Have you ever felt a stirring inside yourself that you just couldn’t explain? Or heard a voice that spoke an unmistakeable message out of nowhere? When God speaks, are you listening? And when you don’t, does it sometimes seem like a never-ending nag?
Years ago, God told me to warn a close friend about doing business with a particular associate. After three months of that persistent voice in my head, I finally delivered the message. As someone who didn’t believe in spiritual things, my friend took my cautionary tale as “women’s intuition” or simply a good hunch. All I know is that once I told him my concerns, the voice stopped nagging me. It was as if I had done my part, and now the load was no longer mine to bear. In the end, the warning was heeded and the concern was well merited.
I’d like to say I was always so obedient but it wouldn’t be the truth. The next time I was given a message for a friend, I chose not to speak up. I kept telling myself “it’s none of your business. Don’t get involved.” In the end, my silence cost him a great deal of money. Years later, I got up the courage to reveal the message I’d received and failed to deliver. I asked him to forgive me for not warning him. I had learned a lesson: I have a responsibly to pass on the messages I’ve been given.
I guess you could say I learned through both my obedience and my lack thereof. When I listened to what turned out to be truth, my faith in God’s voice and my ability to hear it was reaffirmed. When I didn’t, I learned from the consequences of failing to do so. It was a lesson that came in the nick of time, and one that I could not have afforded to miss.
The same voice came to me when I was driving home late one night with my daughter, Viviana. The traffic light had just turned green on a very busy road when I felt something inside of me telling me to stay where I was and NOT GO. This time, I did not move or question the message. “Why are you stopped?” she asked.
How do you tell your teenage daughter that a voice has warned you? I was just imaging her shaking her head and rolling her eyes at me when a car came flying past us at break-neck speed. If I’d have gone seconds earlier, she would have undoubtably been killed. At that very moment, I knew that God had spoken.
I now know that the progress of learning to hear God’s voice is just that...a progression. He starts with small things and builds on them; teaching you through trial and error so that when the ultimate test of life comes, you are listening when He speaks.