I can remember the night very clearly. I was distressed, kneeling and praying, looking for an answer. I was about 20 years old and had invested what seemed like the most amount of money I ever had. I gave a stock broker who was a ‘friend’ of mine $1000 and waited for him to make me a lot of money. That’s what he told me he would do. It seemed as soon as I gave him the money he turned into a different person. He didn’t answer my calls, was very distant, and when I wanted to know how my investments were doing, he never had an answer for me. In fact, he told me I’d never see my money again. I was duped. But it was my fault. The Lord placed a very uneasy feeling in my heart about investing with this guy, but I blew it off. Have you ever had an uneasy feeling about something but couldn’t explain it? That was me. I thought to myself: “he’s a Christian, he’s making a lot of money, I know him pretty well…what could go wrong?”.
Everything went wrong! So that night I prayed, “Lord, how do I get my money back?” You see, as a 20 year old, I was very inexperienced. I didn’t understand how things worked. I didn’t even understand that there were sham brokerage companies that sold garbage stocks, similar to the likes of Bernie Madoff. But I was in that same situation. As I was praying, suddenly an impression, a feeling, (some people would even call it a sudden ‘idea’) popped into my head. But it wasn’t my head, it came to my heart. The lights were off but I heard the Lord say, “Turn on the light and walk over to your night table.” I did. Then I had an impression, a feeling, ‘something’ nudging me to look through some papers I had on the table. As I did, I came across a phone number that was attached to a phony statement I received from the brokerage. Next to it was a name that I never noticed before. The Lord then instructed me to call this number, ask to speak to that person and that he will be the one to help me recoup my investment.
To make a long story short, I followed those impressions and I was able to receive some of my money back. I’ve never been happier to lose $700. Just to get $300 back was a true blessing because I knew I did the total opposite of what I felt the Lord leading me to do in the first place. And to make matters worse, I thought that this “friend” of mine was the only person that could possibly help me. And he flat out told me he wouldn’t and I could forget about the money. It was a lesson to me, both positively and negatively, on how to follow the voice of God.
You may have missed some of the important details as it relates to hearing the voice of God so let me just highlight a few words/phrases/occurrences that I want you to remember. Trust me, it will make all the difference. Here goes:
-‘a thought that seemingly came out of nowhere’
This is how the Lord will primarily speak to you. When it comes to Him giving you direction or a leading to make decisions, the voice of God is primarily by way of feeling. It’s an impression, a feeling, a sense, a nudge, or a heart desire. I’m sorry to reveal that it isn’t more mystical than that. However this is where we miss it. We miss it because we often assume the Lord wants to speak to us in a dramatic fashion. In reality, He will often speak by way of impressions, feelings, and by His peace or lack thereof.
To end on a more positive note, this was how I married the love of my life. It was a nudge, a green light feeling in my heart, a good sense that this was the move to make. That was a great assurance for me because when we were just friends there were things about us that I felt wouldn’t mesh well in a relationship. My mind told me: “it doesn’t make sense”, “this is not what you thought”, “this is a little different” and so on. But my heart said yes. I felt an extraordinary level of peace with this decision. A joy in me seemed to get stronger and stronger the more I thought about the idea of us being together. After some praying, I didn’t hear an audible voice or see the sky open up. I just followed the peace, the sense, the feeling I had in my spirit.
I can share countless stories of how the Lord spoke to me about decisions I should make, feelings the Lord Himself had, things I should watch out for, and they all started with a feeling in my heart. There’s other ways the Lord speaks and I’m so excited for those other ways. I will be sharing them with you throughout this week. But I’d love to leave you with this verse that summarizes all that I’ve shared:
“And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live]. And be thankful (appreciative), [giving praise to God always].” Colossians 3:15 Amplified Bible
Have you ever had a feeling, a sense, or a nudge in your heart to go a certain way? That may have been the Lord! It’s important that we acknowledge that. Instead of saying the Lord doesn’t speak to me, let’s start acknowledging those moments. If we do, we will be more alert to His voice and be blessed because of it.
Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. I’d love to hear them!