Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hearing God's Voice pt. dos

As a kid I could almost tell you what my parents would say to any given question I might have for them. I knew them very well and even more I knew, in most cases, how they would respond to situations. Knowing what they would say when I would ask if I could spend the night at a friend's house or take the car out for the first time or call and ask if I could extend my curfew all came from and started from smaller questions. To this day I can still predict how my parents will respond. It all stems from how well I know them and there tendencies.

God is the same way. How well do we know His tendencies? Do we know what He will say even before He says it? I think the bigger problem is that we only ask God the big questions. We want to know who we should marry, or what college we should attend. And then we wonder why we can't hear His voice and get a clear answer. What if we began with the simple questions? God, what do you want me to do today? God, should I go to the beach or should I go to the movies.

This is definitely the first step in learning to hear God's voice: ask simple questions. How much do I want to know God's voice? Ultimately that will be driving force to the questions I have. I need to remember that if I want to hear God about the bigger questions in life I need to start will the simple ones.

Do I really hear His voice?

2 The shepherd walks right up to the gate. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. 5 They won't follow a stranger's voice but will scatter because they aren't used to the sound of it."

John 10:2-5 (MSG)

People in the Christian circles have been asking this question for decades, "How do I hear His voice?". Preachers have spoken about it, books have been written conferences have themed around it and yet the question still remains. Even I have wondered if at certain intersections of my life if it was His voice I was hearing or a stranger's voice. I know I'm not alone in this quest to know His voice. But I wonder if the real issue in hearing His voice is more in our upbringing rather than our hearing?

Let me explain. Our whole lives we are raised to think for ourselves, be self sufficient, and eventually become independent. Could this be in direct opposition of what God wants from us spiritually? Please know that I am all for people becoming adults and learning to be positive attributes in society by contributing to the ultimate good. But it has me asking the question, "Are we raising the banner of independence at any cost too high, even higher than the dependence God wants from us"?

God uses the illustration of the sheep for a reason, and yes, we all know they are simple animals (putting it nicely)but is that it or is there more? Their whole lives they are raised not to eventually leave their herd but instead by one shepherd to live in one family following one voice. There are no independent tendencies, no self sufficient upbringing. None of that is taught, just one family, one voice.

Maybe this all seems a little trivial but for me it's monumental. Realizing that my attempts at becoming independent are not in God's plans for us. Yes he wants us to contribute to life but not at the cost of dependence. It is when I become completely reliant on Him that I can hear His voice and know it to be Him. When I remove every self pretense, every prideful ambition, it all comes back to one thing...following. How can I follow if I don't know His voice and how can I know His voice if I'm living my life independently?

Thursday, September 11, 2008


We will never be the same.

Friday, September 5, 2008


I have often been one to say that my faith in God can not be dependent on the circumstances swirling around me. But I sometimes wonder how well I do in this department in my life. Do I allow circumstances to overwhelm me when I know God is speaking? Am I really willing to listen and follow even when it doesn't make sense or the conditions are uncomfortable? These are the moments of testing in our lives and the moments I can't stand yet I know that they are necessary. Sometimes we can make assumptions based on the circumstances in our life and say "it must be God". We get ready to go somewhere and our car breaks down and think to ourselves, "well maybe I wasn't suppose to go because if I was then my car would be working, so it must be God". Is that really how God works? Maybe but maybe not. How crazy is Noah for building the ark but how different would the story had been if he measured God based on the circumstances, or Jonathon going to fight the philistines with an armor-bearer and one sword.

I'm learning some valuable things in this season of my life:
1. Just when you think you have God all figured out, you don't
2. Circumstances will never dictate a response from God so you better pray before you assume because you know what happens when you assume?
3. Logic questions God, faith, real faith questions assumptions. (Mark Batterson Wild Goose Chase)