Yesterday I went for a walk.
It’s nothing new. In fact, my neighbors often joke that I probably know everything that’s going on at all times because I am always out walking. It gives me a chance to breathe, to get outside, and to just slow down for a few minutes… for someone with anxiety, this is extremely important.
But yesterday felt different.
I – as I’m sure you have as well – have been affected by what I see in the news. From believers being hunted down and even taken in Afghanistan to natural disasters like Ida striking our Gulf Coast, there’s a lot going on. There’s a lot of frustration, anger, and asking “why?” It’s natural, but guys, it’s heavy.
I was pondering these thoughts as I walked… and then I looked up. The clouds in the sky were gorgeous. They were doing this perfect rolling formation that almost allowed me to get lost in their beauty. It allowed me to step outside the frustration and just reflect for a bit.
See, last week I listened to a life-changing interview with Jennie Allen and Pastor X, along with a representative from Global Catalytic Ministries. The stories of what’s happening on the ground in Afghanistan were eye-opening and heart changing. Something else stood out even more to me, though: the way Pastor X spoke about listening to God and simply following.
By taking these steps he and his wife have seen an explosion of heart change for the kingdom.
They’re not doing anything magical. They’re not any different from you or I. They ARE, however, listening for God’s voice in their lives with expectancy and following what he says.
It Spoke to My Heart
Sure. I spend time in God’s word most days. I read through the Bible on the regular and I pray. I thank him and practice gratitude – heck, I wrote a whole book about it. I pray that he’ll work in the hearts and on the hurts of those around us.
But… I’m not sure I spend a lot of time simply walking with him and listening with expectancy for him to speak.
That conviction stuck with me as I walked, staring at the clouds.
I thought about how Moses and the Old Testament prophets would listen to God and allow him to direct their words and their actions.
I thought about how God then sent his son to walk among us, and how his disciples – among what must have been great confusion – simply followed, and the impact their choices to follow had on our world even today.
I thought about Paul, who – after Jesus’s crucifixion – encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus and became an outright evangelist, able to discern God’s plan in his life and willing to follow what was revealed to him.
Today I feel like many – including myself – forget that the God we follow is still the same God of Abraham and Moses. He’s still the one who sent his son who performed miracles among real live people, who were able to witness them.
He. Still. Works. In. This. Way. Today.
In the interview I linked above, Pastor X described the way that if he mentions Jesus in certain areas in the Middle East, numerous conversions take place because Jesus has already come to these individuals in dreams. Our. God. Is. Still. Moving. He’s still changing hearts.
And yet, here, we often fail to see it.
Perhaps we’re too busy in our own worlds. Maybe we’re distracted by the the overflow of “things” that we have access too. (When I say “we,” please know I’m speaking out of conviction of my own heart!).
I’m not sure what it is, or if there is a single “it” at all. But, I think that maybe it’s a wake up call for us all to change.
I’m Not an Expert
I’m not an expert at discerning God’s will: I’m not sure anyone ever should claim to be or could be at all.
But, if we know that our God is the same God of the Old and New Testaments… and we know that he’s still actively working through dreams and miracles today… then maybe we have some heart-deep work to do.
For me, I want to get better at simply walking with the Lord. My “literal” walk yesterday was just a start. I asked the Lord to help me walk with him, to make my will his, and for me to have the trust to simply follow where he leads. As someone who likes to be in control, this is no small act of faith.
What could it mean for you, for your heart?
In what ways could you look with expectancy for the Lord to work in your heart and in the hearts of those around you? What walls have you put up (even if unknowingly) that might be preventing this kind of heart change?
If those of us who are believers here in America began to look to God with expectancy, knowing that he created us, he loves us, he has a plan for us, and he created good works for us to do in advance (Ephesians 2:10), imagine the change we could see in our hearts and in the lives around us.
How could our priorities shift? How could our striving cease? How could our faith deepen?
I imagine the answers and possibilities are great, with many kingdom implications. But, for it to happen, we may need to change the way we move forward, walking fully in Him with every step.
Are you willing to simple “be” in him, asking him to direct your path while you trust and follow? Let’s do this together. Let’s ask for opened eyes and changed hearts, today.