Reprinted by permission from Pamela M. Steiner, “Closed Doors, Open Windows” http://pamelasopenwindow.blogspot.com/2013/08/walk-away.html
“Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
‘This is the way, walk in it,’
Whenever you turn to the right hand
or whenever you turn to the left.”
|As seen recently on Facebook.com
If you regularly follow this blog, you may remember that I recently wrote a post about a new possibility for our lives…a possibility of an “open window” of ministry opportunity primarily for my husband, but one that would affect our family as well. I was expressing my own concerns and a bit of anxiety over the added “commitment of time, energy and love” that this would involve as I learned to “stretch my loving” beyond my present sphere of life. I also stated, “I just have to learn to listen to HIS VOICE…and know when it is God calling me as opposed to when it is the expectation of others calling me.”
Well, God spoke, and we listened. I say “we”, meaning my husband and I. And when God spoke, He did not encourage us to move forward with this “opportunity”, but to “walk away“. I want you to know that it took courage to do that. However, we both realized that not to walk away would have caused more than just some “concern and trepidation”. It could have meant disaster for us in more ways than one. The day we made this decision to “walk away” I saw this little sign on Facebook.com that I have inserted here to my right. This message was a word of confirmation to me that we had made the right decision, even though it was difficult to do so.
Having served for many years in one kind of ministry or other, we are people who take these commitments seriously. We don’t just move from one thing to another without much prayer and a type of “fasting”…fasting of the soul, fasting of the heart, fasting of the mind. We search our hearts to be sure we are listening to the right voice…not the voices of others’ expectations, guilt laden thoughts, desires to further our own little kingdom here on earth…but THE VOICE of God, that “word behind you, saying, ‘THIS IS THE WAY, WALK IN IT…’ ” and if we can’t hear that voice clearly, then we need to stop, look, and listen a little more closely. To not heed that voice could mean imminent disaster. I speak from experience.
I think this is good advice even if the possible “opportunity” is not especially a ministry…but perhaps any kind of new employment, relationship, activity or other event that may have the potential to lead you in a different direction other than your present situation. Take the time to count the cost of any new venture, whether the cost be regarding finances, time, energy, or physical/emotional involvement. If you are not certain you will have the resources available that are necessary to complete the task before you…and it is not really a matter of “faith” that God will provide, but a matter of recognizing possible danger signs that to move ahead could be perilous to your health and home, then wisdom says it is better to “walk away”.
I really like what that little sign above says, “walking away, with your head held high is dignity.” There is no shame in walking away from a situation that you know would only cause serious hurt or sorrow to you in one way or another. Yes, I know there are many situations that we ought to hang tough and stick it out…but in this case, I am speaking about reading the danger signs ahead, and listening to the VOICE of reason…i.e., GOD’S VOICE, and trusting Him to guide you in the right path. It does take courage, and a lot of faith that you are making the right choice, but when you have any doubts at all about moving forward, it is better to wait and take time to listen for that still small voice telling you which way to go. It could save you and possibly others a whole lot of heartache later.
So, sometimes those “Closed Doors” are not all bad. And not every window should be opened. But when it is right, you will know it, if you are listening to the right “voice”.
What do YOU need to walk away from today? Be sure to pray and give God a chance to speak to you before you make any decisions…and then, if that is what you believe God is saying to your heart, “Walk Away”….with your head held high.
May you have God’s peace and blessing in your heart and life today. Amen.