W recently moved to Portugal. How many people questioned us? Wondered if we were hearing from God. Doubted that He would speak something so crazy as getting rid of almost everything we own and take a couple of suitcases to Europe to live like vagabonds going from one B & B to another.
How many times have you heard people wonder what God is doing? Why is God doing it? How is He going to do it? You pray with and for them. Then, often when you reply with confidence what you have heard from God, the doubt comes in—either in your own mind or from their voice. How do you know you hear from God? Etc. Why not? We are called His friend. Do you keep secrets from your true friends or do you share your heart? God created man to fellowship with. He wants to communicate with us. He called us kings and priests. Do the kings of nations rule and never know what is happening in their nation? Do priest lead the people without knowing which way they want them to go? That is not to say there have not been kings who ruled in darkness or priests who led people astray but let’s look at this logically. Why would God, a loving God at that, give titles and positions to the people He created and sent His son to save and then keep them in the dark? Is that the position of a loving God or the lie of a demonic jokester? Another position God bestowed on His people is heir. Heir to what? How can you be an heir if you do not know your heritage? Have you read the will?How can two walk along together unless they agree? Do you walk with God? If you do then are you in agreement with Him. Or, do you demand your own way? Do you easily step off the path of agreement because your own thought patterns draw you away from that loving relationship? Does your own pride, disguised in false humility, keep you from knowing His destiny and direction for your life? Have you exalted your intellect above His understanding of who you are and what you need in life? I was helping a friend move to Durant once. I was coming from Lawton and driving a big truck. She was also coming from Lawton and driving a car. She had an errand to run first and would easily catch up with me since the truck had a governor on it—meaning I could not even drive the speed limit.I took off heading east. I had no idea where Durant was but did not really care—she would lead the way. I drove for a long time and realized I REALLY had no idea where Durant was. I had the impression it was up by Tulsa but no real proof of that. I reached for my purse. I would stop and get a map. Oops, I left my purse in her back seat. Well, I would stop for a soda and ask directions…empty pockets. So, here I am. No purse. No money. No idea where I am headed and driving a 28 foot truck full of her belongings. I will not go into all the details here but will include them in a chapter in my book later. Let’s suffice it to say I sought God. I am confident in my hearing of God’s voice. It is the voice of my best friend, the love of my life, the one who changed my circumstances when I was in sin, the one who has healed me whenever I was ill, the one who has set me free from so many bondages, the one who knows my heart, the one who gives me direction, the one who shows me how to pray, the one who delights me like no other, the one who reveals Himself to me more every day---let’s go back to the “one who gives me direction”. I am so totally, non-spiritual. I never fit into the “religion box”. I never pray normally. “Ok God where am I?” Nothing. “Uh, God, you busy?” (Isn’t it crazy that we make God so small that we forget he knows every hair on our heads and he has them numbered! He knows every bird for goodness sake!) Nothing. “You led the rebellious Israelites through the wilderness. I am not being rebellious and I need some help here. Where am I headed?” “Durant” was the response. Clear as a bell. “I need a little more God. Where is it? Can you get me there?” His response made me laugh. “Do you trust me?” “Of course, what is not to trust?” As I said when I started this piece, God is a loving God. He has our best interest at heart He WANTS to communicate with us. I kept laughing and said, “Ok, I will drive and you tell me when to turn.” Nothing, but I knew he agreed. We began to talk about Moses, his faith, his temperament. God showed me where mine is much the same (and not the pretty, faith-filled part). He told me to get the knee-jerk responses under control. No more anger. He had been talking to me a long time about this and every time I thought I was better He would bring it up again. That is one of the things I love about God. He does things in small doses. He doesn’t give us the big PICTURE and then sit back while we struggle to get to the goal He presented. He gives us what we can handle at the time, gives us all the direction we need, cheers us on and salutes our victories. Does that make everything He asks us to do easy—no. We just decide to do it and we win. That is why, when He brings something up a second, third or hundredth time it doesn’t mean we failed or we that we are failing. It means we are taking another step to total victory. Lots of my friends think God puts these huge tasks out there for us to work at like a test to see “if we can do it”. Maybe I am just simple but I do not believe God tests me. He guides me to be like Christ. I have a 3 fold cord on my side, God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit—how can I fail? As we talked about Moses I thought about how hard his life was. He did not have the Holy Spirit to guide him like we do but he still followed God in a way that is jaw-dropping. About that time God told me to turn off the freeway. This was a huge step of faith since this was away from Tulsa. “Are you sure you know where Durant is?” “Yes, do you?” ‘Nuff said. This was an adventure so say the least. We talked. I praised. I had a great time of intercession for several people. I told him how very much I loved him in the peace and quiet of a truck while following the voice of God.Occasionally I would hear, “Turn left at the next corner.” Or, “Go straight through the light”. I was on back roads of Oklahoma and it was uneventful and yet a milestone in my walk with the Lord. I became more confident in His voice and when he says “turn here” I do. This has caused anguish, consternation and rebuke many times over. But, I know His voice and the voice of a stranger I will not follow. (And for all of you skeptics, yes I have missed it, but usually only by listening to others telling me I missed God—remember Job’s friends? We all have ‘em.) Then I stopped praising and praying. I did not realize it at the time but I was starting to question if I was really hearing God. You know those voices—you hear them in your own head if not in the voices of others. “Who are you to hear from God?” “Are you nuts? Why would God reduce himself to talking to you like a friend? Why would God give you directions? Don’t you think He has more important things to do? Boy, are you full of yourself.” Need I go on? You have heard these same words in one form or another. So I resorted to asking God for a sign—I admit that sometimes we need them but eventually we need to hear from God and stop the immaturity. At the next intersection there was a hand-painted sign with drips down the cardboard that said in big block letters DURANT à . I cracked up. It was nailed to a telephone pole. I knew an angel had just hung it up. I thought about getting out and seeing if the paint was still wet! God is hilarious and playful and I love that about him. Obviously, I made my turn. I got to Durant. I will tell you I waivered again and He rescued me again but the point is this: He gives us direction and we can follow his voice. Isaiah 45 says:For this is what the Lord says—He who created the heavens, He is God;He who fashioned and made the earth, He founded it,He did not create it to be empty, But formed it to be inhabited-- (that is you!!! *)He says,I am the Lord And there is no other.I have not spoken in secret, From somewhere in a land of darkness;I have not said to Jacob’s descendants, ‘Seek me in vain.’I, the Lord speak the truth. I declare what is right. *Italics mine of course!! Isn’t this intercession? One leading and guiding the other directly to where God wants them to be? In this case it was Durant and the Holy Spirit told me each step. When we intercede for someone it is exactly the same. The Holy Spirit guides in each step. (May I point out here that we have to be willing to listen and obey in what we hear? Durant, it turns out, was in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma not the northeast corner like I thought. Good thing I listened or I would still be driving....) When we intercede for someone we need to have several things in play:1. Know who He is2. Trust that He has our best interest at the forefront of His focus3. Be willing to ask4. Be willing to hear5. Be obedient6. Enjoy the trip7. Stay the course until you reach your destination This is a lot easier when praying for someone else but you cannot love your neighbor more than you love yourself. If you cannot hear for yourself and hear accurately how can you possible hear for others and get them to the throne so they arrive at their destination with all their belongings. Asked for directions lately? Don’t you think it is time to start?