. So, I gathered cart after cart and put them all away. As I did I would be saying, "God, I hope this is Your voice because I do want to obey you.” Each time I obeyed in the small things, it seemed as though his voice became a little clearer and a little easier to discern. He was teaching me to hear his voice about things that really did not matter such as shopping carts so that when there were things in life that really did matter I would hear His voice. Today I am reminded of such an incident. It was a cold fall day when we were ministering to the homeless. As I was speaking to one gentleman, another man on a bike rode up behind me. When I caught a glimpse of him and his demeanor, I found it to be very intimidating. It was then that I heard God’s small still voice fill my thoughts and say, "He needs to know that I love him." Because I've been learning for years how to discern God's voice, I felt that it was Him. Yet because the man seemed so intimidating I questioned and tried to dismiss the voice I heard. So I prayed, "Father God, this man looks very intimidating. I am a little woman and if you want me to speak to him You, have to make a way.” I then I felt like He repeated, "He needs to know I love him." Again I asked God to make a way. Well, I turned toward the man and I told him that God impressed on my heart to tell you, He loves you. That touched him and a conversation ensued. I was able to share what God had done in my life. He was very engaged in the conversation and I could feel the power of God as I spoke and then as we prayed. He accepted Christ into his life that day and I was sure of it. About a year had gone by since we had seen the man, but recently, I got a text message with a picture of one of our team members with this man. He has gained weight and he looked wonderful. The caption read: Look who I ran into… He is fully in love with Jesus!! We partner with Jesus to do His will. It is so fulfilling to hear the voice of God. Let’s train our ears to hear and our heart to respond when He speaks to us so that when it really matters, we will hear His small still voice and obey. He will use us to change another person's life and He will enrich our own life in the process. Let’s hear His voice, obey and Live For His Glory! Much love, Dawn