SHHHHHHHH… Do you hear it? Wait for iiiiiiiit. That’s what I’ve been taught anyway, when it comes to listening to God.
One thing I appreciate most about the way I grew up is how it was stressed that Jesus lives in me. He wasn’t just in my “heart“. Somehow through all of the doctrinal “rights and wrongs” they impressed on me that I was never alone. I’m not sure if the intention was so He could watch me and make sure I didn’t sin (rules and regulations), or whether it was the true meaning of the love that He has for me. Either way it’s been in me since I was four years old. I’ve never been alone.
At times in my life I’ve been a very angry with God: disappointed, disillusioned, whatever and made the poor choice of not acknowledging His presence. After Archie’s first cancer diagnosis I decided that I had had enough. I was 29 and facing the thought of being a single mom with a four year old. I felt like growing up in a broken home, a mentally abusive 1st stepfather, loosing two kids to miscarriage, and then the possibility of loosing my best friend and husband was more than I should be expected to handle. I humbly admit venting sheer ugliness to my sister about, “Am I suppose to be all happy and pretend everything is ok when it’s not?!?” I decided Heavenly Dad wasn’t loving so I wasn’t going to speak to Him anymore. Besides, it’s not like He was listening anyway (I told myself).
It took less than a day of catching myself talking to Him and saying, “Wait a minute! I’m not talking to you!” meaning I was still speaking to Him, that I realized how often I whispered under my breath and spoke out loud to Him (no, not talking to myself, lol).
In stark contrast, I am now learning of people who “have” the Holy Spirit but are constantly waiting or seeking audible voices or other people to speak a “word from God“ to them. That is foreign as I feel/believe He’s been in me since the moment I invited Him into my life. Why would I be waiting for something from the outside when He lives INSIDE of me? He’s not a like little boy holding his breath and turning blue trying to staying quiet so I can’t hear him. I would think God the Father would be speaking loud enough to know which direction He wants me to go. Otherwise, why waste His time and energy setting up house in me? Do I trust His still small voice or not?
Another weird teaching to me is “looking for opportunities to serve God”, associate or to love on people. It seems when opportunities arise, people take a quick inventory about what they have to offer or how they feel at that moment: scared, stupid, unprepared, short of time, inconvenienced, unworthy: “I have nothing to offer, look at the mess my life is,” and then use those as excuses to NOT step up or in and be Jesus with skin on.
Butterfly moment: That was me after Archie died. “Why would anybody want me to pray for them when God didn’t answer my prayer?“ That was a tough place to be in.
My “inventory“ told me that since Heavenly Dad didn’t answer my prayers the way I had expected, maybe other people would be afraid that God wasn’t listening to me. I feared because my end result had been Archie going home, people would view me as lacking in God‘s power. It also said that I prayed for my parent’s marriage but they divorced. Ultimately, my inventory told me many of the prayers didn’t turn out the way I wanted them to—as if God was a genie in a bottle—and my prayer résumé wasn’t good enough to pray for others.
In reflection, was I praying to impress people, make me feel good, or was I stepping out in obedience to Heavenly Dad to love. What was/am I doing it for?
Ephesians 3:17-19 “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deepis the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
“The fullness of God”? How full is full? It does not say partially, halfway, a little bit, or did I miss something? If I am FULL of Him, is it necessary to strain to hear, feel, or know Him? Could it be that the only thing that keeps me from hearing and getting to know the One who has filled me to the point of being full—is me?
I can pretend I don’t hear Him, ignore the opportunities He opens my eyes to see, and continue to live focused on what I think will make me feel good in the moment. I could, however, instead listen intently to the still small voice of guidance from the One who lives in me and has filled me. He never forces me “to do the right thing,” but gives me the awareness then steps back and allows me the opportunity to choose—what a loving Father and gentleman.
What happens if I don’t want to listen? What happens if I want to do my own thing because of fear or self preservation, or to save face-what if I pray and nothing happens? What if I stumble in my words? What if I sound stupid?
1 john 2:15-16 “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world.”
I know Who is in me. Maybe it’s time for me to stop straining or ignoring the still small voice. Perhaps the time has come to hand Him the microphone, step off the stage of my own life and let the star of my show (my life) be on the One who created me for a purpose.
I am dropping the mic!
Until next time: blessings!