Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Confirmation

I think one of the coolest things about Walking with God is when He confirms and reconfirms that you are, in fact, hearing His voice.  Had it not been for some very key confirmations, I probably would have given up on even trying to hear Him, again.

It was such an internal struggle for me.  Wanting to hear Him so badly, but not being able to discern what was and what was NOT His voice...

I'm one of those unlucky souls who is a product of legalism...  You know, try real hard to do everything right, look perfect, try harder, what is wrong with you, why aren't you perfect yet, legalism.  Throw in a few other less than perfect circumstances in life and the result is a whole heckuva lot of condemnation, guilt, shame and all around not good enough syndrome.  Did I mention guilt?  This, of course, fosters a view of God that is not exactly who He actually is.  Again, you know the one, ready to smite you at the drop of hat, cannot be pleased no matter how hard you try, wishing you could be like so and so, ready to give up on you if you don't get it figured out, and overall just mad at you more often than not.  

Getting back to my point.  I want to hear God, but it's taken me about 5 years to figure out God is nothing like what I just described.  Okay, so now I have figured out that God is, in fact, crazy in love with me, despite the fact that He knows I will never get it right on my own.  This is someone I'm willing to chat with.  But how?  

Anyone that knows me, knows I can talk like the Lions can suck.  I mean, I. Can. Talk.  This isn't the problem.  I'm also a very good listener, when I get enough sense to hush for a hot second. So why can't I hear God?  The ROAR of the voices in my head...  Oh, make it stop!   Now - let me clarify.  I won't even try to convince you that I'm NOT crazy, because I'm completely convinced that I am.  However, that's not what I mean by voices in my head.  It's almost like second grade again.  The teacher asks a question and at least 5 kids are stretching their arms out of the sockets - Pickmepickmepickme!!!!!!  Only in my head, the little brats don't wait to be called on, they just shout out the answers.  Guilt is always the loudest.  Shame usually has something to say...  Are you following me or have I completely lost you?  I ask God a simple question. Should I?  I assume that whatever answer I want to hear isn't God.  On some sick level, it may be that I still can't shake my old idea of God, so deep down I may still be thinking - why on earth would God want to give me what I want, right?  Even if I know it's possible that God could give me my hearts desire, (hello - that's in the Bible!) I still really hesitate to hear a voice in my own head telling me the answer I like to a question that I asked and say - GOD SAID!  I mean really, be careful with that one, right? But if I hear the other answer, the one I don't want to hear, what I think God would say, then isn't that just me still?

So you can see how it would just be easier to throw in the towel.  Which is what I did, about the first five hundred times I tried it.

One day, I decided I would step out in faith.  What a concept, right?  So I decided, I would go with what I truly thought God was saying.  I thought, hey - as long as he's not telling me to jump off a bridge or kick my dog, what's the worst that could happen?  So I started giving it a try.  I also decided that I would write down my conversations.  I discovered something very cool...

It turns out, though I might interrupt other people, at times, I don't seem to be able to interrupt myself.  At least, not when I'm talking to God and writing it down.  As I'm writing out my own thoughts, if something sort of "breaks through", I've found it's usually God speaking.  I started going with it.  "Is there anything else, Lord?"  And there was.  "Where should I read, Lord?"  James.  "James?"  James took me to someplace in Corinthians, because at the top of James, in my Bible, I'd written Corinthians something or other.  I go there.  More of the same. It's all speaking into what I'm struggling with.  Paul is bringing it.  Yes, this is definitely God.  I couldn't make this up if I tried.  

One day I was reading in Proverbs.  Every day that I sit down intentionally with the Lord, I read the corresponding Proverb.  Ever notice there are 31 Proverbs?  Some months it works out perfectly, others - you read an extra or two the last day.  It's awesome.  Anyway, it must have been the 3rd of this month, because I was reading in Proverbs 3.  Verse 5 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In ALL your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.  It really spoke to me that day, even though I'd heard it approximately one million times before.  I thought Wow.  In ALL your ways.  Not in some of your ways, or when you feel like it, or when you're laying down to sleep at night or when you stub your toe or run out of gas.  In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.  It was a pretty big deal.  That was Friday.  On Sunday, the former Pastor of our church came up and "brought a word"  (this happening in church is a little new to me, which is the only reason I put quotes around it.)  He said that God woke him up in the middle of the night and said he needed to share this in church the next day.  Any guesses?  Proverbs 3:5.  Confirmation.  

So. Here I am.  On this journey.  And it makes more sense than it used to.  I have a lot more work to do, but I took a tiny step of faith and God has been lighting a little more of the path for me each time I trust Him and move forward.  I love it.  God told me some other BIG DEAL stuff and I thought, Well, this is great - but I don't know what my husband is going to say.  My husband said - yep, God told me the same thing.  What a relief.  

So.  When the voices in my head are so loud, I just say shut up.  When I hear God's still small voice I say, "Speak Lord, for your servant is listening."

4 comments:

~jen~ said...

Beautiful.
I can relate on so many levels.
It's sometimes very hard to discern whether it's God or "little me" talking inside of my head...so I tend to ignore the first call to something. I know that this may be irresponsible in some eyes...hey, YOU, the Lord is talking...get listening! But I'm so skeptical sometimes and don't want to make a mistake. But when it comes up again, and again somewhere else, out of someone else's mouth...I know that it's not "just little me" telling me things. It's a constant struggle...and one that I hope to overcome and act on the first call in the future.

Ginger said...

so what's the BIG DEAL??? You've got me pretty curious! I'm so glad that you are having such wonderful results!

Emily said...

Oh, friend...how I'm seeking to learn the very same thing. I agree with Jen's words...is it "little me" or is it Him and what does that look like? Anyhoo, i'm sorry i still haven't called back..it's been a crazy two weeks. Love you.

Emily J said...

i could not love you anymore - dude you just lovingly whooped my butt. this post rocked my face off! Your name is totally going above mine on the book. Praise Jesus for you and this blog...

LOVE it! Love you!

Nailed,
Em