Wednesday, 16 January 2013

don't be afraid to hear God's voice

So I'm a part of a group in Hamilton that prays for people and practices what is known as listening prayer or prophecy.  Last night we had the privilege of praying for a young man who is on his was to be a missionary in Asia.  After we were finished praying, he expressed that he was encouraged and that he had been a bit nervous  to come to our group.  He was nervous because he thought that maybe in our listening prayer we would hear things from God about the things that he does wrong, where he feels like he fails. 

I totally understand this sentiment and used to feel it myself.  I found it very intimidating to be with people who heard God's voice and often felt uncomfortable in their presence because I didn't know what God would tell them about me.  I was worried that I would be seen and condemned.  Over the years though, as I've learned to discern His voice, I have found that I couldn't be more wrong.  This is what I want you all to know.  God does not condemn you.

It has been my experience that when I hear from God for other people, the overarching sense that I get is one of love.  God is passionately in love with people.  Really, sometimes the love that He expresses is so extravagant and vast that I am left speechless.  Since love covers a multitude of sins, His love covers us.  He does not focus on what we've done wrong or on where we fail.  Rather, He focuses on who we are at our core, the one whom we've been created to be.  He focuses on the parts of us that are good, that share light in this world, that bring joy.  He focuses on healing those parts of us that have been wounded throughout our lives.  He focuses on telling us the truth about ourselves and our God so that the lies can be eradicated and we can be free.

This is not to say that The Lord never brings our sin to our attention or that it doesn't matter.  Of course He does.  He died so that we could be free of it.  However, even when He is pointing out to us something we have done wrong, it comes by way of love.  It comes with gentleness and the choice and grace to do better. 

The Lord does not shout at us that we are unworthy, that we are unloveable, that we are too screwed up to be loved.  He does not go around telling other people bad things about us.  He does not tell us that we are unseen, that we are unknown, that we are not cared for.   That voice, which I'm sure we've all heard at one point or another, is not God.  That voice is the enemy of God, the one who actively pursues our destruction and takes pleasure in our pain.  That voice lies and lies and lies.  It is NOT the voice of God.  It does NOT accurately represent who God is nor who we are.  

Please don't be afraid to hear the voice of God. He loves you more than you could ever imagine.  The Lord is the Redeemer, not the condemner.

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