I thought I heard the voice of God. It wasn’t. No matter how much I wanted it to be, it wasn’t.
It’s not that I didn’t ask. I did. It was in my prayers daily.
“God, if this isn’t your will please let me know.”
But I already knew. I knew what I was doing was not God-approved. I’d read the Bible. I knew what it said. The words of the Bible couldn’t be any plainer.
I already knew.
I kept asking, though, trying to convince myself that God didn’t mind, that he was perfectly fine with my choices. I tried to convince myself not only that my choices were not contrary to God’s will but that they were well within his desire for my life.
They weren’t. As Jim Croce said:
I only wish my words could just convince myself
That it just wasn’t real, but that’s not the way it feels
(Jim Croce, Operator, 1972.)
I knew what was real, but I didn’t want to deal with reality. I was like one of the people God spoke of in Isaiah 29:13.
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
My heart was on my desire, not on my Savior. No matter how much I tried to convince myself that God must approve – else why would I have such strong desires – I couldn’t get around the fact that the Bible clearly prohibited what I wanted, and what I did to get what I wanted.
A Change Came Along
What changed? Not my understanding. That had already been set. I understood that what I was doing was wrong, but I wanted it so badly I did it anyway. No amount of convincing was going to keep me from pursuing that desire.
So what changed? The desire itself.
One day I desired the sin. The next day I didn’t.
God took the desire from me. That was the answer to my prayer: “God, if this isn’t your will please let me know.” It turns out I didn’t understand the prayer, but the Spirit did. The answer to the prayer was to change the desire within me.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27.)
I’m glad God answers prayer, even when it’s not the prayer I thought I was praying.