“How do I know if God is saying ‘Yes’?” is a question I had for years and hear often from others. For me, the answer has come from one of my key Inheritance Scriptures, Isaiah 30. The first words that God highlighted to me in this passage were in verse 21: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’….” I spent a great deal of time meditating on that phrase as my life continued to move from one leap of faith to the next, as I trusted His promise that I would hear His guiding Voice.
But it wasn’t until several months after He initially highlighted this truth that I began to comprehend the second half of the verse: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it’, whenever you turn to the right hand or the left.” How could I have missed that?
Based on relationally walking with Him, I have God’s permission to continue to move forward at all times, responding to the next direction He initiates. If I veer off to one side or the other, then He will use His voice to give me the course correction that I need. I cooperate with Him by maintaining a sensitive ear in my worship, meditation, and prayers, but I shouldn’t need five prophetic words, two angelic appearances, and a note in a bottle for confirmation!
When I get off track, He has promised to give a shout: “Hey, Al! Sweetheart…not that way. Come over here.” Sometimes His voice comes through circumstances that He allows—the very ones that I often see as obstacles. He loves to use these circumstances as occasions to show me a “…more excellent way” (I Corinthians 12:31). I think I give God a great deal of amusement as I storm the heavens attempting to overcome something that He is happily waiting for me to realize is simply the redirection that I need. And if I’m really being thick, He’ll send along a friend (who usually knows nothing about my situation) to speak words of life on His behalf. Often, they will use familiar words or even exact phrases from my times of prayer to signal from God, “Pay attention, Allison. This is Me.”
Times like that make me feel loved, safe, and secure—not ashamed. I have no plans or expectations to be right 100% of the time. And, while I certainly don’t want to put the job of correcting my course on my friends or on prophetic ministers, I remain willing to take risks, because I know the weight of being on target isn’t all on me. I sincerely want to keep a sensitive ear so that, when God nudges me to the left or to the right, I shift easily. But I can be at rest in the knowledge that, if I miss it, He is faithful to speak loud and clear. And if I really miss it, then I will still have the experience of His grace to illuminate and fill my vulnerable places. There’s something so incredibly humbling and profound about God’s kindness on your most idiotic days. It’s not my preferred method of maturity, but it’s probably the one I am most grateful for.
Because God’s words prepare and illuminate a way for us
to walk in (Psalm 119:105), He wants us to confidently
step forward into the opportunities that He brings.
It is part of becoming a mature son or daughter of God to not need constant affirmation or confirmation—but to instead demonstrate trust in the nature of God for us and the permission He has given us to explore the Kingdom. We love being loved by Him and loving Him in return, so it is our good pleasure to go where He is going, stop when He is stopping, and run when He is running. Course corrections are part of any journey; we can expect and embrace them as the acts of love that they are. The rest of the time, we travel in the peace of His dependability to keep us on track as needed.
–An excerpt from Joyful Intentionality by Allison Bown