I absolutely love reading the Bible. I began reading it daily about 4 years ago and it has been a great part of my spiritual growth as I have learned from God’s Word and read through the stories of history that laid out in the Word and the teachings from Old and New Testaments. I firmly believe that The Bible is the infallible Word of God. There is nothing on earth greater than the 66 books He has given us. It’s amazing that each time I read it, that I learn something new. I gain new insight or God reveals a new idea or peace of wisdom to me and often times it comes at opportune times. That’s pretty cool when I read through something and then sometimes that same day something comes about that brings that whole message right back again.
With all of that said, in my reading and in some continued studies, I was given a realization about what it that God is really offering through His Word. There are many that say the Bible is the source of God talking to us and they keep Him at at distance. However, I firmly believe that what the Bible offers is an intimate relationship with God. He is calling us, through His Word to walk with Him and talk with Him, and yes, as I’ve said before, He talks back. Not just in the words in the Bible, but to us, in our hearts. Yes, God talks directly to us. The thing is, do we listen.
For some this sounds crazy. I used to often hear of people talk about God talking to them. God putting things on their heart. When I would hear this, it made me feel like an infant spiritually. I would wonder why God never had those conversations with me. This goes right up to last year. It never occurred to me the things He would put on my heart through different situations or that He even spoke back to me. For one, my prayer life was not the greatest, so I didn’t understand this at all. I know I’m not the only one who has had this or is still dealing with this issue.
I’ve learned a great deal about this though in recent months and I learn more each day. The first time I ever remember hearing God speaking to me and really recognizing it was Him was while I was in Colorado. I was out walking and reflecting on questions from a session we just finished. I was first sitting and reflecting on myself. Just doing a complete gut check on who I felt I had been as a man. Then I got up and started walking. While walking, I felt and heard God’s voice speaking to me. He told me that in my life I had never allowed myself to venture off the path the world had laid out. I had never fully trusted in His path nor been willing to take any real risk. He said, “Don’t let fear lead you. That’s the enemy.” He said, “Let me lead you. Trust me.”
At this point, I was just blown away. Completely blown away. Here I was, by myself, unplugged and I heard God. This was not the first instance that weekend either. It came again and again. When I was in my journal, words would just flow and I knew it was not just me. Then the ultimate was when He told me, “Your are a son…You are My son!” It was an experience like nothing I had ever felt and I knew for certain that God does speak back to us. Prayer is not just about a one way conversation as I mentioned last week. God wants that to be both ways. He wants to build a real relationship with us.
This is what is spelled out in the Bible. Relationship. God’s infallible Word tells gives us example after example of what having that relationship with Him like and how real and intimate it is and the life that is available in that relationship. There’s also example after example of people who turned away from that relationship and from loving God and the consequences of that choice. The Bible is not a cosmic rule book. It is God’s revealing to us that He does love us and wants to walk close with us throughout our lives.
Now, since I’ve been home, there have been times where I feel like I just can’t lock in and hear God. Sometimes I felt like I just was not committed enough to the relationship. Then I realized that in this the crazy of our everyday life and when we are under daily pressures, it can be difficult to lock in. We get so busy and so cluttered that we can’t filter out the junk without work. This takes time and work to get to where we can. Where we can get to our quiet moments to just have those conversations with Him and build on that relationship. It takes work and I know it will take time for me to get better at this. Thomas A Kempis said, “Be humble and be quiet and Jesus will be with thee.”
So just remember that God wants relationship with all of us. He desires this. He wants to converse and walk with us in our daily lives. He wants to converse with us and teach us to hear Him. Isaiah 50:4 says, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” Psalm 95:7-8 says, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” This is the other critical point, we have to allow ourselves to be open to hearing His voice and not ignore what He is telling us. Let our hearts be open to the fact that He speaks to us and be willing to hear His voice. Allow your hearts to also hear Him when He uses situations and others to speak to you as well. We don’t perfect this overnight and I learn more about this everyday and in how God speaks to me. The important start is to now be tuned to Him and be willing to hear and see all He wants to reveal in your heart.