Has anyone ever told you something you knew was true but you just didn’t want to listen because of the person who was telling you the information? Have you ever ignored an important message just because of who was relaying it? I have. In fact, I have a habit of doing this.
As I was planning to transition out of my job, my boss was very emphatic that he wanted to build some programs around me at work. He explicitly stated that he had a lot of plans for me working with him and within the organization. It was great to be valued at work, but I made it very clear that I was all in until they Lord said “go”. And I had already felt a nudge from the Lord that the transition was coming. My boss would joke with me saying “Thus saith the Lord, I know the plans I have for you…” implying that he and Jesus were having a conversation about me staying within the organization. Each time we would laugh and I’d quickly move on in my mind. I remember one particular morning we went through this routine, I shook my head and laughed at him, immediately rejecting what he had said as a silly joke not worth paying attention to. But then I felt the Lord say “don’t disdain the messenger”.
Because these words had been said in jest, I immediately dismissed them, but that didn’t make them any less true. Regardless of my future within or outside of the organization, no matter where I live or what I do, the Lord has a plan for me. God knows exactly what’s coming my way and is preparing me for that.
What messages have you been overlooking because they’ve come from an unlikely source?
God specializes at using unlikely sources to speak to his people. This is a huge theme throughout the Bible. My favorite example of this is when God used a donkey to speak to a prophet who was out of line. The Lord was angry that Balaam decided to go curse a people that God called blessed so he sent an angel in Balaam’s path. Though the prophet didn’t see the angel, his donkey did and turned aside to keep her master from harm, which resulted in Balaam hitting and beating the donkey. Numbers 22: 28-35 says:
“Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?” And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have made a fool of me. I wish I had a sword in my hand, for then I would kill you.” And the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long to this day? Is it my habit to treat you this way?” And he said, “No.”
Then the Lord opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, with his drawn sword in his hand. And he bowed down and fell on his face. And the angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to oppose you because your way is perverse before me. The donkey saw me and turned aside before me these three times. If she had not turned aside from me, surely just now I would have killed you and let her live.” Then Balaam said to the angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know that you stood in the road against me. Now therefore, if it is evil in your sight, I will turn back.” And the angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but speak only the word that I tell you.” So Balaam went on with the princes of Balak.”
While I’ve never been called out by a donkey or my dog or a random animal (thank the Lord!), there have been plenty of times when God used a person to speak to me who I didn’t want to listen to. In many instances they would be talking and I would be pretending to listen, though internally I was rolling my eyes, praying for their lecture to be over. Almost always, after they were done speaking and I had gone away from them, I would be nudged by the Holy Spirit, as if God were saying “okay, are you ready to talk about this now?”
It’s really easy to think that God isn’t speaking to us, but I’m beginning to think he’s speaking more than we realize, we’re just not in a position to always listen. I’m praying for you today that your ears will be opened and your eyes will see what the Lord wants you to. I’m asking for him to remove the callouses from our hearts that prevent us from hearing what he has to say. I believe that the Lord has something special and important to say to each of us today, and it is my hope that we are primed and ready to listen to it, no matter who delivers the word. Let’s be intentional to listen well today.