Hebrews 3 says, “When you hear His voice, do not harden your heart.” For a long while, I had the misconception that if and/or when God speaks, there would be a loud, clear voice in which He’d use to communicate His desires. As I spiritually matured and actually began conversing with God on a personal level, I quickly learned that my perceived notion of how God would speak was definitely incorrect, at least in my case. I often find that when God wants to communicate with me, He does so very calmly, through my gut. When God speaks, He speaks directly to my spirit. There is a twitch of anxiety, for lack of a better term, that floats radiantly through my belly. It’s God way of telling me to stop and listen to what He is say, to get into prayer, to connect with Him through the Holy Spirit.
I first noticed it years ago, maybe even as a little boy. When something wasn’t right, I’d get that twitch in my stomach. God was communicating with me through my spirit. His way of saying “Be Alert!” or “Talk to me!” Sometimes, He would even show me the future. I would know when something would happen before it would happen. At the time, I did not understand the purpose of it, or why I had that gift. In hindsight, it was a blessing to have that gift. Tragically, I didn’t feed that gift at the time and robbed myself of God’s plan for me. But God always has a way of getting us back to where He wants us.
It’s a gift to be able to see reality through veils of deceit, distrust, and dishonesty. I’ve always had it and it’s caused me to be very cautious of my relationship with others. Upon meeting someone, I usually know instantly the character of a person. Whether or not I want to invest time or energy into building a relationship with that person. I instantly know if that person is for me or against me. God reveals that to me.
Though I have that gift, sometimes my flesh fights against it. Recently, I met someone whom I fancied to be a great person. On the outside, this young man was well put-together, has a decent job, appeared to have a great relationship with God, seemed to have stable and fruitful relationships with his friends, and the list goes on. After hanging around him, and his friends, for some time, I was impressed. Surely, I thought to myself, I could befriend this guy. However, my gift kicked in. I got that twitch in my belly. It was God warning me to not befriend this young man.
I’m ashamed to say this, but I ignored God’s voice. I ignored that sign and continued to build a friendship, or so I thought, with this person. I preluded this testimony with Hebrews 3 because I want everyone who reads this to understand the importance of taking heed to God’s voice because He never leads us down the wrong path. His every action has a divine purpose. God wants to give you life and life more abundantly. Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy you in whatever ways that he can. And he doesn’t care who he uses to do it, or how he does it.
In this case, the devil came packaged as everything I thought I wanted in a friendship. Truthfully, it’s clever of him. It’s easy to see the wrong in things that do not appeal to us, but not so easy to see in things we desire. This young man appeared to be faith-filled and to have had a genuine joy for the Lord. It was what appealed to me and made me wanted to invest into developing a friendship with him. But I grew to regret it.
When we are in tune with God through our spirit, He keeps us safe. He guides us and protects us. But we can’t blame Him when we ignore His voice for trials that we bring upon ourselves. When we are not covered by His grace, we become vulnerable to the evils of the world. We can’t blame God for hardened our own hearts and not listening to Him when He speaks to us.
Over the course of my friendship with this young man, I experienced someone very unwanted hardships. While I was going through it, I didn’t understand why, but being on the other side of it now, it’s clear. Because of my disobedience to God, my ignorance of His voice, I was made vulnerable to attacks from the enemy. And believe me, he attacked me in every way that he could.
A major struggle that I’ve dealt with for the majority of my life, until a couple of years ago, is depression. Throughout my friendship with this person, I’d somehow, slowly, very unnoticeably, slide back into a deep depression. I pulled away from my friends and family and begin spending a lot of time home, alone. I told myself it was just a phase I was going through, but really it was the enemy’s elaborate plan to separate me from my loved ones and, ultimately, God.
I noticed that I wasn’t praying like I normally do. I gave myself many excuses as to why I wasn’t. I’m too tired. I’ll pray later. I’m too busy. There were tons of excuses the enemy planted into my head, and because I wasn’t under God’s grace, I’d feed into them. The enemy is very good at deception.
Lethargy came to the forefront of my life. My days began running into one another and it felt as if I were just living, instead of being alive.
Above is an excerpt from my new book. I’ll be sharing more excerpts over the next few weeks before it’s release…. Hope you all enjoy. As always, I feel like our testimonies should be transparent to help others get through their challenges. As Christians, we all have to lift each other up and build up the Kingdom of God. Encourage others as you encourage yourself.
Until next time…