So, let’s unpack this idea of hearing God a bit more by going a little deeper and looking for clues in each situation.
Let’s start today’s post with the details surrounding October 18 when I heard my own voice, influenced by the enemy, and called it God’s.
I had decided that God’s will was for me to wait for Mr. Right, who I believed was a friend I already had in Texas. I wanted more than anything to be obedient. Even though little red flags popped up here and there, as I mentioned in the last post, I ignored them and continued to convince myself (confirmation bias) that this was God’s will.
When the LinkedIn notification came through that Ross had accepted my invitation from 18 months earlier, my head started spinning. Fear busted in the door of my heart shooting fiery darts … “This is the enemy and he is just trying to distract you from God’s will!” After all, I’d convinced myself that I’d be waiting for the next year or two while my friend healed from the traumatic end to his marriage of 30 years, and this was how I would suffer and deny myself to continue to prove my love for Christ.
The truth is, I was locked in to what I’d decided was God’s will for me. I wasn’t open to having God lead me in another direction. Fear of not pleasing God, fear of making a wrong choice and ending up alone after waiting for two years, fear of being manipulated out of “God’s best” for me… fear was ruling my heart as I looked for His voice.
Obviously, there were still some unhealthy thought patterns in place from my detour into deception where God was portrayed using scripture out of context as an angry taskmaster. That legalistic and graceless doctrine convinced me that it was selfish to have any desires for my life and future, and that I had to give up any personal dreams of happiness if I truly loved God.
So when I hit my knees, in utter confusion and fear, begging God to protect me from the schemes of the evil one, it’s no wonder I opened my Bible to Romans 12:1-2 and thought this was my answer:
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Interesting that this was a favorite verse used by the cult leader to manipulate the flock into doing whatever his will was and that influence was still affecting me.
At this point I hadn’t been on a date for 13 years and I whined all the time about being single, yet I was committed to waiting another 2 years which I saw as surrendering my body as a living sacrifice. (I thought I was pretty spiritual to be willing to do that…ummmm, I’d call that pride!)
I believed God was making it clear that, while Ross would have been His pleasing will, denying myself and waiting for my friend would be God’s perfect will. But… wait a minute here. It says “then you will be able to TEST AND APPROVE what God’s will is.” I didn’t test anything! I applied part of that scripture to my situation to fit what I believed God was saying. I didn’t want to hear anything different than what I believed was His will.
Can you see what I did? Filled with fear, I went to the scriptures looking some direction and confirmation and I read into those verses what I called God speaking to me, and then declared that God had made it “perfectly clear.”
Can you think of some scriptures that apply here?
What can we learn about how I approached this situation?