Psalm 3:4 -- He Answers, but Do We Listen?
(Written by David when He escaped for His life from Absalom, His Son, 1 Samuel 15:13-17:22)
With a loud voice, I cried out to the LORD,
And He heard and answered me out of His holy hill. Selah [pause and calmly thing of that]
("His holy hill" was the place where the ark of the covenant resided at the time of David and later the Temple Mount. It was considered "God's throne" and the place where His glory dwelt)
Selah - pause and calmly think of a recent occurrence where I cried out to Him, and He answered me. I will do this in the form of a freewrite below.
There were a couple of things that really caused me great anxiety on Saturday afternoon. One of the things was quickly resolved, but the other thing nagged at me. I went to sleep and woke up still feeling horrible. I cried through all of church. I knew I would have 15 people invading my living room within the hour (one of whom was the person related to the anxiety). So I needed to find resolution!
I went for a walk down to the school and walked around and around and cried out to the LORD and then LISTENED to His voice (Do you realize how often we FORGET to take time to do that in our prayer time?). He heard me and HE ANSWERED me by telling me something I did not expect.
(Long story, short is that my "crying out" was because I had offered my help repeatedly to someone, and they never responded to my offers over a three year period. Then, I heard they had been helped with the same solution by someone else. I felt so rejected.)
When I listened, God said, "I did not tell you to offer help to that person, Carol. It may have made sense to offer your help, but it was not My will for you to do so."
An immediate peace flooded my soul! It was never God's will! I could walk back home to a house full of people with a renewed heart. He also reminded me that he gave me THREE names of people to help in my "listening time" only days before (and two of those three were in my living room). That person's name was not one of the names He told me, and I need to rest in that! His ways are higher than my ways.
This was a pattern in the past. I remember the wise words of one of my mentors many years ago (1984), "Carol, you are so willing to help that sometimes you get ahead of the Holy Spirit."
Listening and obeying involves obeying even when the thing we want to do is GOOD. The choice is always between GOOD, BETTER, and BEST, and while my offers of help were GOOD, it was not the BEST thing that God has for me.
I offered myself, and my help was not fully received (it was hard to see that person struggle when I had a way of helping them), but that person would even say that she was not ready and was struggling with so many things at the time I offered that it would not have sunk in anyway. The Holy Spirit's timing has been perfect for her to receive help from someone else. And that someone else is a dear friend, and she said, "God knew I needed the encouragement of her eagerness for growth, Carol" because she had come through a major rejection from another person right before that.
Father knows BEST. I do not. But He will tell me if I listen and obey!