By Taylor Quintini
I can remember so many points in my walk with the Lord when I cried out, “Lord, let me hear your voice! Just speak to me.” I would plead with God, “just tell me so I can simply be obedient and DO IT!” If we truly desire to do the will of God, then there is a natural desire to hear from Him so we can first know His will in order to walk in obedience. Hearing the voice of the Lord can be a hard or even frightening subject for many of us, especially when we find ourselves consumed in our daily lives and the mundane routines often before us. If I am going to be real, I do not often wake to the warm fire coming from a burning bush where I hear the Lord calling me audibly to my tasks for the day.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” – Jesus, John 10:27
How do we know when God is speaking to us? First and foremost, He speaks through His Word. The scriptures are filled with the general will of God. It is through the studying of His scripture that we learn His character. We are guided into moral truth and freedom for our lives by being obedient to what God has asked, not just of us, but also of all generations. His Word always supersedes our feelings. I do not leave my husband because today I feel as though I am no longer in love, but I remain in the covenant we entered into because this is the will of God for my life. So, no, you won’t turn to page 1,642 and get an answer on how many children you should have or what you should “do” with your life for a career – these questions are not found in the general will of God, but in the specific.
When we are searching for an answer for the specific will of God in our lives, then normally He speaks to us in one of these three categories: encouragement, blessing, or discipline. Our premise to understand the voice of the Lord is that everything God tells us is only to bring us closer to Him! Our God sets out to encourage us, not talk down to us and beat us into the ground until we feel worthless, useless and dumb. Our God sets out to bless us and make us a blessing to others. Our God sets out to lovingly correct and discipline us to make us more like Jesus. He prunes us that we might bear more fruit (John 15:2). The Lord prunes BOTH the good and the bad that more fruit might be produced.
To hear His voice, we also need to identify the enemies that lie to us: Satan, the world and even yourself. Satan’s words never line up with the character of God. The Bible tells us he sets out to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10). Furthermore, it calls him the father of all lies (John 8:44). To know what lies he is speaking, we MUST be reading the Word of God and setting scriptures into our hearts and minds. We can then counteract the lie with the truth of God’s word, which is firm and unchanging. How did Jesus Himself overcome temptation? With the Word of God! Satan spoke to Jesus in the wilderness while praying and fasting tempting Him to act like God and just eat. Jesus’ response was revolutionary. There was no need to argue, just respond with Scripture. Take a moment and read Matthew 4:1-11 to see how Satan tempted Jesus and how Scripture was used to overcome these temptations. Notice it wasn’t just one time, but he kept coming several times, seemingly being relentless, yet Jesus knew how to respond to each temptation with Scripture. Of course, Jesus was victorious and we can be too if we know the Word of God!
In addition to the enemy, the world lies to us on a daily basis. Instagram, shopping at Target, social circles, what is ranked as being important and successful in society can leave you in the deep pit of the comparison trap that tells you – you aren’t enough and you don’t have enough. I am not talking about this randomly happening. I am talking about these things being in front of us all day, every day. May our eyes be opened and alert to realize that we are not living for the things of this world, but for the Kingdom of God.
Oh and let’s not forget about our own weak flesh. The Bible warns us that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). We are weak and frail creatures that often give into immediate desires because we justify them as not sinful, but in fact they may be setting us back from the will of God and attaining that vision He has placed in our hearts. If you set out to run a marathon, but give into the desire to eat brownies in bed while watching a movie when it is time to train, you probably will not be prepared properly nor run to obtain the prize. We must say NO to the things our flesh longs for in order to say YES to follow the Lord.
“Now may the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.” – Hebrews 13:20 – 21
Remember Moses that we discussed a bit in part 3 of this series? He accepts God’s call after living in his dailies for 40 years and in Ex. 14:11 – 18 we read about how He led the Hebrew people out of slavery….well almost! Pharaoh’s heart became hardened and he decided to pursue the people to kill them. Meanwhile the Hebrews approach the Red Sea which is so vast there is no walking around it. So here they are with a massive body of water in front of them and Pharaoh coming with his chariots and men behind him – an army ready to kill. The people immediately start grumbling and complaining to Moses. There was ZERO faith being spoken. They boasted that they rather be enslaved back in Egypt than to die this way.
Moses responds to the people in verses 13 and 14 by saying “Fear Not...Stand Firm…Be Silent…” This isn’t necessarily bad advice. There are even many places in scripture where we are called to be still and see God move on our behalf. Surely God will save us if we wait on Him. In this particular passage, God responds to Moses in verse 15 and contradicts him in a sense by saying, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward.” If I put myself in Moses’ sandals, surely I would shudder to hear the Lord say this after I just commanded the people to just sit there and be quiet, but oh what an equipping Moses must have felt in that moment as God was essentially saying You need to move & be active in your Faith right where you are! GO!
In the next verse God gives Moses instruction to lift up the staff in his hand that the people may go through on dry ground. The Lord even used a simple staff that was in Moses’ hand as a tool to accomplish His will. Let us never think that the simple things in our hands or under our charge are useless – God uses the simple to bring about His grand plans.
Why all the up and down? The seemingly back and forth of they are free and safe to we are now going to die here and all hope is lost. Does your life ever feel like this pendulum swing we are reading about? If you keep reading, verse 17-18 reveals the whole reason – “so that I the Lord will be seen as King!” He will have glory over all. A part of this process was about caring for His people (the Hebrews) and getting them to the Promised Land and freed, but that wasn’t the entire point. There was even here a deeper purpose that the Lord’s own people couldn’t see! God wants all the glory. He will have it and He will use His plans, not ours, to accomplish what He wills.
God our Father, enable us to understand your Word and live in your will. Help us to hear your voice and silence the voices that lie to us. Make us not just hearers, but doers Lord. We know that we must move and be active in our faith right where we are! Let us see your will carried out daily in our lives, for your ultimate glory Lord, not just our personal freedom.
Intentionally Finding Grace in My Dailies:
- Be intentional! Let your faith be active right where you are.
- Stop making excuses. It is more important to know God’s will through scripture, than to worry about perfectly knowing a specific answer. If you are seeking Him wholeheartedly, He will not let you “miss” His will.
- May I view my own life and dailies through the light of God not just making my life good and comfortable because I am His child, but knowing He ultimately desires to bring glory to Himself. I want Him to have the glory, so I trust Him even when I stand in impossible situations.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
About Taylor Quintini
I am thrilled that Taylor agreed to share this 4 part series with us. Taylor and her husband, Jeremy, live just outside of Baton Rouge. Jeremy is the Executive Pastor at Journey Church and Taylor loves to minister alongside of him. She is also the owner of Weddings Taylor Made, a wedding & event planning company (www.weddingstaylormade.com), she serves on the Refresh team and she does all of this while making sure her three littles are loved, fed, clothed, and clean (repeat). When I say little, I mean her three kids are 3 years old and 2 years old, and 7 months. I may need a nap just thinking about it all. Taylor is a natural leader, her heart is passionate for the Lord and she has a strong desire to share Him with others. I am not sure how the Lord managed to pack so much in such a petite person, but Taylor is brimming over with wisdom, she is strong, honest, and always aspiring to do more for the Lord. I am grateful that she takes time to jot her thoughts on paper and lets me share them with the world wide web.