It was required for me to take French in college, a lot of French. The classes were 5 days a week, the homework was unending and my accent sounded exactly how you’d think a Tallahassee lassie might sound-lousy. But somehow, I did it. I passed 4 classes of French, graduated and spent the next 30 years forgetting everything I learned in French class. Guess where I was last week? Paris. Guess what they speak there? French. So what did I do? I spent a week listening to people speak French all around me and not understanding a single word. Now I wish I had kept up with my French lessons all these years.
It’s a frustrating thing when you know someone is speaking to you but you can’t understand what they’re saying. Imagine that you are sitting in a Paris café but instead of people speaking French, the voice you hear is God telling you His will for your life. Now that’s a voice you’d really want to understand. But can you understand what He’s saying? Maybe. Like learning a foreign language, any type of understanding takes some effort. How long since you have read God’s word? When was the last time you spoke to God? Have you been around other people seeking to understand His will too? Or have you put thoughts of God out of your mind the way I quit thinking about French? To put it bluntly, if you want to more clearly understand the will of God, you need to read the Bible, pray to God, go to church and fellowship with other believers. These are the means for God to fill your mind with thoughts of Him instead of thoughts of man.
Why does thinking about God help us understand God’s will? Romans 12:2 says “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. “ God has given us the gifts of prayer, scripture, fellowship and worship as a way to change from a pattern of this world to a pattern that will renew our minds. To test this theory, try not going to church, not praying, not reading the word and not associating with other Christians and see what type of decisions you make. Are they Christ-centered or self-centered?
I’ve been in this place and I can tell you my mind was so filled with thoughts of me there was no room for thoughts of God. It’s no wonder I could not understand God’s will for my life even though I am sure He was screaming in my ear. It’s easy to think that when we can’t hear God, it’s because He is silent, but maybe He’s speaking loud and clear. Maybe the problem is that we’ve removed ourselves so far from things of God, we can’t recognize His voice. Trust me on this: it was easy to forget French. Don’t let it be easy to forget God.