Is God listening? Do you ever feel like you’re prayers just hit the ceiling?
I have a confession to make. This week was hard. Really, really hard.
My morning starts at 5am every morning. This week was no exception. However, this week my evening schedule was packed as well.
Every… single… night… this week.
Including a family function on Friday night. I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but Friday night was just one more thing.
Now let’s talk Saturday.
Saturday started at 7am with preparing, setup, and execution of a graduation with about 600 high school seniors.
As soon as that was over, I drove 27 miles across town to get to my daughters 1st dance recital (2 hour dance recital- wow), then straight home for a going away party for my parents who are moving to their house out of state.
Next, I left that party and took Kylee to recital #2 (also 2 hours), then came home and crashed in bed.
Enter… Sunday morning.
Got up, went to church, came home, and helped my wife prepare for a Birthday party for her dad. Went to the party and came back home. Would have liked to crash in bed, but had to get things done to prepare for the upcoming week.
Hearing and Listening to God’s Direction
I try to post a valuable, well thought out and well constructed post every week on this blog.
I had good intentions. I really try to post every week on this site as long as I can do it without sacrificing quality. But sometimes, time slips away because life happens.
It is the weeks like this that can be easy to question God’s direction. You may be wondering what a busy week and posting on a blog has to do with God. Well, if you’re never heard my story, keep reading.
I had done network marketing before.
I was quasi-successful, I made money, but I did NOT want to do it again.
One reason was because I was never home. A friend was calling me about this new venture. It was about the 3rd time he had called me.
I wanted to say no, but I felt my heart stirring. I felt God’s spirit prompting me. So I did what all good Christians did, I listened to God but gave myself an out.
“Mike, I’ll listen, but I’m really not interested. Come on over and practice on me”.
Let me give you some back story, Mike was my upline in my business before and I owe much of my previous success to his support and mentorship.
In fact, during my last stint in this business I was enrolled by my brother who was enrolled by my best friend… both of who used the products for years and didn’t work the business.
I knew nothing about who my upline was or even that I might have somebody above me in the organization who had a vested interest in me succeeding.
But I could read. I could figure out the binary compensation plan. So I started building my organization and this random guy (Mike) called me out of nowhere and said “Hey, I’m Mike. You want some help?”.
That was years ago and he’s now a trusted friend.
But… that didn’t change the fact that I didn’t want to go down this road again.
So he came over, we talked, & I tried the products. I politely said “I”ll think about it and pray about it”. Then Mike left.
I thought it was over… But Then God started in on me AND my wife. He wouldn’t let it go. How many scriptures in the Bible start with that phrase… “But then God…”
He made it very clear in the next 24 hours that this was the path He wanted us to go down. In fact, we had been praying for him to show us what our next financial steps should be for over a year!
This was the first time we heard clear direction on the next chapter of our lives and believe me, it was crystal clear. More clear than anything I’ve ever heard from him before.
That immediately started a back and forth dialogue between God and myself. You see, I did not want to go down this path again. I would object and the Holy Spirit would bring scripture to me in a very powerful way.
I could not escape his direction. I didn’t want to hear this answer. I didn’t like it.
So let me go down the rabbit hole of my conversation with a God before I finally relented and moved in the direction he was telling me to.
Questioning God’s Direction
My first response was “Really God? You’ve got to be kidding me, this can’t be from you!?”.
To this He responded with scripture (Isaiah 55:8) ““For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
ME: I tried this once before and I only had moderate success. It was time away from my family with no guarantees. That’s just going to be the same old thing again.
GOD: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. (Proverbs 16:3) AND Malachi 3:10 “… see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
ME: How can this be the answer I’ve been praying for?
GOD: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. (Jeremiah 33:3)
ME: Okay, if you want me to do this, IF this is you, please make it crystal clear.
GOD: Jesus called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
“Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. (John 21:5-6)
ME: We’ve been praying for direction, it seems that this couldn’t possibly be your plan.
