Earlier this week I was driving through town at night headed to CCF Devotionals & Dinner. I was in a congested part of town, when I see cars slowing in front of me. Then, I realized they were slowing down for an older lady, walking toward traffic, on the edge of the road (not off the road, shoulder area, but ON the road). The road was so narrow, that each driver had to move over into the oncoming traffic to avoid hitting her. She was carrying a bag of groceries, and a large over the shoulder big purse. As I passed by, I thought to myself, “Why is she waking ON THE ROAD? Why doesn’t she move over further to the shoulder OFF THE ROAD? That old lady is gonna get hit by a car! What an idiot! Somebody ought to help or say something to her. What grocery store is around here that she got that loaf of bread she’s caring? She’s got to be somebody’s grandma, why didn’t her family give her a ride? Where was I going…and what time am I suppose to be there? Boy oh boy, that was a crazy old woman walking in the dark on the side of the road.”Now all these thoughts happened in my mind in a matter of maybe 2 seconds (a couple of those thoughts are the curse of living with ADD: Attention Deficit Disorder.). But then, as I was about a block or so away from the “crazy old woman walking in the dark on the side of the road”, I heard a similar voice in my head say, “Turn around and offer that lady a ride”. Long story made short, after another block of arguing going on in my head, I turned around and gave the lady a ride…to her AA meeting. She was a 25 year sober recovering alcoholic. I was truly blessed to have met and talked with this lady for those 12 minutes she was in my car.
So, what’s my point?
In discerning God’s vision or purpose for our lives, in our preparation to pray a Sun Stand Still prayer like is found in Joshua 10:12-14;
12 On the day the LORD gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the LORD in the presence of Israel:
“Sun, stand still over Gibeon,
and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.”
13 So the sun stood still,
and the moon stopped,
till the nation avenged itself on[a] its enemies,
as it is written in the Book of Jashar.
The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. 14 There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the LORD listened to a human being. Surely the LORD was fighting for Israel!
How do we know if it’s God speaking to us or it’s our inner conscience? In other words, if we were to call in the experts to verify that our vision is authentic, what would the “real thing’ look like?
Here are 4 qualities of True Vision or Purpose from God:
1) The Vision or Purpose will be Biblically Based
a. Joshua’s Vision or Purpose came from an earlier conversation with God in Joshua 1:2-5.
2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
God told him what God was going to do & what God wanted Joshua to do. IT DON'T GET ANY PLANER THAN THIS. Keep in mind that all the “how to do it” was not as clearly defined at this point…but make no doubt…the WHAT TO DO was very clear.
b. For us it today, it means that the Vision or Purpose will be revealed through Biblically based prayers, reading and marinating in the scriptures (some people call this meditating on the scriptures you’ve read), worship, and life experiences.
2) The Vision or Purpose will be Affirmed by key people
a. These people want God’s Vision or Purpose for your life as much or more than what you may want it.
3) The Vision or Purpose will be focused on Jesus
a. What I mean here is that you won’t be the focus of the Vision or Purpose, Jesus (AKA: God) will be
4) The Vision or Purpose will be tied to/bound to you passions, gifts, & life experiences
a. God won’t waste your passions, gifts & life experiences (even if the life experiences were not pleasant ones). God Vision or Purpose will require you to use those passions & gifts, and life experiences to be able to accomplish the great things God is calling you to do or be.
So, was the voice in my head telling me to turn back and give a ride to the “crazy old woman walking in the dark on the side of the road”, God? It certainly sounded a whole lot like the earlier voice in my head that called her and “idiot”. I think the second voice was definitely God.
And I am thankful that I was able to distinguish between the two voices that sounded the same… or I would have missed a great blessing as God blessed another person through my obedience.