Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back to the Deep End

I owe you an apology.

My blog has gotten pretty lame lately. No really ... it has. I was reading through some of my posts from last year and most of them had a lot more substance than what I've published recently. So to you, my faithful readers (however many of you remain) I'm sorry for the shallow waters.

You want to go deep? Here's what's on my heart these days. I've been a Christian for over 20 years and I still haven't figured out how to hear God. It's really difficult to feel like I'm following God's direction when I can't hear Him. Frustrating, actually.

I know people hear the voice of God in all sorts of different ways.

Sometimes (but very rarely) it's an audible voice. My mom actually had this experience once. I think it was much more common for God to communicate this way a long time ago, though. I've never heard "a voice."

Many people hear God speak through his Word. I've had certain parts of Scripture that convict me or challenge me, but when I'm seeking God's direction about a particular thing, I always feel as if I find verses that could apply to my situation, I am really just making them fit my situation. Like it's me wanting God to be saying something to me. You know what I mean?

I've also heard that God speaks through prayer. Which could be true. But as much as I struggle with consistency in my prayer life, I hope He doesn't solely rely on that method to speak to me. Otherwise I've probably missed some pretty important stuff. When I sense the Holy Spirit saying something to me, there's usually an accompanying question of whether that's actually my voice trying to validate what I want.

I know God speaks through other people. I often seek the counsel of others. But I have to take everything that's said with a grain of salt because I know that because another person is involved, there's always some of them in what they say.

Also, here's another thing. I know the devil often confuses things further. He plays on my doubts. Sometimes he imitates the voice of God. Or plants seeds of doubt about what God has spoken.

God is, well ... God. He's big and powerful and in control of everything. He could tell me something clearly if He wanted to. Sometimes I wish He would choose to speak to me this way. Or at the very least, confirm my small steps of faith with some obvious sign. I realize this takes the "faith" part out of the journey, but some sign that I'm walking down the right path would be nice.

4 comments:

.: theChris :. said...

Oh man I FEEL you on this one, Sister.

I have lamented almost these EXACT same feelings/questions to the wife recently.

So that begs the question: Is this uncertainty about hearing God a product of our specific upbringing? Of our church as kids? Of something in our family?

Or is it a bigger issue? Are these questions MOST folks ask?

I know that we are not the only two who struggle with this, but I still wonder if maybe there was some element or practice that we missed growing up that makes it harder for us.

I do know that we are logical peeps, and that we think about things ... I also know that makes it hard to trust stuff that isn't black and white (at least for me).

"When I sense the Holy Spirit saying something to me, there's usually an accompanying question of whether that's actually my voice trying to validate what I want. "

As we used to say on the swing-set, "Get out of my bathtub!" I'm right there with you.

"I've had certain parts of Scripture that convict me or challenge me, but when I'm seeking God's direction about a particular thing, I always feel as if I find verses that could apply to my situation, I am really just making them fit my situation. Like it's me wanting God to be saying something to me."

Oh yes. Totally. That's me all the way.

I'm with you too in thinking that it must be at least partially the Devil trying to confuse ... to plant seed of doubt. Man, the Devil must LOVE it when God tries to speak to me, and I actually hear Him, and then he's able to get me all confused and doubting. That must make his slimy day. The punk.

Let me know if you figure this one out. I'd sure like a clue.

Tschocolate said...

Not that I have it all figured out, but hearing comes with practice. And you have authority to bind the devil. Bind and rebuke him first, then listen to God. You don't have to put up with him. He is under you as a believer, he just doesn't want you to know it. So tell him to shut up, and then talk and listen to God. I hate Satan!

mandy said...

amen.
amen.
amen.
and
AMEN

Carolyn said...

The first thing that came to my mind when I read this (and I've been thinking about it a lot since you posted) was the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our connection to God. So ask these questions of yourself...what do i know about the H.S.? What do I believe about him being active today? Have you ever seen the gifts of the Spirit manifested (tongues, healing, prophesy, words of knowledge, dreams, etc.)? Do you believe these are for us today? Have you ever spent any time with an intercessor?

These are some of the avenues that God speaks through. Surround yourself with people who dig this stuff.

I strongly encourage you to do a little digging on the H.S. Read some books. I loved "The Voice of God" by Cindy Jacobs.