A crinkly crackly mess is what it sounds like. Wait, did you hear something? It was a split second, but at least we know we’re close. Hold up…there it is again. A little clearer. Wait…up….eeeek….there it is…nope, lost it….
Ever tried to navigate a television with rabbit ears? I sound old (I’m not), but I have done this, and it can be a frustrating process. Everything has to be just right. Move it a teeny bit and it is all a crinkly crackly staticky mess. You think you’ve got it, but when you take your hand off, once again, it’s gone.
Sometimes learning how to hear God’s voice feels like positioning a set of rabbit ears. It’s coming iiiiiii……wait….nope….wait, I hear something….wait… Frustrating, right? The problem is, most of us give up trying to figure it out, or settle for a semi-fair signal. Getting to know God takes time and effort. Maybe that’s what makes the narrow road so narrow – too many people don’t want to put in the work to cut the static.
God has been teaching me lately a little trick to cutting the static, and it has been blowing my mind. You want a sure-fire way to bring a smile to God’s face and freak Satan out? It lies in this simple word: obedience.
I can hear the whining through the internet waves (does the internet have waves?). Chelseeeeeeeeeea, I would obey if I just knew what God WANTED FROM ME. That’s why I want to hear from Him! Stick with me for a moment, ok?
God asked Moses, “What’s that in your hand?” Often God doesn’t appear to us and say, “I want you to move to Thailand and start a refuge home for abused women on December 15, 2016. Buy a plane ticket in a year.” Usually He starts with what you have right now. He starts with your current ministry. He starts with your current level of talent. He starts with your current situation. Often we think we would be so good at the big stuff, but we tune out the small nudges He sends us every day. The Bible shows us that first we must be faithful with the small before we will be faithful with the big and ironically, learning how to hear His voice works the same way.
It starts with a simple question, “God, would You give me something specific to do today?” 10 times out of 10 that I have prayed that prayer, someone immediately comes to my heart. My neighbor is sick, so I will go buy her lunch. I remember a homeless person I see every day and I can go have a conversation with him. I was in a fight with my friend and I need to go make amends. It may seem small, but it comes. And when it does, we must act on it right away.
As this activity becomes a habit for us, we start to notice the tasks becoming bigger and bigger. Suddenly, it’s not just “help the blind man across the street,” but rather, “take the blind man out to lunch,” and then eventually, “pray that God would heal the blind man’s eyes.” Wait…I didn’t have the faith to know that I was hearing correctly about the healing back when I was helping him across the street, but somehow after all these steps, I know exactly what I must do: pray for healing. I begin to understand that God’s heart isn’t to just be a kindly neighbor, but rather to bring total restoration to every person that is close to me.
God often starts small. Just look at the baby in the manger. He’s not rushed, but He is urgent. People are hurting today. People are in need today. It’s easy to put on the blinders, get used to the static, and continue about our lives. However, we must cut the static. We must tune in, and the simple activity of obeying God’s voice today will ultimately lead us to our calling. You hear the screams as you pass by the house, so you stop by a couple hours later to take her out to lunch. You help her through the court process and your heart decides that it would do anything for this lady. Then you meet another lady going through the same situation and the same thing happens. God stirs in your heart a love for missions, so you go on a short-term trip. Then you are ready to hear the call for Thailand.
It’s not to say that sometimes God doesn’t start with a big voice. He uses the shock factor with me a lot. I was in high school when God put the dream inside of me to work internationally with orphans. What on earth? I didn’t know any orphans. I’d never left the States. Weird. It was one of those moments of…did you hear something? Wait….
However, over the years God took me from my little town in Nebraska all over the world, and the story is just beginning. I chose to be obedient, small decision after small decision, and it has led me to a greater life than I could have imagined. I never dreamed the plan of God would be so complex and beautiful, but every morning I get up, I am just in awe. I am also thankful that God doesn’t just give us a big assignment and tell us to go for it. He guides us through the process. Like Pastor Steven Furtick says, God doesn’t simply give us a navigational system, because He wants to BE our navigational system. He is UBER creative and good.
God’s voice becomes clearer when we learn to recognize and respond to the little nudges and callings He puts in our path day to day. So don’t wait until tomorrow. He has an adventure for you today! Cut the static. Obey Him right now. You won’t regret it.