The last topic I want to cover in this “Hearing from God” series is the question so many of us have asked ourselves, when we hear from the Lord and then things turn out completely differently.
“Did I hear wrong?”
It’s easy to let doubt come into our thoughts when we hear from the Lord and we end up somewhere we weren’t expecting. Today I want to share a story of a good friend of mine who, years ago, heard God tell him to go into writing.
About 8 years ago my friend was unhappy with his current job and was asking the Lord for direction. He had always been a great storyteller, so when the Lord spoke to him and told him to get into writing, it seemed like the perfect fit. He started researching what it would look like to get into writing and the Lord started providing all kinds of great opportunities.
Writing became his new career. He made lots of great connections, he got to write for lots of great blogs and magazines, it was a great adventure, until it wasn’t. A handful of years into his writing career, he started feeling empty. He was struggling, feeling unfulfilled, lost and questioning if he had really heard from the Lord – was this really what he was supposed to be doing?
He felt lost and was angry with the Lord because God had told him to get into writing, it had been great for awhile but now the opportunities weren’t there, he was barely scraping by financially and he was questioning everything he’d ever heard the Lord tell him about writing. Why would God tell him to get into writing, only to set him up for failure?
How many of you have been there?
Questioning God’s motives – why would He set you up for failure or did you just hear Him wrong?
I’m betting that most, if not all of us, have been there at some point. The ways in which we hear from the Lord are so different than the way we usually communicate with people, so it’s easy for the enemy to come in and whisper doubt. Doubt tells us that we heard wrong, or that we made it up and God was never really in it. Doubt shows us all the ways we’ve failed along the way, to prove that we heard God wrong.
But what doubt can never tell you is the truth.
In these times when we’re so overwhelmed with the feeling of failure, and we’re so filled with doubt, we need to stop what we’re doing and RUN to the Lord. We need to ask Him to speak truth and to remind us of His plans.
‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.'” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Running to the Lord will lead us to truth, and truth will lead us back. It will remind us of why God brought us to this place. Truth will remind you that you did hear from the Lord and that He’s been with you in the process all along.
If we allow the doubt to take over then we will end up bitter and angry with the Lord, however if we seek the Lord and ask Him why He brought us to this place, often He will show us the way out. I don’t understand the ways of the Lord so I’m not going to say He will always show you the way out right away, but I know in time He will.
The cool think about my friend’s story, is that when God finally showed him what his next step was, it lead him to something he never would have been able to do without having taken the journey through his writing career. Even though it felt like he was failing at writing, the Lord was strategically placing him with connections and experiences that made the next step beyond what Will could have imagined!
Just like I wrote about in my series “Walking in Obedience”, 99.9% of the time the journey God leads us to, turns out different then what we expected it to look like.
Because God told him to get into writing, Will thought he was going to be a career writer, but in turns out God only put him in writing for a season, to lead Him to something even bigger and better.
Similarly, I thought I was going to blog at Ask Anna for the rest of my career, but it turns out, God only used my experience over there to build my blogging skills, to make connections, and to give me the platform to do something so much bigger and better than I could have imagined.
If you are feeling stuck, questioning the Lord, doubting if you ever heard Him, or if you just completely heard Him wrong, I want you to stop. Stop that train of thought as fast as you possibly can.
Set some time aside to spend with the Lord and ask Him to speak truth.
Ask Him to give you perspective.
Ask Him to show you why He has lead you to this place.
Ask Him what He wants to teach you in this season.
Remember the words from Jeremiah,
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
You will find Him, you will hear from Him and I want you to write it down. It’s very easy to forget what someone tells you so if you write it down you can go back to it over and over again, to remind yourself of the truth of God’s words.
You didn’t hear from Him wrong in the beginning, you’re just on the right path so the enemy is trying to derail you so you’re not as much of a threat.
Be a threat.
Walk in truth.
Claim God’s words over your season, even if it’s a hard one, and know there’s a promise land on the other side of this mountain.