Last week we spent four days in Colorado going through a TON of meetings for the home. It was fun and exciting, and stressful and daunting. But, through it all it still remains one of the most amazing things that has happened in our lives. Ever. Because it is being directed by the Lord.
How many times have you wanted to do something, or thought about doing something, or dreamed about something and really just wanted to know WHAT TO DO?? Sometimes I like to say "I wish we had a sticky note from God!" Don't you just feel like that sometimes? Lord, just TELL ME what you want me to do?! We mull over, stress out and go over the Pro's & Con's until we are blue in the face... but we just want to know, what we should do!
But how DO we know?
I'm not going to sit here and tell you "I have the answer" to ALL of life's questions... I will tell you though that there IS a way to find out what that sticky note would say.
In Mark Patterson's book "Whisper" he talks about the different ways we hear God. "The voice that spoke the cosmos into existence is the same voice that parted the Red sea, and made the sun stand still in the midday sky. One day, this voice will make all things new, but it’s also speaking to you now! That voice is God’s voice, and what we’ve learned from Scripture is that He often speaks in a whisper. Not to make it difficult to hear Him, but to draw us close."
Did you get that? He's wanting us to come NEAR to Him. That is KEY. Just like I mentioned yesterday, Jesus died on a cross with His arms stretched out wide... for YOU and for Me. To have a relationship with Him, to come NEAR to Him. He already showed us how much He loves us by giving His life so that WE could have life. So why wouldn't we trust Him? Why wouldn't we want to listen closely for His voice and direction?
Not just when we NEED something or WANT something. But daily listen to Him by reading His Word, worshiping Him through songs of worship, by being thankful in our hearts.
Colossians 3:16 says: "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God."
It's in that close connection that you will find the answers. So thankful for that.
I talked about what my son-in-law said a few weeks ago in a blog post a week or so ago, when they were praying and seeking answers from the Lord on going to Austria for a short term mission trip and time of rest and renewal. He was seeking the Lord and they were trying to see if this was what they should do. And in that, they felt that Proverbs 16:9 answered their questions... but not in the way that maybe most people would see that verse.
Proverbs 16:9 says: "A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps."
Most people may see this verse and think "Well since God directs my steps, I need to wait on Him to show me what they are and NOT plan my own steps... or anything until I hear from Him."
What Dany shared was that he saw it the other way around.
God knows our hearts. He PUTS desires there, IN our hearts. When we may be thinking about our future and there is something on our hearts... They are there for a reason. So it's ok to step out and plan. The Lord will then direct those plans. "He directs our steps." If they are of the Lord, He will confirm them. If they are not the direction He would have you to go, then He will shut those doors.
I love that and I have felt that in this whole journey of us moving our lives to Colorado.
We had no idea this was the path the Lord was taking us. But how did it start? A shift IN plans. Looking back on it now, I see that it was all part OF the plan. God's plan. But it started with plans. Then because those changed, He was able to stir something in us, that we would have NEVER had happen if He hadn't changed our plans. Then we started praying about it and waiting... and then researching and planning... and waiting, and seeking Him through His Word and listening. It's all part of the process of finding out what IS the steps that the Lord would have us take.
So how do we know what IS the plan? How do we know if what we desire is just our own self serving desires or God's desires/plans for our lives?
I think it's ok to go forward and plan. And in that, step out in faith and PRAY. Seek the Lord through His Word. Listen for His voice.
Mark Patterson's book Whisper shares how the Lord speaks in many different ways:
~ Through His Word
~ Through other people
~ Through open or closed doors
~ Through our desires
~ Through dreams
~ Through pain
~ Through promptings
I'm sure there are more ways He speaks, but I encourage you to start listening. You WILL hear Him if you pay attention.
If I go back in my journal (I highly recommend keeping one when you are in the middle of big decisions) I could write a list of the ways we have seen the Lord reveal to us this new adventure He has us on. I cry tears of amazement when I look back and see this journey and how far we have already come! Oh, I know there's a lot more to go and a lot of "stretching" still to do... but that we are on the right path... that is evident and I am in AWE of His goodness to us.
Now we may mess up and veer down the wrong path (which will cause pain) or we may hear the Lord directing us to wait. (or a closed door will come up along the way) But I think that is just fine tuning what He is calling us to do, or fine tuning US to listen better and obey. I honestly don't know what the end of this will look like, but I know we are truly trying to seek those answers as we go down this path. We feel it's about ministry and about His work that He wants us to do. Yes, we get a nice piece of land and a home and gathering place along this path. But please know that my heart is for the Lord to get ALL the Glory... not so that I can have a great kitchen island or really nice fridge. That part is so secondary that I don't even care what kind of fridge we have or the color of the cabinets. Yes, it's part of the process and I know God is in the details (check out how detailed He was with His temple and how it should be built) but I can't wait until all that is done and we get to start working on the REAL stuff. The gathering at the table...STUFF.
I love this verse in Psalm 37:23:
The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
He delights in the details of our lives. How awesome is that?!
Think about that as you go about your day. The CREATOR of the Universe cares about YOUR details. Your life. He truly does. This isn't made up, this isn't fake news. There is a God and He loves you and cares about you and wants to draw you close to His loving arms. He has BIG plans for you... are you ready to hear them?
That is what I LOVE this Tuesday, and I hope you draw close to Him this week, and listen.
I'll end this post with a few cuties I love too...
These two sisters live on the same campus for one more month, and I know they are going to miss each other big time.
This girl is already wanting to apply to Interior Design school! I loved seeing her looking through the Interior Design section at Tattered Bookstore in Denver. This home building is HER thing!
It was a joy to have the whole family on this trip, and to get to go through this process with all of them. Dany & Victoria leave soon so this was the last trip we get to take with them for a while. We enjoyed staying downtown in Denver and finding some really great Coffee houses and restaurants and cool areas to explore. They LOVE Denver and we are hoping and praying that the Lord will call them to move here after they are done serving in Austria. But either way, we treasure the time we get to have with our whole family together and this was a great time with them, and with old and new friends as well.
Have a GREAT Tuesday.
Inspiration Note: The guitar Bible Journaling page was inspired by a page I saw on Pinerest pinned by Katherine Nalywaiko