Someone asked me to elaborate a bit on this post I made a couple weeks ago. The comment was that following the Spirit feels a lot like clinical insanity.
I wish I didn’t feel that way. I wish I had such a clear and direct connection to God that every time He said something I knew exactly what He said and what to do about it. I wish I could approach someone and say “God told me to tell you this” and not add a bunch of fine print about “I *feel* like God said” and “I could be wrong”. It seems to me that life would be so much simpler if God just said “do this” and we could either say yes or no.
I know some of you want to say at this point “but God does say what to do clearly. Just read the bible”. My response to you is… Eh. I’m convinced there is more to the relationship between a person and God besides the conveying of static information. The way we approach the bible is more like a textbook than a conversation. I’m looking for something a lot more specific, alive, and now. I believe God sometimes uses a scripture in the bible to speak to us, but I also believe that we could have read that scripture 10,000 before and it not said anything to us at all. If the bible speaks to us, the Holy Spirit still has to be involved.
So we’re back to the original thought: Wouldn’t it be nice if God spoke to us clearly - through the bible or through some other means?
I don’t have any answers at all. I’m just elaborating more on a problem that I’m having. I will share a bit of what I’ve been experiencing lately regarding this though.
1. God’s willingness to speak may be greater than our willingness to really listen. I’ve noticed that the times when I feel I’ve heard God’s voice have been out of a time when I’m sick in bed, or lost a job, or for some reason am extra quiet and attentive. A lot of times it’s in the shower. Is it any coincidence that the shower is the one place I can’t take my iphone? I’m never truly quiet. Once in a great while when I am, I tend to hear God’s voice. What if I could learn to be quiet, even in the middle of things? What if, while on stage playing music for a thousand people, I could be internally quiet and listening for God’s voice? I’m starting to believe our lack of quiet has a direct relationship with our inability to hear God’s voice.
2. We can always second guess. This is where I start to feel crazy. Because there have been sometimes I’ve thought I’ve heard God’s voice and went an done something ridiculous only to find it was probably my imagination. Other times I’ve decided something God said to me was my imagination and didn’t act. The internal battle inside me gets worse and worse the harder I try to hear and act on God’s voice. It makes me feel insane.
3. God likes obedience. This is where we start to *look* crazy. Let’s say it is your imagination. What if you were to still act on it, “just in case”? I believe God notices that. “Ah, here’s a person who I can speak to and I know they’ll obey.” I believe God looks for those types of people when He wants to speak. So in a sense, He’s looking for crazies. What would happen if we started obeying every time we thought we heard God’s voice? Obviously if it’s something like “punch that guy over there”, we might want to second-guess or cross-examine it with what we know to be true of God in scripture. But what if it’s “go outside and walk down the block. Once you get to the end, stop.” That sounds crazy to me. But what if I made a habit out of doing that type of thing anyway? What would it say to God? What would it do inside of me?
There have been points during the last several months where I’ve done or said things that I thought God might be saying to me. A few of them have been from my imagination. But I have also seen incredible things happen which I couldn’t have fabricated in a million years, as a result of my listening and obeying.
What if the mark of a Christian was those two things? Listening and obeying. Seriously picture that for a minute. If you’ve read this far and wouldn’t mind, can you post a reply to my facebook or twitter with any thoughts that come to mind as you picture this?