Just a few months ago, while we were in Israel, God called our daughter to step away from a job with great pay without having another job in place. She stepped out knowing she was getting married in five months and most likely would be the one paying the bills while her new husband pursued his golf career.
As God orchestrated His direction to Collins, it became very clear that He wanted her to step without talking to us. HE was clearly taking her to a place of leaning into HIM and stepping to obey HIS voice and blocking all other voices. We were traveling in Israel that day and we were miles away from cell service or internet.
It has been comforting to watch her dependence on us lessen and see God be God in her life. As she has faced many life storms since the age of 16, I have gotten an up close look as I observed her learning to distinguish God’s voice in her life. She has now lived long enough and is old enough to look back and “SEE” God’s hand in events when things were DARK and it was hard to understand or see how He was working…or what He was doing…or where He was leading her.
She now has seen God’s footprints and not hers in the sand! She has seen HIS protection when it looked like punishment. She has seen His provision when it looked like loss. And she has learned that with pain there is PROMISE! The promise of “maturing.” Of learning how to distinguish right from wrong…when “right” looked right but was WRONG. She has learned how to “stand even when no one else was standing” and to “LEAN NOT to her own understanding” but to acknowledge God in all her ways…and that HE WOULD MAKE HER PATH STRAIGHT.
She went against the “NORM” by leaving a job before she had another one and stepped even when she immediately received push back from others. God spoke and she moved! I will be honest. I have been “nervous and excited” for her, confident that she has been mentored to develop HER relationship with God…and to DISTINGUISH HIS voice from ALL others, including her mother’s.
Funny…I now KNOW that many times God calls us to go against the “NORM” so that we know that we know that it was HIM. So we can see HIM provide….when we don’t see and others “object.” This really builds our faith and helps us to distinguish HIS VOICE from all others.
I have written about this before–our “totem pole” in life has to be God first, then ourselves. No other human should be second. Not our spouse, our parents, our siblings, our boyfriend, our boss, our coach, our friends. God is first and we are second. Therefore, there is NO CHANCE of “man” blocking the voice of God in our lives.
All men/women are sinners. It is only God who is perfect and our communication has to come first and foremost from HIM. God is never going to direct us to sin…so we are very safe and FREE and should be second in line on the totem pole.
I got this wrong for years. In fact, in counseling I realized that I was such a “people pleaser” that I wasn’t even on my totem pole! Scary, very scary!!! I am not sure when my totem pole got messed up. It had not always been messed up but as I corrected what I couldn’t see for myself, something that only good Christian counseling revealed, I learned that God’s voice is recognizable and clear…but we cannot allow ANYONE to come before HIM or HIS VOICE!
It goes all the way back to Exodus 20:3-4, “You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.”
I encourage you with this: God first. You second.
Do not allow anyone to come before the voice of God in your life. Take a step back and whatever you have to do to Have HIM first….DO IT. As you put Him first and you second, it may be uncomfortable and feel very awkward. I assure you that with sincerity of heart, and remember that God does know our hearts, HE WILL SHOW UP AND SHOW OUT.
If you are a parent of young children, take steps as they mature to encourage them when they come to you about advice or an opinion. Ask them, “What has God said to you?” It encourages them to seek HIM first. As I have gone through this process with our kids, sometimes they can quickly say and sometimes I get a blank look. It is a process of learning to discern the “voice of God” above others.
Parents, we do have that “helicopter view” of experience when it comes to our kids but God has the “space shuttle” view. Learn to ask that simple question of your kids. Guide them to seek God first by telling them to take the advice you give them to the Lord. When you do this…it will strengthen your faith as well. It will strengthen your confidence in God knowing that He loves your kids more than you do and that He is guiding them with a HOLY VIEW that we can’t possibly have….
He is very faithful and desires for the transfer to occur…that HE BE the first and the strongest VOICE….in their lives!
“If Christ is not all to you He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Saviour of men. If He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything He is nothing to you.” ~Charles Spurgeon