There was a time when I had to work with some individuals, that, let’s just say, had different opinions on how to do things. Very strong, non-bending opinions, and they made it known, they were right! I didn’t share the fowl taste their behavior put in my mouth. Instead, I kept a pleasant face and did my best to swallow the dry, over cooked, attitude.
Later, when I was talking to my friend, I shared, okay complained, about them. I went on and on until he cleared his throat. I asked, “Too much?” He immediately replied in a deep rough voice, “Yes!” I stopped and we started talking about what was going on in his life, but the yukky flavor was still in my mouth.
It wouldn’t pass, and about five days later I started talking to God about it. Would you believe he told me to tell them “Thank you”?
I knew I had to obey, and I did, but I didn’t understand “why”?
After receiving God’s instructions I later opened my devotional of the year, “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young to read that day’s selection. I share it with you below:
And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel. 1 COR. 10:10
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” HEB. 12:28-29
“Thank you, Heavenly Father for loving me so much that you continue to guard my heart. You instruct me so evil will not be able to take up residence there in my inner most being. As I yield my life, my words, my thoughts to you I am directed to clean house, and remove even the smallest measure of dirt.”
You really can “walk with God”. It’s not a clique only found in the Bible at all, but something you can ask for, something you can expect, count on, and do.
Leviticus 26:12 “And I will walk among you and will be your God, and you shall be my people.”
Each morning my wife and I join hands to pray over our breakfast. We include the words, “and God lead us this day. Guide our steps. Direct us to those who we need to spend time with and when there give us your words to speak to them.” It’s not something we have memorized, so the actual words may come out different each time, but that keeps it fresh.
I knew of a child and when called upon to pray over their evening meal she said the same thing every night. It got to be kind of a joke to the whole family. In fact, it didn’t take long for it to get the nickname, “Prayer number 505.” The family got seated each night for dinner and settled by 5:05 PM.
I know God has guided my steps for most of my life. After all, He has lead me to my wife April, and I am now experiencing the fullness of what it means to be married, at least how God intends a marriage to be. But it seems as if in the last month his direction has been every day, and in the last week especially.
God has lead us to the right people, at the right time, to have the right conversations. A big blessing this past week has been putting together our new room, “The Conference Room”, as my wife labeled it, because it is there we meet with God. We dedicate that room for time with God, whether in his word, or in conversations with him, as we pray for friends, family and others around the world. Or perhaps we will just sit and wait for God to provide wisdom, understanding and direction for a particular need.
The original idea for this room only came about Sunday just over a week ago, and before a week could go by, the room has taken shape, and is only in need of a few final pieces, like photos hung on the wall of those we pray for. The room came about so quickly because we wrote out a list of what we wanted and we prayed over it. Then, early in the week, I told a friend of what we wanted. He mentioned, the next day, seeing a chair for our room at a new discount store where the proceeds go to build housing for those in need. A cause I can get behind and support, by shopping at the store.
So needless to say we visited the store and bought the majority of the pieces we desired from that store and the bookshelf came from a curbside, discard pile of a homeowner’s furniture. The bookshelf just needed a little cleaning up and some minor repairs. There have been times in my life when I may have been discarded, thrown out of someone else’s life and Jesus looked at me and said, “He just needs a little cleaning up and some minor repairs.”
My wife’s and mine first action in our new room was to pray, and dedicate it to God. For his purposes, to his Glory, and to advance his kingdom. This blog post was also written there, so from “The Conference Room” to your heart comes a message from God to you.
Dream with God. Ask him to make it happen. Write it down. Doing so will increase your faith. It will help you start seeing it even though it is not there. Then, ask God to lead you and guide you to the right places, at the right time, to have the right conversations. That is walking with God.
Direction. We seek it a lot, especially for those who have a strong and thriving relationship with God. We want to go in the correct direction and not waste time or resources. I sure messed up the other night. I live in a city that doesn’t receive huge amounts of snow that often and as a result the city doesn’t have the equipment to remove it as say, Chicago does. So when the meteorologist were predicting 6, 8 to 10 inches of snow, and hyped it up, I left where I was sooner than I needed to in order to get home safe.
