Just 6 months ago, I had no idea what an RV, Idaho, a 50-acre ranch and my husband quitting his job would have in common (you can read the 1st post about this 1st step here). Honestly, we were still making plans for the next two years in Southern California and none of it involved any of these things.
But God knew…
I’ve been asked this question often, “How do you know…. that God is leading you?”
Over the course of many years, there have been times when I’ve sensed the Lord leading me to something. Often it’s involved putting my own agenda aside and trusting the pull inside me to pursue something that doesn’t always make sense to me or others at the time.
My husband recently shared with me an example of understanding this question. Do you remember the feeling of being in love? We’ve all experienced this at one time or another, right? Often this feeling is difficult to describe, right? But something inside you knows it to be true.
The deeper question behind “How do you know that God is leading you?” has to do with two other questions: “Does God really speak? And if so, how do you know He’s speaking?”
First, you need to know that I grew up with a much different view of God and the Holy Spirit. I didn’t really see God and His Spirit as a personal being who loved me and wanted to connect with me. I didn’t see Him as a friend who is always available to talk with and with an understanding that His Spirit is with us wherever we go. Once I became a true believer of the Bible and Jesus and established a personal relationship with Him, it still took many years to develop a greater understanding of how the Holy Spirit works in our life. Even now, I still don’t have all the answers.
But can I tell you what I do know and what I believe with all my heart: God does speak. He does lead. And He’s very personal, just like others in the Bible have mentioned.
If you were to get the question about your child or spouse or someone you love, “How do you know… you love them?” how would you describe this? Would try to explain this deeper, internal connection that you have with this person? Maybe you share about how your spirit is drawn to them. How they’ve been there for you through the worst of times and the best of times. How it’s a demonstration of many loving actions, decisions, and extending forgiveness the way Jesus forgives. It’s something that goes much deeper, like a spiritual or internal connection to the person that’s hard to describe.
Just like I know that I love my husband (and he loves me), I know God is leading me. Directing me. And is helping me see the path and plan He has for me.
Sometimes God demonstrates this by showing me a parallel to something significant. Like the parallel between the mission He’s given me–Refine and Restore–to the same mission this ranch in Idaho has of Refining hearts and Restoring souls back to Jesus.
Sometimes God will put on my heart something that wasn’t there before, like this weird desire to go to Idaho. Then specifically Emmett. It wasn’t until later He revealed to us what His purpose was in all of these desires.
Sometimes God will give us a deep peace. Like when I decided it was time for my husband to quit his job, and he knew it too, even though we had NO IDEA what we would do. Yet, God continues to provide through my online business-ministry, through the sale of our home and possibly is leading my husband to new work in Idaho. Praise God!
So often, we will just push these off as a coincidence. We tell ourselves, It’s nothing, really. Or maybe you wonder if you’re reading into things too much.
But in my experience and through multiple passages I read in the Bible, the Spirit is still alive and active in our lives if we are willing to be still, listen, and trust + respond to His leading.
These verses sum it up perfectly: “But I say, walk by the Spirit…” (Gal. 5:16, ESV). “We can make our own plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” (Prov. 16:9, NLT) ”
In May, we prayed and believed it was time for my husband to quit his successful job in Southern California. For the next 3 months he prepared his leave from this job and we felt the strong pull to leave Southern California and our beautiful dream home, but had no idea where to go. So, we did what we felt, again, the Spirit was leading us to: purchasing a 41-ft RV trailer and large truck to pull it. At first, we thought this meant we would be living on the road and exploring new places to live. We “made our own plans” but had a sense God was leading. As a few months went by and we prepared to sell our home, it finally became clear to us that He was specifically leading us to Idaho and we began to think our RV adventure was going to be shorter lived than anticipated. Yet, we still didn’t quite understand all the pieces yet.
A few weeks before we sold our home and would begin our RV adventure around the Western states (specifically checkout out Idaho for a new home and place to live), God revealed the greater plan He had for us. We became unexpected minor partners of a 50-acre ranch in Emmett, Idaho where we will be turning into a Christian events/retreat center the way “it was always meant to be” according to the previous owners desires (they had been praying for over 2 years for a faith-driven couple to purchase their ranch while turning away multiple other offers because they weren’t the right fit). Our current plan is to head to this ranch on Wednesday, October 3rd and live in our RV trailer for an undecided amount of time while we help fix the place up. We have no idea what the next steps are in this adventure. We have glimpses and ideas. But overall, we are trusting in God who has it all figured out for us. Because remember, “We can make our own plans, but the LORD determines our steps.”
Apparently what we are doing is a bit out-of-the-box of what is normal. Some have looked at our faith as “unrealistic” or “uncharacteristic” of God. Yet, why is it so hard to believe the supernatural nature of God? I mean, isn’t God supernatural? Why is it so hard to believe that God communicates to us through His Spirit? Why is hearing God’s voice SO desired by many and yet SO many have a hard time trusting in His voice when they actually experience it?
Perhaps we’ve forgotten how to have a child-like faith in Jesus. (Matt. 18:3) To trust in the Spirit that lives inside us to those who believe in Him, who leads us to His purpose and plan for our lives.
It doesn’t have to look all grandiose like ours. It doesn’t mean you have to make a giant move without knowing exactly how it’s going to turn out.
- For you, it may mean reaching out to your neighbor who is sick and sharing with them the love of Jesus simply by delivering a meal to their house.
- It may mean homeschooling your children in this next season of life even though you never, ever thought you would because you sensed God told you to do so.
- It may mean sending your children to public school even though you never, ever thought you would because God you sensed God told you to do so.
- It may mean switching careers, moving overseas, starting a Bible study, publishing your book, loving on those that are hard to love, or attending a new church because you sense the Spirit leading you.
You don’t have to have it all figured out. It may not make sense to others.
But as you seek Him, pray, and read His Word, He will demonstrate to you what your next steps should be.
So what does an RV, Idaho, a 50-acre ranch, and my husband quitting his job have in common? God is leading And if He is leading, we are safe in His arms.
I don’t want to live my life in complacency. I don’t want to live in such a cushioned lifestyle that it becomes too hard to answer His call when He asks. I don’t want to be so comfortable that I forget how to “risk” with Jesus when the spirit leads because otherwise I may miss experiencing those miraculous “God moments” discovered only by “risking” with Him.
I know…because I trust. I know…because I love. I know…because His Word says He will lead me, and He’s proving this to be true.
Let’s trust in His lead, my friend.