How can I recognize God’s voice??? How do I know when it’s Him versus my own voice??? How can I tell when God is moving in a situation versus me making my own decisions independent of Him??? These are all questions that we have all asked from time to time. Through my journey with the Lord, I have learned that spending time with Him and digesting His word are the absolute BEST ways to get to know Him. Jesus gave His life on the cross for us ALL so that we can develop an intimate relationship with God through Him. The more time we spend in the Lord’s presence (through prayer and worship) the more we learn to recognize Him. I’ve been walking with the Lord long enough to be able to recognize when He is in something and when He’s not.
From my experience, when God is moving in a situation, things flow smoothly. It may not always be easy, but things always work out in my favor and I benefit greatly in the end. When God is moving in a situation, I never have to try to force anything. Everything just falls perfectly into place just like a puzzle. Each piece fits to construct this beautiful picture called “My Life According to His Will”. Now, if you try to force a puzzle piece where it does not belong, you end up damaging the piece, which affects the entire puzzle/picture. I’ve often heard folks say that God will FRUSTRATE our plans when they are not in His will. This is proven to be true in Genesis 11:1-9. The people all spoke a common language, so they decided to work together to build a tower that could reach the heavens. God confused their language so they could no longer communicate. The building ceased and the people were scattered all throughout the earth.
God moves in miraculous ways that cannot be explained. As I discussed in last week’s blog, a lot of what God does makes absolutely NO SENSE. I mean, for crying out loud HE SPLIT THE SEA and led His children through on DRY GROUND (Exodus 14:21). The Egyptians attempted to pursue the Israelites but God FRUSTRATED their pursuit by jamming the wheels of their chariots. Unlike the Israelites, the Egyptians were drowned in the sea (Exodus 14:23-28). It is clear that God was not with them.
Things may not often go my way but I’ve learned to recognize God moving in my situation versus my own plans. One of the best examples I can give is MY plans for grad school- which never came to fruition (no surprise). I had it all planned out. I knew exactly what program and school I wanted to enroll in, so I applied. And just like every other plan that I try to execute without God, IT WAS THWARTED. When I called for information, the administrative staff was totally RUDE. No one knew much of anything. I was shuffled around between several faculty member who couldn’t help me with anything. To top things off, they got my application confused with someone else’s! By the time I finished with the application process, I was really turned off BUT it was the school that I really wanted so I kind of overlooked the turbulence. A few weeks later or so, I was checking my email and ran across a message from American University. I felt SUPER led to apply (God’s voice) BUT my good ole logic kicked in (my voice). At the time I didn’t have money for an application fee and I didn’t think I’d get in anyway. Long story short, not only did the school waive my application fee but they also offered to waive my security deposit. To add to the awesomeness, I was accepted, offered a merit award, and assistantship. Also, everyone was super helpful and friendly (I am really big on customer service)! If that’s not God I don’t know what is! Same thing with jobs. In the past, I’ve gotten hired for jobs before even completing the application. Many times throughout my life, God has blessed me with opportunities that my mere ambition wouldn’t have landed. I didn’t have to lie or hustle, things just fell right in place.
Being able to recognize God will REALLY save you from a lot of stupid mistakes. I grew to a place of ultimate frustration on my job last year. I had been there for over 6 years, the pay was low, there was no fulfillment in the work, and there was no room for growth, SO I LEFT for something else. The only thing was that “something else” had no financial stability, it was 100% commission. I honestly had faith that I could succeed in it but I wish I would have asked myself, “Is this God moving or is it my impulsivity?”.
The best thing for us to do is continuously pray for God to have His way and block anything that is not His will for us. If you find yourself questioning whether God is in something or not, simply reflect on your past experiences. Check out His track record. Check out the way He has smoothly worked things out for you in the past. If there is great frustration, confusion, and turbulence in your decision/move, you very well may be trying to force the puzzle piece in the wrong place. You’ll only damage the big picture. Just chill out and let Him assemble everything perfectly as He has been doing since the beginning of time.