Hearing God’s Voice
by Carl Medearis
I remember one time when Chris and I were having breakfast at our favorite little restaurant in the mountains here in Colorado. Just the two of us. It was a big splurge for us to go out those days. We were tight financially. But as we ate, we both kept getting drawn to this family of five sitting across the room. All of a sudden Chris blurted out to me, “I think we should buy their breakfast.” I immediately knew that was right. I don’t know how she “knew,” and I’m not sure how I “knew,” but we both knew.
So we got the waitress’s attention and told her to put the family’s check on ours and we’d pay for both. We meant it to be a secret, but the family found out and the mom and dad came over to our table to thank us. They ended up asking us why we wanted to pay their bill. Chris and I both said something like, “As weird as this might sound, we think God told us to.”
The wife started to cry and the man slumped down in the chair beside us. They begin to tell us their story. How they had just moved here and didn’t know anyone. That they were Christians, but had started to wonder about God and whether he even cared for them. The man said something I’ll never forget: “Today we were just taking the kids and driving up the mountain. I’d told God this morning that if something didn’t happen today, well, I don’t know, but—” His voice trailed off and he teared up.
After a moment, he continued. “Today God has spoken. He is real, and I know he does care. Thank you!”
We heard. We said a very simple yes. It cost us about thirty bucks, and it may have saved a life. At the least, it set a whole family on a path back toward God. We never saw them again.
Here are a couple of good principles to remember when it comes to hearing God’s voice:
- If it’s counterintuitive, it just might be God. I half-jokingly tell people that I wake up each day, think about what I want to do, and then try to do the opposite.
- If it’s positive, go ahead and do it. Telling someone God loves him or her is always a good idea. 100 percent of the time. Buying a stranger lunch is always a good idea. Never a bad one. Do it. Mowing the neighbor’s yard. Go ahead. Saying a kind word at the mailbox. Praying for someone who is sick. Go ahead. No need to wait. In fact, I’m guessing that God is telling you to do that.
- If you think it might be God, and it doesn’t hurt anyone, and it might help them, take a risk. Inviting your neighbor to church—can’t hurt. Taking your family on that mission trip to Africa—might cost you a lot, but it’s got to be good. Go for it.
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