Saturday, January 26, 2008

divine dialogues

Lately, my posts have gotten further apart. This morning, I wondered why. I think its part busyness, part forgetfulness and part quietness--waiting for God to say something fresh. No doubt, through much of my spiritual life, God speaks and I miss it. You remember Samuel? As a young boy, lying on his bed, he hears a voice but thinks it's the call of his mentor Eli. After several times, Eli counsels the lad to respond, "Speak, for your servant is listening" [1 Samuel 3:10]. The third time, the boy begins a dialogue with God.

In that case, I think God speaks like my daughter Jenna. She talks nonstop--really. She always has something to say, something to ask, something to expound, something to sing. Always. Perhaps God is ever-speaking and I just miss Him. I'm too busy, too preoccupied, to dull to the sound of His voice.

But, at times, I perceive God might be a little like my oldest son. As a teenager, his words are few. Tiffany and I occasionally have to step back to decipher the meaning of his mumblings. Similarly, God can be obscure. As His disciples wrestled with the wind and the waves, Jesus slept in the bow of the boat [Mark 4:38]. How could God be so silent? In Psalm 22:2, the writer wonders, "O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent." Apparently, he was having (or had experienced before) a time when God was not so clear. The 400 years between the Testaments is called the "Period of Silence" because, during that era, no prophet heard from the Lord. Maybe God holds back His words. Maybe He isn't so verbose. Maybe He isn't up for talking.

I don't know the answer. But, when divine dialogue seem difficult, I remember several important truths. First, God is a personal God. He is inclined to know me and be known. He spoke the first "Word" toward me in His Son [John 1:1]. Second, God is always at work [John 5:17]. I may not be able to hear His speech, but I observe His handiwork. And, when I see what He's doing in my life or others, it's like eavesdropping on a conversation. Finally, it helps to turn off the noise. The voice of God is co-mingled with so many other sounds of life: schedules, responsibilities, debts, opportunities, physical health and emotional pressures. The only way I can really hear Tiffany is to get away from every other distraction to listen to her heart. We've got to eliminate the other sounds to hear God speak. Finally, learn God's language. I suspect that God is speaking sometimes, but I don't recognize His voice. But, the Father's voice-print is found in His Word and when as I linger in His Word, I begin to discern His voice at other times.

Funny thing happened on the way to the blog today. I wasn't sure how much God had been speaking to me. And, the more I wrote, the more I rejoiced that God has not been silent. Today, I am looking forward to a divine dialogue.

1 comment:

Bornagainchristianforlife said...

I can totally relate to what you are saying! Sometimes I feel like the only time I can hear from God is when I get to sit down in peace and quiet and just listen, or when I get to listen to a sermon while riding in my car. What you said has made me aware that I need to look at other situations where God is speaking and listen that way. Perhaps, I will gain some unexpected nuggets of spiritual truth that way.