It’s a real thing. Sometimes every hour seems to hold some new message from God.
Because I’ve realized that if I want to hear God’s voice, I have to be listening in the right places.
Yesterday, I was coming off a hard day of discouragement. Early in the morning, I sat with my Bible open, digging through a study on prayer, when I came across a sequence of verses that shook me.
These verses were from four different books of the Bible and how I happened on them at exactly the moment I did without looking for them, was a stark reminder of how near God really is to us when we seek Him.
I was reviewing verses regarding prayer that I was familiar with. I didn’t do a google search or even browse the key word section in the back of a Bible. God literally spread these verses before me and because I was headed out to begin my prayer walk around our house, I wrote the 4 references down on my hand.
My personal, beloved Bible is the King James Version. I’ve always found the language so beautiful and calming and so that’s generally what I stick with. It’s also very easy to make use of the concordance from the KJV since that’s the translation the Strong’s is based upon.
But years ago, when I was blogging much more regularly than I have recently, I was sent a Bible to review. It’s called the Compass Study Bible in the Voice translation. And yesterday morning, I caught a glimpse of it and grabbed it up to take outside with me.
As I landed on each of these verses I’m about to share with you, the message was so clear. God was so near. Even 24 hours later, I can’t shake the awesomeness of those few moments. Here’s what He said …
First, I opened to Colossians 3:15 and read this: Let your hearts fall under the rule of the Anointed’s peace and be thankful.
Try as I might, our circumstances (which aren’t even bad!!) had me anything but thankful. And if we aren’t thankful, there’s no way to be at peace. But there was more.
James 1:5 just about took my breath away. Because we’ve been so confused. So uncertain how to proceed. It says, If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and never scolds you for asking.
As I mentioned, at this point I was circling my house praying. And I was moving through these verses slowly as I talked with God. That verse in Colossians led me to confess my ingratitude and my grumbling spirit. I prayed for a heart that was repentent and fixed on contentment in all things. I let God know how weak I am and that this struggle of moving our family out of the known seemed like it should be easier than it has been. (doesn’t make sense to be anything less than 100% honest with God, does it?) We’re responding to His command and we expected Him to smooth the way but instead we’d found that He seemed to be asking us to fight for it.
And the next verse I flipped to held His response to me. Proverbs 3:5-6: Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely; never depend upon your own ideas and inventions.
Gives me goosebumps just typing this out this morning. How personal is our God? While He was busy talking me off the ledge, He was surely busy talking to you, too. I don’t know what He said to you, but He wasn’t quite finished instructing me yet. I turned back a few pages to Psalm 32:8.
I cry easily. It’s a curse. But when I read these words He’d directed me to, the tears flowed and I didn’t even notice at first. Because they said, I will teach you and tell you the way to go and how to get there; I wil give you good cousel, and I will watch over you.
There it was. The voice of God so loud and so clear. So gentle and loving. So tender and kind. He understood and He’d dipped low to provide comfort when I needed it more than I knew.
What I didn’t mention earlier, but that is of paramount significance, is that I received a text from a dear friend just before God led me to those verses. It was short and simple but it was telling me that I had looked a little down the day before and that I, and my family, were being lifted in prayer. And shortly thereafter, I recevied a voice message from a different friend who had felt impressed to pray with me. In spite of her initial resistance to the idea, she proceeded to pray over me through that message for 5 minutes.
God knew my heart. He knew my discouragement. He knew what I needed and so He prompted those two friends to reach out at almost exactly the same time. Not only that, but they interceded for my family and their prayers were instantly heard.
God hears before we even think to ask.
Later in the day, still another friend texted to say that God had been bringing me to her mind often and that every time He did, she was taking a moment to pray for me. It’s possible I’m a little spoiled with good friends and a great God.
Intercessory prayer, approaching God on behalf of another, is the very essence of the Christian experience. The nearer I come to God, the fewer and fewer things I ask for myself. Even in my discouragement, I’ve been learning to confess to God briefly what I’m going through and ask for His strength, but He always directs me away from myself and leads me to be praying for others.
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name. On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand.