“The door swings wide.”
These are the words my therapist said to me with a knowing look on her face. (Very Mr. Miagi.)
I sat across from her with a questioning stare like I was trying to divide 72 by 437.
Thankfully, she began to elaborate before I hurt myself…
She said: When God tells us to do something, "the door swings wide" open. We don’t have to pry or peek through a cracked door. It swings wide open for you to walk through it. God's not a closing elevator door that we run to jump through and hope we don't get caught as it's closing.
He holds the door open and waits for us.
I continue to marinate on this thought months later...
Over the years, I've grown quite familiar with God's "no."
He tells me "no" a lot. I'm very familiar with His conviction. (Big time sinner, over here)
But God's "yes" is something I'm still learning to navigate.
Trying to discern "right" vs "almost right."
Or which path to take when both seem like perfectly good options.
Although this blog is about hearing God's voice and following it...
I don't have all the answers. At all. I misunderstand God plenty. And I straight up disobey when I do understand him. Just ask the people around me.
This isn't a message on perfection.
But God's done too much in my life for me to NOT speak up about my walk with him.
It's a relationship like any other.
I wrestle with him a lot.
I fight him on most everything.
I ask "why" a lot.
I ask questions about everything.
I talk when I should listen.
I think I know more than I do.
But there was this one day...
Where it was just me and God.
And I needed him.
I didn't deserve him. (not that we ever do)
I was drowning in guilt and shame.
I was on my knees in my prayer closet.
Begging Him to forgive me.
It was that wordless desperation for God to show up in that moment.
I had never needed his forgiveness quite this much (in my eyes).
And in that tearful moment, heaven came down.
I felt God's grace swoop over me like a blanket.
A complete pardon.
I didn't deserve the pardon.
I deserved wrath and hell.
I told him I wanted his wrath and I would take whatever he gave me.
But he didn't give it to me.
He let me go.
He loved me anyways. Exactly, perfectly as he had before that moment.
You know how they say you can't judge another couple's relationship from the outside?
Because you don't know what goes on behind closed doors?
That's how I feel about my relationship with God.
It's got its ups and downs...but it's ours.
And I wouldn't leave our relationship.
He wouldn't let me leave, if I tried.
That's love. Agape Love.
That's why I write this blog. That's why I LOVE to quietly sit in his presence just listening and waiting for him to speak...I love him.
One of my favorite verses about God's voice is John 10:27:
"My sheep hear my voice, & I know them, & they follow me..."
When it comes to my own words…
I have all the thoughts.
And all the questions.
And all the opinions.
So whatever comes out of my mouth…
It may be wisdom talking.
Or it may just be the wine.
One never knows.
As I was preparing to write this...I had my own words in mind...
But, God had something else in mind because it has morphed into something completely different...
I've wrestled with Him about it a lot actually like:
"Hey, God - what are you doing? Where are you going with this?
I wasn't going that way...I do not want to write about this."
& I sensed in my spirit God saying:
Red letter edition bibles have Jesus’ words written in red so that the reader KNOWS it was JESUS who spoke those words. Think about that. Think about how important it is that we clarify and separate WHICH words came from Jesus vs everyone else.
Mary treasured Jesus' words.
After I found this verse about Mary, I started keeping a log of the words God spoke to me.
I wanted to treasure his words the way Mary did.
That file is now 25 pages with 13,000 words on it.
My girlfriends jokingly say, “I’m so jealous of how much God speaks to you. It's like you have this direct line to him.”
I tell them I'm his favorite. Duh.
But, the truth is…we ALL have a direct line of communication to God. He's just waiting for the phone to ring.
He's madly in love with you.
One time I told Sandy (my therapist): "God just loves me so much. He’s always talking to me and being so confirming and tells me the same thing over and over so I know it’s him."
She looked back at me and said…
"Uhhh, I think that means you're stubborn and you don’t listen."
#BURN Typical Sandy. Always putting me in my place. And opening my eyes to TRUTH. Love her. We all need that. Someone who can speak the truth to us in a way that we actually LISTEN.
Okay, back to God's Voice.
There’s not one way to hear from him.
In the bible, he spoke through people, dreams, visions, multiple confirmations, prompts, scripture, prophecy, coincidence, divine encounters…the list goes on.
Position yourself to hear from him.
Get alone. Get quiet. Ask God to speak.
Listen to worship songs & sermons. Surround yourself with God fearing people. Read the bible. Go to church. Join a small group. Once you position yourself - You will be able to hear him speak more and more clearly. It's like turning the volume down on the world so you can hear another person talking. Give him a place to come in.
Get to know him.
A relationship with him looks like any other.
You don’t just trust people you don’t know.
But the more you speak to someone and spend time with them...
The more you understand their heart and recognize their ways...
The trust grows and you learn what to expect because you've GROWN in your relationship.
God’s no different.
He’s peace. He’s gentle. He’s honest. He's kind. His words line up with scripture. He doesn’t rush us. He doesn’t let us remain complacent. He’s patient. His word never changes.
The enemy is always trying to delay and damage our relationship with God.
So many times, God’s words are followed by a seed of doubt from the enemy.
That’s how he fooled Eve in Genesis and it’s how he distracts and confuses us today.
“Did God really say that?”
Confirmation. (Not coincidence.)
The word "coincidence" is used once in the New Testament by Jesus in Luke 10:31.
The word coincidence translated from the Greek is a combination of two words: sun and kurios. Sun means “together with,” and kurious means “supreme in authority.”
The biblical definition of coincidence: “What occurs together by God’s providential arrangement of circumstances.”
1 Samuel 3:8 says, "A THIRD time the Lord called, “Samuel!” And Samuel got up and went to Eli and said, “Here I am; you called me.” Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” #powerofthree #confirmationnotcoincidence
Gideon asked for signs and the Lord gave him sign after sign.
Judges 6:17 says, "Gideon replied, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me."
ASK FOR ONE IF YOU NEED CONFIRMATION.
God's the best teacher.
Talk to God directly and he will TEACH you.
Better than any blog I could ever write.
Although this has turned into more of a sermon. Oops.
Guess that’s what I get for letting him write. LOL.
New relationships can be like a baby deer learning to walk for the first time.
Sometimes they're shaky. Because they're new. That's okay. Keep going.
A friend sent me this text the other day when she was at the end of her rope and it's such a beautiful example of how powerful God's involvement in our lives can be:
She positioned herself. And he spoke to her.
I get God’s voice wrong sometimes.
We all do.
But we find him in the seeking.
RED LETTERS BLOG FOLLOW UP:
I've been writing this blog for about a month and shared it this morning on Feb. 17, 2019.
I was scared to post such a "Christian-y/Sermon-y" blog.
But I felt like God was telling me to keep going. So, I did it. #doitscared
And this morning - I listened to a sermon by #stevenfurtick at #elevationchurch and it was so well connected and aligned with the Red Letters Blog.
Just goes to show how God's voice really does work...it looks a lot like coincidence.
A lot like confirmation. His sermon is so on point and I'm so thankful for his words and the anointing God has put on him!! His sermons are always speaking to me!!
Do yourself a favor and check this out:
**Throwback** to when I visited Elevation Church in Ballantyne earlier this year!!
You're my homey, Steven!!