Hearing from God

God’s been bringing me to this place of trust. He wants me more and more to let go of my own ideas of financial and physical security and give it wholly over to Him.

It’s not that I should just say “Dear Lord, I trust you,” and then run out and do it myself, hoping on his help, but instead living every day in complete trust.

For you who ask: How does God speak to someone? Perhaps you’re a new believer or someone who wants to believe or, even, someone who doesn’t, it can be a little different for everyone. But for many people, God has a way of getting our attention by repeating messages in ways that touch our heart — even if we don’t like the message.

For instance, many people would pray to God for untold riches, listen to Joel Olsteen, and then wait fervently believing God will suddenly rain down money. After all, God repeated the message to them that all He wants to do is rain down wealth!

The truth of it is: Yes, God wants to bless you abundantly. His word makes that clear.

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

But he does so so that you can be a blessing in turn to others.

2 Corinthians 9:11 (ESV)
You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

While he gives wealth to some and not to others, we are to be generous with what we do have — by however great or small it may be — as an example of God’s incredible love for us, in that He sacrificed His only son son so that we might be coheirs with him in heaven.

We may enjoy the wealth he brings us, but we are to focus on helping others and drawing people closer to Him by loving our neighbors, doing good to those who hurt us, and essentially being like-Jesus with everyone we meet.

In my quiet time the other day, God brought up a message I’d seen before, one I didn’t want to hear.

As a writer, I have grand dreams of being the next JK Rowling and getting paid lots of money. I mean, I would want to help people with it, but I would still want the money. And this is still a possibility and, even if I were to gain it, not an immoral achievement. After all, God ultimately made Job even wealthier than he had been before the Satan debacle. There’s nothing immoral about financial success and abundance.

God, however, doesn’t want my sense of security tied up in something as flimsy as Earthly wealth.

Matthew 6:19
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

Instead, I should give over all I am and all my needs and all my activity into His ownership.

Proverbs 3:5–6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

How did God speak to me? I’ve been reading two devotionals every morning, one of which repeated a message I’d read previously and stood out to me. “The Songs of Jesus: A Year of Daily Devotions in the Psalms” by Timothy Keller. He mentioned this verse:

Psalm 49:13–20. 13
This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings. 14 They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions. 15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead; he will surely take me to himself. 16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich, when the splendor of their houses increases; 17 for they will take nothing with them when they die, their splendor will not descend with them. 18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—and men praise you when you prosper—19 they will join those who have gone before them, who will never again see the light of life. 20 People who have wealth but lack understanding are like the beasts that perish.”

When God speaks, it’s not about hearing booming words echoing from the sky. It’s tiny whispers of things that stand out to you, specifically. It’s tiny messages repeated in tiny places that catch your eye and resonate with you — even if it’s something you don’t want to hear.

In this message, I heard God telling me to let go of this incessant hope upon “making it.”

You see, I struggle as a single man with the desire to “make it” in business. If only I can make it — I tell myself — I’ll be validated as a man. I’ll find peace. I’ll be able to afford a family without scraping by, like my own mom had to in my youth. I’ll be able to focus on business and family without sacrificing one for the other …

Or, at least, that’s what a part of me wants to believe.

God doesn’t want me there. That’s a place of addiction — the addiction to false hope on temporary and unfulfilling securities.

Instead, He wants my eyes upon Him.

So here’s where I am: Today, God has provided. Today, God will direct my steps. Today, I will live for His Will and let Him reveal that through His direction. God knows how to get my attention, so I choose to stop worrying about whether or not I’ve heard Him, and I focus on keeping my eyes upon Him.

It’s so counter-intuitive that we should take on LESS responsibility as believers in Christ, but the truth is, God doesn’t want us in control. He wants surrender so we might live in communion daily, walking step-in-step.

Not side-by-side, but so intimate there are but a single set of footprints left in the sand without either one of us carrying the other.

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