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Life Issues

 

I make no claims to ever having heard the voice of God. Never have I heard an audible voice speaking in sentences                                                                                                                paragraphs and using the King’s English correctly while claiming to be the voice of God.

But there have been times when I have come away from certain situations and circumstances when I know God has spoken. That may sound like a contradiction but I stand by both statements. 

On the rare occasions when this has happened, I have found it difficult to explain it to others. Let me try again. This “communication” almost always happens when I am on my own. There are no witnesses (which makes verification even more difficult!!).Another factor is that I am usually in a quiet place and may be there because I am wanting to hear from God. Yes, I know that what I am describing can readily come under the category of self-fulfilling.

Thoughts form I my mind. The only way I can describe this aspect is to say that these are not my thoughts. I often find myself thinking, “Where did that come from?” They are unrelated to anything that I would normally think or say. Their timing is often ‘inappropriate’ in that I am trying to be focused elsewhere.

The terminology that I find most helpful is to say something like, “It was like God whispered into my spirit”.

I was on a personal retreat one Wednesday afternoon some years ago. These words came unbidden into my mind. “Mike, I want you to pay close attention to your relationship with Bev because the dynamics of your relationship are  the best example I can give you of our relationship”.

Now I stress again that I did not hear a voice. But the impression of these words was unmistakeable and I have often done just what I “heard” that afternoon.

Let me give you one example of how this works (from my experience, anyway)

Gary Chapman has written a very helpful book entitled “The Five Love languages” and his thesis is that each person in that marriage relationship has a love ‘language’. My love language by which I tried to communicate my love for Bev was acts of service. I did things for her. Motivated by my love for her, I would contribute to the household duties, help in the garden, offer to drive her places and so on.

While she appreciated those efforts on my part, those ‘acts of service’, that was nor her love language! What she really longed for me to give her was quality time. In fact, the quality time she needed was often absorbed by me doing  acts of service! Now it wasn’t as simple as I may have made it be in that description but you get the idea, don’t you?

 
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Psalm 27:4.

What King David was describing was quality time.

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

What Jesus was describing was quality time!
 

Now consider the comparison that was first drawn to my attention in that retreat those many years ago. The Divine Whisperer seeks quality time with me. So does my wife. One mirrors the other.

I often find myself trying to demonstrate my love for Him by doing things. Good things. Needful things. What He wants from me is quality time. That dynamic of doing things, left unchecked, will see the ‘romance’ leak out of the relationship to the point where it becomes routine, predictable, stale and mediocre. The tragedy is that I can settle for that mediocrity because so many of my fellow Christians have accepted standard.

It’s not that I’ve been unfaithful to the lover of my soul. I haven’t been ‘playing around with other gods’. I haven’t betrayed His trust. I still go to Church. I don't cheat on my taxes But something goes missing when I do things for Him at the expense of being with Him. 

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