Personal journal entry, June 26, 2023: “Even after all these years of growing up in Christ, I still have knotholes of doubt that God will speak clearly to me.”
Both the Old and New Testaments emphasize Jehovah as the God Who speaks. I’ve read, heard, and memorized it, but in some situations, I don’t expect to hear from God. Why is this?
As I grapple with this reality, I find that coming face to Face with His Voice can seem as formidable as meeting an honored celebrity. It’s easy to click on a link about the star, but what would I say if I met them face-to-face? I get tongue-tied just thinking about it. If I’m intimidated to know what to say or do with a person, it’s easy to understand my apprehension of speaking to His Spirit.
Another problematic reality is whether I fully trust God is good. I can sing about His mercy on Sundays, but what about the messiness of a Wednesday? Past encounters with others make it easy to assume God just wants to pick apart my faults. Maybe I don’t want to hear from Him after all.
Or do I believe that He wants my best? When I read of the heroes of the faith, I find a multiplicity of suffering in their stories. Destitution, affliction, persecution, imprisonment. Are these the consequences of hearing God?
Maybe my doubt isn’t sourced in His ability to speak but in my own attitude and expectation regarding His character.
So, I rely on someone else to tell me what God says. This gives me the appearance of seeking God, but it’s only seeking information about God. Rather than expecting God’s Voice to speak personally, I allow someone else to tell me what “God’s will” is for my life.
I must beware these wolves in sheep’s clothing. Women seem to be particularly targeted by these narcissists, who use the phrase “God’s will” as a manipulative method for achieving their own will. Is this not the ultimate strategy of “taking the Lord’s name in vain?”
“So, Holy Father, how can I live, not by bread alone, but by every Word You speak? I begin by asking You to increase my expectation of hearing. When I am troubled or anxious, remind me to envision and anticipate Your Presence. Surely, if sheep can listen to and understand their shepherd, I can hear You. Expectation (“a belief that something will happen because it is likely”) is a type of faith, isn’t it? I must anticipate Your Voice by looking outside my assumed silence and into the “things hoped for.” This is the faith that pleases You. Speak, Lord, for Your servant is finally listening.”