I have a friend who picked up the telephone recently for all of 45 seconds to let me know she could NOT talk because she is in a self-made “cocoon” for 40 days of praying, fasting, and seeking the Lord. She formed her cocoon so she would hear from God, not humans. She didn’t want to be influenced, or swayed, I suppose, by the world’s vision for her life. She wanted to hear God’s.
No matter how much I have sought the Lord in His Word and in fellowship with Him, I have allowed myself to be influenced by the opinions, advice, criticisms, questions, judgments, reactions, and responses of the world. I have so often ended up entirely confused because I listened to the voice of the Lord while simultaneously playing over and again in my mind the voices of the world – not to mention the enemy. I had one foot in the Word and one foot in the World.
I was not only straddling the fence. I was creating utter havoc. For it is impossible to please the Lord and the world at the same time. Effectively, I placed my trust partly in the Lord and partly in the world. I suppose I thought I could have the “best of both worlds”. I could not, and I did not. What I had was a mess – and all the anguish and torment that goes with it.
Today, as I scurried around to get to the beach on time with a few of Walk by Faith Ministry’s handicapped dogs, the Lord upset my plans. He told me not to go to the beach, and I whined. He told me to stay home and write. With my flesh crying out to go the beach on what turned out to be a beautiful Saturday, I chose instead to submit to the Lord. I placed my trust in Him. And I am reaping the rewards.
The writing is pouring out of me, which gives me great joy. But this does not compare with the joy of knowing that for this one day I have placed my trust in Him and sought to listen to and obey His voice rather than the voice of the world. How I longed to drive to the beach to enjoy the company of other people as I spend so much time on my own with the Lord and the numerous dogs in my care, but the Lord had the best plan.
The Lord drew me away from the voices and cares of the world for this day to engage me in intimate fellowship with Him. And, if the truth be told, the joy of so much writing and the joy of knowing I am in His will still does not come close to the greatest joy of all.