Posts tagged Listening
"This Is The Way, Walk In It." {Team Journal}

This week's team journal is written by our Team Lead, Natalie Herr.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
— Isaiah 30:21

The Lord has been teaching me much lately about discernment and about listening; about carrying heavy things and about what walking with Him really looks like. I haven't been in a traditional season of waiting; in fact, I've been the one that people are waiting on. The decisions have been spiritual and theological, involving many people with many convictions. And if I'm honest, the responsibility has often felt too heavy, too weighty.

But as we've walked together, me and the Lord, I have come to understand why He puts that heaviness on me. He wants me to remember that I can't carry all of these heavy things alone. I really can't carry anything on my own. I need help; help from Him and help from my sisters in Christ who are called to bear the heaviness with me (Eph. 4:2). Not only that, but I can't know which road to walk down if I am preoccupied by the heaviness of my pack. He wants me to feel its weight, allow it to remind me that I'm not enough and that I don't have to be, and then continue the practice of giving Him the pack, because it's light and easy to Him (Matt. 11:30).

So this time, I gave him the pack, and he gave me a gift in return. That gift was Isaiah 30:18-22:

"Therefore, the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as he hears it, he answers you. And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left. Then you will defile your carved idols overlaid with silver and your gold-plated metal images. You will scatter them as unclean things. You will say to them, 'Be gone!'" (emphasis mine)

This is my God, my teacher. He is waiting with me, blessing me in my waiting and waiting himself to show me grace and mercy. He is close enough to me that he hears my cry and answers immediately; and I am close enough to him that he can whisper in my ear. He is behind me, faithful to lead me in the right way. And what happens when I hear his voice? I'm compelled to throw out all the idolatrous junk in my pack and leave it on the side of the road. I get to walk together with my God, weightless and free.

In times where we feel like we don't know the way, we must remember that God has already shown it to us. Just a few chapters later in Isaiah, we get a description and a promise:

"And a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the Way of Holiness, the unclean shall not pass over it. It shall belong to those who walk on the way; even if they are fools, they shall not go astray." (Isaiah 35:8, emphasis mine)

Ya'll. Did you catch that? The Highway of Holiness belongs to those who walk on The Way. The Way is a person: Jesus Christ (John 14:6). And so those who walk on the way are the ones who walk with Jesus (Acts 9:2). And EVEN IF WE ARE FOOLS, my friends, WE WILL NOT GO ASTRAY. There is no way for us to miss the "right" way when we are walking with God! What-in-the-actual-world?! That is a mind-blowing, life-changing, worldview-shifting truth for all of us Jesus-loving fools. 

Thank you for taking my pack, Lord. And thank you for the gift of your Word. In giving it to me, you kept another promise in Proverbs 16:20: 

"Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord."

Blessed indeed, Lord. Blessed indeed. Help us trust you more.

Natalie Herr is the founder and team leader of Dayton Women in the Word. She is a servant of God, a wife, and a mom of four. She loves teaching and equipping women with God's Word. 

There is a season ( a time appointed) for everything and a time for every delight and event or purpose under heaven
— Ecclesiastes 3:1 (AMP)

As the years pass and the seasons come and go, there might be a tendency to overlook them and go on about our lives. A deeper look shows us that our lives mirror that same pattern; they also ebb and flow in seasons. For the believer, the Holy Spirit walks with us in and out of those seasons. I don't know what it is about fall that sets my heart ablaze with thoughts and longings for more of what the Lord has for me. Have you ever felt this way? 

Sharing in this time of my life what the Holy Spirit is stirring and moving in me feels very different than anything I have ever shared. I get hung up on the scripture that says, "do not grow weary of doing good..." and "run so that you may obtain the prize." The Holy Spirit's still small voice, though, whispers, "be still." 

Don't get me wrong: I am not just sitting around waiting for a sign. "To surrender," "to let go" and "to become weak" are all action phrases. What? I know, I wanted to panic at this moment too, but alas: I want more of Him. So, just like John said, "He must become greater, I must become less."

There have been three ways in which I have experienced Him drawing me and holding my heart close as I obey. Hear my heart as I share these: your walk with the Lord will be unique and beautiful and I am still a work in progress. These are treasures I am pondering in my heart until the day I see the end result of his refinement in me.

Letting go sometimes means letting go of good things. I want to always hold what He gives me with open hands. This year, in BSF, we are studying the book of John. Already, in the first few chapters, the Lord is gently guiding and setting my heart on course. I quoted from the 3rd chapter earlier and in verse 27 where John says, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven." Wow, I want this confidence. I don't want to do all-the-things for fear of being left out. I want to do only what the Holy Spirit has given me to do. I want Him more than I want to be and do all the things, He is the true gift from God.  All I Want, a song by Red Rocks Worship, has become the sound track of my letting go; bringing truth and hope to a season that sometimes excites but sometimes is downright painful.

Be still does not mean your life stands still. I have experienced His sweet peace in a more pronounced way in the middle of a busy season. As I began to set things down, to surrender to Him, and listen to his still small voice, I imagined my life would stand still and then I would know the next step. I couldn't have been more wrong. In the middle of the busy, He quieted my soul. It was a gift that overwhelmed my heart was leading me to trust Him for my peace and not my circumstances. The beautiful way He has done this leaves me speechless. I have seen some of His most beautiful work in other women's lives as I have faithfully completed the work He has given me to do. I work in His rest; not from my own strength.

He is at work in the waiting. I wait in the Lord; although, not always patiently. Even still, He shows me kindness and cares for my soul. I believe one of His greatest works in the waiting is the caring of our soul. We see the waiting sometimes as a "dry season" that seems to drag on forever, but the desert has a way of revealing our sin and our true need for our Savior. As He invites me to be still, I realize He is doing a deeper work. It is not that I have faltered, or that I am being benched, it is that He is longing to reshape me and bring me back to life. His love for me is so extravagant that He does not leave me where I am, but instead, invites me into His rest to transform me. He sets me free to be the woman He created me to be. 

I invite you today take time to reflect on your life. A heart check is so appropriate in this season; I call it "The Great Letting Go." Fall gives way to the stillness and darkness of winter, but in that waiting, He works. And soon, growth pushes through and life begins anew.

Thou has made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.
— Augustine



Daisy Dronen leads IF:Dayton and is a member of the leadership team for Dayton Women In the Word. Gathering women around her table to seek God and creating real community makes her heart beat wildly, because she believes that we know Jesus more intimately when we know each other well.