I would have to imagine that one of the top questions any believer would ask themselves is perhaps, “how do I know that I’m hearing God?” And, that’s not an easy question to answer. But based on experience, I’d like to submit some advice that may help you on your journey.
As you may have gleaned by now from our blog, my wife and I are selling everything, leaving the home that we’ve known for eight years (the same home we’ve so far raised our 3 and 4 year old little boys), and setting out on a very counterculture adventure – full-time RVing around the country. I say counterculture in the sense that this is not a move that anyone who knows us personally would have foreseen. This is definitely outside of our comfort zone. And yet, we are pursuing this with all we’ve got. Why? We’ve heard God. “How do you know you’ve heard God,” you say. Thank you for asking.
So, this morning I’m having coffee at my weekly haunt, ReDefined Coffee House, quite possibly the best coffee house you’ve never been to. The barista (they all know me by name, I feel like Norm from Cheers) asks me about this upcoming RV trip. “Tell me about this!” he says with excitement. “Oh by the way, I need to introduce you to Roger.” Roger (pictured left) is an author in visiting from California who just so happens to be releasing a book next year (with a major publisher) about his adventures traveling in his converted van among other things. This guy is an adventurer. Now, I’m intrigued. We have some conversation, exchange contact info, wish each other the best, and on we go. And I think, well that was cool.
I move on to my usual table and am then met by another friend, totally unplanned and we begin talking about my upcoming adventure. But while we are talking, I notice that Roger is meeting with someone at another table. My friend and I are talking a little loud and perhaps Roger and the guy he’s meeting with seem intrigued by our conversation. And they walk over.
Roger introduces his friend, Mark Stuart (pictured right). If you were a Christian kid in the 90’s, then you undoubtedly know the band Audio Adrenaline, of which I was a huge fan (still am). Mark was the lead singer and founding member of the band. What?!?! I had an internal moment. But don’t worry, I played it cool. This story is getting awesome, right? Wait, I’m not done. Guess what Mark is up to these days? He’s traveling the country full-time in an RV. Hahahaha! I’m thinking to myself, God you’re just messing with me.
Mark is now the executive director for a ministry called Hands & Feet Project whose primary mission is taking care of orphans in Haiti. So, he’s currently traveling the country, raising funds and support for the work they are doing with these children. Mark has quite an amazing story of how he lost his voice and went from being a rock band front man to an advocate for orphans. Its certainly inspiring to see a guy using his influence and leveraging his journey to now be a voice of hope. Back to hearing God.
I tell this story to help answer the question I posed earlier. “How do I know that I’m hearing God?” The honest answer is that we don’t always know. But sometimes, we know by first exercising faith. Sometimes, God will require you to take a step forward – a step of obedience. Hearing God will often times require us to give God an opportunity to prove Himself true. And this is precisely what this journey has been like for me so far. This story is only a piece of a much larger puzzle that has been coming together since my wife and I have made the decision to pursue this adventure, or pilgrimage as we like to call it. I have no idea what, if anything will come from the chance encounter, or perhaps divine appointment that I had this morning with Roger and Mark. But there is no doubt in my mind that this was the Lord, and maybe just His way of gently letting me know that I’m hearing His voice and to keep moving forward. And for me, that’s all I need.
Wow Gary! The encounter could be the first story of the book your trip will produce. Keep the faith and God’s speed!
Gary, so excited for this next chapter of life for you and your family. So glad I got to see you this morning at ReDefined before you headed out in the RV on this adventure. God bless you guys!