For the Christ Follower the coolest thing, and the thing most desired, is to hear His voice. When you look through Scripture you see God is not a screamer. Often times He comes to his people in the stillness and quietness of life. This goes hand in hand with Mark Batterson’s study called, “Whisper,” of which my church is doing on Wednesday nights. In a recent session I attended, the focus was on being “still” and “silent” and to listen for Holy Spirit. I think we all can agree being still and silent is not part of our daily routine. The hustle and bustle of life, and the noise associated with it makes us deaf and unable to hear His voice.
To be honest, I have not been “still” and “silent” for a long time and have been experiencing a dryness in my Christian walk. I’m certain I was called to establish the non-profit 3Strand Inc. and help people become the best version of themselves. However, the busyness of life, the added tasks of growing a dream, and trying to keep all the saucers spinning have left me feeling overwhelmed. In the book, Put Your Dreams to the Test, John Maxwell teaches when you are living someone else’s dream you have no trouble sleeping, but when you take ownership of your dream sleep doesn’t come so easy. He also teaches when you own your dream your passion is the fuel needed to continue the journey. I am passionate about helping others but have wondered if my “why” is big enough to help be find my way. This morning I heard His voice.
Being still and silent must mean something different to Holy Spirt because he came to me at a time you probably wouldn’t talk about in church. During my routine visit to the “library” this morning I was scrolling through the emails on my phone. Stop right there! In this day of modern technology, you probably do the same thing. Anyway, one of the emails was a daily devotional from Dr. David Jeremiah. I usually delete the weekend version because is a little longer than usual. This morning I decided to open it and read the story of Karl Friedrich Gutzlaff (Karl for short). Karl was the first Lutheran missionary to China and died in 1851 at the age of 48. Not seeing much fruit from his labor, he felt his life was a failure and died in disappointment. However, his writings later impacted J. H. Taylor who would open China up to the Gospel, as well as Dr. David Livingston who took the Gospel to the interior of Africa. A warmness filled my soul and tears started to leak out of my eyes as I learned God is not the source of discouragement. My task is to keep moving forward and splash “around in the work God has given me” so that those ripples will reach those He intends reach through me.
Just to show off, Holy Spirit drove home another point. With my “library” time complete, I scrolled through the memory feed on my Facebook page. This time two years ago I was reading Chase the Lion, by Mark Batterson. It is a tremendous and inspiring book that deals with chasing your dreams and doing the difficult things needed to accomplish them. The passage dealing with legacy compliments what I learned in Jeremiah’s devotional. I might never see a life changed, but I must believe I can inspire others. It may be those others who affect change. The other portion of the book I saved talks about God’s timing and opportunity. When I answered His call in 2012, I was not looking for a scheduled appointment. His call, my dream, “found” me and 3Strand was born.
We all know things can come in three’s and this morning Holy Spirit was right on queue. I closed my Facebook feed feeling pretty confident I received a word from the Lord. I opened my Instagram page and this picture was at the top. My friend, Mike Wehde, is a pastor, church plant strategist, and all-around great guy. He has had seasons in his life where direction has been a challenge. One thing he holds true, keep your focus on the Lord and continue moving forward. I believe that to be true as well. Science tells us when something is in motion it will stay in motion unless there is applied force to stop the motion. God and I alone are the only ones have the power to kill my dream.
So, what did I hear Holy Spirit say to me this morning? What was He trying to show me? Here’s what I know. Disappointment is that place between expectation and reality. To eliminate disappointment, I can either alter expectations or change my reality. Altering my expectations is not an option so the focus needs to be on changing reality. In order to change my reality, Holy Spirit showed me three things:
It is my hope that what I experienced this morning encourages you to keep going, motivates you to chase your dream, or just brings you comfort as walk journey through life. May God richly bless you and thank you for taking the time to read my work.
Say Thanks Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash
You ever think you’ve heard from God and He’s asked you to do something that seems impossible or even stupid? Your answer may have been, “Heck no, I can’t do that,” or, “You must not know what you’re asking.”
Look at the story of Ananias in Acts 9. Ananias was disciple and must have had a intimate relationship with God. God called him and he answered, “Here I am.” They have this give and take conversation and Ananias is instructed to go find Saul (hasn’t become Paul yet). Can you imagine what was going through Ananias’ mind has he agreed? After all, Saul not too many verses earlier was “breathing threats and murder against the disciples…” I know I would have second thoughts going through my mind.
At church yesterday I walked away with the message “Just say yes.” Through the worship music and preaching the message was allow God to change you and when he calls answer him with, “Yes.” It’s basically, be what God wants you to be and if that involves change – change. Take that message with a recent devotional involving “change.” In that devotional a statement rang out: “Change what you can and let God change what you can’t.” It’s apparent God wants to grow me in some way and we all know I can use some growing. I’m going to do my part and allow Him to have His will with me. Hopefully when He calls I’ll be able to answer, “Here I am God” and what ever He asks me to do I’ll be able to do.
Just thought I’d share my morning thoughts with you. Until we chat again may God bless you and your family. Take care, Vernon