Somewhere along the line things went really wrong with how people view our interaction and relationship with God. I mean, not shocking – humans messing crap up again…
It’s almost shocking how many times I hear people saying “you really need to be careful about claiming you hear from God”. To an extent I somewhat agree (I’ll get into that later), but I almost think this fear of mistaking your own inner monologue as the voice of God has completely shut people off from God’s voice all together. I think people have become so afraid of it – that they choose not to listen at all. They’ve become so afraid of getting it wrong that they avoid it. They’ve become so discouraged by the naysayers that they silence His voice, they push it aside, they chalk it all up to their own.
I once saw a quote on Facebook that said something along the lines of “I question anyone that claims they hear the voice of God, because it just reflects their own selfish desires”. Honestly, this is somewhat laughable. Very rarely does God’s voice align with my desires. When I feel insecure and undesirable – His voice speaks confidence and life into me. Telling me how loved and accepted I am. Telling me how valuable I am, how desired I am. Hardly my own thoughts some days. The voice of God has also been like the softest sucker punch when He’s gently correcting me – again, hardly in line with the desires of my flesh. So I guess yeah, if the voice you’re always hearing is perfectly in line with your own desires, and never corrects you or offends you – then yes, I would agree – be careful.
I definitely used to live under the assumption that God wouldn’t really speak directly to me, and if I thought He did – I shouldn’t do anything about it because there’s no way to tell whether it’s me or God speaking. Thinking back – I remember hearing from God quite often as a little girl. But there was always this illusive “be careful” hanging in the air. The amount of times I’ve heard “you really need to be careful with all that” – was enough to keep me from it. I didn’t want to fail – didn’t want to mess anything up.
I still hear this all the time – and it makes me second guess the voice of my Papa. Shame on me. Am I not a daughter of the King? As if a daughter doesn’t know the voice of her own Father? Did He not give me direct unrequited access to Him?
This super careful, walking on eggshells type of thinking is scarier than the latter. To shut God’s voice out completely should terrify you – it terrifies me. Obviously I’m not advocating that everyone go out and act on every little voice that they believe to be God’s, but I am advocating for the practice of listening to God and his voice.
I am advocating for testing that voice against scripture and counsel, and then acting on that leading if it all aligns. I’m advocating for intimate moments with the Father – where He speaks directly to you about who you are and how much He loves you, and then I’m advocating for a life lived out of that identity. I’m advocating for a Christian community that isn’t tip-toeing around the sweet sound of God’s correction and commands. I’m advocating for a group of people that aren’t trying to “be careful” with God. I’m advocating for people to encourage the act of hearing from God – not discourage anyone who claims they have. I’m advocating for discipleship that helps people hear more clearly – instead of a community that just ignores the voice.
God speaks. We are called to listen. If we’re so busy “being careful” we’ll miss it. We’ll discourage, push aside, and question others. We won’t take the time to be in God’s presence and we won’t wait expectantly to hear His voice. Imagine all the things being missed because we’re too busy “being careful” that we don’t listen when we need to.
So, my friends this is an invitation to listen. An invitation to enter into the presence of God, and let Him speak, and believe Him when He does. This is an invitation to stop “being careful”, to set aside any fears of “getting it wrong”, and take the time to listen to your Father. Don’t let the fear of failure keep you from playing the game (sports anyone?). Your Papa wants to talk with you.
And if you don’t even know where to begin – here are some podcasts to get you started.