I remember clearly hearing God's voice share with me that I was not to send my children to a Christian Festival. I had already made arraignments for my son to go, we had already paid for it and it would be an opportunity for my son to see his girlfriend, who was also going to the Festival. Since they lived almost 3 hours from each other, it was a big deal. I remember struggling with this voice...seriously, it's a CHRISTIAN FESTIVAL...if my son should go anywhere safe, it would be here. But then I turned on the TV and there happened to be a target on the Mall of America by ISIS. "That must be it", I thought. I waited until my husband got home and after praying about it, I brought up the voice that told me that my son should not go. My husband told me that on his way home, he heard the same voice. Since we were both in agreement, we addressed it with my son, who, although let down, also felt that it was the right choice. Unfortunately, we had brought up the possibility of ISIS because it was perhaps the reason God had put a conviction in both our hearts as to why our son shouldn't go. My son then was concerned about his girlfriend going, so he voiced his concern to her. Which, in return, set in motion, a very long and strange journey....
You see, I am still sure to this day that God spoke to me and my husband that our Son should not attend that Christian Festival. However, I am unsure as to the reason why. The "why" part, I made up my own assumption because I didn't have a "why." I just knew that God spoke it. But when we tried to articulate to both my Son's youth Pastor and my Son's girlfriends Dad, it was uncomfortable for us. They didn't understand what our concerns were, and when we brought up ISIS, it became a bit of a joke. But to us, it was real.
What started out as being lead by the Spirit turned into being led by people, and because of that one point, many other things unfolded, until I was just listening to the voice of people instead of the voice of God, because apparently, I couldn't hear him...because ISIS never blew up the Christian festival.
Except, God never said that part...he just said "Don't go".
I had heard God, and I had obeyed, regardless of the awkwardness of it all. I don't know the "why", even to this day, but by faith, I trusted that God had a reason. I decided that until I could hear God and be led by the Spirit, I needed to get out of the distractions of my trust of people and learn to put my trust in the Spirit and in God's Word.
You see, I have probably 100 or so Christian books by different Christian Authors, 10 different study bibles, I listen to probably 10 different online Pastors, I worship with 100's of Christian musicians and I have an amazing church filled with 100's of Christian followers, but if I'm following them and not God...how do I know which ones, if any, are truly being led by God? There is conflict in the church over many topics. All compromising topics... is it OK to this, or that...and 1/2 the body says yes, the other 1/2 says no. There is conflict everywhere... and always to end conflict we compromise or we are complacent with these things, because most times we are led by people and not by the Spirit.
My heart was broken that day I heard the voice that told me not to let my Son go to that Christian festival. Not because of the choice, but because someone I held in high regards said "we needed to get a grip". I truly believed I heard God, and my husband was in agreement and because of that...someone thought we were crazy. Perhaps in their eyes we were....or are.
But because of that brokenness, I gained a hunger unlike no other to personally hear God for my life. I still have 100's of Christian books, I still listen to many online Pastor's, I still worship with 100's of worshipers, and I still have study bibles, my son's youth Pastor is one of the most amazing I know, and our Church family is the best, but when it comes to decisions in my life and the advice I give to others...there is one thing that comes first..."what does your Spirit say that God says?" We have to make sure that we are led by God's voice to us personally, which needs to correspond with God's Word, because despite what other people think about your choices or your leading, the only way that your life will be fulfilling is if you are lead by the Spirit and not by people or even worse, demonic influences.
Bible Study Reference: Galatians 5:16-18; Romans 8:14; Acts 2