One of the most important, yet seemingly mysterious, qualities of walking with the Lord is listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit. There are times when the Lord's presence is thick around me and guiding me. Then there are other times when I seem out of touch with the spiritual flow. The key here is that I move: not the Lord. He always loves and always desires communion with me.
The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I see times when He is guiding me to do or say something which often takes me out of my "comfort zone." One such event was a Christmas Eve just a few years back. We were eating at Olive Garden after church. I felt the Lord tell me to ask our server how we could pray for her. After a few minutes of bargaining with God (Me: well, God, if she comes back again, I will. God, Ok, here she comes) sort of thing. Finally to my family's utter surprise, I said, "My family and I are getting ready to pray, is there something we can pray for you about?" The server, absolutely in shock, burst into tears and told us how difficult her life was at that time. As she left the table, my kids were a bit taken back, but as we prayed for this dear young lady, we were assured it was a God-ordained time to intercede.
Now several years later, when I think of this event, I whisper a prayer for her. There were two parts to this situation. First, the Lord called us to pray. Second, we obeyed which built our faith in the process of intercession.
Another example of a time when I completely blew it was when I had prayed that God would help me get up earlier so that I could spend additional time in prayer. The first week or so, I woke even without an alarm, ready to go. Then after that I began pushing the snooze and sleeping in. Next I went right back to the old habit of getting up with just enough time to get ready. What went wrong here? Possible the Lord could have said, "Ok girl, I got you off to a new routine. Now it's time for you to continue in obedience." I obviously did not have the motivation or self control to remain in my new habit at that time. In other words, I wasn't fulfilling my part of the deal.
From my experience, God seldom shoves me into obedience. He wants the abundance of my heart to seek Him and be obedient when He answers or directs.
In John 10, Jesus says, "I am the good shepherd: I know my sheep and my sheep know me."
This verse assures us that we will be led by Jesus when we look and listen for His voice. Our challenge is to: first-listen and second-obey.
My prayer: Thank you Father for never giving up on me even when I didn't follow through. I choose to be obedient to your voice and leading. Guide me Lord into the paths you would have me to take. My heart is to serve you. In Jesus name!