When God speaks, are we listening?
There is ONLY one way this works…
Below is a message from My Utmost, for His Highest, where Oswald Chambers explains how God will use us, if we are willing to die to our self, and commit all to Him.
The fact is, we can see this pattern all throughout scripture; that when God does something, or is requiring us to do something for Him, it comes at a great inconvenience, and it interrupts what we are doing.
Such as happened with Moses on the day He placed a calling upon him, and assigned him the mission to be His spokesman, to go and deliver the children of Israel from their Egyptian bondage.
As we examine the events of that day, we notice that all of this happened in the normal course of his daily activities, while he was at work.
Not only that, but we will also notice that it happened and came at him most inadvertently, at a 90% angle to what was involved with, at the moment, and what was going on at the time.
In other words, it was something that could have very easily been overlooked, or missed completely.
It was after all Moses’ curiosity and inquisitiveness that drew him to investigate this unusual phenomena of this burning bush that wasn’t being consumed; but his attitude and response could have just as well been to just ignore it; saying I don’t have the time for such things… because he was too busy doing his thing.
The same is true today with us; just as it was in the case with Moses.
God likewise will often approach us at 90% angles to, from what we are doing and are involved with… and often He will do so in ways that are most unexpected, but nevertheless ordinary and familiar.
Often, for us to do what we are being told, it will require our interrupting our schedule, and going in a completely different direction; that is both inconvenient and out of our way. Selah
The question is, and the test for all of us, is how much have we surrendered our lives and also our daily activities to God; and have we truly made God the Lord of even our Day-Timer?
I think we all have pretty much had the experience of going about our daily activities, and feeling this tug on our hearts, that comes completely from out of left field, nudging us to go and speak to someone, or to do something… that would take us completely out of our way, and cost us time that we don’t feel we can spare.
Could this be God testing us, and giving us the opportunity to experience a miracle, and to be used?
Let me relay to you the following story:
“A GALLON OF MILK”
As it happened, this guy had just attended the Wednesday night Bible Study at his church, where his Pastor had been teaching on the subject of listening to God, and obeying His voice.
The message really inspired him, and he couldn’t help but wonder, “Does God still speak today to people, like He did in the Bible?”
After the service he went out with some of his friends for coffee and pie; and they were all discussing the message.
As it happened, there were several in the group who talked about how God had led them in different ways, and how he had spoken to them, and used them.
Well, It was already past ten o’clock and it was getting late, and so the man left his friends and started for home.
While sitting in his car, he just said a prayer, and said: “God… If you do still speak to people like that, like I read in the Bible, would you please speak to me. I promise that I will listen, and I will do my best to obey.”
As he drove down the main street of his town, towards home, he had the strangest thought come to his mind, out of nowhere: “Stop and buy a gallon of milk.”
He shook his head and said out loud, “God, is that You?”
He didn’t need any milk, and nor did he want any; and so he let the thought pass, as he continued home; but again, the same thought came again, more persistent this time… “Buy a gallon of milk!”
Not wanting to miss out, after just committing himself to obey, should God decide to speak to him, he said: “Okay, God, in case this is you, speaking to me, I will go ahead and buy the milk.”
After all, it didn’t seem like too hard of a test of obedience; and besides, he could always use the milk himself.
So he turn around and went out of his way, and stopped at a local convenience store.
So he purchased a gallon of milk and then started off on his way home again.
As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt this nudging in his heart: “Turn down that street.” But he thought to himself, “This is crazy,” as he drove past the intersection.
Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street, and he couldn’t get the thought out of his mind!
He had every reason NOT to do it, as It was getting very late, and he knew that he had to get up early in the morning; and besides, this little detour would be taking him completely in the wrong direction.
Remembering his promise to God, however, he turned around at the next intersection, and headed back to Seventh Street… and in a half jokingly manner (feeling a little silly about all of this), he said out loud, “Okay, God, I will do it!”
So he continued several blocks down Seventh Street, when suddenly, he felt an urge to turn down this one street and stop.
He pulled over to the curb and looked around, wondering what was going to happen next?
Here he was on this cul-de-sac street, in a semi-commercial area of town; and although it wasn’t the worst of areas, he nevertheless felt very uncomfortable, especially with it being so late.
It was now already close to midnight, and of course all the businesses had long ago closed; and from the looks of things, most of the houses looked dark, like the people had already gone to bed.
He was feeling most uncomfortable, but nevertheless that nudging was still there, in his heart.
Then there arose this still small voice, from inside saying: “I want you to go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street.”
This was so weird, and he said: “Is that you God?”
Now mind you, it felt like all of these thoughts were his own thoughts; but they were coming at 90% angles… and certainly these were not things that he would have thought to do, himself.
Anyway, he looked at this one house, that God seemed to be highlighting; and it was all dark, with no lights on; and it certainly appeared as if the people had already gone to bed.
Feeling totally ill at ease and shaking in his boots, he was about to open the door of his car, when he sat back in his seat and said: “Lord, this is insane! Those people are obviously asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be very mad at me, and I will look like a complete idiot!”
“Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the house and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something; but if they don’t answer right away, I’m out of here!”
He could hear some noises inside, and finally he heard a man’s voice yell, “Who is it? What do you want?”
Then the door opened, before he could get away; and there was this man standing there, before him, in his jeans and T-shirt.
He looked like he had just gotten out of bed; and he had this strange look on his face, and certainly he didn’t seem too happy to have this stranger standing on his doorstep, waking him up.
“What is it?” He asked.
The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, “Here, I brought this for you.”
The man didn’t say a word, but took the milk and rushed down a hallway, speaking loudly in Spanish.
Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen.
The man was following her closely, holding a baby; and the baby was crying.
The man then came back to the door, with tears streaming down his face.
He then began speaking and half crying, he told the stranger: “We had just prayed, when we heard your knock on the door. We had some large bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn’t have any milk for our baby; and my wife had just prayed for God to send an angle with some milk for our baby.”
The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had with him, and put it in the man’s hand.
He then turned and walked back to his car, with tears rolling down his cheeks.
Well he certainly got his answer, that God truly does speak today; and even with all the uncertainty and the fear that he had felt, he knew that it was ALL well worth it.
The fact is, he couldn’t have experienced this miracle any other way… without his willingness to first look like a fool; surrendering his will, dying to self, and committing all of his fears to God. Selah
And likewise, so must we…
From: My Utmost For His Highest
Sent: Sunday, June 13, 2010 1:30 AM
To: Skip Barland
Subject: My Utmost For His Highest : “Getting There”