It was late one night in Lubbock, Tx several years ago. I had just dropped one of the kids in my youth group off at her house in a bad part of town. As I began to head home, I felt Holy Spirit nudge me to turn. The problem was I knew very well that change in direction would add time onto my drive and it was late. I ignored Him thinking it was just my crazy mind. A few minutes later I was on the phone with the cops after I had been hit in a hit and run on that road. Alone, a little scared, busted up car, and of course now I'd be home way later than if I had just obeyed.
You see one of my favorite messages to teach for years to students is that they hear the voice of God. That He speaks and when we obey amazing things happen. I so enjoy going through testimony after testimony of the things God has done when I or those around me have chosen to obey. Stories of victory, healing, miracles, salvation, protection, restoration and more. Each testimony simply because someone heard their Father and trusted His love enough to obey even if it didn't make much sense.
Last night I was with friends and it was starting to get late when I got a phone call from someone asking me to come help them with an issue. My immediate reaction is almost always, "I'm on my way", believing whole heartedly in the phrase "love looks like something" and the countless verses we have on loving and serving others. The very verses I'm often quoting and teaching, but as I began to say I'd be on my way, I heard Holy Spirit, "Don't Go." I had to explain that I couldn't come, that I would pray, and I would try and check on the situation the following day.
I sat back down on the couch still not really understanding why God wouldn't let me go, doubting if perhaps my flesh was just being lazy, and with that I opened up my little book of Proverbs that I'd been carrying around to of course some of the scriptures I shared here. Proverbs 3.
"My child, when the Lord God speaks to you, NEVER TAKE HIS WORDS LIGHTLY, and never be upset when He corrects you. For the Father's discipline comes only from HIS PASSIONATE LOVE AND PLEASURE FOR YOU." (Proverbs 3:11-12)
In life there will be countless times when God speaks things that don't make sense in the moment. They may go against everything your natural man would say to do, but NEVER TAKE HIS WORDS LIGHTLY. Listen for HIs guidance and even His correction because it is all out of His passionate love and pleasure for you.
For all of the testimonies where obedience created an evident fruit there are plenty where we may never know what our obedience did. Perhaps it protected me from another wreck, perhaps it allowed God to do something in someone else's life, we may never see the immediate "fruit" of our obedience to His voice, but guaranteed He never speaks in vain. Every nudge, every whisper, every correction (even when it hurts), is out of His love and desire to prosper us and not harm us, out of His good plans for our lives.