A couple of months ago, I saw that our church women were doing a study around the book The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels. Even though I couldn't make it to the study, I planned on picking up the book anyway, hoping to share some of the energy I was sure was present in the study. As goes my life, I never got around to it.
At church on Sunday, Shari, "The Mrs. Pastor," as I call her, shared that the women would be starting a new study, and we can get a book even if we can't participate. I told her I was interested, and she asked if I'd ever read the last book, The Power of a Whisper. I told her that I hadn't, but it is on my short list. She offered to loan me her copy right then and there. I was so excited that I opened it up that afternoon.
I am no stranger to whispers from God, for which I am unspeakably grateful, so this book is a read-and-nod page turner for me. Even the foreword (by another person) had me practically screaming "Yes! I totally get that!" Even still, I was only a little ways in Sunday night when I read some words that stopped me in my tracks:
"And when he calls us into sacrificial roles, it is never without his caring presence or affection."
Every time God asks me to give up something, I get scared. I want to do it, but I often fail because of fear. What I forget is that God is right there by my side as I do it. (Insert light bulb above my head) As I processed this, I got an overwhelming urge to find out what God was setting me up to sacrifice when he sent me this book via Shari. Then I heard God whisper: "Hit your knees."
I got out of bed and prayed, "God, I want to know your direction for my life. I want to hear your voice. Forgive me for turning up the volume on the world and my sinful nature." Fighting to tune out my own mind telling me what I expected to hear ("take care of your house"), I finally quieted, and then He spoke: "First, repent."
I opened my mind and lifted up whatever came into it until I felt calm. Then He spoke again: "Now, get up. Get your house in order." As if anticipating my "but, that will take a long time!" response, He continued: "This may take a while. I promise I will have more for you."
Well, I will admit that I was stunned. I've received a lot of direct messages from God, but that was the clearest, most complete whisper I've ever heard. I was also relieved. God did tell me what I expected to hear, but He sealed His message with a promise. Just. For. Me.
Wow. I'm excited to know what He'll say next!