“I think you should be a preacher,” a fellow parishioner kindly remarked. But how would he know?
I heard the same thing from God when I was about twelve years old, but years of running had clouded his voice. After all, can a middle schooler really discern God’s plan? When a co-worker made the same statement, I began to wonder if God was telling others what I wasn’t hearing. After all, this particular person didn’t know my present situation or past history. Eventually, I determined they were right, but had I not listened I may have missed God’s plan.
Naaman-commander of an Aramean army, encountered a similar situation. Though he held an important position, he was a leper. It took a young captive girl from the land of Israel to inform him of God’s plan. To his credit, he listened and visited the prophet she mentioned, but when Elisha told him to go wash in the dirty Jordan River to be cleansed, he became enraged and stalked away. Fortunately, some of his friends intervened. But his officers tried to reason with him and said, “Sir, if the prophet had told you to do something very difficult, wouldn’t you have done it...‘Go and wash and be cured!’” (II Kings 5:13 NLT)
God speaks primarily through his Word and the accompanying guidance of the Holy Spirit, but he also uses people. Had I not listened, I may have never been a preacher. Had Naaman not listened, he may have died a leper. We also might be the one God desires to use as a mouthpiece to someone else. Being used this way requires involvement in other’s lives so we can observe God’s workings. An idle instrument is of little value. Don’t discount spiritual advice from others, and let God use you to assist others in discovering his will.
Prayer: Thank You eternal God for having an individual plan for our lives and for using us in Your service. Help us listen when You speak Your will through others, and use us as Your megaphone to assist others in discovering what we already have.
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