Sometimes He speaks so loudly that it stops you in your tracks. It shakes all of your insides. His voice is so pronounced that it’s all but an outwardly audible voice. Sometimes I look around to see if the people standing around me heard it, but of course they didn’t. It was directed at me. This happened to me several weeks ago.
I’ve been a believer my entire life. My parents baptized me as a young infant, we went to church every Sunday and recited our prayers every night. I’ve never once in my life doubted His existence. I’ve never once had a period of rebellion in my beliefs. I, however, have failed to listen to that loud, striking voice (usually a warning) more times than I can remember. My failure to obey has always got me into a big amount of trouble. I heard this voice with every step that I took walking up the aisle to marry my ex-husband, and the hurt and pain that came with that choice lasted 8 years directly and I still deal with the scars indirectly. Most recently I heard this voice 3 weeks ago. It was so loud that I actually hit the brakes while I was driving. I had been tossing around an idea and had made a choice, He was telling me it was the wrong choice. I didn’t listen. And while the consequences of this choice didn’t last but a couple of anxiety and worry filled weeks, I think it finally sunk in that while He will forgive us and stand by us when we make mistakes, immediate obedience is so much more rewarding (and less painful!).
God rewards obedience! I didn’t believe that until recently. I mostly believed that as long as we believe and do a pretty decent job at living and loving that we are all on equal playing fields. This doesn’t hold true with any other aspect of our lives and this world (that HE created), so why would I think this was any different? It was my misunderstanding and misuse of His grace. I truly believe that God has a pretty good sense of humor (kinda reminds me of an old Depeche Mode song). Learning obedience is definitely a lesson where I’ve seen this. The rewards have been so immediate, so obvious and so out of this world that they’ve just left me laughing at myself for ever doubting this. I understand this to be a completely separate thing from grace and salvation. He’s given me this freely (at such a huge cost!). When we listen to His voice and respond immediately with full trust and reckless abandon is when we can truly begin to live the life He put us on this Earth to live.
“My sheep hear my voice, I know them, and they follow Me.” John 10:27