While stumbling my way back to the Lord, I still went to church. I guess I thought that He would rather have me there, than not. So, even though I would be living a ‘lost’ life throughout the week, I would still get up and go to church the next morning. I guess I was living like a lot of people do Monday through Saturday – like I wanted to. Then, when Sunday morning rolls around, I would put on my Christian Cloak, wear it for a few hours, then put it back in the closet until the next Sunday.
Now, don’t get all upset at me for telling it like it is. We all know it’s true. I think most of us have lived like this at one time or another. But, like I saw on Facebook the other day, “You can’t walk with God and hold hands with satan at the same time.” Although many of us try.
I remember the first time I ever heard the Voice of God. I had decided to stop living like I knew I shouldn’t and was making baby steps in my walk with the Lord. But, as most of us will do from time to time, I decided I just didn’t want to go to church one morning. So, I didn’t. There was no good excuse. I wasn’t sick, I didn’t have anywhere else to be. I just didn’t want to go to church. Simple as that.
As I sat on the couch watching HGTV, I heard a Voice say, “You know you should be in church.” I looked around. Nope…nobody was there. So, I dismissed what I thought I heard, and started watching tv again. After a few minutes, the same Voice said the same thing, just a little louder, “You know you should be in church.” Again, I looked around, looked at the television, but there was no one else anywhere around who could have said it. I settled back into the show again, and once again, within a few minutes, I heard it again. Louder and a bit more forceful, “You know you should be in church.” I sat upright, and said, “Ok. From now on, if I’m in town and not sick, I’ll be in church!”
“Geez!”, I thought, “I can’t even play hooky any more!” And since that day, if I have been in town, and not sick, I have been at GFC, without fail. Now, I don’t say this to brag. This is something that has become increasingly important to me. And, I believe as we grow, many things that had been important, become less so the closer we get to God.
The Voice of God can really catch you off guard, too, and ‘make’ you do things you would have never done before. I will tell you, too, that when He asks me to do things, I have argued with Him. On more than one occasion, too! lol I remember one night, I had made my “famous” Mexiloaf. I had bought about 2lbs of ground beef and I figured I’d make it all up and freeze about 4 of them. So, as I was wrapping them up to put in the freezer, God said, “I want you to take one to your neighbor.” I stopped. I thought, “I know I did not just hear you tell me to take one of these to my neighbor. I made these. I paid for them, it was my money and I’m going to keep them. She won’t even really appreciate it.” (Yeah, I know. I sounded like a kid, didn’t I?!) Patiently, He said it again. “REALLY?!”, I thought. So, begrudgingly, I packed one up along with a packet of instant potatoes, and a can of green beans. I walked down the flight of steps to her door and knocked. She wasn’t home, so I had to leave it hanging on the door knob.
By the time I got back to my apartment, God had started working on my heart. Reminding me that this particular neighbor was in all sorts of trouble. She didn’t have a job, she had been through a horrendous divorce and custody battle that had lasted years, she was an alcoholic, and needed help from pretty much every way you could think of. She called me later that evening and thanked me profusely for the food. She could feed her child for another night.
Please don’t think I’m a horrible person because I hesitated to help this time. There’s a whole, long background here of me trying to help for months before this. It’s hard to continue to help someone who won’t help themselves.
There have been many other instances where God has asked me to do something. Most of the time I listen. Sometimes I listen, grumble about it, then do it anyway. (Ok, there’s a lot of those…) I just have to trust that He knows what He’s doing. He can see the ‘big picture’ that we can only see in hind-sight. IF we’re lucky. But what I want to get across to you is that when we do what He asks us to do, the results are ALWAYS much bigger and than anything we could have ever imagined.
Do you ever listen for the Voice of God? Would you like to hear from Him? I challenge you to listen for it and do what He asks you to do. Your life will never be the same.