Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hearing from God.

And after the earthquake a fire but The Lord was not in the fire: & after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:12

I'm an experiential Christian. So long as something isn't actually unscriptual I'll try it at least once. Nor is this more true than in the area of prayer because I have serious issues with thinking I am just talking to myself. I prefer conversations. I think God does too.

Because I am experiential I tend to think other Christians think the same &, you know, often they don't. Surprise, surprise. This has been in my face a bit because I have an acquaintance, definitely not a kindred spirit, who asks me mind boggler's like, "How do I know Liddy's a committed Christian?" & " What do I mean I hear from God?" My instinctive reaction is, " What? You mean you don't hear from God? Then why on earth do you pray?!" I suspect my acquaintance means only yeses classify as answers from God but I could be wrong about that.

I also know God is God, you know. Just when I think I've got Him all worked out & we're good to go He pulls the rug out from under my feet but this far down the track with God I've reached the point where I know God can respond to prayer in absolutely any way he chooses to. Scripture is good, nice solid ground to stand on, but less & less is this the only way God communicates with me. The old Quaker saying , "Way will open" is one way. Sometimes doors just slam shut & you know something's not a goer. Other times you just have to wait on the way opening. You know it will but God's not on my timetable.

Prayer is more than just praise & petition, though those are aspects of prayer. It is not just intercession, though standing in the gap is an important work & I have the utmost respect for intercessors. It is also listening, hearing, understanding. A pricking conscience can lead us into prayer. It's one reason God placed a conscience there. Similar, but not the same, is the weight of the Lord's hand between my shoulderblades. This usually comes as an absolute propulsion to stand up & declare the word of the Lord ~& it can come at the most inopportune times.

There are the one~offs. When I returned home after my father died, exhausted by grief & the practicalities of getting myself home down the highway, too shattered to deal with anyone or anything, I opened my bible randomly, something I do a lot but rarely with such results, & found my thumb resting on Psalm 68:5 ~ Father of the fatherless & protector of widows is God in His holy habitation.

I have heard from the Lord in dreams. In meditation He may show me things in pictures. More rarely, but the times I treasure most, He has manifested his presence as Love & spoken aloud & if I could have my way I can assure you I would let the world go to pot & dwell in the Shadow of the Almighty forever.

Now my acquaintance thinks I'm completely heretical ~ & I never did get round to discussing the issue of tongues with her ~ but I have scriptual evidence for absolutely every way the Lord has ever communicated with me. I have done the whole Job thing & absolutely ranted & raved like a lunatic at God ~ & He was gracious to me. I have wrestled with God like Jacob did & been overcome. Joseph dreamed. The prophets prophesied. I am slow of understanding & not always obedient but God & I, we continue this dance where I try & listen for His voice amongst all the babbling of the world & He tries to calm me long enough to hear Him for He has promised that His sheep know His voice.


Amanda said...

Ganeida, I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this post! And I say a big heartily Amen!

To be honest, I could not imagine a walk with God, that is boring, limited and bound to my way of thinking. Give me His way, all the time. He always communicated with His people, right throughout the ages, in dreams, visions and powerfully. Why do we think He suddenly changed His tactics, after the book of Acts?

The Holy Spirit was sent, that we might enjoy the same relationship with Him, that our spiritual forefathers enjoyed. Sadly, so many people stick Him in an itty bitty small box based on their limited perceptions, and miss out on this type of rich and intimate relationship with the Lord. From the time I was first born again (14 years ago), He has always spoken to me prophetically and intimately this way.

I have felt His presence, and heard His voice (not audibly, but I long for that!)... He has manifested His presence in so many beautiful ways and like you, I could stay there forever. He often speaks to me via a picture (mental image), and even visions that have played out like a movie in front of my eyes. He shows me His truth via modern parables... a simple example is I may see a large tree, with a vine growing up it and from that, He explains things to me. I catch on much quicker to truths, when He communicates to me like that. I love it!

I know how frustrating it is when people can't grasp the reality of Who He really is, and undermine that what you experience with Him, is heretical. Well, I actually feel sorry for them as they are missing out big time.
And we are in good company, as Jesus was often labeled as a heretic on many occassions... the pharisees even insinuated that bezelbub (satan) was behind His miracles and teachings, so I guess it is all par for the course.

If Father has a variety of gifts for His child, wouldn't He be upset if you rejected them and didn't want to open them up? I think He gets very frustrated with people who have Him confined to the book of Acts and then no more 'power' allowed. Imagine telling God that sorry, but no more miracles allowed, or sorry, You can only speak to me this way as per the doctrine of my church. eeek!

I am so glad I found your blog, and had the chance to *meet* you. I love your heart and spirit for Him. You speak my language lol and it is so refreshing! :) I leave here this morning, all the more inspired... thank you!

Bonnie said...

