3 Questions To Ask When You're Struggling With God's Nudges
When God speaks, it's in our best interest to obey. It's not always easy though. You've probably gone through similar experiences as I - experiences in which God has spoken to you, but He's just said something you rather He didn't. In my life this has looked like quitting a full-time, financially stable job to pursue entrepreneurship before entrepreneurship was producing any income. It has meant choosing not to seek more money in business, but to be content with what I've viewed as not enough. It has meant diving into the foster care system, although most of my 30+ years of life I proclaimed that I'd probably never have children.
What I've learned about obeying the Lord, even when it's tough, is that it's always worth it. I'd even challenge that in the times that's it is hard to obey, it's the most important time to do so. The steps He's calling us to take can be some of the most pivotal ones we'll take in our walk with Jesus. These are the times that we have the opportunity to put our faith into action - showing the enemy that obedience to our Father is greater than giving into fear-filled lies. By putting our faith into action, we're acknowledging that our God is bigger than what we see and feel; and that He is capable of directing our lives (even when it makes no sense to us)!
Recently God spoke to my heart again - asking me to do what felt was unthinkable... take a sabbatical from my role as President of Relevant Entrepreneur. Honestly, I can't tell you how long He's been trying to tell me this. Because I just was not open to hearing it, I'm sure I missed some signs along the way. [palm to face]
True to His character, He's already use this experience (one I wont step fulling into until this is written and some Instagram posts are schedule) to reveal some things to me. Can I share those with you? I'd really like to because if I can help you have an easier time listening to God's difficult to hear nudges, that would make me so happy!
Here are 3 questions to ask when you're having a hard time with what God's telling you:
1. Is my pride standing in the way?
When the Lord told me it was time to take a 2 month sabbatical, all I could think about was how everything would fall apart if I left. Placing too much important on myself and my own role blinded me from the reality that God is in charge. He doesn't actually need me to accomplish anything.
If God is calling you to take a new step, are you thinking about all the ways you are not equipped? This is a less obvious form of pride. You see, following God isn't about what we bring to the table. Following God is about trusting Him. It's time that we take the focus OFF ourselves and put it ON HIM.
Proverbs 11:2 says "When pride comes, disgrace follows, but with humility comes wisdom."
2. Am I living according to the world or by God's truth?
The world will tell you to look inward for strength. God tells us that when we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11).
The world will tell you that you can only depend on yourself. God tells us to rest in Him (Matthew 11:28-30).
The world measures your success by your bank account. God tells us that wisdom and insight are more valuable than gold and silver (Proverbs 16:16).
Too often, we're swept up in the ways of the world, unintentionally believing the world's messages and forgetting God's truth. When we listen to the Lord, it's important to evaluate whose report we believe. Are we living according to the world or by God's truth? Understanding the difference is going to make it easier to discern what God is saying to you.
When the Lord told me to take a sabbatical, it made no sense to me. How could a business that the Lord Himself gave me function without me?! But then I realized that I was relying on my own strength (when I was clearly feeling pretty darn weak), I wasn't choosing rest (although I'd received MANY promptings to do so), and I was measuring the business' success by focusing on its lack.
Isaiah 55:8 says "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD."
3. Do I believe that God equips those He calls?
"[Our Lord will] equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." Hebrews 13:21
I've always used this verse to empower me to take leaps of faith. I never considered how God may equip me when He's called me to slow down...
I certainly cannot predict how God will move in my life over the next 2 months, but I'm already thankful for the ways in which He's opened my eyes.
By reading this, it's my hope that you are encouraged to follow God wherever He may lead you! Perhaps He's calling you to start a new venture, to close an old one down, to rest, to pivot...