Monday, July 23, 2012

I Heard God

I heard God a while ago. I didn't "sense" God or "feel" God. I heard God. Actual words.

I was praying about a month ago when I heard these words. I can't say I heard them audibly, more internally, but it wasn't a "feeling" or a "sensation". They were actual words. And they told me something I didn't want to hear and offered me encouragement for the future. Now maybe I just planted my own message in my head and attributed it to God. That's always possible. I know I have enough things floating around in there something may have shaken loose. However, it wasn't a message I would have chosen to give myself and it fits very much with the character of God I see in the bible. So I'm going to go with it. I heard God. And that's almost as frustrating as not hearing God sometimes. The message of encouragement was a promise. And that's where it gets frustrating for me. I am the kind of guy who does things for himself. I believe in hard work and responsibility and serving. When I hear that something needs to be done, I want to do it.

And God promised me something. And I need to make a confession, and maybe an apology. I have been trying to accomplish this promise through my own actions. In some ways I feel like I don't trust God to do what He said He would do and so I was going to give Him a hand, just in case. I see parallels with Abraham. The problem is, just like Abraham, I don't know how God is going to work things out and I may just be getting in the way and causing problems. So, I am sorry. Lord, please forgive me. Please forgive me for trying to force something that is out of my hands. Help me to listen and follow You, not forge ahead on my own. I believe You will do what You said You will do. Help me do what I need to do, or not do.

Here's my very paraphrased version:

When Abraham was 75 years old God told him to leave everything he had known behind and follow Him, and He would make Abraham the father of a great nation. And Abraham did it. Awesome. His wife was 65 years old and couldn't have kids so this was a pretty spectacular promise. However, 10 years later they still didn't have any kids. They began to doubt God a little bit. Besides, how's a 75 year old woman who couldn't have kids going to give Abraham this nation God promised? So, they took things into their own hands. (This is kind of how I feel I have been trying to take things into my own hands instead of trusting God.) At Sarah's insistence, he slept with her servant Hagar, so that he would be able to have a child. That created a whole lot of trouble for everyone involved. Even though Abraham did have a son through their actions, that  was not the fulfilment of God's word. Everything Abraham and Sarah did to "help" God out really just created a mess and did not bring them any closer to receiving God's promise. Skipping a little bit here and there, 14 years later God came back to Abraham and repeated His promise. (This was 24 years after He originally promised Abraham he would become the father of a nation.) Abraham was probably a little bit delirious and/or angry by now. He fell down and laughed and asked God, "How can a 100 year old man and his 90 year old wife possibly have a kid?"  God replied, "I'm God. By this time next year Sarah will have a son. Call him Isaac. He is the fulfilment of My promise to you." And sure enough, that's what happened.

I find this story super encouraging for a lot of reasons.
Most importantly, God kept his word.
No matter how much we may want to help God along, sometimes it's best we just trust in Him and follow Him as best we can.
Unfortunately, God also took 25 years to fulfil His promise. That makes me a little nervous. I can sometimes be a little impatient. Hence, my urge to help God along.

Lord, my prayer is that You will do what You said You will do. Please keep me from screwing it up. How I think You'll fulfill Your promise and how You plan to fulfil Your promise may be very different. Please keep me in Your will. Please help me grow closer to You. Please help me receive what You have in store for me. I'm asking that You will fulfil the desires of my heart. I pray that my desires are Your desires for me. I believe that because I am seeking You and Your will, they are. However, if my wants are not Yours, and this is very scary for me to ask, please make Your desires for me my desires as well. Gulp! Amen.

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