On a recent trip I drove in unfamiliar cities and on strange roads. Some places I went were major highways, and some were remote neighborhoods. Some roads were dirt and gravel, and some were interstate highways. Some went up and over mountains and through river valleys. I could drive with confidence because the GPS on my phone would tell me, “In a quarter mile, turn left to merge onto I-75 North,” or something similar.
When you drive over twelve hours in two days, you have plenty of time to meditate. I meditated on many things, but one struck me as particularly funny.
Who gives better directions? Siri or God?
Why do you or I find it so easy to follow directions from a phone on the dashboard of the car, but so hard to follow directions from God? The directions are clear from both sources. I programmed the final destination into the phone. God gave you the promise of the absolute final destination of your soul.
Following a voice on my phone, it seems so easy for me to turn down a side road I have never traveled before, on my way to a place I have never been, in full confidence. I have faith in the voice in my phone.
Somehow, though, it seems so hard to follow the voice of God in matters of family and vocation. These are areas I know and with which I am familiar, but I hesitate. What if I don’t like the journey? Is the right way for me to go right now? Is the timing right?
My quick answer is common too many people. “How do I know it’s God leading, and not me making my path?” A legitimate question, in fact, I believe it is the best starting point.
Do you know your Father’s voice?
John 10: 4 says, “The sheep follow him because they know his voice.” I recognize the voice on my phone, and I follow it. I choose to have faith in it. Why don’t I recognize the voice of my Father and follow it? I must choose to have faith in His voice.
I asked this self-check question: Is the voice from God? Before I concern myself with what the voice says, I choose to spend time with my Father, the Almighty God, to know Him well enough to recognize His voice. If I know WHO says it, it will become much less important whether or not I like WHAT He said. If He says turn, I turn. If He says stop, I stop.
My concern must not to figure out whether the message seems to make sense. It must not matter whether I recognize the road or like the look of the terrain. I must consider whether the Voice is from the Master. My relationship must be right for me to recognize the Voice.
What is the real problem?
If I think I have an obedience problem, or a behavior problem, or even a vocational calling or sin problem, the true answer is probably much shorter. I probably have a relationship problem.
If our relationship needs repair, time is the best relationship builder. Time with God is important, it is essential. Sometimes we need to sit quietly and listen. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God…”
Turn your phone off or leave it in the other room.
Don’t Panic! The world will still be there when you come back to your phone.
Do this often enough to recognize the voice of your God. Then, following His instructions is much more instinctive.