Few people, if any, on this earth have heard the literal voice of God. Most of us would probably guess that He sounds like James Earl Jones, or one of those movie trailer voice-over guys. But, no one really knows what He sounds like.
Chances are, God doesn’t have a booming voice. I mean, He could have a booming voice. But, based on what we read in scripture, and in my personal walk with Him, His voice is often clearest in complete silence. The problem is that we rarely stop to listen. But, rest assured, He is speaking to us.
Trying to discern the will of God can be frustratingly difficult. It is for me. Especially when I am on the world’s timeline. I often convince myself that I don’t really have enough time to wait to “hear” from God because I have deadlines to meet. I rationalize that I can’t just sit around and wait for God to reveal Himself to me, you know?
But, I am learning more and more that God speaks loudly and clearly in two ways: through restlessness, and through peace. Allow me to explain.
I was recently faced with a decision that warranted a response within a 4-5 day time frame. I resolved to pray about it every day until the end of the week. I told myself, “Okay, if I have a peace about it on Thursday, I will do it.” Thursday came, and just as I was about to announce my decision, I got distracted. So, I decided I would just send an email later that evening. Funny how God works.
That evening, as I sat in front of the computer, ready to send an email, I was suddenly overcome by a heavy weight that burdened me. I had been praying all week that God would give me a peace about it if I was supposed to do it, yet I had no peace. I was conflicted. On the surface, this was a terrific opportunity. But, this was a decision that didn’t just affect me. And, immediately, things became clear. God was telling me I shouldn’t do it. This unsettling feeling was God answering my prayer. In this case, His answer was “don’t do it.”
Sometimes in our lives there are great opportunities we will have to pass up for no other reason than we don’t feel at peace about it. We have to trust our convictions, and continue to ask God for discernment in navigating our way through decisions we face in life.
And, when we make these decisions with conviction, we must refuse to second-guess ourselves. We can see opportunities that we relinquished that led to the success someone else now enjoys, and we can become jaded, bitter. Or, we can choose to see God’s hand in it. Perhaps that person or group would not have had that success if we had chosen to get involved. Or, maybe we would have caused a train wreck – in our own lives, or in the lives of others – if we had ignored God’s prompting.
The next time you are faced with making a tough decision, listen to your gut and follow your convictions. If God is in the mix, He will reveal Himself to you – often times in the most unexpected ways.