I want to be a woman who listens to God. But, sometimes I'm not sure if it's God talking or just me thinking. And if I'm really honest, when I do sense Him whispering to my heart, I'm not always crazy about what I sense He's telling me to do. Like the time I knew without a doubt God was calling me to share my testimony publicly. I pretty much ran from that assignment for a decade.
Yet, I've learned over the past twenty years that when I listen to God I discover His best for me. And, I grow my trust in Him. I've seen again and again that His ways lead to His goodness. And when I follow Him, His mercy follows me.
At the end of my ten-year spiritual sprint away from what scared me most — sharing the story of my brokenness with others — I surrendered to what God was calling me to do. I started listening closely to Him and trusting completely in Him, so that I could experience a day-by-day abiding in His presence and promises. From there, His plans unfolded day-by-day.
Honestly, I thought I had been listening to Him all that time. But one day while I was praying about God's direction in some decisions, the Holy Spirit showed me that I had a habit of asking God what He wanted me to do and where He wanted me to invest my time. Then I went about doing that, without depending on Him for direction each step of the way.
Oftentimes, I would seek God for the larger plans in life, convinced that if I figured out what He wanted me to do then I could become the person He created me to be and fulfill the calling He had for me.
Have you ever thought: "If only God would show me what job to take; what man to marry; what church to attend, what ministry to serve in - then my life would be complete and I could trust Him with my whole heart"?
The problem is that sometimes we get a glimpse of where He wants us to go and then assume we know how to get there. Or we get a peak at what He wants us to do and think we know how He wants us to get it done. How many times have I made that mistake and then wondered why I wasn't getting anywhere?
Over time, God has taught me that He wants my spiritual ears more than my spiritual efforts. He wants daily dependence, interaction and intimacy with me. And He is more concerned with my character than my calendar.
You know, Jesus depended on the Father for the large and fine print written in His life plan. He listened closely and obeyed quickly. In today's key verse, John 5:19, we see His absolute dependence: "The Son can do nothing by Himself; he can do only what He sees the Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son does also."
Like Jesus, we will discover God's purpose for our lives through dependent hearts that seek to listen to His — day by day, moment by moment. Let's position our hearts, minds and souls to hear Him speak to us today.