GOD: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
ME: It’s network marketing? How could that be my purpose?
GOD: No matter what happens, give me the Glory.
ME: So this is about your glory?
GOD: I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols. (Isaiah 42:8)
Accepting God’s Direction
ME: Okay. The truth is, if I’m honest, I just don’t want to do it. I DON’T WANT TO! (like a baby throwing a tantrum)
GOD: God’s response to me this time was to lead me to the book of Exodus.
As I read, I saw a people who were offered a promised land, flowing with milk and honey, and were too afraid and/or stubborn to go get it. So they wandered around in the wilderness for 40 years until God gave it to the next generation.
The question God was asking me was… did I want it… or not.
That last revelation from God pretty much did it for me. I refused to be the person who didn’t have enough faith to step where God was leading.
All this happened in pretty quick succession (less than 48 hours). There were other scriptures in there that were coming to my mind as well that I couldn’t shake.
The basic premise was that I did NOT want to do this business, not even a little bit. But everywhere I turned, everything I read, every time I prayed, I felt prompted to move in this direction.
If you’ve ever been led by God to do something, it’s different than anything else.
It’s not something you can shake, ignore, or just stop thinking about.
The Holy Spirit is Relentless, but Gently Relentless.
It’s like a constant whisper in your ear. You can ignore it and distract yourself, but as soon as you stop tuning it out, you can still hear the faint whisper telling you what you should do.
So I did the only thing I could, I called up Mike and signed up.
And I was excited, hopeful, and determined for a 2nd time in my life.
I prayed and I listened. Soon I was building a blog (I let him establish my plans this time instead of doing it on my own power).
Wondering if God is Listening?
However, when I have a busy week like this; when I’m overbooked, overworked, and things seem to be going slower than I thought they would, I still question God’s plan. I think it’s human nature to do that.
But when things aren’t going the way you want them too, it’s easy to feel like your prayers are not getting through. It’s easy to wonder if God is listening.
We prayed relentlessly for over a year for God to give us financial direction. We wanted to earn more so we could do more. We wanted to have purpose and not just get up every day and go through the motions.
If you’re in this situation, God is listening. It’s just that his timing is not always our timing (actually, it rarely is) and his ways are not our ways.
Maybe you’re on this site for the first time or maybe you’re a repeat visitor and you feel like you’re being prompted to get involved. And maybe, like me, you just don’t want to.
That’s okay, do it anyway. I don’t know God’s ultimate plan but I’m wise enough to just put one foot in front of the other and let Him worry about the details.
That truth is this:
If Nothing Changes, Nothing Changes.
So I don’t have a well researched, fancy, and in depth article for you today.
Heck, I probably won’t even have any pictures.
What I am sharing is a story. My story of being a busy dad and still finding time in the nooks and crannies of my life to build a sustainable work from home business.
Maybe this post will give you a peak into my life so that you know I’m just person like you, making my way through the world and building my business as best I can.
There’s too much flash in the world. Too many fakes. Too many posers (as some used to say in the ole’ days).
I could have just rolled this week into next week and sometimes I do that, but I figured why not just open up wordpress and start typing. Maybe it will be refreshing for somebody.
I’ve got some big goals. Big ambitions. Big dreams. I’ve also got a life to juggle. That’s okay.
“Dream no small dreams, for they have no power to move the hearts of men.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Maybe you’re in a similar place in your life.
You have very little time. Maybe you don’t have enough joy. Maybe you’ve been wanting and praying for financial changes but you just don’t know where to start.
But there is something inside of you that won’t die. A flame, a spark, a “burning desire” as Napoleon Hill calls it, for more.
You just know, there’s got to be more to this life than what you’re experiencing.
If that is you, maybe we’re a fit, maybe we’re not.
Maybe, just maybe this page, this random article of unplanned goodness, is an answer to a prayer you’ve been praying for quite some time.
Maybe God is listening and he’s just waiting for you to take a step of faith… one… more… time.