When I look back over my life and think about the number of time I asked God about his direction for me, I find that He’s been talking to me all along. I just haven’t been listening.
I can remember the first time I knew that God – without a doubt – was speaking to me. It was a long time ago and I had been dating a guy for nearly three years. I was ready to settle down. When we first started dating, we were not in the same city. But the opportunity arose where we could be closer, and the guy did not encourage me to move to be near him and he wasn’t making any moves to be nearer to me. I wasn’t playing coy. I clearly let my feelings be known. I didn’t believe in playing games. He asked me about two years into the relationship where I thought it was going. And I told him. I wanted to be married and start a family. You could hear the crickets. Exactly, he didn’t have much to say to that. But we continued to date. That was my own selfishness. I was thinking he would come around to seeing things my way.
So later in the relationship another opportunity arose. But this one would have taken me farther away from him. Again, he didn’t ask me to stay. He was pretty indifferent to where I moved. Finally, the Lord placed it so clearly on my heart that this young man was never going to commit to me. It took me another six months to finally listen and end the relationship.
Did I mention that I’m a little hard-headed?
Jump forward 24 years and I was still struggling to hear from God. I had the one experience under my belt of hearing from Him so I knew He would speak to me – but why wasn’t I hearing anything.
Again, I had some big questions about my career and moving. I started praying and asking God’s direction. And at first I didn’t think He was speaking to me. Confusion arose and frustration set in. But what I discovered is that I wasn’t listening. I was blaming God and I was convinced that He wasn’t speaking clearly to me. I even told Him that He needed to speak loud and clear because I was a little hard of hearing. But what I finally realized I wasn’t hearing him because it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. Again, I was feeding my own selfishness.
Jumping to the present time, I find myself asking God for direction on many given topics and choices. But I finally learned that I need to sit and listen. Sometimes it still isn’t the answer I want, but I have to remember it’s not my will but His will.
Just this week, I prayed about joining a new study at my church. It was one of the new community groups. And the books were going to be $50. I asked the Lord to show me where I was going to get $50 on my tight, tight budget. I listened and He showed me where I would find that $50.
I want to be obedient to Him. My biggest challenge these days is remove my own opinion about something and leave my mind open to hearing from the Lord. I remind myself to remove my desire and to accept His will.
There are many examples in the Bible about people not listening to God. Each one had many challenges until they submitted to God’s will.
I encourage you to listen for Him. He can speak in many different ways. It can come through scripture or it can be a small quiet knowing in your being.
Yes, ask Him but you have to be willing listen to Him.