Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gentle Nudges

I've got to share this with you all because it's fresh and it's awesome!

You know how sometimes things happen - like we have a thought or a prompting to do something but we dismiss it and brush it off? If you're anything like me, you know exactly what I'm talking about because you've done this more times than you can count! 

Did you ever wonder later if that little nudge might actually have been a hint? Well I've had two hints this week (it's only Tuesday) that I actually moved on and I am so glad I did! 

Sunday morning I woke up and while lying in bed I had this thought, "I should invite 'So & So' to come to Ladies' Retreat." There were no clouds parting or heavenly voices singing, just that one little thought drifting through my mind, before coffee, before feeding Beau or myself. "So & So" doesn't even attend my church. Not that it matters. We have several ladies come to Ladies' Retreat who do not attend Calvary. So I made a mental note to e-mail or send "So & So" a message later on that day, week or whenever. I sensed no urgency on the matter. After all, it was just a thought.

Jump forward a few hours later to church. Worship had just finished and it was the break time where our children go off to Kids Church, we greet one another and then the announcements and message begins. I had gone out to my car with a friend who's wife was sending me some tomato plants for my garden. We were transporting them to my car when lo and behold, "So & So" and her husband pulled up next to my car! WHAT? 

We all greeted each other and I went around to "So & So's" window and said, "Hey, why don't you come to our Ladies' Retreat?" I honestly can't remember her exact words because at that point I was sort of high on the fact that God actually brought her to me within hours of that one little thought - "I should invite 'So & So' to come to Ladies' Retreat." I mean he drove her right up to me! What I do remember is the look in her eye and something along the lines of timing, God and WOW!

Two days later (today), my alarm clock goes off and instead of lying in bed waiting to hit the snooze button again and again, my mind starts to wander. Let's face it folks. Once my mind starts to wander while I'm still in bed, it is time to get up. All the snooze buttons on the planet won't matter because I am officially mentally awake, which means my body must follow.

Where was I? Two days later... Lying in bed... Okay! Mind, awake... Got it! So I'm lying there thinking about my day and what all needed to get done when my biggest task for the day comes front and center. Then immediately I heard in my spirit, "Ask 'So & So' if she'll do it." This was a different "So & So," but the long and the short of it is, I did and she said, yes! 

Y'all, a couple of things are happening here. The first is an exchange between me and the Lord - something he's sharing with me which is just for me. So I won't go into that here because it's just between me and him. But the other thing is a reminder of just how insignificant most of our conversations with God may seem; that is until we realize WHO'S actually talking!

Do you ever think about how much you might be ignoring God because his voice sounds a lot like your own? How many times have you requested prayer for the same thing over and over again and received the same instructions, counsel or impressions? Could it be that you already have your answer? You just need to realize God has spoken, and now you need to act on it. 

Hearing God isn't hard. It just takes practice. More importantly, it requires us spending time with him, listening and sharing our hearts. It means spending time becoming aware of his presence in our lives - acknowledging that he is here with us. I am no expert in this and you should probably be reading someone else's thoughts on the matter. However, what I do know from my own relationship with the Father and my experience in walking with him, is that he'll talk to anybody! Not only that but you just have to make the effort, have a desire and then keep trying. You don't have to be perfect at it or do everything just right. God wants to commune with us in a way that is both real and natural. (My pastor/boss would say both real and organic but he's a little weird and I don't talk like that.)

When our relationship with the Lord becomes more natural and spontaneous, we won't have to wake up and immediately start asking him what to do. (Although, that's not wrong.) A simple thought will come that sounds very much like our own voice, and we'll just sense it's right. It's kind of like being with a close friend and/or your spouse. After a while, you know each other so well that you can finish each other's sentences. You know what the other is going to say even before they form the words. Why? Because you've spent so much time together that you just KNOW them.

Friends, we are known like that and we can know God like that. He's pretty non-selective in that it doesn't matter how imperfect, undisciplined, ordinary or messed up you think you are. If he'll talk to me he'll talk to you. Trust me! We just need to learn how to hear his voice. I bet he's talking to you right now. What's he saying? 

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  ~John 10:27