By Denise Rhoades
Eleven years ago was a long period of searching for truth about God to feed my own soul. I’d lost my grandpa. My (now former) fiancé had called off our wedding four months before we were to be married. In short, I was in a state of life- altering confusion.
One night alone in my room kneeling by my bed, when I was at a point of final desperation, I cried out to God, tears waterfalling down my cheeks.
I can’t do this anymore. I have tried to live my life my way and all I have is a mess. Lord, I want you to take charge of my life. I am sorry for all the bad things I’ve done, the self-centered person I’ve been and horrible decisions I’ve made. I want a different life now if it’s not too late.
Early the next morning, just as I was beginning to awake, my eyes not quite open yet, I heard it.
As clear as I can hear the roar of rush hour now, God spoke! It came from the direction of the 100-year-old chair at the foot of my bed in which I often read my Bible. In a deep, clear voice, He said, “It’s ok, Denise. I love you. I have waited all these years for you and I forgive you.”
My heart surged. I sat up, opening my eyes–but saw no one. I didn’t believe it at first. My mind tried to convince myself it was a noise from the neighbors, but I knew. My heart knew differently. I knew it was the voice of the One who spoke me into existence; who’d been whispering to my soul.
I wept. God had waited 35 years for me and still loved me and forgave me. It was too amazing not to share; I immediately called my sister.
As you gaze overseas, I so get that you would want your vision to be Windex-clear. You’re quitting your job, humbling yourself to raise financial support, maybe with a family in tow. There’s a chance you could bite it big. Let’s make sure it’s from God before you shove all your chips in that direction, right?
There’ve been more times than I can count in the eleven years since that day I have pleaded with God to hear his voice again. To speak to me clearly again. To give me the direction and answers I was seeking. I never have.
But I love how Bob Goff responds to my churning, burning questions in Everybody Always:
What we actually want is that extra nudge of confidence from God and the opportunity to move forward courageously to do those things we already know how to do. What a shame if we were waiting for God to say something and He’s been waiting on us to do something.
….When we dream up something where the outcome seems uncertain and we don’t hear God’s voice, what if God isn’t saying anything to us because He’s already said it? … He knows that without risk we can’t grow.
Whoa. What? God may not ‘speak’ when we desire to hear Him because he’s already told us in His Scripture what to do? He’s already given us the answers we seek? He may not speak because he is already…waiting on us to do it?
Faith blooms as we risk it all; as the seed falls to the ground and dies. In order to grow our faith, to experience God? We may actually need to just do it.
What We Know
Listen to some of the things God’s already answered:
- Ephesians 5:1: “be imitators of God”
- Matthew 6:33: “seek first the Kingdom of God”
- 2 Corinthians 6:14: “do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers”
- Matthew 5:15: “let your light shine before others”
- 1 Corinthians 13:13: “the greatest of these is love”
- Psalm 113:3: “the name of the Lord is to be praised”
- Isaiah 1:17: “defend the orphan. Plead for the widow”
- Micah 6:8: “do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God”
- Matthew 28:19-20: “go and make disciples of all nations… baptizing… teaching them all I commanded you”
Picture the scene in the first pages of the world, from Genesis 3: God spoke. Adam heard his voice, boldly. Clearly. God and Adam talked and walked with each other, just like you and I would have a chat and walk with friends, or clustered around Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Can you imagine? Hearing the sound of God’s voice.
But look back at the last line of Genesis 3:11, God says “have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
God had already given the command. God has spoken to each of us as followers of Christ.
Will we listen?