I hear stories all the time about how God whispers small callings to those whose hearts are opened to be challenged. These tender little murmurs are ity bitty, but they never cease to be followed by a beautiful, redemptive, story...probably because they are inspired by a redemptive God.
Yet, lately I have found that the redemptive story never intrigues me so much as the heart of the person who listens to the whispers. Sometimes I listen to these stories and I wonder, how do I gain that heart?
Here’s my conclusion….a heart that desires to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit, is different than the one that is willing to carry it out.
I have this saying that I recently hung up on the wall of my room that says, “Do The Hard Thing.” I read this everyday to remind myself that this is what God not only calls me to do, but has designed, me to do. Designed us to do. Way too often I do the opposite of this. I search for the easy. God gives me a message and I’m like, did you really mean that God? Give me a sign!
Ha! I’m all talk.
I even have the nerve to get frustrated and ask God, why don’t you ever use me!? And he looks at me, probably chuckling to himself, and says, I try, but you never listen! You ask me for sign after sign, and it’s never good enough for you!
When will I stop looking for signs and JUST DO THE HARD THING!
One time, a lady much wiser than me, looked me in the eye and said, “Christy if ya never do what scares you, how will you ever understand what God can do?” Darn it. Smacked in the face. She is so right. How much of Jesus’ power has yet to be unleashed within me because I fail to take a risk? My lack of complete surrender, plugs my ears to hear God’s voice and follow through on it.
When I am living in the moment, and I feel God tugging me to say or act on something, my heart begins to shrivel, my palms get all sweaty, and every excuse I could possibly think of, flashes through my brain. No that was me talking to myself, not God….they might think I’m coo coo, God. You wouldn’t want that, right?...I don’t even know that person!
I can imagine God’s frustration with me…one time I was making these excuses and many more when God asked me to talk to a stranger. Suddenly, I felt God imprint questions on my heart as a response to my excuses. He asked, “Why would I ever give you a message that is not important? Will you let your pride stand in the way forever? You’re right. You don’t know them. But you do know who they belong to, isn’t that enough?”
Goshdangit!!! I challenge and challenge and challenge myself, but when it comes down to these moments, they are the real deal. They will test whether or not, I am willing.
Do the hard thing.
Ugg. It’s scary and..well...hard. There is a very real risk of making mistakes. But I think the mistakes are worth it too. Because making mistakes is how you train your ear to be attentive. I need to not fear failure...God can use even my mistakes.
One of the hardest things is that they will come in small ways that we don’t like. He calls us to love those who may not meet the standards of our world, or to show mercy and grace to those who have hurt us, or offer sacrifices from places that cut us deep. Yet, if we really want to be like Jesus, we need to start to act like him.
And Jesus did so.
We need to step out of our comfort zones and challenge ourselves like He did. We need to grow and seek vulnerability like He did. Our love for others needs to be blinding so that nobody will doubt who we are and the one we follow. This is what my heart wants to be able to do—reflect Jesus. But I need to start acting like it.
So go do your work. Go do the hard thing.