God Speaks. Are You Listening?
I was supposed to be going to Zambia, but my destination was changed to Ecuador. And I'm really, really certain it was a change God has brought. How can I be certain? He "speaks" to me.
In Experiencing God, Henry Blackaby shares four ways God commonly speaks to people today. He speaks through 1) the Holy Spirit through the Bible, 2) prayer, 3) circumstances, and 4) the church. He used circumstances, the church, and prayer to redirect my heart.
You see, I was planning to take 30 people to Zambia. The details were all in place. But my heart felt uncertain. I just had a strange feeling, so I began to pray. (There's way number 2, prayer.) I asked God to please, please, please either give me enthusiasm and certainty or redirect my leadership. Next thing I knew, the college-aged girl who was coming to assist me in planning had a better offer. She was headed somewhere else. (It broke her heart to not come be my intern. It was very scary for her to tell me "No." More on that later.)
Next, I told my husband how I felt. He had the same "check" in his spirit. (There's the church.) So together we told the Lord in prayer that we were really willing to cancel, but neither of us felt called to "cancel." We both just sensed God "re-directing," but to where or what we didn't know. We leaned in again to—you guessed it—prayer! Do you know what happened that week? My dear friend Susie Shellenberger and her missions ministry partner asked me if I'd be willing to help them take HUNDREDS of teens to Ecuador. My heart was in complete agreement with this and so was my husband and my board. So I'm headed to Ecuador next summer, and I'm not taking 30 people. I'm taking hundreds to experience missions firsthand!
Here's something neat—my friend who turned down her internship was hearing God's voice for her life and it re-directed her away from my ministry. Had she not obeyed the Lord, I would have been tied into a relationship with her and not have the freedom to re-direct to Ecuador. Her obedience—though hard to share with me—was a blessing in my life, though it didn't feel like it at first.
Why am I telling you this? God's voice can be hard to interpret, but it CAN be recognized and interpreted with confidence as you learn how to hear Him. The best Bible study I've ever done is Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God. I've taken many groups of teen girls through it, and it's always life changing. It changed my life, helping me to more easily hear God's voice when He speaks!
How have you heard God speak lately?