Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Voice Behind You

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21 It's funny how God uses weird things like a kid's baseball game to speak, but He does... This past summer was my son's first year to play (what he referred to as) "real" baseball. At the ripe old age of 5 (the age of "I know everything!"), Canaan quickly began to learn the fundamentals of America's favorite past time. After the first practice, my confident 5 year old, quickly realized he knew much less about baseball than he had originally anticipated. Coach Jeremy Penny (may God forever bless this man!)saw Canaan's hesitation and lack of self-confidence and began to teach Canaan. By the fist game, Canaan knew that if he just listened to his coaches (and his "very proud and loud" momma from the stands), followed through with what he had learned, he would be able to make great plays. One game, Canaan was on third base, ready to run across home plate and score another run for the "Crimson Cats"! If you know anything about baseball, you know that if you are on third base, you take off running when the ball is hit, but you MUST, I repeat, MUST listen to your third base coach (thanks Coach Jason!)to know if you need to run home or come back to third. I can see this in slow motion in my mind...---The ball was hit. Canaan took off running toward home...but you could tell his ears were listening for Coach Jason's voice behind him telling him what to do. Then, when Canaan crossed the half-way mark between third and home, Coach Penny stepped in front of Canaan, beside home plate, motioning him to come on home and slide. For that moment, it seemed as though time stood still as God spoke to my heart. All Canaan had to do was listen to his coaches and then do what they said to do. The voice behind him told him when to go, and then his coach was waiting on him at his destination and told him what to do when he got there...if only we did the same for God. Do you ever feel like you can't hear God? I know I have felt that way so many times in my life. You have a situation in your life (or several situations!)that you have no idea how to handle or what to do and you desperately need God's clarity. You pray and...nothing. You become frustrated, anxious, even depressed. You may even begin to think God is angry with you, that He has turned away from you. The deadline of the "situation" draws closer or, it just feels like you are "stuck" because everything stays exactly the same. We think to our self, "Why doesn't He answer??!!!" It's taken some time, but God has and is teaching me how to hear Him. Alot of the answer is found in Isaiah 30:21. I have come to know that my calling on this earth is to tell as many people as I can that God wants a relationship with them. He wants to give us an eternity in Heaven with Him too, but while we are here on the earth, HE WANTS A CLOSE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with those who are His children. One lie that Satan tells the Christian is that God only speaks to "certain Christians". Let me tell you why this is a lie. When Christ died, the veil was ripped and His children are able to speak to God at any time, any place, and about anything, through Christ. You may be saying, "Oh I do TALK to God, Corrie, but I need God to talk to ME." See, I missed this for a really long time. If you are a Christian, God speaks to you. Period. Now, "how" He speaks is the key. If you have asked Christ into your heart, then the Holy Spirit lives within you. This is crucial to know and believe because the Holy Spirit is one way through which God speaks and answers us. Among many things, the Holy Spirit is the convictor. For example, you may be praying about a relationship, job, financial issues, etc. The Holy Spirit helps you know that acting a certain way to your spouse is wrong; that pursuing a certain job isn't bringing you peace; the guilt we feel when we mismanage HIS money. That, my friends, is God speaking. Many times, THAT is the 'voice behind you saying..." Hearing God is about paying attention. Another way to hear God comes through the reading of His word. Often times, we pray, but forget to pick up His written word. If you are His child, every time you read God's word, He is speaking. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." Thoroughly equipped...hmmm..sounds good, doesn't it? I don't know about you, but I sure do want to be "thoroughly equipped" in my marriage, in my job, as a parent, friend, etc. The second part of Isaiah 30:21 speaks of faith and obedience. Once you know the way, you must be obedient to "walk in it." One more thing regarding Isaiah. 30:21... don't doubt.The scripture doesn't say, "I thought I heard a voice behind me saying...", or "the voice behind me said, "this might be the way for you, but I'm not really sure,". God WILL answer us. It will be only on His time frame and He does NOT consult with you or me about His answer. I have found in my life that sometimes God has been speaking...I just didn't recognize His voice because it wasn't the answer I was looking for. Doubt can interfere with God's guidance for our life. God says, in James 1:6-8, "But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord.He is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does." Wow. Unstable? Doubt in God's ability to come through or even hear us causes us major problems. If you really read Isaiah 30:21 carefully, our job is not to look for "signs"; never to crawl in a hole feeling sorry for our self; or to be angry that God isn't moving fast enough. Our job is to listen and walk. And just like Canaan, our "coach" will tell us when to go and He will show us what to do when we get there. All Canaan did was listen and obey. What about you? Have you bought into the lie that God can't speak to you? Spend time with Him and His word. Pull back your heart and allow Him to wash away all your sins of doubt, fear, worry, depression, and whatever else that DOES NOT come from Him. Tell Him you will be listening for the voice behind you and will be ready to run when He says go. And then, keep your eyes on Him for direction...when you get close to the plate. It's funny how God uses weird things like a kid's baseball game to speak, but He does... :-) Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for teaching me such a valuable lesson. Forgive me for buying into Satan's lies that tell me You aren't listening to me when I come to you. Help me to keep my ears open and be willing to wait upon you for as long as You say "wait". But when you say "go", help me to run toward You with no doubt. You will not and cannot fail me...