If you’ve ever been in that serious moment at youth camp or small group or cell meeting or Bible study, and the leader asks, “What did you hear from God this week?” — then you know: most of us make up a bunch of stuff to escape the wrathful judgment of our spiritually advanced peers. It’s like watching yourself vomit in slow motion. Not pretty.
You can take a bite-sized Bible verse or some vague notion of religiosity and turn that into a ten minute testimony about how faithful God has been, how He answered that one about “needing peace,” how you think God has been telling you to pray more, worship harder, serve better. By the time it comes around to the last person in the circle, everyone has written an extra chapter of Revelation and swears to do missions in the foothills of the Siberian mountains.
If someone dares to say, “Pass” — well, let’s all lay hands on her and pray for an epiphany. God can swoop in right now with a roof-tearing vision of angels and armies and six-winged beasts. You sinner.
I wish we all would’ve been okay with blurting the honest truth: that at times, for uncomfortably long seasons, we just don’t hear anything from God. To just say, “No, I did not hear from God. For a long, long, long time.” Or to not set this metric for our spiritual lives. Or to really believe that God’s Word is sufficient for His voice. Or to actually ease up on how we pray to Him. Or to consider that maybe we have heard God’s voice, but not in some audible, outlandish, booming-from-the-rafters sort of way.
Let’s consider you did hear from God this week: by the sustaining of your molecules. By the wonderful work of Creation spinning out photosynthesis, rainstorms, gravity, heartbeats. By keeping that car from flipping over into your lane. By putting both people of encouragement and derision in your lives, to lift you and sharpen you. By having those one or two honest people in your group who can also say out loud: “No, I didn’t hear from God today, except from everywhere we are not looking.”
We are probably making this Christian life too hard when we set absurd parameters on our spiritual progress.
Former atheist/agnostic, now a pastor and professional rambler. Have a B.A. in Psychology and M.Div from SEBTS. Both degrees negate each other, i.e. I'm still a dummy. Have a fifth degree black belt and I can eat five lbs. of steak in one sitting. A recovered porn addict, skeptical Christian, loves Jesus. I gave away half my salary in 2012 to fight human trafficking, and you can help. Have a mixed German shepherd named Rosco, have two toenails growing out of one toe, and I'm addicted to coffee, ginger ale, and tomato juice.
Christ Is King.