We’ve all heard, former procrastinators, “the still small voice of God.” The softer His whisper, the easier it is to ignore or question.
We’re also familiar with the enormous pressure within when we know the Lord is impressing something on us that we’re reluctant to acknowledge or act on. That’s harder to deny. My preferred way to block His urging is to hop up and do something physical that takes some brain power. I’ve done it so often, I’m ashamed to think of the fruit I’ve missed out on.
Okay, yes, I admit to FOMO. Fear of missing out. Though fearful, I want all the fruit God will produce in and through me. I do not want regrets because I chose not to follow His prompting.
I also have Fear of Doing Wrong. “Is this sense of ‘I ought to do so-and-so’ really from God? Or is it a hair-brained idea of my own? I don’t want to make a mistake by doing something not of Him.”
Come on. Fear of making a mistake like that has some merit, but more often it’s just an excuse. It’s likely ignorance, pride, or something else self-centered holding me back from action.
So the first step in keeping step with the Spirit is discerning His voice from others’. He speaks to us according to His will.
Let’s review this approach from the Navigator ministry. The fingers of our hand represent a good way to discern God’s will. The strength of each finger corresponds to the reliability of the guidance there.
- Thumb – God’s Word. Is what I’m considering in line with scripture? God will not direct me into something that opposes His scripture. This is the strongest and most important guidance.
- Index finger – Prayer. Do I listen to Him or just tell Him what I’m planning and ask His blessing?
- Third finger – Godly counsel. Seek wisdom on this matter from someone who is wise in the Word of God and will be honest with me. Am I being honest about all aspects? Avoid asking someone I think will tell me what I want to hear.
- Fourth finger – Circumstances. What is my situation at this time – or at the time under consideration? Will my circumstances fit with this idea? This is my weakest finger. I can manipulate my view of circumstances.
- Pinky finger – Peace. Is my spirit at rest with the decision I’m settling on? Caution. I can manufacture peace to confirm what I desire. His will is not always comfortable.
This aid is extremely helpful. But what about those times when the prompting is to act right now? “Buy that man a sandwich” or “Help that lady with her baby.” I need to learn lots more about discerning His voice in such cases. Will you learn with me?
I do know, the more we listen to Him and act, the more easily we’ll recognize His voice and the more readily we will keep in step with Him.
When do you struggle to recognize God’s voice?