Being a Christian, I choose to go the way God leads me and seek His advice when it comes to making decisions in my life–major and minor. Confirmation is a way He lets me know I’m on the right path. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that term, it’s when God shows or tells you something more than once that directly relates to something you are going through. An example would be if you feel you are struggling with anger in your life, and you hear a scripture pertaining to that subject at church, on the radio, AND from a friend during a short period of time. This is a tool I’ve become familiar with using ever since my FIRST confirmation experience.
My family was in the process of buying a house, and it seemed like everything was going wrong and we might not get the home we’d been praying for, visiting, and planning our futures in. On a particularly stressful day, I asked God to help me find an encouraging scripture for us that would let us know everything would be alright and that the house was indeed ours. The answer to my question soon became my favorite scripture to date. If you remember, I mentioned it in my Speechless blog last week. I shared it with my mom and I was so proud of myself because it was the first time I had taken it upon myself to FIND an answer in the huge bible my she had given me months before. She even told one of her friends about it and laughed at how I’d done it. I believe it was the day after when I was watching a televised sermon and the pastor mentioned that SAME scripture. I was so excited and kind of blown away because that had never happened to me before! My mom shared what that meant and how God will confirm things so that you KNOW that you know it’s from Him.
The latest example of confirmation happened for me after writing my last blog. The next day, I came across my good friend’s Know God Know Love site in his “Letting Love Go” series. Wouldn’t you know, “my” scripture was in the writer’s blog for that lesson! But that’s not even the most amazing thing.
I’m not sure if any of you are familiar with “Our Daily Bread“. It’s a book of daily lessons you follow throughout the year. It has a scripture and an application to modern life. On Thursday–the day I wrote Speechless–I accidentally read Friday’s lesson. When I talked to my boyfriend Jerrell on Friday, he asked me if I had read the lesson for Thursday because it applied exactly to the blog I had written. So I read Thursday’s lesson later on and smiled out loud. The title for July 23rd was “Ready to Speak”. If that doesn’t say enough, I’ll give you a key phrase in the lesson that truly touched me.
The apostle Peter encouraged his readers to make a commitment to stand up for Jesus, especially during extreme suffering. This commitment meant not remaining speechless when circumstances warranted them to defend their faith. He said, “Always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).
Whoa, right?! Part of me wished I had read that lesson on the day I had written my blog. However, I’m so glad I read it after the fact so that I could truly know that God was a significant part of writing it with me. Even giving me the title that fit so appropriately with the story that followed. This is how I know God spoke TO me and THROUGH me. It’s one of the many reasons I follow and believe in Him. I always figured I was a person to tell anyone why I believed and not hesitate to give God the glory. After a deeper look into my life, I discovered I was hiding so much of myself and missing the opportunity to share. To connect with others.
I encourage you to ask for God’s voice and listen to his reply. There will be times that you refuse to hear Him because what He’s saying doesn’t fit into YOUR desires. But so many other times–if you are walking in accordance to His will–you will hear exactly what you wanted to. I’ll give you a prime example.
Without being too personal–because there are two people that this story involves–I can share one of my greatest needs for confirmation. It has to do with the man I’m going to marry.
With dreamy eyes and expectation, I’ve asked other women in my situation: “How did you know he was the one?” Seriously. Marriage is a BIG deal! I’ve heard many teachings on this subject–even with the Chemistry series going on at my church for the young adults–about staying close to God, finding His purpose for you, and passionately seeking Him so that when you look up one day, your “person” will be right there in front of you. But how do you know besides just “knowing”? I asked God.
Talking with my ladies at small group, I brought this subject up to them because I was in the process of falling for Jerrell. This was back in November and in the beginning stages of our friendship. One of them told me about a friend of hers who was asking God about a job opportunity and didn’t know if he should take it. He prayed for God to surround him with red cars if this was the right choice. Not too long after, he was surrounded by red cars at a red light. Is that a sign or what?! I used that same concept and prayed for God to present “my” scripture to me if this guy I liked was the one I was supposed to marry.
Just to interject for a second, I’m SO glad that the pastor brought something up at service during our relationship series. Someone asked when was the right age to start dating. I’ve heard answers like: “When you feel you’re capable of dealing with the feelings that are involved in something that serious.” “When you’re 16 yrs old.” “If you find someone who’s compatible with you.” What the pastor said–and what I feel is appropriate–is when you feel God is preparing you for MARRIAGE. When you’re seriously seeking that man or woman you will be linked up with for the rest of your life. Dating is not to be taken lightly. That’s a major reason why I stopped dating my sophomore year of high school.
I promised myself that the next man I dated would be my husband. I meant it. And it sucked sometimes. We’re meant to be loved and affectionate and there are simple things like hormones that remind you of that fact on a daily basis. However, I’m so extremely glad I made that decision because of where I am in my walk right now and how God has answered all of my prayers and MORE when it came to bringing my husband along.
Back to the subject. 😉
After asking God to bring me that scripture, I was hoping that maybe possibly somehow, it would be Jerrell’s favorite scripture too. Not even close. Honestly, I felt kind of bummed out and was prepared to let him go gently because I thought it wasn’t God’s will for us to be together. Tisk tisk. How fast we lose our faith.
At my next small group meeting, I was pleasantly surprised when we opened our discussion guide and there it was. “My” scripture! I smiled inside, but didn’t say anything because I was still processing what this meant. Within the following weeks, I heard that scripture during service in the main message and at a leader’s retreat during praise and worship. There have been more examples of how God has confirmed that he is “the one” for me, but we’d be here for days if I told you all of them.
What I’m saying is not to be afraid to ask God to show you things over and over so that you KNOW that you know it’s His voice you hear. It’s like trying on a dress that you know looks gorgeous on you , but asking more than one person what they think about it to see if they agree. I know that’s a lame-o example, but we seek approval from so many people in order to be validated. Let God do that. His answer is the only one that matters in the end.
For a biblical story that highlights this concept, please take a look at Gideon. Go ahead, “put out the fleece”.
I pray these words find you well.
[If you have any questions about what I’ve said or what certain things mean, please feel free to drop a line.]