“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him. Rejoice in the Lord, and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!” Psalm 32:8-11
Many a parent has fumed at a child, “Why do you ask a question if you aren’t going to listen to the answer?” Too often, however, I find myself doing the same with God. If I pray but do not really expect an answer nor pay attention to God’s reply, I have no one to blame but myself when the end result is not all I might wish it to be. In order to hear God’s instruction and counsel, I have to listen and pay attention, not to mention be willing to take definitive action and consciously change destructive habits and thought patterns. Cut out the distractions of the world and tune into God’s frequency.
It can be easy to spout spiritual sounding desires to be led by God in all things, but in the secret places of my broken self, an honest assessment of what my actions give evidence of begs the question, “Do I really want to hear God’s instruction? Or am I merely going through the motions of appearing to listen and seek His way but not really fully dialing into God’s signal?”
If I am nodding blindly at the static and feedback without really taking in what He is saying, while raging about why He does not answer with clear instructions to life’s difficult problems and frustrating situations, I am missing the point. I am shifting the responsibility of my spiritual welfare onto whether or not He acts in accordance with my desires. However, God does not dance to my tune and my responsibility in faith is to trust and obey, whether I understand His ways, or find them pleasant and convenient or not.
He promises repeatedly in Scripture to guide and instruct us and beseeches us to trust that He has things under control regardless of what storms may make our emotions feel otherwise. It is our job to set fear instincts aside and really listen so we can hear well what He is trying to tell us–and not just ponder and think it over, but really act on it whether we feel like it or not.
I can rest assured that no matter how scared, angry, frustrated, alone, abandoned and forgotten I may feel in the midst of life’s trials, God is watching and knows the path ahead. I just need to take the time to slow down, tune out the distractions of human logic and confidence in my own ability to figure this out “all by myself” (like 2-year who insists, “I do it, I do it!”) and tune into God’s voice. When I do, He will give me specific instructions on where to go and what to do moment by moment.
He may not lay out the whole plan from A to Z for me. It is not necessarily my job to understand the big picture–it is His to make all things work together for good. I only need to listen and obey in this moment and the next and the next and so on….and is willing to do any small part He assigns me at a moment’s notice. To say yes, before I even know the question.
Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for your sacrifice on the Cross so that I may draw near to You and hear your voice guiding and leading me. Sustain my faith when I falter. Turn me back to You when I rely too much on my own cleverness and intellect instead of leaving the difficult situations of life in Your hands. Help me to tune into Your voice and hear the direction You have for me. Carve away any unworthy thing in me that holds me back from grabbing onto Your best for me. Teach me to be willing to obey Your voice no matter what You ask of me. All I have is Yours Lord. I give you everything. All glory, honor and power are Yours, My Jehovah Yahweh. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.