I recently heard a Rabbi argue that we have 3 voices in our heads competing constantly for our attention: our own voice, the voice of the enemy (Satan), and the still, small voice of the Father. The latter often waits patiently for those rare moments when the other two voices become quiet before speaking. And those moments are, in fact, so rare that when it happens, we know it.
“Yep. That was Him. He definitely spoke to me. I heard that still, small voice loud and clear as if it came through a megaphone.”
Still, I sometimes lapse into moments of doubt where I ask myself, “was it really him? Or was it me? Was I simply trying to affirm my own desires and ascribing them to the Father?”
There is so. much. noise.
How do we discern His voice from our own or from that of the enemy? (Some days I question which is worse, or if those two are one and the same.) 😛
The Father often tells me to do something without any clear direction or view of what the future holds and how my obedience to Him will make an impact for His Kingdom.
Like sharing my thoughts on this blog.
And because I don’t immediately see how it will make a difference, I delay and make excuses:
“No one really reads my blog anyway. And even if I do share it on Facebook, it’ll probably only get seen by a handful of people, because Facebook doesn’t show your posts to everyone at all times.”
That was me at 2 a.m. today as I struggled to fall asleep, and a voice inside my head struggled to make me get up and write this. And that’s been my attitude toward getting involved in International Ministries since I began attending church over fifteen years ago …
Until yesterday, when the Father spoke to me about a girl named Neha.
It was about ten minutes before our weekly Shabbat service at Founded in Truth Fellowship was scheduled to begin. This week, we were excited to host special guests, Perry and Carrie Culpepper, from Broken Hearts Ministries, an organization that exists to “support qualified ministry organizations around the world that provide services to orphans and widows.”
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” — James 1:27
If I’m being honest, this isn’t something I’ve ever been particularly passionate about. I grew up watching commercials on TV claiming that my donation of as little as 19 cents a day could save a child’s life. But that voice in my head (was it mine or the enemy’s?) would speak up right away:
“You don’t really know where that money is going…”
“There are plenty of orphaned children in the U.S. Why would you give to support a foreign mission when there are people in your very own backyard who need help too?”
As I walked by the long tables displaying pictures of children needing sponsorship, something happened. Among all the other faces, one girl seemed to leap right off the piece of paper and straight into my heart. There was something special about her.
I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but whatever it was, I saw it in her eyes and her smile.
Neha: a name that means “love,” and according to Wikipedia, can also be translated to mean “rain” or “eyes.”
A powerful feeling came over me, and something told me to pick up that piece of paper. But the service was about to start, and I had to join the worship team on stage. So I delayed …
Shortly after worship, Perry Culpepper took the stage and began to share his story and the mission of Broken Hearts Ministries. I listened with the same attitude I had always had toward this sort of thing:
“This all sounds nice, but I’m not so sure about my own involvement in foreign missions…”
But as his message neared to a close, that feeling hit me again. A voice inside my head (was it the Father’s?) told me to go back to the tables and pick up that piece of paper, and this time, I listened.
“There’s something about her,” I thought.
At that moment, Perry mentioned that each child’s story was written on the back of the paper, so I turned it over and began to read.
I later learned from Perry himself that Neha‘s parents had given her away because of her birth defect. And prior to receiving her operation, she never smiled.
Now she smiles all the time.
“Confirmation: Yep. That was the Father’s voice for sure.”
Yesterday I was called to do something I had never given a second thought to doing in my life. I was called to pray for and to sponsor Neha. And while I do know that prayers are always a good thing and that my monthly sponsorship will ensure she’s adequately provided for, I don’t have a clear, immediate view of the long-term impact this will make.
All I know is that the Father spoke to me, and I’m thankful. He brought Neha to my attention yesterday and called me to get involved in International Ministries for the first time ever through prayer and sponsorship — at least for now…
… we will see what the future holds… 🙂