BY JEFF DAUGHERTY
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Do you ever feel like God has you running in circles? Can’t he just tell us what the plans are for our lives? Truth be told, if we knew the path and the trials that lay ahead, we would be likely to choose another path.
When God spoke to Moses he did so through the burning bush and a pillar of fire, among many other ways. I wish it were that simple for me. But simple is not God’s style. Hearing God’s voice is something that has to be learned and practiced. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 2:4 “…if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures…” and Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” You must actively seek Him and listen for his voice. We have to work at it.
God is speaking to you. But are you really listening?
Let me illustrate it this way. Have a friend enter the location of a restaurant at least thirty minutes from your home. Make sure it requires several twists and turns, and it is someplace you do not go to very often. Make sure the voice directions are on but cover up your phone or GPS so you can’t see the map. All you have are the directions that are being spoken to you. Turn on the radio in your car and hit the road. Most of us need to see what the map shows ahead of us. But God doesn’t work that way. No matter how much we may pray otherwise, God is not going to show us a map with all the twists and turns our journey will be taking. He gives you what you need, when you need it. One step at a time. It is a lot harder than it sounds. The noise of people in the car or the radio, or things going on around us all distract us from what we are trying to hear. If God speaks to you, you can’t lean toward the person next to you and ask, “what did He just say?” Chances are you will end up driving in circles as the GPS tells you, “recalculating.”
So, now God’s directions are starting to make more sense, aren’t they? How many times has God had to redirect us? Was He not speaking to us, or were we just not listening?
Try reading scripture and meditating in a place that is quiet and peaceful. That may be harder for some of you, but you can do it. We have to put ourselves in the best position to hear him. Try sitting outside at a park. Focus on the sounds of the birds and nature around you. Soon the sounds of the cars and the people begin to fade. Same principle. Do not get frustrated if you do not hear anything at first. It takes time and practice. And most of all it happens in God’s time, not ours. I would tell you to be patient, but that is a different devotional entirely.