Usually, I find that God is only after one thing at a time. He only wants a part of me at once. He does not expect more than I am able to give. Just like it says that God will not tempt us beyond our capability, but will always give us a way out. How many times have you remembered to ask God to show you that way out, rather than just failing again? Myself, I know that this verse needs to be part of my daily armoury.
And last night my heart before God was: Lord, whatever it is that I can do that I have not done, in order to get closer to You, in order to enjoy that close relationship with You, I want to do. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what I have neglected in particular, although I know that I neglect much. You don’t mind about that. You know me through and through. But it’s the point at which we are failing that matters. The point at which the water is leaking out of the bucket; at which the blindness is. In Ezekiel chapter 1 there are living creatures with eyes all over their body. Spiritual blindness is like that. We have eyes all over us: and many of those eyes are blind. There is much blindness in me that needs healing.
God wants you to see in every direction. He wants you to see inside and out. God is all-seeing, and He speaks to us, and he shows us who he is, but we can’t see nearly enough, because so many of our eyes are blinded. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.
I don’t know what I need to do to get closer. But I’m starting to hear inklings, daily. Just get aside and pray with me, Ben. Worship me: do some singing. Open my Word, and breathe me in. Ring that brother or that sister. Make touch with your wife, with your son. God is saying: “Reality with me is all over the place. It is not in one place. My Spirit comes and goes as it pleases. One moment my Spirit is in your relationship with your spouse, the next minute it’s in getting a chore out of the way.”
I’ve been reading the classic ‘Surprised by the Voice of God’ by Jack Deere. Near the start he says the following:
I have found that if I expect his voice, if I really need his voice, and if I am diligent in learning how to recognize his voice, he speaks to me regularly and sometimes in amazing ways. In fact, I have come to count on the voice of God to such a degree that I can no longer conceive of trying to live the Christian life without it.
And in fact, for me too, I do not want to LIVE without the voice of God. Why try? Life is fruitless without Christ. Without the Comforter, we are no better off than the ungodly. We so need the Lord to give us our daily bread. He goes on to say:
Sometimes we fail to hear him because he says more than we want to hear. Sometimes we fail to hear him because we are ignorant of the varied ways in which he speaks. And sometimes we fail to hear him because his voice is drowned out by competing voices that masquerade as God’s voice, throwing us into confusion.
Besides the voice of God, there are at least three other voices that speak to us: the voice of our emotions; the voice of darkness, that is, the devil and his demons; and the voice that comes through the pressure we feel from family, friends, and others. Sometimes we mistake these three voices for the voice of God.
God will speak through many different ways. It is a lesson I learnt a couple of years ago, that if I really listen, I will get stuff from God through diverse sources, including non-Christians. God often gives signs, guidance, from non-Christians, for example. Confirmed open doors, ticks in boxes that we were looking for.
But right now, God is telling me that I need to simplify. I need to turn off the other voices. To allow him to take over the airwaves. To unplug the networks, to close the manuals and the how-tos, to put down the phone and shut the door. To weep, to love, to murmur, and to hear. And then ask ‘what’s next’? And right before me all the time the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.