“God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” — Romans 11:29
God speaks to us in a lot of different ways. The other day I was reading in my Bible about hearing God’s voice. God’s Word clearly shows us that when we receive a calling from God, the message is from God Himself, not from man. Sometimes it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that in this book we read called the Bible, every word is God-breathed and inspired by Him. They are His words.
Sometimes God speaks to me through prayer. I might be praying to God and listening to Him when I hear Him speak to me. When His Spirit speaks to me, I don’t have to wonder if it’s my own thoughts, I know He is revealing truth to me. Other times, I’ll be reading the Bible and something in His written Word will stick out to me and speak directly into my life in a specific way about a specific situation I’m in. This is not by chance, this is God’s living Word at work.
God also uses His people to speak into my life. There have been many occasions where I’ll be having a conversation with Christ-follower, and the message is way too coincidental and random to perfectly relate to what God’s been placing on my heart. In these moments I know God is speaking to me through them.
All of these instances are examples of ways God speaks to us through His Spirit, but all in all, we need to measure the messages we receive by the truth of God’s Word. If anything doesn’t align with His Word, it’s not from Him. We can easily have thoughts, ideas and dreams of our own accord, but this is very different from hearing God speak into our lives.
There have been many times when I’m getting ready to preach or share at a speaking engagement and I know I have to wait for the Lord to reveal to me what it is He wants me to share. Sometimes His message comes one month in advance and sometimes I have to wait until two days before the event, but God will always put something on my heart to share. There are times when it makes no sense to me why I would speak about a certain topic, but I know it’s His message, not mine, I only have to be obedient. So I will go to the verse or passage and prepare to share with others about how this particular message has impacted me. It’s amazing to see how God uses me as a vessel when I listen to Him and let Him speak through me.
Many times when I’m speaking to others, the message is just as much for me as it is for them. People will come up to me after the message and let me know that what I shared really hit home for them and that it spoke to them and the current situation they are in.. God is faithful. He knows what we need to hear, and He leads His people to speak through. My aim is to keep my spirit open to receive His message as it aligns with His Word.
One way I make sure to stay on track in my relationship with the Lord is through mentors. It has always been extremely important to me to have other Godly men who are 10 to 20 years ahead of me who can speak truth into my life. From my college mentor to each chaplain I’ve had in the NFL, these men have come alongside me to help me along my journey of life and faith. When I find myself in a jam, when I’m not hearing God’s voice in ways I think I should, when I have questions about parenting or marriage, or when I need someone to point me in the right direction, I know they will set me back on track with God. At times each one of us can get stuck in our own thoughts and ideas and we need Godly men and women around us to remind us of His truth and promises. God’s promises don’t always align with our personal opinions. He doesn’t promise comfort, but He does promise to be with us every step of the way. He promises us peace.
These men not only bring me comfort and encouragement, they challenge me by holding me accountable to be Christ-like in every area of my life. When I’m struggling with a specific thing, I let them know so they can remind me of the things I’m required by God to do as a man, a father, a husband and a teammate. We need to know we have been given grace when we fall short but we are also held accountable to the great purpose for which we are called. We don’t have to live short of that.
It’s important to have men who are walking before you, beside you and behind you — men you can learn from, grow with and pour into. I try to be there for my peers, aiming to be a consistent person every day, making myself available to them as much as I can. I try to give them the grace, strength and wisdom my mentors give me. We’re all in this race together. So whether I’m with middle schoolers, high schoolers, college athletes or teammates who look up to me, I try to be an example of Christlikeness to them.
There’s nothing wrong with chasing your dream, but there’s more to life than personal goals. The most important investment in life is your relationship with Christ. That is where my success comes from. That is where I proclaim my praise. I once was a child who wanted the things of this world, but I was fortunate to hear the voice of God and see that we count all of that now as loss for the sake of Christ.
“What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” — Philippians 3:8-9
— Demario Davis, New Orleans Saints linebacker
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.