Who do you listen to?

Today I have been working on a project with a supervisor who kept giving advice in an apparent effort to help. The result was actually the opposite. It caused me to drop below a standard because I was listening too much to the warnings and not enough to what my gut was telling me. I second-guessed myself into a hole.

I realized I was listening to the wrong voice. David faced a similar issue when he came upon Goliath taunting the army of Israel. There were all these voices saying they couldn’t win and that the enemy was too strong, and they had begun to despair. They were listening to the wrong voices. David came along and declared that the battle was God’s; therefore, they could and would win if they stood up and fought the enemy. He engaged the enemy and with God’s help, he won…end of story. He listened to the right voice, and he gained the victory.

We are constantly facing battles in our lives, and we have to make decisions on an almost daily basis. The enemy constantly whispers that we cannot succeed, or even more often that we should take a “safer” path following the world’s idea of logical and practical. God’s ways are often illogical or even crazy by the world’s standards, but they always work they way He intended.

If God tells you to “cast out into the deep,” then push off and ignore the voices that cry for following the “safer” path, sticking to the harbor and what you have always known. The only voice that matters is that of God as He whispers to us in the person of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan for us for good and not for evil, so we can trust Him to lead us in the right direction. Listen to His voice and you too will have the victory.

So, who are you listening to today?

Motivation

We all have the best of intentions of getting up in the morning and getting things done, and then the alarm rings and we groan and roll over. Monday morning…notice I said Monday… I was not ready to get up yet. It was the day after Easter, and the weekend had been busy. I just wanted a few more minutes. As I started to drift off to sleep, the persistent poking of a small paw woke me up. I lifted up the covers, thinking she wanted to join me, but she jumped under and back out again. We repeated this routine a couple of times until I felt something tickle my arm. I sat up and turned on the lamp to find a palmetto bug in my bed. Sassy was chasing it around, which is why she wanted me to move the covers. Let’s just say that motivated me to get out of bed and get said bug out of my bed. Going back to sleep was no longer an option.

As it turned out, I got quite a few things done that morning before work, which made me feel productive and got some things off of my to do list. However, I still had hard time not being aggravated for the ruckus that got me up and moving. I was thankful for the end result even if I would have rather skipped the unsettling events that led up to it. I think God has a way of using unsettling events to move us in the direction that we should go when we would rather stay under the covers and nap.

We all like our comfort zones, where we feel all warm and safe, but God wants to go on an adventure with us, spiritually speaking. He wants to us to cast out into the deep and go fishing where we never have before because He wants to do something new in our lives. In John 21, Jesus comes to some of his disciples who were fishing all night and had caught nothing. He told them to cast out into the deep and cast their nets on the right side of the boat. They were a little skeptical, but obeyed and caught almost more than they could haul. The reward for obedience was greater than they had imagined.

Mind you, the rewards are not always tangible, but they are always more than we could have imagined. God wants to do something great in our lives, but sometimes he has to unsettle us and shake us free from our routines and send us in a new direction in order to do something new. Sometimes it is something substantial like the loss of a job, and sometimes it is just a palmetto bug in our bed that motivates us to change our morning routine to make room for something new. You may not like the motivation, but use it to cast out into the deep with Christ and you will not be disappointed by the end result.