I realize now I could have asked God for direction on when to leave, but I didn’t. I acted out of fear instead. At times, it’s hard not to. There is something innate about us that wants to be moving. This inward motivation makes it difficult to sit and wait, and when it comes to waiting on God for direction it is even harder. Do we not trust Him? We should! We have His word we can go to and read of His promise to guide us:
1–2 I look up to the mountains and hills, longing for God’s help. But then I realize that our true help and protection come only from the Lord, our Creator who made the heavens and the earth. 3 He will guard and guide me, never letting me stumble or fall. God is my keeper; he will never forget nor ignore me. 4 He will never slumber nor sleep; he is the Guardian-God for his people, Israel. 5 Jehovah himself will watch over you; he’s always at your side to shelter you safely in his presence. 6 He’s protecting you from all danger both day and night. 7 He will keep you from every form of evil or calamity as he continually watches over you. 8 You will be guarded by God himself. You will be safe when you leave your home and safely you will return. He will protect you now, and he’ll protect you forevermore! Psalms 121(TPT)
I was having a conversation this morning, with a friend, about this very topic. He has been asking God for direction when it comes to finding his spouse. There are a few potential mates and he has been trying to discern God’s will on the matter. As we continued to speak, it became obvious to both of us that he needs to stay in “neutral” right now. If you think about the gear shift on a car from neutral you can go forward or backwards, but you can move in an instant. Your only other option is “Park”.
A parked car doesn’t need to be steered,
because it isn’t going anywhere!
So I challenge you, if you find yourself needing direction, guidance from God, be patient and be willing to sit in neutral for a while. Keep your foot on the brake. You are ready to move, and you will, when the time and direction is right, therefore not wasting either time or resources, and when it comes to matters of love, possibly not suffering another heartbreak.
Believe it or not, after my divorce, when it came to meeting a woman to potentially marry, I used to ask God to send her to my door and have her say, “Hi. I’m God’s woman for you.” In turn, I would say, “Great. Let me get my coat.” I was living in the Chicago area back then and it is cold 9 months out of the year. Guess what? It never happened. I didn’t like all of the effort it took to date after divorce, and I wasn’t real sure I even wanted to remarry, but one thing I did know, if God wanted to lead me that way He could have.
My approach was kind of like praying for money, but not going out and looking for a job. I used to tell my concerned friends, “Hey, I’m not looking for a wife, but my eyes aren’t closed either.”
One sure way to receive direction from God is to be moving. You can’t steer a car if it’s not rolling. With that said, you don’t stop praying while you are in motion. God can certainly open and close doors, or lead you to someone who knows someone who God can use to meet your need, or desire.
I know of a single woman who is looking for a mate. She keeps doing it her way, which seems as if she takes the first man to message her, and she gets involved in another long distance relationship that eventually ends badly. After a few days of hurt, and anger she’s back at it again. The problem is this; her expiration date is approaching. I get the sense she is not focusing on God first, and trusting him to lead her. There is nothing wrong with saying, “No” to a man when you get a check in your spirit. God will give her the desires of her heart when the right man comes along. In the meantime, she can have intimacy with God.
It’s important to yield to the plans of God.
I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. Jer. 29:11 (MSG)
For six years, before my retirement, I planned on buying an RV, travel America, and write. That didn’t happen then, but I now see a chance where it may happen in the future. My wife likes to add this phrase after making plans of her own, “If God permits.” Not a bad way to live at all.
“for we walk by faith, not by sight [living our lives in a manner consistent with our confident belief in God’s promises]” 2 Cor. 5:7 (AMP)
It’s not easy walking with God, I get that, but it sure is exciting!
Whether you need direction for a spouse, a job, a place to live, what to say to someone who needs to hear from God, etc. choose to live in boldness. Don’t sit in your living room and wait for the answers to come to you, oh, and don’t expect a billboard along the highway either, but get up, get out, and move. Then trust the one who has the wheel of your life. You’ll enjoy the destination that much better!