I had an interesting scenario present itself today. A childhood friend of mine called me with a business proposition. In the scenario, I would have made approximately Ten Thousand Dollars to enter into a 2 month business relationship that would have cost me little more than my name on a line. It’s a long story, and doens’t bear repeating other than to simply state that there was nothing shady, my friend was just wanting to include me in a deal that we would both benefit from and it would have been an easy, profitible and smart investment.
I WANTED TO DO IT! I REALLY WANTED TO DO IT!
For those of you who know me, I try not to make rash decisions and I attempt to get clarity from God before I do anything…(particularly if it involves money or reputation). Whether you believe it or not, God often speaks pretty clearly to me… Through the process of trial and error over the years of “doing things my own way even after hearing what I believed was God’s voice” and failing miserably, I’ve learned to hear a little more clearly and discern what may be God speaking. Well, sometimes anyway…(I’ll concede that I still miss it at times…)
Well today, I heard that voice…AGAIN!!!! “Aaron, just let it go…”
Did I tell you i REALLY wanted to do this?!
So, I said to God, “Ok, let this go, is in essence saying no to Ten Grand and I have no logical reason for turning it down… So, I’m going to need a little more clarity to make sure that Pizza for breakfast isn’t talking and pretending to be God!”
As soon as I said that, the words James 1:22 flashed in my head… I have to admit I was hoping that the book of James ended with verse 21 and I could blame it on the pizza but I opened my Youversion digital bible and pulled up James chapter 1:22 Here is what I read…
New International Version (NIV)
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
I literallly laughed out loud! and thought “CRAP” at the same time!
I then had the pleasure of calling my friend…
I debated, do I tell him the truth or just let him know I was bowing out of the deal and thank him for the opportunity…
I opted for the honesty… I told him how I thought I heard from God, explained to him the whole James 1:22 thing and then let him know, I felt like I was supposed to let it go…
My friend respected it…
I feel like I reiterated yet again an understanding between me and God and a consistency in our relationship. Maybe today was a test to see if I would do what I wanted to do (for the money) or what He told me to do and trust Him in it…
Something I’ve learned from God over the years, sometimes “stuff” doesn’t have to be wrong to be wrong for ME, and sometimes something can be right for me and not for someone else (maybe even anyone else)… The proof clarity is often revealed in the pursuit i think (at least in my experience).
When you hear from God, sometimes you do what makes no sense, and sometimes you don’t do what makes perfect sense (and sometimes what He says does or doesn’t make sense…if that makes sense)… I think the key is just learning to hear that voice and respond accordingly.
People won’t always understand… (i’m glad today Greg did and respected me for it)… But even if he hadn’t… I’m the one who has to live with my decisions whether or not anyone agrees… If I get the green light, I go… If not, I don’t… (at least in theory) But I quit basing my decisions on what people will or won’t like (or understand) a long time ago… and concluded to simply follow what I believe is the leading of the Holy Spirit (and most of the time, other people do not agree with my “leading).
If I hadn’t come to that resolution to follow that leading instead of “voices”, I would have never gotten tattoos (because most in the church advised me against it-especially those I respected) I would have never become “the tattooed preacher”, I would have never had the unique platform to minister into some of the peoples lives that I have who weren’t interested in a “suit”…and I would have never connected with many of you reading this… As contrary as it may have seemed to most of those speaking into my life, I knew that what I was doing was right for me… even though many christians had a hard time swallowing my lack of conformation…The truth of the matter is, You just never know what God is doing in an individuals life or why…Sometimes God will do exactly opposite of what anyone expects and has a specific purpose for it…
Considering all of this, I leave you with a challenge…
New International Version (NIV)
18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
It’s human nature to put too much stock into our own opinions/perspectives and disallow another persons individuality or even ability to hear God for what is right for “them”… (sometimes to the detriment of what God may be trying to work in people or teach them through the experience) But where the rubber meets the road, right or wrong, pass of fail, the ball is in their court to learn life lessons and to hear God for themself.
As hard as it is for Christians, (who I’ve heard already know everything…)
I would encourage you to let them… and let God be God.