Tuesday's post, I was explaining to you how my overwhelmed self was trying to get God to lighten my load, remember? Specifically, I was pleading with Him to allow me to give up some of my church responsibilities. I remember thinking and even saying to Him, "You know, God, it would be nice to just sit back on the pew and enjoy the services instead of always having to be such a big part of them." Believe me, I meant every word.
But then, it was as if I heard the voice of Balaam's donkey saying, "Wow, you remind me of my master!" And I was immediately humbled and realized that God did not need to give me an answer to my request because He had already given me one; I simply didn't want to accept it. From that point on, I was fine and ready to move on. My bad attitude had lifted. My heart was lighter. And my relationship with God seemed less strained. But God wasn't through with me yet.
Last night at church, our former youth pastor stopped in for a visit and was invited to preach for the service. He wasn't ten minutes into his message before his words slapped me upside the head. This is basically what he said, "God doesn't want you to just sit on a pew. He has something more for you to do. He has a plan and a calling for your life, and you need to be busy serving Him in every way you can." Say what? I stared into the preacher's face to see if he was staring right at me as he said these words. He wasn't, but I have no doubt they were meant for me.
You may be wondering why I'm telling you all of this. Well, if you've not figured it out by now, this blog is like my life's journal. In it, I mark down what the Lord says to me, lessons He teaches me and even mistakes I've made along the way. The reason I do this is to help others like you. My prayer is that you will learn the lessons I've learned without having to make the mistakes I've made. In order to do that, I must bear myself to you and give you an honest account of what's taking place in my life. . . and in my heart.
So what can you take away from today's post? First off, know that God still speaks to His children today. It may seem like He's silent and like you're all alone in your decision or circumstance, but you're not. He's there, and He has promised to answer each and every request. Jeremiah 33:3 says, Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. He doesn't say He might answer us, He says He will. We can count on it!
Second, when it does seem like God is quiet, realize that maybe it's because we haven't quit talking long enough to allow Him to answer. I was so busy pleading with God that I wasn't really giving Him a chance to talk. But once I got my heart right and I shut my mouth for a while, the answer was right there, plain and simple. As I said earlier, God didn't owe me an answer. He had already given me one the last time I went through this "confusion crisis." By the time He gave me His answer, I had already resigned myself to His will. That being said, I cannot tell you what a relief it was to hear that clear, unarguable answer spoken in plain, everyday words that this doubting disciple couldn't miss or misunderstand. When I stopped talking, God gave me His answer loud and clear, and He'll do the same for you.
One last thing to keep in mind, just because God has promised to always answer doesn't mean that He's always promised to answer "yes." Take my case, for example. The answer was "No." God would not allow me to give up my church calling. But "no" is still an answer, and so is "wait." There are certain prayers in my life that I've been praying for years, and at times, it does feel like God is not listening or answering. But by faith, I believe that not only is He listening, He is answering. Unfortunately, at this time, the answer is, "Just wait, child." Am I happy about that? Not always, but if I keep in mind that God does all things for my good and His glory, it helps me to be content about the waiting. Rather than seeing it as God not giving me what I want, I choose to view it as God has something really good in store for me. And suddenly, it's like Christmas--waiting to receive that mysterious gift.
I don't know what may be on your heart and mind today, but I assure you, God does. Talk to Him. Ask for help and guidance. And then stop talking, and take the time to listen. He has something important to tell you if you'll only give Him the chance.
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. - Isaiah 55:11