…when I’m not sure I want to listen.
Saturday I just drove to McDonalds to get a coffee (and only coffee).
As I waited in my car to order,
a chocolate milkshake and a chicken sandwich somehow got added to the order in my head. Right as this was happening, the verse that says, “Man does not live on bread alone…” came into my mind.
So I prayerfully asked God, “God are you my center?” to which I heard, “No.” I asked, “Well then how can I rely on You to be my center today?” To which I heard, “Don’t eat today.” Here is where I sometimes question God's voice and whether this was really of Him.
An important detail is that I had committed to be fasting from food Saturday, so the voice wasn't random.
The current predicament was this: I'm questioning whether the request is truly of God to order what I want and tell myself that it wasn’t that big of a deal. We do this as humans. I’ve done this. I question it, I do what I want, then I shrug this not listening off as no big deal or nothing I could be certain of so that it was okay.
The real hidden danger here is this:
A mistrust in God is the path to Hell.
It hit me recently, that the fruit Adam & Eve ate that led to their death was “pleasing to the eye and good for food…”
It was probably a better food choice than my McDonald’s order, yet it wasn’t good to eat. Why?
I know what God’s voice sounds like in my life.
Yet I can also be tempted to question it (especially when I want differently and the request sounds uncomfortable).
Or I question whether I hear His voice if I keep questioning how He spoke to me in the past when I didn't listen and don't want to admit it.
But unless or until this voice in my head says something completely contrary to the Bible or His love, I need to respond and act accordingly. I need to obey, if I want to grow closer to God by hearing and trusting Him more clearly.
When you hear what you believe to be God speaking in your head or spirit, you will be tempted to question whether it’s truly God or whether disobeying is really that big of a deal… IT IS!
We are to live out of trust in God's words rather than question and live contrary to His requests; Even when they are less black and white like whether to eat or not. Follow God’s voice. Don’t give into the temptation to question God's voice… to question whether it's God talking or belittle what He is asking to the point of you not having to obey when you're a little unsure.
I’m not talking about having no room to ask and wrestle through your honest doubts & hard questions. I think God desires for us to be real with Him.
I’m talking about the moments He is speaking to you and you're questioning whether He is speaking to you so that you don’t have to respond or can do differently. One is a discussion and dialogue with God about how life works, the other is questioning a request from God speaking to you so that you don’t have to listen.
If you question and don't act… the more you question and don't act… the less you will trust God. The more you will become contrary or an enemy to God and His work.
Drinking coffee versus adding a chicken sandwich and chocolate milkshake....
It may sound like I’m making a big deal out of nothing.
I believe a chicken sandwich and milkshake from McDonald’s can be the goodness of God… It's accessible, I have the money, it reflects the goodness of God providing. But in this case, not listening to God's voice would’ve been me trading trust in God's voice for disobedience and a mistrust in what I think I hear Him saying.
The same can be said of:
-The fruit that was "pleasing to the eye and good for food" from the tree of knowledge of good and evil
-The meal traded to Jacob for Esau’s birthright
-The bread Jesus could’ve eaten from stone in response to the devil's questioning
Listen to God's voice and don't question when He's whispering or telling you to do what's uncomfortable, like giving up the good accessible things in this world.
I just got coffee this morning and passed on the food. Thanks God.
“Satan will try to convince you that obedience carries much too high a price, but he will never tell you the cost of not obeying God.”[i]
[i][i] Henry Blackaby & Richard Blackaby, Experiencing God: Day-By-Day (Nashville: TN, Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997),140.