I felt this pull while praying to check my website email. Putting it off as a distraction, I went back to praying, only to have it crop up again. So, I asked the Lord if this is something He was wanting me to do right now. I immediately heard, “Go for it.”
Okay, checking the email, nothing there I needed to see as far as I could tell. That’s a little discouraging since maybe I didn’t hear from Him after all, which then degrades into maybe none of the things I think I’ve heard in the past are from Him either, which spirals into the typical that-works-for-others-but-not-me mindset of my past. Doubt, failure, intimidation.
Regardless of whether I heard right or not, I know that those last three thoughts are not from God either! What do I do with this?
Then I realize I’m still on the steep end of the learning curve. In fact, we’re all on the steep end of the learning curve until the day we leave this place, so I’m in good company. And the learning curve is just that, learning. That, in itself, is encouraging. I was a good student in school, but I still had to study and learn from my mistakes. In fact, mistakes are some of the best instructive devices! Plus, I know I have the best Teacher.
The opposite plays right into the enemy’s strategy: discouragement. Who would want me to stop praying and jump off that learning curve? Who has a vested interest in my giving in to doubt, failure and intimidation? And fear of deception (one of my personal past Big Three)?
Besides, if I need to hear from God about something important with obvious far-reaching consequences, He is good enough to confirm it for me. He did that with Gideon, and He promises He doesn’t play favorites. Plus, He has provided safeguards during the process: the Bible, koinonia with those who are further up the curve than myself, and of course, the Holy Spirit Himself.
He also promises that His sheep hear and know His voice. Jesus is patient and kind and gentle, so I’m not by myself on this mountain of a learning curve. Psalm 23 says, He leads me in paths of righteousness, and that He is with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Well, if He’s with me there, surely He’s with me in the Valley of the Shadow of Doubt.
I can let this serve to increase my tenacity and resolve, pushing me further in, rather than scaring me away. Good things don’t necessarily come easily, and great things come with a price.
Hey, this is good stuff. Maybe I heard Him after all.