One of the unavoidable changes in most children's lives is a sudden rise in self-awareness. The blissful blip of ignorance is suddenly jarred by that uncomfortable thought, "What do the other kids think about me?" I remember this transition well. As a preteen, I made hundreds of decisions based on what my peers were doing, saying or what I assumed they were thinking.
One such decision was the purchase of a skateboard. Gathering my hard-earned chore money and riding with my parents to Toys"R"Us (may it rest in peace), I did what I thought I had to do to be cool—to fit in. I selected a board with a bright yellow bottom that had a picture of a bulldog on it. In the thrill of the moment, my young brain was telling me that it was the right decision—that it would change the way other kids viewed me.
In my excitement, I failed to realize there's more to a skateboard than just looks. As soon as I took my new wheels out for a ride, I realized that I had made a mistake. I still don't know much about skateboards, but I know enough to condemn that one. It was slow, hard to maneuver and oddly shaped. Going all in for looks, I had skipped out on what was more important.
I recently received a series of visions from the Lord, and yes, they were about skateboards. In the first vision, I saw a young child, resembling me. He was holding a skateboard upside down, staring at the picture on the bottom and spinning the wheels in frustration. As I waited on the Lord for clarity, I heard a simple phrase. "We can either care about how we look, or we can care about doing what God has asked."
A month later, I saw another vision of the same kid, this time riding the board. I heard, "Share the skateboard word. It's important."
Every day, each of us has a decision to make, and I believe the Lord is saying that it's a critical decision: Are we going to move forward based on what people are saying, doing or potentially thinking about us, or are we going to prioritize the voice of the Lord in our hearts?
The idea of prioritizing the Holy Spirit's voice is something the Lord has been working out in my heart lately, and I share more about it in a recent podcast episode here.
Yes, sometimes it takes time to confirm what God is saying. Sometimes it takes a Gideon-like moment where we put out a "fleece" and wait. But once we are sure of what God is saying to us personally, there's really only one simple decision left to make.
Isaiah 2:22 (NASB 1995) says, "Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils; For why should he be esteemed?"
I'm not saying we should never listen to others. Proverbs 11:14b says, "in an abundance of counselors there is victory." What I'm talking about is an issue of priority. Does God's opinion matter most?
Our decisions paint a picture of our priorities. If we're painting the wrong picture, the good news is that God's grace is just as good today as it ever was. He won't shame us into fixing ourselves. Instead, He loves us into allowing Him to change us. We serve a good God, and He has good plans for us.
He has good plans for you. Let His love, truth and voice be your main motivation.
Troy Black is a Christian YouTuber, author and prophetic voice. His ministry and life are led by two simple goals: to be obedient to the Holy Spirit and to get the gospel of Jesus Christ in front of as many people as possible. You can find videos and other resources from Troy at troyblackvideos.com.
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