It started like any other day. I woke up at 4:30am, arrived at the gym by 5am and started my cardio by 5:05am. I want to mention I have my morning routine down to a science – it’s actually quite fascinating. I no longer have to check the clock. I just know I’m on schedule to be out the door by 7:05am. On those mornings when my routine is interrupted, usually during my quiet time, I often pray my own sun stand still prayer (Joshua 10:12-13) asking God to slow the clock down so I can sit at His feet awhile longer (and not be late for work) – He always answers.
Ok, back to my cardio session. I was moving along quite nicely when a really skinny girl (read: not athletic) started working out a few machines down from me. Seriously! I instantly started whining (in my head) saying things like why can’t I look like that and I’ve been working out every morning at 5am for six months straight and this is what I get, come on God! Just as I was about to continue my whining session the Lord whispered to my heart, “YOU are fearfully and wonderfully made.” And you know what – I am and those simple words moved me past my whining and onto a greater workout. It doesn’t always go this way. Sometimes the Lord will whisper these truths to me and I can’t seem to get it. This time I stopped feeling sorry for myself and let the words from Psalm 139:14 lift me (if you have time read the entire passage – good stuff).
Like I said, it doesn’t always go this way and it got me thinking. What if I spent a whole day listening to everything the Holy Spirit told me? Nothing is off limits. How differently would my day go? These questions sparked some immediate fears like how would I know it was God’s voice, what if it’s too overwhelming and so I prayed for discernment. I feared I would feel like a cat chasing its tail without discernment. Then I went digging for scripture about God’s voice so that I would feel confidence in recognizing His leading. This landed me in John 10:1-21, Jesus Is the Good Shepherd:
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger, in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice”
Jesus goes on in the passage to say, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” From these verses, really the entire passage, I read Jesus is the good shepherd, his sheep listen to his voice and they follow him because they know his voice. These three traits calmed my fears about this experiment because when you’re worried, scared or overwhelmed by something God has spoken to you – you can trust the good shepherd and follow Him. I truly believe we know His voice (scripture says so) but we’re stubborn so we choose to hide our disobedience behind excuses. And so I reasoned I would know when God was prompting me to do something today – whether it was texting someone or picking up trash.
The day isn’t over so I can’t technically write about a whole day following God’s voice but if the first three hours were any indication . . . I was in for a Spirit filled (read: wild or maybe adventurous) day. By 9am I had done 11 things outside of my normal routine AND I put my underwear on wrong side out which wasn’t Holy Spirit led and since I didn’t notice until I got to work I just left it. TMI? Although those 11 things weren’t planned I surprisingly felt great about the day.
I can’t wait to share what God taught me through this experience. Perhaps, I’ll extend this experiment and maybe, just maybe, it will become routine and ultimately help me live a better story in Jesus name.