Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Calling and The Conflict

Last night, I couldn't fall asleep.  I received a clear word about some next steps I need to take, or at least begin the preparations to take.  And then today I heard about an opportunity that would take me, geographically, away from the calling yet I feel equally compelled to investigate it. 

What do you do when you say, "Speak, for your servant is listening," hear one set of instructions, and then shortly thereafter here something different?  How do you know which path to follow?  How do you decide when you are at a fork in the road and in conflict over the direction to choose? 

This has happened to me once before.  I won't go into the details because it's a particularly long story, but sufficed to say, there was a great conflict.  My heart, my best friend, and my then boyfriend all were saying "stay!"  But something supernatural was clearly saying "go!"  I was a believer as were those in my life giving me the word to stay.  Clear words.  And words I wanted to hear.  Yet I moved.  I went.  And looking back on that time in my life, in what I believe was the most significant decision I had yet to make in my adult life, I still can't believe I went.  It was an absolute miracle.  One that every force fought against. 

And now, another fork.  One not nearly as dramatic.  Nor as spectacularly geographic.  When Samuel said to the Lord, "Speak, for your servant is listening," what the Lord said next makes my head spin and I can only imagine Samuel's reaction.  The Lord doesn't always give us a word that we want to hear or that we want to share.  But wouldn't we rather HEAR the word than ignore it? 

"See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears about it tingle...."  (I Samuel 3)

And once Samuel started listening, the Lord kept speaking, and isn't that the absolute apex, the ultimate goal?  To hear and to know.  "The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of Samuel’s words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.  The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word." (I Samuel 3 - emphasis added)

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