For a couple of years now I have pursued what it means to carry the presence of God and what it means to listen to Him. I’ve read various books, listened to many podcasts and spoken to a number of trusted friends and respected acquaintances about it.
If I’m absolutely honest I’m not sure I have gotten as far as I would have wanted with this journey. I have tried new methods of listening to him as well as old ones and still I would say I have advanced much further. This weekend but came a startling revelation… As I delved deep into John Eldredge’s book ‘Listening To God’ I began to realise that perhaps listening was more a matter of the heart than the ability to hear.
Imagine a friend that you talk to often but who doesn’t listen. Now how much more frustrating would it be if they especially didn’t listen when you were answering the question they have just asked. Do we do that to God? Do we ask to hear Him but then don’t listen when He speaks? Are we ready to respect and obey what He says or asks of us?
Here’s a small example. Often I will ask God for advice knowing fine rightly what I want Him to say. I ask and now with my conscience cleansed I do what I was going to do anyway. How would you handle a friend or family member who treated you like that? Worse sometimes I don’t ask because should he give an answer opposed to my preference I may have to obey it. To my shame to deny myself and to then obey Him is too often take me into territory I would rather not go. I’m in control and secretly I would rather it stay that way.
Summarised I’m trying to say this… If you ask God a question are you prepared to follow through with following his answer? Are you up for obeying Him even when it’s contrary to what you would want? Perhaps this is why He is silent, it’s not that He doesn’t speak but it’s that we don’t want to listen and obey. What in effect we have done is to have screened His voice out, His voice is most definitely there it’s just that we are suffering from selective hearing. We have asked for His opinion to perhaps try to fool Him and our conscience into believing that have done the right thing by asking. However by not listening and following through with obedience we have been two faced. Something we most definitely need to repent of.
I want a powerful, intimate two way relationship with my Lord and King but am I prepared to recognise His sovereignty and obey him? Or do I just want to play games?