Friday, May 11, 2007

Following your first “Mind”…Part one.

“and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;”
Rev 4:1

I promised that I would share the circumstances of my cousin’s death and in keeping with that here goes.

Since his death is still under investigation, I won’t release any major details but it can be summed up into one sentence: He missed the voice of G-d. You see, G-d had given him a warning about some people he had met when he first moved to VA. No one knows where he had met them—could’ve been a concert, church, one of the organizations he was involved with. The how or the where is null and void at this point. But he did tell his mother that he wouldn’t be hanging around them anymore because there was something off and shady about them. That knowledge was his warning from G-d. He died while with those people and they left him. They didn’t take him to the hospital or see to his immediate care. They left him. I think that’s one of the things that hurts most is the indifference to his life. But I know that G-d will reveal all and give us all peace on that. I don’t wish them harm or hurt, they too are somebody’s children and we all make mistakes. Sometimes they cost others their lives or even our own. There is a lesson from it all.

In the midst of conversations after the fact, we realized that he missed his warning. He reasoned it away because they shared a common interest and he didn’t think that it would be a big deal to go this one last time. I often wonder if he knew after he got in the car with them or if he realized at some point too late in the night, or in hindsight he realized that G-d had indeed spoken to him. Either way, now it’s just a detail because he didn’t have an opportunity to correct it.

Now for me personally, I can’t count the times I have missed it. Funny thing is that we always tend to realize that G-d had given us directions after we have missed Him. Shoot, I’m in some stuff right now that is a backlash to missing the voice of G-d! Back then, it was unfamiliar to me and so as a back up he even sent people to tell me so I really had no excuse. But I thought those people were some haters and they just wanted to see me unhappy. I reasoned that they needed to mind their own business and they were jealous and especially because some of these folks didn’t even know me that well! They didn’t know what was going on in my life day to day and all the good things I was experiencing. I ignored them. And the voice, well I thought that was fear. (Yeah, I was that deluded). And umm..real haters seek your literal death--that's what the story of Saul and David or the Philistines and the Israelites show us. Folk that are just talking are just envious--They don't know all that we go through to get what we have. They think the sun was always shining on us. They don't know about the tears and the struggles and the times we thought we couldn't take another day. Instead of talking about them,I have learned to pray for them. You can't want what another has without going through some pain. I also pray for myself because at some point I sowed that seed against someone else and they are just carrying out my harvest. They weren't haters, they were my sign. But I digress.
About a year and a half later I wondered about all of those people’s warnings and the “voice” itself. But I continued to shake it off—3 years into it, I KNEW that I had missed it. But it was too late and pride wouldn’t let me walk away. I was determined to stick it out. Ask me today and I could almost tell you the day and time the voice spoke. In hindsight the voice was that clear now. Sadly most people would weep if I told them the FULL story. I tried last year to share the full story but found that it was not only too embarrassing but also too painful to recount all the mess I had allowed myself to partake of as a result of missing that voice.One day I will fill-in the blanks to whole thing when I'm on the other side of it.

I missed it again more recently but I am so grateful that G-d is merciful and is allowing me the grace to fix myself and to get back to the place I belong. That’s where I implemented the Isaiah 7:11 plan. I ask Him for a sign. G-d always follows His word with a sign. No matter what, I ask for a sign. Never fails. I can’t count the number of times I wished I could do a “do over” so I could extricate myself from things after ward. I thank G-d for His deliverance in the right time and in the right season but I can skip all of that if I get it the first time . I thank Him because I do have the opportunity to get out and start all over again. So often, like my cousin, some don’t. I remember viewing a girl on O.prah that had been burned by her husband and she said in hindsight she knew G-d had told her to go, but she did not. She too missed her sign. Escaping with her life and a constant reminder of that every day of her life. There was a pastor some years ago here in Denver that died in a plane crash whose wife said he told her he felt like he should have canceled his trip, but he did not want to disappoint the people who he was going to meet with. He too missed his sign.
If there is one thing that I want to teach in ministry, it is how important recognizing and following the voice of G-d the first time. I tell my children that being obedient in the things I say, will teach them to be obedient in hearing the voice of G-d later. Some times I will only get the chance to tell them something one time and I want them to be obedient so that they never question it. What the enemy does is give us a rebellious spirit in the seemingly minor things so that he can’t get us to also rebel against something that G-d would say. Ignoring what seems to be minor rules here and there can set us up for that. We get to doing things our way and we ignore the set order established. Rebellion is a seed and we reap in other areas of our lives and wonder why it happens. If we rebel it often shows up in our children. They tend to be our barometer. Those harvests take no time to show up either. To be continued...