What if you believed hearing from God could actually be fun? This beckons the question – do you believe God can speak to you? No, I don’t mean just through his Word through interpretation of Scripture, but instead, like Moses, Abraham, and Paul, who heard His voice. If He does still speak to us today, then how? When? Where? Maybe you are like me. I needed to put these questions to the test.
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I wanted to see Sedona Red Rocks, however, the day started out with clouds and light rain, not a perfect day for sight-seeing. Wavering on where to go or what to do, Peggy, my wife, got this brilliant notion that it would be fun to tune into spontaneous flow and ask God where to go. By flow, I mean she wanted God to speak directly through his spirit to our spirits, to lead us where he wanted us to go without a predefined plan or a GPS. Proverbs 3:5-6 says “With all your heart rely on him to guide you and …. become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go.” This may not make any human sense at first because to most of us, natural things are more real than the supernatural. But as you will see, if you shut out all distractions and put your spirit first, it becomes easier to be led by the Spirit of God.
At first, I resisted. “Are you kidding!?”, I thought, not taking Peggy seriously. Turn off the GPS? Who knows where we might end up? For miles, you could see nothing but prairie, grasslands, desert and giant 5-ton saguaro cacti standing 40-feet tall like sentinels.
Contrary to her whims, I just wanted to see Sedona.
“Let’s ask God where he wants us to go,” Peggy said. “Uh-huh,” I replied unenthusiastically, not taking the exercise too seriously, and then returned to looking out the window as she steered the car up interstate highway 17 at 75 miles per hour with the windows and roof open in our luxury rental car, a 2019 Jaguar.
When we booked the rental, we asked for an economy car, but apparently, God had already gone ahead and arranged for an upgrade. “Expect Upgrades” Peggy heard in a revelation during a business trip to Brazil in October of 2018. And so, we got upgraded from a no-frills low budget vehicle to a luxury Jaguar at no additional cost!!
As the car sped along with windows down and the sunroof open, and miles and miles of desert and giant saguaro cacti, I started to fall into a transitional state between wakefulness and sleep. As I began to nod, I began to form a mental image of hundreds to thousands of cacti with their arms raised towards heaven worshiping their creator. Psalm 148:5 says “Let all of creation erupt with praise to God.”
A desert is a place of solitude, silence and stillness. Perhaps, this is why Jesus regularly withdrew into the desert, to hear God. I knew, too, that I had to get alone in my mind, free of unrelenting chatter and noise, and become still if I was to hear God and come into unity with Peggy and God’s Spirit.
Suddenly I was startled from my half-awake, half-asleep state. “Bill, I’m serious, let’s ask God where He wants us to go. Ask Him for an exit number and let’s see if we get the same one as an exercise in hearing in Unity.” “What!?” I said half dazed. “What exit number did you hear God speak?” This wasn’t resonating with me. Besides, how could God or why would God bother to tell us which exit to take? How would we get to where we wanted to go without a road map or GPS, I reasoned?
“Bill, don’t you believe it?” “C’mon,” she said pleadingly. I tried to avoid the question, although I admit, I do believe God can do anything. Reminded of the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to me through faith (Ephesians 1:19), I knew this was true, but this seemed a might bit trivial. Didn’t God have more important things to do?
Trying to brush off the question I humored Peggy and mumbled “Um, okay, exit 101,” and went back to looking out the window. As I set my reclining seat further back, I folded my arms and closed my eyes.
“You don’t believe it, do you?” she asked as if it were a statement of fact. But I reasoned, what person in their right mind would turn off their GPS to listen to God for driving directions? This was totally out of my comfort zone. Admittedly, I also had some bedfellows tag along for the ride – doubt, fear, and unbelief.
We were one of just a couple of vehicles on a long stretch of highway when a car passed us in the passing lane. “Wow, did you see that license plate!?” Peggy asked excitedly. “It said SKPTIC!!!” “No, I didn’t see it, I’m not paying attention.” Peggy gunned the car, switching lanes in order to show me the license plate. Now traveling at more than 75 miles an hour, I was startled out of my comfort zone. “Whoa! Slow down” I said. “Don’t ride this guy’s tail!”. “It’s okay,” she said, not concerned in the least. “Do you see it now?” Irritated, I said, “no, my vision is blurry.” I just didn’t want to admit to having seen it. How uncanny, that the God of the entire Universe (with more important things to do, I reasoned) would send precisely at that moment, a passing car with the license plate that screamed “DOUBTER!” God’s gavel came down at that very moment. I was convicted of my unbelief. But in retrospect, Peggy’s challenge to me to hear God for the improbable, caused me to stretch and confront my doubt and unbelief, even though it seemed irrational.
“Bill, He loves you so much that He sent this exact car at this precise moment, with that exact license plate to personally stretch you and communicate to you of His greatness and love for you. Bill, even in the smallest things He wants us to be amazed by Him and his devotion towards us. He loves you so much.” This was a whole new experience of trusting and listening to God.
“Wanna play, now?” Peggy asked.
I agreed to play and spontaneously blurted out “298!”
“What was that?”
I hesitated, second-guessing my reply. Did I really hear God, or was it all in my head? Challenged that I might be wrong, I recanted 298 and said “289.”
Peggy was really taking flowing in God seriously. “So, which is it? 298 or 289?” I wavered, and reverted back to my initial answer, “298.”
She remained silent momentarily, then responded, “It’s not the same number I got, but I heard God say to trust your exit number.” Incredulously, I thought, trust me? God must have a sense of humor.
It was decided, then, we would take exit 298. And, so began our adventure in flowing in God in unity and trust.
Find out what exit 298 has in store. Continue reading “Adventures in Flowing in God, Part 2”
by Bill Hutzel & Peggy Castorri-Hutzel
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