In writing about ‘practising the present’ I mentioned listening as being important. Some, if not all of us, have difficulty with this, so I thought I might explore this topic a bit more.
First we believe that God reveals himself: He does so in the Scriptures, He does so in nature, He does so in our circumstances, and He does so through our intuitive inner dialogue! To access these communications, take practice and the honing of skills.
There are parts of scripture which are easily accessible at the most rudimentary level but with continued diligent study more and more is revealed. There is a correlation between how much ‘revelation’ one receives and the earnest commitment to seeking it.
The same is true in nature. There are some apparent truths that Paul in Romans says evidences God’s nature and power but a study of space or ecology or microbiology all continue the ‘revelation’ for the true student. Looking out the picture window at nature tells us something of God but standing on the mountain top in the Rockies tells us something more, as does holding our own newborn. The depth of our ‘revelation’ depends on our immersion in life and nature.
Our circumstances point us to God and his will and ways, but experience is necessary to pick out the cues. Sometimes this can be the experience of others, but it might also be my own experience which helps me interpret the circumstances and guide my life in God’s will and ways.
None of the above is very ‘revelatory’. We all know this stuff and are governed accordingly but, I would suggest we begin to fall down on this ‘inner dialogue’ component. It is a bit less concrete than the other means of revelation. We all have intuitions. We say to ourselves “I haven’t talked to (so and so) for a while I must give them a call.” Either we pay attention to this thought or not. If we do we might have a very consequential conversation, or we may not. We might live to regret ignoring the intuition or we might never think of it again. I believe God often speaks to me in this realm. I also believe that there is a lot of static like chatter that I need to sift through to ‘hear’ God. Jesus says ,“My sheep know my voice.” I believe He talks, and I need to practise, really practise, listening. Sometimes I will ‘hear’ wrongly, but with practise ‘seeking’ his voice amidst the noise I can and do ‘hear’.
I was reminded of one example this week as a memory popped up on Facebook of our Fandango of a few years ago. I distinctly recall the idea of throwing a party for the community popping into my head. I began to play with the idea. Several years before we had given out electric blankets to people, I recalled saying at the time “Folks live in rooms where heat and light are included but most of the heat comes in the summer!” With the idea of throwing a party in the summer I naturally thought about giving fans this time. As I pondered this idea (I had no budget for any of this) I thought I should call it a Fandango (I love a play on words). Soon we were planning a gourmet South Western meal for the entire community with electric fans for all in attendance.
All of this began with a ‘crazy’ intuition, but I have learned to pay attention. Not all my ideas are good. I need to use the other means to check my revelations. Many are discarded early. Some are total flops! But others bring joy and bring me closer to my Lord!
I encourage you today to heed your intuition and see if it might be “God breathed”. My life and minister is fuller because I occasionally get this right!