Thursday, April 22, 2010


My wife is a therapist. She spends a good portion of her day listening to children talk about their problems, their feelings and the things that could be better in their lives. Some times this is a joy, sometimes it is torture, but it is always really hard work.

If I look back over my adult life, I bet I've heard 25 sermons that revolve around one common theme. It might be called, "Knowing God's Will for your life" or "Finding your Purpose" or "Who is the Holy Spirit?" or "Hearing God". They all revolve around the disconnect that we feel between us and God.

When we look at the Old Testament, we see God talking directly to Abraham and to Moses. We see angels showing up with messages, we see prophets doing crazy stuff and then proclaiming the word of the Lord. In the New Testament, we get a couple more angels, then God actually shows up in human form and talks to us, then we see people blinded and receiving visions. None of this stuff has ever happened to me.

There have been times when I took this as a personal slight. Where was my message from God? Why don't I get visions or dreams? Am I not important enough? Am I not good enough? Am I too terrible of a sinner?

All those sermons I heard said some combination of a couple different things.
1) God's word as found in the Bible is perfect and that's how he talks to us now. Keep reading.
2) We don't hear God because we're too busy.
3) You don't hear the Holy Spirit because you're not really a Christian.
4) Something else in your life (sin) is blocking you from hearing God.

My life is radically different because of what I've heard from God. Five years ago I completely changed the direction my life was heading. At that time I was sinning, I was terribly busy and I wasn't really reading my Bible all that much. Somehow, God still got his message across to me.
I wish that I could explain what that was like or how anyone can hear a clearly defined message from God. I can't. I just knew what God wanted me to do, and I couldn't not do it.

Recently, I've partnered with a group of people to focus on paying closer attention to what God is saying to us. How? By listening. We meet together each week and start by simply asking the question: "What is God saying to you now?" That's a tough question. It's one you can't make up an answer to. It's one you have to prepare for.

That preparation is constant. It's a 24-7 thing. The last couple weeks, I've found myself more aware of my surroundings, more attuned to my thoughts, to how they change and what they're about. I'm constantly looking for God, listening for Him to speak to me in some way.

It's amazing what you hear when you actually listen.

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