The Voice of God
By Michelle Wallace, Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
When I was very young I lived in total rebellion. There were drugs, alcohol, promiscuity; it’s really a miracle I survived. I moved from Indiana to Dallas to escape my troubles and found there’s no where you can run to escape from yourself. One night I had a dream. In the dream I was in a car crash. I didn’t see myself die but somehow I knew I had died. The dream was vivid and real. I woke up in a cold sweat, sat bolt upright in bed and heard these words, “Follow Me and I will make you fruitful and multiply you. If you don’t, this will be your end.” Again, the picture of the red car flashed before my eyes.
Somehow I knew the voice had to be God. I ran to the living room and found a Bible that I received as a child during a week long camp. My mom had dropped me there, likely for the free childcare. It was the only real exposure I had to God or His word. The Bible had never been cracked. But this night I would fling it open to Deuteronomy Chapter 8. There, on the page, I read some of the same words I’d heard in my bed. “All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers.” The chapter went on to describe the fruit. “God is about to bring you into a good land, a land with brooks and rivers, springs and lakes, streams out of the hills and through the valleys. It’s a land of wheat and barley, of vines and figs and pomegranates, of olives, oil, and honey. It’s land where you’ll never go hungry—always food on the table and a roof over your head. It’s a land where you’ll get iron out of rocks and mine copper from the hills. After a meal, satisfied, bless God, your God, for the good land he has given you.”
God knew I would need to remain thankful or my heart would turn away from Him. He warned that once I became prosperous I would have a tendency to turn away from Him and think that somehow this was all accomplished by my own hands.
The chapter closes with the same warning I heard in the dream. “It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish.” To perish means to die before your time. The Message says it this way: If you forget, forget God, your God, and start taking up with other gods, serving and worshiping them, I’m on record right now as giving you firm warning: that will be the end of you; I mean it—destruction.
I always tell people, at the time I didn’t really understand what God meant when He said, “I will make you fruitful.” But, fruit sounded better than dead. So the next morning I asked a co-worker if they knew of a church where I could go that weekend. She told me about a Bible Church in the area.
On the way home from work that day I heard another voice. This one said, “Why would the God of all the universe come and speak to someone as lowly and messed up as you?” In that moment I began to question. Maybe I ate tacos too late the night before. Of course it wasn’t God. I agreed with the voice, if there was a God, why would He want to have anything to do with me?
I pulled into my driveway, jumped out of my car and grabbed the mail. In a small white envelope addressed to me, with no return, was a clipping of a Helen Steiner Rice poem. It read: Life is a garden, good friends are the flowers. And times spent together life’s happiest hours. And friendship, life flowers, blooms ever more fair, when carefully tended by dear friends who care.
Then set apart in parenthesis in the center of the poem I read these words: “And if you trust your dreaming, your faith will make it true…And if you listen with your heart, He’ll come and talk to you…
I’m not gonna lie, I think in that moment I used an explicative and flung the poem along with the white envelope before reading the last stanza which said: If my ‘borrowed words of truth’ in some way touch your heart, then I am deeply thankful to have had a little part in sharing these God given lines, and I hope you’ll share them too, with family, friends, and loved ones, and all those dear to you.
It’s been more than 25 years since that day. Now, I recognize all the voices in the story. The Lord really was trying to save my scrawny neck from self destruction when He said, “Follow Me.” The enemy was playing off my low self worth and doubt when he asked why God would ever speak to someone like me. My own voice agreed with the enemy. However, that wasn’t the final word. God would use the voice of a poet to confirm He was speaking.
So many voices vie for our attention. I’ve learned to discern now, God’s voice, and the voice of the enemy from my own voice. Here’s a simple way to know God’s voice. Does it bring life? Is the end result of the words for edification and good? God will say, I hold before you life and death. Then He’ll gently give the answer…choose life. The enemy will always come to steal the word that God brings to your heart. His words will bring doubt, confusion and ultimately they speak the opposite of life, they speak death.
Sometimes, I still catch myself agreeing with the voice of the enemy. However, today, I know God, I know His word. I remind the devil he’s a liar, and I tell him how much my God loves me.
Connect with Michelle through www.handoftheking.com.