Earlier in my life I was often anxious about making the right decision. Today I understand that God will guide me in my decision making, but I now worry about properly hearing His voice. What if God is telling me to do one thing, but I misinterpret His voice and do the wrong thing? Will God smite me down with the consequences of my bad judgment? Will He punish me so that next time I will wise up and get it right?
I believe our recent experience with evicting our tenants is a good example of how God works. We had caught the tenants not only in a major violation of their lease, but a violation for which we had previously given them several warnings. Thus, having given them a second and even a third chance, Roxanne and I (well at least I) felt fully justified in proceeding with the eviction. However, being “good” Christians, we realized that before making a decision which would impact several lives, we first needed to listen to the voice of God.
From our recent Bible study I have learned that my mind must be prepared to hear this voice – it has to be open and trusting. But in this case I had in fact already had made my decision and as a result my mind was shut up solid. I was not looking for guidance from God but rather justification for my already determined plan of action.
So I went through the motions of praying and then proceeded with the eviction as I had intended all along. But rather than smiting me down, God used my actions to clear my mind. After I served the eviction notice He took my anger away and I
was finally able to hear His voice. This voice told me of another course of action (a revised lease) which ultimately better served the interests of both our tenants and us.
- The key to doing our Lord’s will is not so much in hearing His voice, but rather in being ready to hear it.
- God is God and He will figure out a way to get His message to us. Our job is to prepare our minds rather than worry about
the form in which the message will be delivered.
- Sometimes the wrong decision will actually give God the opportunity to lead us to the right decision. I have found if I am
doing God’s work then all will seem right with the world and a weight will be lifted from my shoulders. However, if I have made the wrong decision my mind will still be troubled and the future blurry.
- God is much bigger than we think. Rather than punishing us for a bad decision, He will give us a second chance (and
probably a third and fourth and a fifth if we need it) to make the right decision.
- Bottom Line: If we sincerely listen for the voice of God with an open mind, then He will find a way for us to hear it.