By Joseph Diop
Copyright © 2017 by Joseph Diop
How can you know for sure when God is trying to lead you? This is a vast but vital subject. Today, I am only going to deal with one aspect: our impulses. If you ask any brother or sister who has a miracle or deliverance ministry what it was like in the early days, almost invariably they will answer, “I had to get over my fear of looking stupid. I had to learn to go very promptly and immediately with my impulses and God’s ‘still, small, voice.’ It seemed like my every move in the beginning was a risk.” If you’re going to learn to walk by faith, you’re going to have to take what appear to be risks. But God, will put his leading right in the forefront of your mind and consciousness, right where you can’t miss it. It will appear right on the tip of your mind, as a pure and unfettered first impression of direction – an unimposing, clear motivation, which some people call their “first mind.”
But, one dear sister said, “Yeah, I have noted those, but I always thought that responding to those would be ‘too impulsive.’” Isn’t that interesting? Look how the devil has vilified and tarnished God’s way of leading and directing us. He has taken the very nature of obedience and submission to God, and made it seem like an irresponsible thing to do. So, I want to propose a new vocabulary to describe this phenomenon, which the devil has not had a chance to ruin with his disinformation campaign. I want to describe going with your first mind as: “PROMPT, SPONTANEOUS OBEDIENCE” to God.
Putting a new face on this may just help to create a whole new environment in which we can teach a generation to obey the voice of the Lord. The voice of the Lord indeed was described in scripture as “A STILL, SMALL VOICE” (1Kings 19:12). That voice comes to us often clothed in that subtle, quiet “first mind.” Learning to respond to that is like a baby taking his first steps. Walking is an autonomic activity, which appears first to children as an impulse. And, when they respond to that impulse, the whole world opens up to them and appears within their reach. This is how we can understand learning to respond to the first mind, which is actually one and the same with being led by the Holy Spirit.
Now, some will respond to this idea with the objection that the devil can plant ideas in your mind too. That is so true. But, when we begin to establish a lifestyle of obedience to God, then God himself assures us by His power and sovereign might that we will continue successfully, until we develop a habit of constant submission and obedience, and have grown to the fullness of Christ. We will not feel like we have to second guess every thought God puts into our mind. We will begin to view the second and third thought as the devil’s misdirections, rather than the first thought. And, whenever we are confused, we will stop and pray humbly, “Father, I am confused. Please clarify your will for me.” That’s a prayer that I have to pray at least two or three times a day. And, God always faithfully answers by giving me fresh impulses immediately that clarify his original guidance.
We have become so programmed with the course of disobedience of the world, that dismissing and refusing God’s guidance is second nature to us. Or rather, I should say, disobeying God has become first nature to us. And, we do that with such skill, tenacity, and habitual proficiency. Through the deceitfulness of sin, we have turned obeying God into a thing of disrepute and scorn, and disobeying God into a cultural phenomenon and hallmark – a thing that has stamped a veritable “mark” (Rev 13:17; 16:2) on us as an ungodly people – as a nation that can only be described as a spiritual “beast” (Rev 14:9,10).
So, I invite you to begin to cultivate a whole new experience of faith and obedience to God. The blessings promised for obeying God’s voice are many, but the curses for disobeying him are literally infinite (Deut 28). Learn to follow your first mind. Learn to pray to God about more decisions of your day, all along the way. You will discover that obedience is voluntary, but also mandatory. is You will find your walk with Him going to a whole other level. You will be learning to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5,6). Godspeed in drawing closer to Him by more faith and obedience. Selah. Amen.