When’s the last time God spoke to you? How did you know for certain it was God speaking? Did you feel peace? Were you moved by a song, by a verse of Scripture or by something you read in a book or on a blog, or saw in a picture? God speaks to us in countless ways. He speaks through nature’s beauty. He can speak through a friendly smile or word or through kind thoughts or prayers sent our way. He may speak through a friend who makes us laugh or through the silly playfulness of a pet.
The Bible states clearly that all who follow God don’t have to worry about not knowing His voice. We KNOW His voice. Jesus said, “My sheep KNOW my voice…” When we hear from God it is a ‘knowing’. It’s like instantly knowing the voice of a friend who calls us to say hello. We know their familiar tone almost before they get out the words, Hey, where you been? How’s it going?
When God speaks with us, we KNOW. There’s a ‘witness’ within us…a deep inner calm, or sometimes even a sharp knowing…an ‘Aha!‘
It happened to me this morning. I was busy cleaning and catching up on housework which I don’t get the chance to do during the week. At the same time I was busy planning a list of other things to do, but as I sat down for a short break, I seemed to hear quiet words…“Why don’t you rest today…?”
Yeah right, I thought. Nothing like talking yourself out of getting things done! Then I seemed to hear the voice more insistently…“Rest…” So I stopped. I decided to re-open my Bible…and there in red letters at the top of the page…were five small words that made me realize God was trying to get my attention. I almost had to do a double-take, I was so surprised:
“I will give you rest…”
God knows us better than we think. He knows for example that I’ve faced several long months of stress and on and off contract work. He knows I have started a new full time job and that it will involve adjustments, a new routine, and so on. But typical ol’ me…I just love to keep going full throttle! I’m like a bulldog with a stubborn streak that insists on going for a walk but never knows when to stop until I’m tuckered out and wiped out. There’s nothing wrong with working hard and being active, but sometimes in life…we need to rest…and to enjoy it. We need to put our feet up…and keep ’em there. I discovered anew today that it’s okay and quite alright to cross off a ‘to do’ list sometimes…and to rest. I heard God reminding me loud and clear, “Take a load off!”…I’m glad I did.
“Come to me and I will give you rest — all of you who are working so hard with a heavy load. Throw it off. Wear mine instead, and let me teach you, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and with my friendship you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy. My burden is always light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30, paraphrased)
What a great Dad our Heavenly Father is! He loves us and loves to let us know in a multitude of ways that He cares about the smallest details in our lives, even the humdrum moments and putting up our feet times. Today, He led me by still waters and restored my soul.
So…what’s He been saying to you?
© S. Michaels
From Notebook: Following God