….I think that makes all of us.
I don't know about you, but sometimes I feel seriously out of the loop, even envious, of my husband who produces sermon after sermon, and gets these great word pictures and nuggets from God.
And then there's me.
Now, don't get me wrong, I hear from God; a feeling in my gut, an intuition, a song that comes on the radio at just the right time, or a scripture read 'at random' exactly when I need it. I know that's God.
Sometimes, though, when I'm in the very front room of my house at dark-thiry in the morning so I can turn a light on without waking anyone up, coffee-less because the Keurig is really loud, I sit and read my Bible and pray, waiting for this sweet moment with God, an epiphany He's saving just for me, a proverbial burning bush, and….nuthin.
Hello? God? I'm here. I'm listening…..whenever you're ready….lay it on me.
Anytime at all.
Do you ever feel that way?
Peter says in Acts 10, that God shows no partiality to any group of people over another. He doesn't like your pastor husband more than he likes you.
Acts 10:34-35 -- So Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him." (ESV)
God speaks to His children. All of us.
He spoke to them in the Bible, and He speaks to us now in so many different ways, too many to list out right now.
So, what is it that keeps us from hearing Him?
Here are 3 big things that can keep us from hearing from the Lord.
1) Unconfessed sin
This, to me, is the obvious one.
Psalm 66:18 -- "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened."(NIV)
Of course some sin is just blatant disregard for God's holiness, but what about when you feel like you're 'doing ok?' (See what I did there with the 'quotes'. We are truly imperfect people.)
When my kids were younger, I would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and just feel that there was someone near me, not my husband. Sure enough, I would open my eyes and there would be this little face mere inches from mine. Seriously. So creepy. Sin can do that, little by little. One day we open our eyes and there it is, having snuck up on us without even realizing it.
Psalm 139:23-24 -- "Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life."(NLT) Even if you think you're 'doing ok,' examine your heart, and ask the Lord to reveal any area to you that maybe you're overlooking, or minimizing. Ouch. I might have just stepped on my own toes.
2) Absence of reverence
This one hit me. Like a dodgeball. To the face.
In Jen Hatmaker's book Tune In she points out that we are called God's temple; 1 Corinthians 3:17 -- "God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple."(NIV) She also points out that God's original purpose for the Holy Place (aka the sacred temple) is clearly stated in Exodus 29:42 -- "There I will meet you and speak to you."(NIV) So if the temple was originally intended as a place for God to meet with His people and speak to them, and through Jesus Christ we are now that sacred temple. Am I living that out? Do the ins and outs of my life reflect awe, reverence, and adoration for God?
"Your life is that Holy Place. A place of worship and purity, sacrifice, and glory. A place of daily offerings and praise. Jesus changed its location, not its sanctity. Just because worship became more accessible does not make it less sacred. Our freedom was never meant to become our complacency."
3) He's growing you
The first two reasons are on us. This one is different. Sometimes God's silence is not because of something we have or haven't done. It's simply to create in us a hunger for him. And, my friend, if we hunger for him, we will be filled. Matthew 5:6 -- "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled."(NIV) I love the Message translation of this verse, too. It says, "You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He's food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat." God just wants us to have a healthy appetite for him. An article from Relevant Magazine puts it perfectly.
"Think about you own appetite for a moment. When you're full, it's easy to be choosy in your selection of what you want to eat. Sometimes we come to God and we are already full. We are full of our own ideas and our own plans. We pray to Him not for His presence, but for things we "need" answers for and the specific answers we want. We pray 'accomplish my will, God' not 'accomplish your will.' Ask yourself this: do you want God, or do you want God to do something?"
Micah 6:8 -- No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. (NLT)
James 1:27 -- Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (NIV)
Luke 10:27 -- The man answered, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.' And, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'" (NLT)
God speaks in so many different ways. I'm reading/working thru Tune In by Jen Hatmaker (I mentioned it in reason #2). Now, before you go all 7th grade girl on me, "What?!? Jen has a new book I haven't hear about?!?" It's actually one of the first Bible studies she wrote. 2006. Old school. It's making me more aware of God at work around me, and the ways He wants to communicate with us. He's so much bigger than the box I'm all too often guilty of putting Him in.
So, with all that said, I would like to announce (drumroll…………) a blog giveaway!!! Yay!!!
I want to bless someone with a copy of this book.
I want to bless someone with a copy of this book.
I know there are tens of people that are reading each week, and I thank you all for your kind words on Allen's Facebook page, where he so faithfully shares my weekly blog posts. (You're the best, babe.) However, this will require you to leave a comment on here.
Tell me how you best hear from God. Thru His Word? Thru other believers? Thru prayer? Music? What's your sweet spot. OR tell me what you've been hearing from Him lately.
It's not hard. I believe in you. Make it happen!
I'll pick a winner at random with one of those generator thingies, and post the results on Friday.
I look forward to hearing from you!!!!