People often ask me to pray for them to receive guidance from the Lord. They want to know what the Lord wants them to do or what direction he wants them to go. For some when they do not hear from the Lord they sit and do nothing. Every day they are depressed and crying out to the Lord for an answer. Others like a woman I know from my church are just the opposite.
Her journey started one day when she did not show up for work. This particular morning she said the Lord told her to get in her car and drive to another state. In obedience, this is what she did. Ultimately, she ended up in another state, three hours from her home at the airport. She sat at the airport for a couple of hours waiting for instructions from the Lord. They never came so she turned around and returned home. I ran into her a few days after she returned. She told me that she did not call her supervisor and tell them she was not coming in to work. When I asked her about it, she said she did not call because the Lord told her not to. I did not want to pass judgment on her communication with the Lord, so I tried to be careful with my comments. I told her as nicely as I could that I did not feel the Lord would tell her to do something that was wrong. Not calling into work is a no-call-no-show, and could get her fired. She said she knew that, but insisted this was what the Lord told her to do.
A couple of weeks later I received a call from her. She sounded troubled and said that she didn’t know what to do or where to go. I asked her what was going on. She said the Lord told her to get rid of her apartment so she canceled her lease and gave away all of her furniture. She said that though the Lord did tell her to get rid of her apartment, she said he was not specific about what to do with the furniture. I said, “So you gave it away?” She said, “Yes.” As a result, all she had left were the items she had in her car. She said she spent the past three weeks bouncing from one friend’s house to another. She also said she slept in her car on a few of those days. Naturally, my first thought was that she was calling to ask me if she could stay with me. To get the issue out on the table, I asked her if that was why she was calling. She said no that she had a temporary place to live. I must say I was glad to hear that; so I moved on to try to get to the root of her issue. I told her that she could come to my house, and I would make some coffee and I would pray with her. She jumped at the invitation and headed to my home.
Once she arrived, I told her I was having a hard time understanding why the Lord would tell her to get rid of her apartment, and not provide her with another place to stay. I was sure he did not want her sleeping in her car. She said, “That’s funny, you are the third person to tell me this was not of God.” She then burst into tears. I prayed with her and ministered to her for over an hour. We talked about the importance of knowing His voice and the importance of getting wise counsel. I told her if she had reached out for counsel before acting, she might have handled things differently. The next day she returned to work, but she only stayed for about a week. I was told she said the Lord told her to turn in her resignation and move to California; so she put gas in the car and drove to California.
There isn’t a shortcut to hearing God’s voice. We have to learn to recognize His voice; otherwise, it is very easy to make our own voice His. Confirming before acting is critical. In the end, you want to be sure of the voice you are following.