I was at a friend's house one evening in Fall 2008. I'll call him Thomas. When I met this friend he said he was a Christian. But through the years he has become really more agnostic.
I was feeling really down in my soul; really feeling heavy and whiny. We're sitting on the couch and I'm just proceeding to wallow in my own self-pity. Talking as if there was no hope for certain situations and talking like I have no way to find peace about it. I was just wailing and complaining... just emotionally dumping all the negativity and all the bad stuff. Woe is me.
It's getting late, and I leave and I'm driving down the road. I feel this urgency in my spirit: "Pull Over". I knew from past experience who it was: God getting my attention. I continue driving and the urgency is growing stronger and stronger. I'm to the point where I'm saying out loud, "OK, God, do you see the side of the road? There's a ditch there. I can't pull over yet! Will you give me a minute!?"
So I continue down the road a bit further to a good place to pull over and I said "OK, alright". I pull over into this vacant construction lot, and I turn my car around, kind of position it towards the road, cuz it's dark! And I turn my lights off, make sure my doors are locked, and I sit there for a minute. And suddenly I hear in my spirit, and it almost sounded audible, it was so strong in my spirit: "'Why do you speak as though you don't know Me?"
Everything I had done and said at Thomas' house flashed before me: my actions, my words, my demeanor, my everything, and I literally crumbled in his presence. I had to repent.
I knew what He was telling me. I was showing Thomas, my friend with frail faith, who knows I claim to be a strong Christian, that my 'strong' relationship with God was not sufficient to give me hope and peace in my troubles. I let my feelings take over.
So what God was saying to me in that instance, first of all was: If I'm a child of the King, what am I doing? Sitting there whining and complaining in front of someone that I'm supposed to be shining the light of Jesus Christ on? I was not behaving the way He would want me to or according to His Word!
There was another thing that really touched me about hearing God say that to me. It became painfully clear that for every single minute that I was with my friend, God was there listening and heard every single word. He was there. He saw me, He heard me, He recognized me. But He didn't come at me like He was mad. It was a gentle and loving "Carol, why do you speak as though you don't know me?"
It was personal. I felt like I hurt Him and I could feel it.
It was painful to know I hurt Him but at the same time it was so invigorating to know that He knows me. When He said why do you speak as though you don't know me, it was relational, personal, like I would say to my child, my friend – Why would you do that, I thought we were friends - kinda feeling).
It was so significant! Not only did it break my heart, (even after seven years, I still feel the sting every time I think of it), but I have been choosing my words more carefully, and being more careful to bring my feelings to Him or to wise counsel who can help me.
Wtness.org: Carol, how did you know it was Him? What did He sound like?
Carol: God is the Almighty God! When He speaks to you, you know it. I knew it was Him because prior to this moment, He had been poking my heart about choosing my words more carefully. I just knew it was Him. I wouldn't have come up with that. I was in no frame of mind or emotional state to come up with that. And if I did make it up, I don't think it would have impacted me the way that it has. I just knew in my spirit it was Him wanting to speak with me; I could just tell because, I mean, I've walked with the Lord for quite a long time, and I can discern my own thoughts from His. If it looks like God and it sounds like God from His Word, then...
When I say 'sounds like', it wasn't an audible voice. It was an unction in my spirit that reminds me of everything I know and have studied about God from His Word and learned from God.
I knew it was Him by the way that His words felt. It was a gentle warning. When I was young, I had a different impression of Him. I grew up in a church where I lived with the fear of God. The religious hell fire and brimstone of God. But after many years in my walk I learned that that's not who God is. He will prick my heart ever so gently that I have this Godly sorrow for what I've done. And that's what this was. It was a Godly sorrow for the way I chose to and who I chose to "emotionally vomit on" if you will.
Carol: Alright, "emotionally pour forth on".
Another reason I could tell it was Him was just the urgency that I needed to pull over. I never would have done that. Never. It reminds me of the time that I was driving down the road by my house and the next minute, and I'm driving past a church which on Wednesdays, people who are in need can come to the church and get clothing, food, and baby items for free. This is the car seat story.
Wtness.org: Let's just provide a link to that story, since it's already on our site. (Here is the link)
Thanks again, Carol!
Ford Motor Company
How WTNESS.ORG found out about this story: Carol T (see her other articles in the right sidebar) provided this story to regular WTNESS.ORG contributor Bill Griffin, who attends Carol's Thursday lunchtime Bible Study at Ford.
For those of you who find a story of a person claiming to hear from God to be far-fetched, see John 14:26, where Jesus speaks to all believers. He is saying that any of us, if we keep close to Jesus, can hear from His Holy Spirit.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
I have known Carol for eight years, and can honestly say that Carol is a woman who stays extremely close to Jesus. I am not surprised at all that she can understand Him. - Bill Griffin