Obedience First

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” Psalm‬ ‭34:4-5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The early morning hours of February 15, 2018 brought the awe and wonder of the Lord right into my dimly lit living room. I sat trembling in the darkness with my bible open on my lap and excitedly texting a dear friend to share this incredible God moment.

I was jolted wide awake in the middle of the night and reminded to pray for I-35, yes, interstate 35 in USA. I had two different unacquainted friends request me to pray for this stretch of roadway. It was such an odd request and I honestly don’t think I actually prayed it up to that point, even though I agreed I would. Would you? Such an odd request.

I had to ask the Lord if these prayer requests were of God, hence the reference to Psalm 34:4. I will scribe what I remember of the conversation to the best of my ability. Upon waking I was feeling the Lord lay upon my heart the I-35 prayer requests. Some of you may not be familiar with an open dialogue with God, please try to remember the context and response.

Me, “If there is something significant about these I-35 prayer requests can you tell me? Is it from you, God?”
God, ‘Why do you ask?’
Me, “Well, it’s a road, is praying for a road really biblical?”
God, ‘You said I-35, right?’
Me, “Mhm (yep)”
God, ‘Well, what would ‘I’ stand for in the Bible?’
Me, pausing to think…”Isaiah” I exclaimed with certainty.
God, ‘So, have you read Isaiah 35?’
Me, “No, I didn’t make that connection until now.”
God, ‘Well, are you going to read it?’
Me, “What, now?”
God, ‘yes, or did you have something better to do.’

The conversation is over and I’m off on a mini assignment from the Lord. I’m in a time where learning obedience through trial and error helps me differentiate if I’m hearing from God correctly. The message released in Isaiah 35:8 clarified the second half of Psalm 34 verse 4, in the respect that I can be confident that my fear of not hearing from God can be squelched. I got up out of bed and found myself looking up Isaiah 35 in the wee morning hours.

As I read Isaiah 35 I started trembling and shaking upon reading verse 8. “And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.” Isaiah‬ ‭35:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬. SAY WHAT- the Lord just got me out of bed to lead to a verse about a highway when I questioned praying for I-35, that’s crazy. Only God can make those connections.

The Lord definitely answered me and showed me the power of his ways. I have traversed I-35 countless times throughout my life and will continue to pay attention to prayer requests and news regarding this roadway. I’m not going to proclaim that I have the full interpretation of what this means to others, but what I hear the Lord telling me is significant in relationship to Psalm 34:5. I do not need to fear that the wicked will be able to travel with the righteous when obeying the Lord.

We are all part of God’s glorious plan and we need to share our experiences in order to generate hope to those who are hurting. I questioned whether I was to trust the I-35 message and delayed sharing the encounter with anyone other than my closest friends.

Was it unique to me? Probably not, was someone else out there praying about I-35 and land in Isaiah? Possibly. After the initial shock of the passage had worn off I half heartedly mentioned over text to my friend that it made me curious what was located at mile marker 8 since the verse was number 8.

I instinctively went to the northern part of Interstate 35 near Duluth, MN. I was thinking that’s where I-35 starts, so mile marker 8 is probably up there somewhere. After a short time digging around the internet, I ran across a website you could input the exit number and it would provide you the location name of the exit. I remembered my husband and or my father telling me that exit numbers aligned with mile markers.

I was pretty excited to be able to fill in the blank. I was already in the state of Minnesota on the site and eagerly filled in exit 8. WHAT, the fear and trembling started all over again and I was sure the Lord was speaking to me. Exit 8 happens to be my hometown and I was to be traveling there that very day. I was born there, graduated high school there and my mother still resides there. Only God can do that, only God.

I look to God and he gives me radiance and courage to proclaim his sovereignty in my life and the world. I do not have to cover my face in shame and can exclaim his goodness to everyone. Psalm 34:5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. You can hear from God also and I encourage you to put time and effort into developing your relationship with the Lord. Just as any other relationship trust is built over time and communication levels become more intimate.

The revelations and mystery surrounding Isaiah 35 have continued to unfold and evolve. I’m asking each person that reads this article to take a brief moment and pray for I-35. Although it may not be the literal way of Holiness, it sure confirms to me that God has promised a way that is free of the wicked and we do not have to fear the threat of evil during our sojourn.

As I traveled there, my son joined me, and took the most incredibly timed photo of the exit 8 sign as we drove onto the exit. The timing of this revelation was interesting, the Saturday prior to hearing it there was a 70 plus vehicle accident on I-35. Unfortunately one person was killed. The Saturday following February 15 there was another 70 plus vehicle pile up on I-35 with no life threatening injuries reported, both accidents occurred on the south bound lanes on either side of Highway 30.

God will use all things for good. I’ve had several other promptings regarding I-35 and love that it is part of His story in my life. I will continue to ask the Lord when I have questions and hope that this example of Holy communication will prompt you to seek Him in your life. May hope radiate His love to others. I will encourage you to keep going forward and growth in your calling.