LISTENING TO GOD - Gary Wilkerson
We are not our own, but His! That began when we became a new creation in Christ and were no longer living for ourselves. Our testimony became, “I once was lost but now I’m found. I submit my life to Him continually.”
In John 7 we read that Jesus did not travel outside of Galilee, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. However, the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was drawing near and His brothers wanted Him to go with them to Judea so He could be recognized and make Himself known to the world. Jesus answered them, “You go on. I’m not going to this festival, because My time has not yet come” (verse 8).
But then something curious happened in this scene from Jesus’ life. The very next verse says, “After his brothers left for the festival, Jesus also went, though secretly, staying out of public view” (7:10). Why did Jesus say He wasn’t going — and then decide to go? Obviously, He heard from the Father. One minute He told His brothers, “It’s not My time” and then, within a day or an hour or maybe just an instant, the Father told Him, “This is the right time, the right season, the right setting. Go!”
I often want to make my own decisions in life instead of submitting to God’s ways. We’re called to be dependent on Him, to seek His direction, to await His leading for major decisions in life. But doing this can make us feel like our lives are bottlenecked. At times over the years I’ve told my wife, “Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to check in with God about this.” I have actually envied those who apply for jobs if they want them or just pick up and move when they want to live somewhere else.
I don’t think I’m alone in having these thoughts. Listening to God and submitting our lives to His will and direction is a sacrifice but the benefits are countless. Having our hearts aligned with His empowers us for everything.