Adventures in Flowing in God, Part 1

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.

Pressing in and listening to God

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 spirit, 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. 

“Where is your faith to believe?”  “Stop doubting!” Peggy said. “We’re already in the 200’s going North. C’mon. Listen again.” 

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

Copyright 2020
by Bill Hutzel & Peggy Castorri-Hutzel

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The Day Before Storm Sandy

Me in a sling_Crop4

In my previous post entitled “Coincidence or Godincidence?” I asked you if you believed in divine intervention, or whether you attributed significantly related events to coincidence. Let me phrase that differently. When the simultaneous occurrence of events appear significantly related, do you believe that they have no causal connection or do you believe they have a divine connection? Many of us who tend to doubt and deny aspects of experience that aren’t measurable and verifiable, might say, “Oh, that’s just coincidence”.  But what if that coincidence occurs multiple times for the same event?

It was the end of October 2012 that Storm Sandy caused much damage to the North East. It was the second most catastrophic storm in US history, just behind Hurricane Katrina. The storm was also not just an atmospheric storm but also a personal storm for me. It was a time that I could have relinquished to despair and blamed God for my misfortune. Let me take you back.

The day before Storm Sandy came ashore and wreaked havoc with much devastation, I fell in my driveway and fractured my wrist in two places and crushed it. The doctor would give me the bad news that I would have to have surgery. But for some reason, I declined the surgery, and asked if he would set the fracture the old fashioned way. What would the worst case scenario be anyway, that I would have to return a couple of days later for surgery if it didn’t work? So the doctor agreed, but not without first disapproving of my request.  So he set my broken wrist in a temporary splint and bandage, supported only by a sling. When Storm Sandy finally hit, electricity was out for days and weeks in some places. I would not see the doctor again for another 1 ½ weeks due to a State of Emergency and mass outages. God would remind me during those days of waiting, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6).

“You are responsible to be faithful. God is responsible for outcomes.”
Quote by Jenni Catron

The day after I fractured my wrist, I went to church. During the service, I felt as if God spoke to me and said “Bill, you are healed”. Did I actually hear God speaking, or was I certifiably crazy? Did I really feel a surge of warmth travel through my arm when the pastor anointed me with oil, laid hands on my arm, and prayed over me?

In the days following Storm Sandy, God would comfort me by His Word, reaffirming through His Word that I was healed. And it would be a number of events in sync with God’s Word that happened that would be that affirmation.

After Storm Sandy passed, I went out to look at the devastation on my property and found five “trees uprooted”.  Feeling somewhat discouraged, I went back in the house.  It was then that I randomly opened my Bible directly to a passage in Job, chapter 19 verse 10, that said “He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone; and he UPROOTED MY HOPE LIKE A TREE”. WOW!, that got my attention in a big way! I don’t believe that this was a coincidence. A day or two later, again I randomly opened my Bible directly to a passage in Isaiah, Chapter 58 verse 11 that said … “and the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and GIVE STRENGTH TO YOUR BONES”. This was the second attention grabber. Several days later, again, God showed me Proverbs 3:5-6 that said “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will make your paths straight.” If you continue reading on in Proverbs 3 verses 7 and 8, it says “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

Although the word bones got my attention again in this last verse, I don’t believe God was  necessarily speaking to me here of physical healing only, but also of spiritual healing. Had I also continued reading the rest of Isaiah 58:11 after the word “bones”, I would have also seen that God was also bringing spiritual awakening and health to my soul for it said “and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of waters whose waters do not fail.”  A watered garden denotes continued prosperity and blessedness. Fruit is only desirable if it is sufficiently watered, otherwise the plant that bears it withers and dies and the fruit cannot be eaten. It is therefore God’s desire for us to be “like a spring of water whose waters do not fail”.

When I finally did get to see the doctor over a week later, he took x-rays. “So what is the verdict Doc?” I asked. “It is remarkable!” he exclaimed. “So are you going to put me in a hard cast now”, I asked.  “Not yet”, he said.  “Let’s wait and see”.  “For what?” I said.  Apparently he had reservations about stabilizing the wrist in a permanent cast for fear that it might revert to being broken. Over the next two weeks I went back to see him a couple of more times, and each time, he said that it was remarkable, simply amazing! “Do you believe in miracles Doc?” I asked. He answered back with a big “AMEN!”

What is remarkable is that the doctor did not put me in a hard cast until week four, and up until that time I was only in a splint and bandage dressing.  What is remarkable is that for the two or three times that I rolled over on my arm in my sleep, I did not fracture it again or compound the fracture. What is remarkable is that I was not in a cast for up to 3-months as predicted by the doctor based on his initial prognosis that I had a severely fractured and crushed wrist that would require the surgical insertion of 3 pins and a plate.

On my next follow-up visit which was two weeks after he put me in a hard cast, he seemed perplexed. “Do you want to take this thing off?” he asked me. “Sure”, I said, equally perplexed.  And remarkably, it was one week later, after he took the cast off, that I played a concert with members of the NJ Flute Society.  Another miracle attesting to God’s divine intervention.

 Coincidence, stranger than fiction, or divinely guided? What do you say now?

Copyright 2014 by Bill Hutzel