Jul 15, 2013

Listening to the Still Small Voice

Abigail and Dolley readers I read the other day that the severity of trials and wilderness time is often commensurate with the importance of your calling.  That is indeed a double edged sword with great blessings on one side and great suffering on the other.  I don't know about ya'll, but I'd like to have the blessings without the suffering...  It just doesn't work that way.

1 Peter 4:12-13 tells us, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 

When I am going through trials, I am in constant communication with the Lord.  He talks to me, sometimes so clearly there is no doubt that it IS Him, other times it's the still small voice, and that is where I get into trouble.  Is it the still small voice or is that simply my own head?  How do you tell the difference?  It is paramount to a believer's walk to be able to differentiate between the two.

Falsehood has no place on this path I am walking.  I need to be able to trust, walk in faith, and step out in power for His purpose.  If I am double minded the whole thing could come off the tracks.  I would not accomplish what God has for me to do and that is in direct correlation with where I need to be.

Have you ever trusted the still small voice, made a life decision under absolute conviction that you've heard from God on the matter, and been spectacularly wrong?  Yes?  Yeah, me too.  I did it in a colossal way.  Thus, even when I am overwhelmed by the Spirit there is a certain wariness I bring.  I validate everything in the Word.  I pray about everything.

So where does that leave us as believers?  The blind faith of a Baby Christian is no longer an option.  What about the disappointed faith of a petulant Teen Christian that thought they knew the way and were disappointed?  How about the cynical Adult Christian who rejects all inspiration and lives completely in the natural, living like 2 Timothy 3:5, "having a form of godliness, but denying it's power." 

God is calling us to grow in faith, to move beyond the things of the flesh and become His disciples.  Hebrews 5:14 "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."  The evil we are called to discern is from not only inside our own brains but from the lies of the enemy.

So here it is folks, confession time... I headed out today for my daily walk.  Walk with the Lord, prayer time, exercise, outside... all good things, right?  Usually they are very good things.  I look forward to them, I anticipate them, I live for these walks.  I made an unusual comment to my husband about safety we ignored it.  Pulling out of the driveway this morning, I had the first thought, "Don't go to your walking spot today."  I ignored it.

Arriving at my spot, I was upset, "You should go home."  I thought, "You are already here."  I started to feel sort of sick, "You shouldn't walk today."  I kept going.  My Spirit was in knots, I walked faster, I prayed harder.  I felt my body ache, "You should go home, it's not safe for you out here today."  I stopped and stretched, trying to ease the pain.  I walked another hundred yards and noticed my new shoes were sparkling white and the was mud ahead, I sat down on a bench.  My soul was restless and I wanted the peace I find on my walk, I got up and pressed on.

Now, as a reader you can guess something is coming up, but living it, being the one it's happening to would you heed the warning?  I've never been threatened on my walk, I have only ever found peace and comfort and if ever I needed peace it was on THIS walk....

So here's what happened, we've had rain three times a day for months.  The walking paths are flooded in places.  The floodplain's are full and the boardwalks are slippery.  I stepped on the edge of the boardwalk with my left foot to avoid a puddle.  My foot slipped off, I "racked" myself as I went down, and landed unceremoniously on my back in the muddy water three feet below.

I was immediately convicted that there WAS indeed real danger for me on that path today and if I wasn't going to listen He was going to make sure I turned around.  I was hurt.  I was humiliated.  I was dirty.  My shoes are not brilliantly white anymore.

Over the last few weeks, I have fought very hard for my peace.  I am guarding it in a manner I have never done so in the past.  I keep saying to folks, "This is what I am doing today.  Please don't ask me about tomorrow, I will deal with that then."  I think I have to go back to the first hours when this trial started and realize I have to walk in obedience every step, every minute, and finally listen to the "Still Small Voice".