I recently finished a study by Priscilla Shirer entitled Discerning the Voice of God and let me tell you — IT. WAS. AMAZING. I seriously mean that; it was life-changing for me.
There are numerous times in my life where I can look back and see God at work. During middle school, I met a girl who was caught up in a cult with her family. I felt an urgent need to talk to her about the Gospel, so I spent many lunch hours pouring over Romans and other passages with her. She was fascinated and had so many questions, but she never did make a decision in front of me. She died suddenly that summer of a very rare illness.
There are countless more examples throughout my life where I can see God’s hand as clear as day. If I’m completely honest though, it’s a lot harder to see God at work when you’re in the midst of tough circumstances. Shoot, it’s hard to hear from God when you’re not in tough circumstances, let alone when you feel like you’re in survival mode, barely treading water and praying desperately for a lifeline.
I opened this study because I feel like I’m in one of those tough circumstances right now with my family. This may be one of the toughest seasons we ever have to face (I hope), and honestly it hasn’t been horrible, just difficult. I hope and pray that we will look back on this time as one of sweet, painful growth that led to unbelievable blessing. That’s how God works. But it’s been so hard to hear from God. I mean, God has used certain people and circumstances to confirm that we are in the right place. But what on earth is He doing?! And how long will this season last?!
In her book, Priscilla Shirer states,
“God has taken upon Himself the burden of responsibility for communicating with you. That’s why He made sure His Word was alive. And that’s why at the appropriate time, when you’re listening, when you’re patient, when you’re trusting, His voice will resonate with power, punch, and authority.”
This whole study blew my mind, but that one quote stuck with me. What she’s really saying here is that I don’t have to call on God repeatedly, nagging Him for answers and begging Him to give me guidance. I just have to be patient, trust Him, and He will speak.
Whoa. It sounds so elementary. In fact, Shirer says, “God does not speak just to be heard. He speaks to be obeyed…He speaks; we obey. It’s not that easy. But it is that simple.” GAH she’s so right! It’s so simple, and yet it’s so difficult for us to do! Time after time God has proven Himself. Donna Pisani said, “The only thing harder than waiting on God is wishing you had.” When we charge ahead, in panic or in pride, we risk missing out on some of the blessings God had in store for us, as well as the sweet joy of seeing His plan come to fruition.
So, in this difficult season I’m learning to not only talk at God, but to also listen to God. Every morning when I get up and pray in the wee hours, I spend time just quietly listening. Sometimes I end up just sitting in peaceful silence. Sometimes, like this morning, God says something that is both startling and comforting: “You are prepared for what lies ahead. Trust Me.” *GULP* Yes, Lord!
I’d be lying if I said that doesn’t make me more than a little nervous. Isn’t that how we are as humans though?! If I’m not in control of it, or if I don’t have any idea what it even is, I’m anxious and fidgety. But God is always in control, and He has given me everything I need in Himself. All I need to do is rest in His grace, trust His voice, and obey Him. Easier said than done, right?
Hang in there, Mama. Maybe pick up a copy of this book and work your way through it too. I promise you won’t regret it. It shouldn’t be earth-shattering stuff, but unfortunately for mankind Eve bit an apple and here we are — doubting, prideful, and desperate for more of our Heavenly Father. God sees us, and He’s known the plan from the beginning. He knows our battles to trust Him, and He’s not phased by them. If we can humbly admit these things and lay them at His feet daily, we will hear from Him and draw closer to Him.
PS – I use the little gold foil floral notebook on the left to write out quotes that stick with me from my morning study. The notebook and pens are from Emily Ley Paper Gifts, and they can be found by visiting: www.emilyley.com. This is NOT a paid endorsement and I will not receive anything in the way of compensation for sharing this information. I simply hope to help make your world that much easier and happier. 🙂