I think God speaks to us in ways we can understand. For different people he reveals Himself in different ways. For me, it is often an impression. I can’t really explain it, but there are times that I feel impressed strongly about something or compelled to do something and I’ve come to recognize that as the voice of God in my life.
Often I feel God impressing me to pray for someone or a situation. It’s not unusual for me to wake up in the middle of the night with someone on my mind and I begin to pray for them. I sometimes hear after the fact that they were in need of some kind and I feel honored and humbled that God would allow me to pray. Of all the things I do in life, that is the most important by far.
Recently I was in a situation where I felt God impress me to pray. My brother and his family were visiting us in SC. My 2 youngest kids were traveling back with them to GA to visit with my parents. This trip was about 4.5 hours and my 2 and my nephew (they are ages 5, 6 and 7) were in the back seat. As I buckled my kids in and said goodbye I had this feeling that I shouldn’t let them go. It was so weird and I thought I was being paranoid.
After they left, even as they pulled out of the drive way, an urgency and concern for their safety fell over me. The Lord impressed on me to pray for their safety and I prayed fervently throughout the next several hours and was so relieved to hear they had made it safe to Mimi and Papa’s house.
A few days ago my Mom called me and asked if I had time for her to tell me a story. Here’s the story: My brother had some work done on his car this week and when the mechanic went under the car, noticed right away that the person who sold them a recent set of tires put the wrong size on the back. Apparently they didn’t have the right size, so they used the next size up and they were too big. Because of how they were sitting, the spring was rubbing the tires. The mechanic said that these tires would blow and when they did it wouldn’t be just a blow out but would rip the spring and the final result would probably be the car flipping over. The mechanic said these wrong sized tires were dangerous and would end in people getting killed.
When my brother told the mechanic he had recently been to SC and back their jaw dropped open and said, “It is only by God’s grace that y’all are alive.”
Two lesson from this:
First: When God tells you to do something. Do it. If He says pray, then pray. If he says take your kids out of the car, take them out. It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about what you are doing. If God says so, then just do it. It could be the difference between life and death. Truly.
Second: Close enough is not good enough. The right size tire needs to be the right size tire. Not close enough. And obedience to God means obeying His voice completely. Not just partial obedience. Listening to God’s voice is far more important than listening to the voice of others. It often requires faith to do what His voice says and ignore the voice of others, but the book of Hebrews tells us that without faith it is impossible to please God. And faith….it’s meant to be tested. That’s why His voice may often tell us things contrary to human voices.
I’m beyond grateful that I heard his voice that day and obeyed. I broke down in tears as I heard the story above because I recognized what God had done for me and spared my family.
Friends, I don’t know what I would do without the voice of God in my life. Without it I would worry, wonder and fret. I would make some not-so-smart decisions and without a doubt make many messes and miss some very important things that God has for me. Learn to recognize His voice. And that can only be done as you listen. You listen by quieting yourself, reading God’s word and prayer. As you do these things you grow in your understanding of God and then when He whispers to you in the driveway or the parking lot or driving down the road, or while you’re washing dishes or sitting in the dark or awakened in the middle of the night, you know it’s Him.
Is there any greater privilege than to hear the voice of God? I can’t think of any. You can hear it too.