I loved this post too! I have been wrestling with prayer myself of late. Having to do with two instances of hearing from God. Last year as we were praying for a baby I heard God say, "you will have a baby next year." Shortly after that we were asked to consider adopting a baby connected to our church, who was born in January. I thought for sure that was the promise I had heard. It turned out in the end, that the birth mother changed her mind. We have come to understand all of the circumstances and feel certain now that God protected us from a very difficult situation. In the process of all of that an intercessor from church had a word from God for us. It was that we would have a baby, a boy. She felt this year, but that hasn't happened (as of yet). So, I struggle to remain faithful to what we have heard and what someone else has confirmed. But more than anything I trust God and His plan for our lives, even when I don't understand it. Some day I will, or I will at least have the peace to go on without understanding.

Do I continue to ask? You betcha!

Persuaded said...

Several times in my life (dare I say often?) I have felt the Lord speaking to me. Felt is the only way I can describe it... actual words but no audible sound, if you know what I mean. Extremely clear form of communication- there is no mistaking His words and intent, in fact I can recall the very intonation of each of these communications even now, years later. The most recent was regarding wearing a headcovering. I felt, "Would you wear a headcovering if I asked you to?" and then when I demurred (I have always dreaded the very idea of covering, lol,) once again, "To show yourself set apart for Me?" And then, of course what could I do? What can one do when God asks something of one in such a manner, other than obey?
It deeply saddens me that other folks have a problem with hearing from God like this... I have had folks ask, "So ummmm, you actually think God spoke to you? Really?" like I am some kind of heretical lunatic. Other folks get all stern and go chapter and verse with me- they believe that God does not speak individually anymore now that we have completed scripture and me? Well, I know what I have lived- and woe upon me if I deny the voice of the Lord♥

You wrote:"Other times you just have to wait on the way opening. You know it will but God's not on my timetable."
I am praying through something like this right now. I think I have been unintentionally trying to force my own agenda and timetable. I think I have been seeing the problem, focusing on the problem and then trying to come up with the solution. When I should be focusing on God and letting Him come up with the solution. I'm actually heading into a week of fasting regarding this.... so if you feel led to pray for me this week... well, I wouldn't mind a single bit, is all I'm saying;-D

Ganeida said...

Amanda: I think this is how we learn to fall in love with God. We expereince His presence & after that it is a hunger in our very bones. The trick is to desire God rather than the experience! ☺

Bonnie: I will stand in agreement with you [pretty sure I know the desire of your heart on this one☺]

Diane: I get so tired of people wanting me to justify how God deals with me. I couldn't have been much more surprised when God spoke but given the way I was ranting something was needed to shut me up. lol I do not understand people who pray but don't have God speak to them ~ one way or another. Liddy now, that girl is definitely odd. A kinesthetic & she *feels answers in her body* ~ like she knows she is called to mountainous country through feeling herself climb ~ that sort of thing. Weird but she gets it & God knows she does. I get lots of picturey things because I'm a visual & understand what I *see*

Hey I will try & remember but my routine is out again. One boy home; early riser & my verandah is too cold now first thing. I'm still trying to figure out a new quiet space.

Gerry Snape said...

I know that I have talked about the celtic way of the "thin place" as I am originally from Ireland, but now I'm in England and this morning I didn't go to church and spent the time just being in the back field and that was also a thin place of thoughts and conversations with God and the birds knew and I knew it.Thankyou for your post.

Ganeida said...

Gerry: Now I am fascinated! I will have to go find & read what you have to say. I completely understand the *thin place* though that is the first time I have ever heard the term used. Even as a child I had problems because lots of this world seems thin to me ~ but then I'm mostly Scot & we all know the Scots are mostly Irish! lol

seekingmyLord said...

I know you know what I think already, so I will try to be brief. I feel pity for those who choose to believe the Lord is not talking to them. I believe He talks clearly and often to all, but I admit that I am not always willing to hear. I also do not understand how anyone can talk to God and not listen to Him. I cannot imagine He wishes a one-way conversation--such a contradiction in terms, really--any more than I do. I think it is far more likely that the ones God sees as heretical were the ones who reject that He is speaking to them.

The only proof, Ganeida, is in the experience. Perhaps it is because, in your spiritual walk, you have matured to the point that you experience the Lord. For you it as one would walk in the woods, breathing in nature and notice the smallest things and hearing every bird's song. A person on the same path might be so intent on getting to a destination, they miss out on what was provided for them to enjoy the walk far more.

Amanda said...

Wow! I just have to, just gotta, say that I have enjoyed reading all the other comments on this post... You all strike a cord with me.

Seekingmylord, I like your style ;) I would say though, that one doesn't need to be 'mature' to experience the Lord... an open heart, that doesn't put Him in a box, is usually sufficient lol.

That word 'heretic' has been coming up all week, and I am starting to feel pretty special having been labelled one myself just recently LOL LOL.

Ganeida said...

Seeking: I love your metaphore! I have a friend who loves to hike with me. She says it's slow but she sees so much more because I watch for the least little thing. lol

Amanda: All my bloggy friends are sweeties &very interesting people themselves. Enjoy.

Jan Lyn said...

Oh Ganeida, we are on the same page. Yes, His sheep hear his voice. I feel that I am experiential Christian as well and believe in all sorts of prayers. I am learning more and more that "Christians" come in all sorts of varieties and I usually find that I am seem to be the Heinz variety not quite made I find a lot of common ground here in this well written piece. Thank you for blessing us!
Jan Lyn