This week I had a speaking engagement in the North Phoenix/Scottsdale area. I had to leave early in the morning during rush-hour traffic. Although I had a general idea of how to get there, I put the address in Apple Maps on my phone.
As I drove out of my neighborhood, it gave me directions to take a different freeway. I figured there must have been a lot of traffic on the familiar route I had intended to take, so I followed the GPS.
About 30 minutes into the drive it said, “Would you like to save 13 minutes and take an alternate route?” Yes, please!
It had me exit the freeway and then take a highway going the opposite direction of where I was headed. I started to doubt my decision: How on earth is this going to save time? I’m going the wrong way. This doesn’t seem right. But I continued following the directions.
As I drove on, I realized that I would in fact end up where I needed to go! What seemed wrong and felt uncomfortable was actually right and a better way to get there. There was virtually no traffic and it was a beautiful scenic drive. It was such a blessing!
God is sometimes like this, isn’t He? He’ll ask us to do something out of our comfort zone. He’ll ask us to take a route that doesn’t seem like it’s going where we want to go.
But often the detour is a blessing! It might get us there sooner or allow us to experience something we would have missed had we followed our own directions.
Had I gone my own way that morning, I would have sat in stop and go traffic the entire way, which probably would have made me late and stressed, not a good combo before a speaking engagement! I had such a peaceful drive and experienced the beautiful sunrise across the desert mountains, all because I listened to the GPS. I followed instead of trying to take the lead.
So friends, be open to God’s directions! Let’s listen to His voice. The next time God asks you to do something that seems scary or uncomfortable, listen to Him. Trust that He’s taking you where you need to go, even if you’re unsure. Follow Him and enjoy the journey. You’re sure to see something beautiful, I just know it!
If you’re wondering how to listen to God’s voice, I love 1 Kings 19:1-12.
A little bit of context: the prophet Elijah is on the run. He had just defeated the false prophets of Baal when Jezebel makes a threat to kill him. Exhausted and afraid, he runs away.
God knows Elijah is depleted and He provides for his physical needs, allowing him to eat and sleep soundly in a cave.
Then God says to Elijah:
“ ‘Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
God spoke to Elijah in a still small voice. Or other translations say “a gentle whisper.”
So don’t expect for God to shout at you, He most often speaks in whispers. The world’s noisiness can easily drown Him out, that’s why it’s so important for us to regularly be still and quiet so we can hear Him.