Something that God has continued to highlight to me in this season is the verse that says, “Faith without works is dead.” It’s from the book of James. Within the verse James 2:20. Faith without works is dead. And so when God speaks to us, do we act in faith and move on it? Do we do as He’s told us to do?
Thankfully I’ve had several friends in my life illustrate exactly what it means to move when God asks you to move. Two friends in the past 6 months have made major life moves on behalf of God. One moved to Texas from California, another from California to Florida. And they made those moves because it was God calling them to.
So my question to you is, when God asks you to move, do you? When God speaks, do you act?
Last January, after everything fell apart and I found myself alone in a tiny, well lit, locked room in the local E.R. under suicide watch, God was there with me. Yes. Even at my lowest point, God was with me. And within just days of losing absolutely everything, including my home, my family, a loved one, and my job, God was still speaking to me. Guiding me.
A lot of times when people say God spoke to them, we picture a booming, audible voice coming from heaven. And while that DOES happen- I’m not discounting that- I’ll admit it’s rare. And I’ve yet to have it happen.
So when I say God was still speaking to me, there are other ways in which God speaks.
His Word. Being in Scripture, being in the Bible. Being in the Word of God daily is so vitally important to our walk as followers of Christ because in order to know God’s voice, we have to know Him. His written word is just that. God speaking to us through the ages.
And while yes, the Bible is an excellent historical text, it’s also still alive and active and relevant to our lives today.
There are prophecies that have still yet come to pass. There’s still wisdom to be found in its pages. The Bible is God breathed, God inspired. And yes, the word of God is still relevant.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart”.
So God’s Word. That’s one way God still speaks to us.
Two, God speaks to us through what many refer to as a “still, small voice.”
It’s so important daily to spend some quality time with God. Engaging in that relationship with Him. Conversing.
And while God wants to hear all about your day, your thoughts, your desires, your feelings, like the good, good Father He is, He also wants to speak to us. It’s a dialogue.
We pray to Him. We speak to Him. But more than talking, praying is about listening, too. So get quiet with God, spend some time listening for Him.
A great illustration I was given months ago while at Mercy in Sacramento, CA was that every morning when you get up, there’s Jesus at your kitchen table. He’s sitting there with a cup of coffee, so in love with you and so excited to hear from you and spend time with you.
But so many of us, in the hustle and bustle of every day life, we’re too busy. Too busy for our families. Too busy for our own good, our own health. And too busy to spend time with Jesus.
So we grab our cup of coffee and we jet out the door. And we tell Jesus, not now, but later. Later, I’ll talk with you. Later today. Later this afternoon. Later today, before bed.
And so, He patiently waits for us. Because our Father in heaven desires that relationship with us, that communication. And He’s patient and loving. And so He waits.
But lunch comes. Afternoon comes. Dinner, then bedtime, and then… sleep.
And for most of us, we get so busy that we forget about God. We forget to pray. We forget to take even two seconds out of our day and thank our Father, the Maker of heaven and earth, for all that He’s given us.
Because we all have much to be grateful for.
And so there Jesus sits. Still at the table. Waiting. And at the end of our day, we head off to bed. And we tell him again, later. But later may not come for days, or weeks, or months. For some of us, later may never come.
So. God’s Word. Prayer, and that still small voice. Those are two ways God is still speaking to us. And there’s a third.
God speaks to us through others. Which is how God spoke to me that day in the E.R.
Again, there are two ways this can go. God can, and sometimes does, speak to us through others, voice within a voice. And yes, I’ve definitely had that happen. Where the atmosphere in the room changes and it is clearly not my loved one speaking to me, although it does sound like them and in some ways it is still them. Yes.
But the other way God speaks to us through others is simply them speaking.
God giving them revelation and wisdom, and them sharing it with us. And I have several people in my life like that. Where their wisdom has to be of God because it’ so solid and touching and relevant. And when they speak to me, God speaks to my heart through them.
Thus, God was still speaking to me in the E.R. And to give reference to that memory, the day I was actually taken to the E.R. I had no visitors. I was taken that afternoon, via police cruiser, and there was no time table immediately given for how long I’d be there. Could have been a few hours- and that almost happened- but thankfully didn’t, because God knew better.
In my case, my time there was about 3 days. Three days in the E.R., then I was transferred to a psychiatric hospital for another 4 or so days. Again, all under suicide watch. A very real concern all things considered.
But on the following day, as I’m sitting there in the E.R., I received a visitor. The first of which was one of my closest friends. My chaplain.
And I remember him peering in through the tiny window of my room and he came in, and his first words to me broke my heart.
He said, “After everything that happened yesterday, I didn’t know if you’d want to see me.”
And it broke my heart for him to say that, because in my mind, why wouldn’t I want to see him?
You see, my chaplain was the one that had made the call. He made the call to the police to have me brought to the E.R. under suicide watch. Because I was suicidal.
And to make clear, I owe him and a few of my other friends my life. God acting through them. Because if he hadn’t called the police, I wouldn’t be here today.
He made the right call. And I’m grateful.
But in that moment, to have a friend tell me that he thought I wouldn’t want to see him, it was heartbreaking.
And then he said, “But I come in to check on you, and here you are reading the Bible.”
In losing everything, the reason I was there reading my Bible. Or rather a Bible. A Bible a kind E.R. nurse had found for me after I’d requested it. The reason I was reading the Bible was because in losing everything else, I still had one thing. My faith.
And that Bible was my life line. The only thing I had left. God. And my faith.
So that first day after everything, I began having visitors. And again, I can’t truly express my gratitude and what it meant in that moment, at my lowest, to have people come surround me who loved me. It was a powerful testament of God’s faithfulness and love. Because while I knew God loved me, and His love is perfect, driving out all fear, sometimes what we really need is a Jesus in our life with skin on. Another person, a friend, a loved one.
Someone to hug us, hold our hand, and literally be there for us and with us in the pit.
A couple of days later, I’m still in the E.R. Still lost. But God was still speaking. And He comes to me through that same friend. My chaplain. To whom I owe my life.
And my chaplain says, “I think Mercy Multiplied is your next step.”
And I cried. I cried and cried and cried.
Because one, I’d never before that moment heard about Mercy. And two, upon explanation of what Mercy was, it was not a short term, quick fix. It was not a “take a pill and come see us in the morning” style healing that was being offered.
Mercy Multiplied was my next step. The right step, as God made clear. But it was a long term, 6-9 months or more commitment to getting better. To making lasting life changes. To find true and lasting healing.
Mercy, was what I needed. Though I didn’t know it at the time. And I’ll certainly share more of that later, about the much needed journey God took me on there.
But when God spoke to me through that friend, it just blew me away. I wasn’t prepared to hear it. Wasn’t prepared to receive and act on it.
It took a moment- several moments, for me to wrap my head around it. Around what God was asking me to do. But in time, I did accept it and act on His word to me through my friend.
And I’m so glad I did.
When God spoke to me about Mercy, I was initially resistant. I was resistant because to me it made no sense in the natural. To enter this program and take half a year or longer out of my life to seek healing.
So my question to you is, when God speaks, do you act? Do you move on what He’s telling you? Even if it doesn’t make sense in the natural? Do you?