My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27).
My son Garrett is not a man of many words. Ask him a question and his likely reply is a one-word retort. While multiple-choice inquires are an effective penetration device, drilling information out of my teenage mute is still an intricate process. The well may be full of oil, but it’s way below the surface.
Recently, my husband experienced a similar dialogue with God.
“Sell everything,” John heard from the Lord one day in prayer.
“Excuse me, Lord. What did you say?”
“Everything? Exactly what does everything entail? Does that mean my vehicles and my house or just have a garage sale?”
Apparently, God doesn’t answer multiple choice.
After this divine directive, John waited several months for a confirmation. He wanted God to speak to me so we would be united in purpose. I wish I could say I diligently sought the Lord in prayer. To be honest, I was like a little kid with my fingers in my ears. I didn’t want to hear. I’m rather fond of my things, my house, my car, my furniture. What exactly did everything mean? Truly, I didn’t want to know. For me, the less I knew, the less accountable I was to obey. But when six months went by and John still felt like the Lord was pressing him to sell everything, the finger-in-the-ear trick no longer worked. I was convicted, so…
I prayed a little.
I heard nothing.
I prayed some more.
I still heard nothing.
Sometimes when God speaks, it doesn’t make sense. Sometimes when God speaks, it’s scary. It’s even worse when we hear absolutely nothing.
“Christy,” John told me one day in July, “I’ve got to obey the Lord. It’s time to put our house on the market.”
On my way to a meeting a couple of days later in the confines of my vehicle, I cried out to the Lord. I wanted answers and reasons. “Where are we going, Lord? Why do you want us to sell everything? This doesn’t make sense. And why aren’t you talking to me?”
Finally, I heard the Lord speak. “Christy, the reason you haven’t heard me is because I’ve given my direction to John. All I want you to do is trust that John hears from me.”
My grip on the steering wheel tightened. “I’m not sure I can do that,” I screamed. “Besides, that’s not fair! I can’t even see where I’m going.”
“That doesn’t matter. I’ve given John the vision. Just trust him. Trust him like you did before—like you did on the ice.”
On the ice. I knew exactly what the Lord meant by that chilling statement.
When I met John twelve years ago, he competed as a figure skater. Needless to say, we spent many of our dates at the rink. It was his domain, his territory. Skilled on the ice, he maneuvered at top speed around darting children and wavering adults with precision. Nothing made him flinch. He was king of the rink. I loved skating with John because I always had something to hold onto. So great was my confidence in him that at times I would even skate backwards and close my eyes. As long as my hands were in his, I knew he would never let me fall. Skating backwards with my eyes closed was the most exhilarating feeling of exquisite freedom.
I glanced at my wedding ring. Somewhere in the last ten years, my willingness to follow John had shifted. I wanted to lead. I was afraid his choices would clash with my desires or he’d steer me in the wrong direction and I’d wind up on a course I didn’t want to be on. I was afraid he’d let me fall. But like I once blindly trusted John, I knew God wanted me to surrender my financial affairs to my husband even though I couldn’t see where we were going.
That day, I made a mind shift. I turned my back on control. It still scares me at times that I can’t see where I’m going, but I’m trusting God has given my husband the skill to navigate through any obstacles that come. Even though the journey may be slippery, as long as I hold on, He won’t let me fall.
It’s not easy but, hand in hand, one graceful stride at a time, I can do this. And maybe…
I’ll even close my eyes.
Prayer: Lord, I thank you that You are so patient with me. You don’t force Your will on me but wait until I am ready to surrender. You are so loving and kind and I know that You have great plans for me even when I can’t see where You are taking me. Help me to trust You always with every area of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Scriptures to Ponder:
- The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you (Gen 12:1).
- O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant (2 Sam 7:28).
- What he trusts in is fragile ; what he relies on is a spider’s web (Job 8:14).
- I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust” (Ps 91:2).
- Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord (Eph 5:22).
Questions to Ponder:
- How would you describe your dialogue with God?
- I’ve got issues. Right now, we’re not really on speaking terms.
- I’d like to know Him better, but I can’t say that I’ve ever heard Him speak to me.
- We’re both pretty busy. We don’t talk much.
- I play Bible Roulette. I open the Bible, point and shoot. That’s my word for the day.
- I’m a yapper. I do most of the talking.
- I’m the silent type. I do most of the listening.
- It’s a give and take. My prayer life is interactive. It’s a two-way exchange where we both talk and share.
- How do you think Abram felt when God told him in Genesis 12:1 to “leave and go?”
- Has God ever told you to “sell everything” or given you direction you felt was insufficient? Have you ever felt like you couldn’t see where you were going? How did you feel?
- Have you ever trusted God when you couldn’t see the road ahead? How did it turn out?
- Read Psalm 91:2 and Ephesians 5:22 above. What do you think the differences are between trust and submission?