“I wish God spoke to me”, those few words said to me a few days ago, had an addendum a few moments later:
“I am not sure I want to hear God that clearly.”
Because “hearing the voice of God” is the preserve of the weirdos, the wackos, the cult figures, the figures of fun, the ones who sell everything they own, the ones who look odd, who smell odd, who are dangerous, who are trouble. And the ones who make me nervous. The ones who tell me what God is telling them about what will happen to me, and are feted for their “prophetic word”. The ones who are never wrong, can never be wrong because they “hear the voice of God”.
And even if all of that ever becomes “safe” for you – even if you can convince others you are still really sane … who wants the responsibility of “hearing the voice of God”? Who wants “direct communication” and all the consequences that come with it?
“Paul I want you to do this (why do we always imagine it will be “a massively traumatic and significant”) thing. Do you understand?” Yes Lord but I am not sure how that helps me or our family or even You. “You don’t need to understand – you have “heard the voice of God”!” Be flattered! I know Lord, but You don’t know what You are asking. “You dare to question me? And you call yourself a Christian? I am not sure I would! Maybe you are simply dead wood I will cast out … ” I don’t think so Lord – but …
And so the guilt and fear continues! And once again we impose our own insecurities, our own learning, our own preferences as “that is how God does things”. And yet another obstacle, a barrier, a dead space, a dark corner … Yet again WE judge the very God WE “serve”.
“They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Can you see anything?’ And the man looked up and said, ‘I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Then he sent him away to his home, saying, ‘Do not even go into the village.’ “Mark 8:22-26
That post two years ago provoked this comment I have treasured ever since: “This is absolutely awesome. Those of you who “preach”… look at this take on the “trees”! Never EVER seen this possibility before, myself. Wow… just… Wow!”
And the glow of that compliment has only recently become “real” in my own world.
“Safe – safe – safe – safe – safe – safe.”
Every time I am in the building of a church, gathered together with others, about to open my mouth and offer a thought, get asked a question, all that “interaction and relationship stuff” … every time …
I hear GSHJ speak that word like a chant: “Safe”.
I “hear the voice of God” and He keeps saying just one word: “Safe – safe – safe – safe – safe – safe.” And NOW I understand that compliment.
We need to plan this God stuff activity, or that God stuff decision … how often do we keep checking those involved feel safe?
We will have a few moments of silence … how often do we allow our “congregation” to feel safe in silence?
We will sing hymn number XXX which speaks of the wonder of … how often do we allow our “congregation” to feel safe with a hymn they can each relax into and connect (as opposed to squirm and wriggle with a lurching tune and weird timing)?
We are saved – you are saved – we have given our lives to God – you have given your life to God – dear Father we commit ourselves to you … and don’t join up the dots – don’t connect that to life beyond the church doors – the “outside” …
How safe is that?
“Every plan” I have recently has been with that one word question as the trigger/brake: “Safe?” (and it is changing me) …
Let’s talk about God.
You are not feeling safe? That is important – let’s talk about being safe.
We need to plan but I sense we are not yet feeling safe.
Let’s talk about being safe.
We will have a few moments of silence, and so we all feel safe this is how we will …
Hymn number XXX may be one you are not familiar with – so let’s have a little practice first.
We might be saved, but do we feel safe giving our lives to God – and why is that important – why is safety important to God?
Two Touch Jesus!
If it’s good enough for GSHJ …