“You called me a moron.”
“I did what?”
Hmm, this was an auspicious beginning. I had phoned a friend to ask for his help in writing this article. You see, the topic I’m supposed to write about – how do you know you’re hearing the voice of the Lord? – is one that, for me, often involves forgetfulness.
One of my giftings is prophecy. As a prophet, I’ll often have a specific word for people around me – friends, strangers, you name it. This can make life interesting, most definitely. The question I get most often from people is: “how are you sure you’re hearing the Lord’s voice?”
Excellent question. My honest answer? I’m never sure, not 100% certain, and I don’t believe I can be. I believe that part of following Christ, including the process of walking out our giftings, is walking in faith. Sometimes, you just have to try and know that the God who loves all of us will make up for your lack.
And, it’s a learning process. The more you try, the more you learn how He works with you specifically.
And finally, confirmation helps. When the Body tells you that what you’ve said to them really made a difference, you start to believe that maybe you’re doing something right. Praise God.
So back to my friend, the moron. I called to ask him if I had ever given him a word that impacted his life, a word I had claimed was from the Lord and that he, in turn, believed was from our Father. He replied: “yes, you called me a moron.”
I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. He elaborated: “last fall I called to tell you I was dropping out of the race (he was running for Congress in California). I was fed up, tired, mad at God, and wanted a sign. I poured out my fears to you as I was driving back from the California Republican Convention. I also mentioned that a party operator – a campaign manager named Rachel – had been looking for me at the Convention but we never found each other.”
The next day my friend took a much-needed day off to play at Disneyland. At the end of a fun-filled day he made his way to the fireworks display at the Castle. He hadn’t sat down for more than a minute when someone shoved their hand in his face and said: “Hello Merlin, my name is Rachel; I’ve been looking for you.”
Merlin was flabbergasted. He exchanged pleasantries with her and said they’d touch base later. The day after Disneyland he phoned me again, telling me he had finally decided to pull out because God had not spoken. I promptly responded with, “you’re a moron” (at least, according to him – I have absolutely NO recollection of any of this.).
“What?” he asked.
According to Merlin, here’s how I responded: “Merlin, obviously God heard you and gave you a sign. How many people find the exact person they’re looking for in a crowd of thousands? How many want-to-be, totally green, unfunded Congressmen have a veteran campaign manager seek them out? Give me a break, friend. I believe the Lord is telling you quite clearly: ‘I have called you to this race. Do not give up.’”
And he didn’t give up. He went on to knock on over 24,000 doors and raise $45,000, giving 10% to local charities. He ran one of the most innovative, cost-effective races in California history. He lost the race, but he made a huge impact on both the Party and the people in his district. In the process, his own life was changed. He learned – in a real, tangible way – how to not give up. He learned how to walk the path Jesus did: how to approach people who literally hate you (he actually received emailed death threats) and speak the truth from his heart. He witnessed to God’s goodness and glory in an arena that rarely sees the light of Christ proclaimed. In these and many other ways, he was 100% victorious.
And today he told me it’s because of a word I gave him that I can’t remember. Did that word come from me? Heck no! How do I know when it’s the Holy Spirit speaking through me? When I can’t remember what I’ve just said! That’s one way…when my friends reference conversations we’ve had that have clearly impacted them significantly that I can not remember at all. I often find myself saying: “I said that?” They look at me like I’m crazy. But I know that this is a really cool, really good thing that the Holy Spirit does, especially for prophets. It’s one way He makes sure it’s all about Him and not about me (us). The more we empty ourselves, the more we get ourselves out of the way, the more room He has to move.