I do not know about you, but there have been times of conviction in my life where I feel as though I have to rush to know all there is to know about God. I entertain thoughts like:
“I should know this by now.”
“I’m almost 30, get it together Jerr.”
“I should be farther than I am.”
Sounds more like condemnation than conviction right? Right. But then, God so lovingly takes me through moments of revival and shows me that He wants me, He sees me, and He is waiting for me to come close to Him, with the promise that He will come close to me as well. In all honesty, the only time I feel rushed in my relationship with God, is when I am focused on someone else’s relationship with God.
“God ALWAYS speaks to her.”
“Why doesn’t God speak to me all the time like he does her?”
“God must love her more.”
These are all stumbling stones the enemy of my soul tries to throw in the path of righteousness that I try to walk in. But things do not have to stay this way. Two scriptures stand out to me as I reflect on this area:
James 4:8 King James Version (KJV)
8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
This scripture encourages me and stirs me. The first part of it encourages me that if I come close to God, He WILL come close to me. So that busts up the fear that He will not come and that He will not speak. He will not leave me hanging if I come to Him. The second part reminds me to evaluate myself: “Am I engaged in any sins that would block out the voice of God in my heart? Is my mind and attention divided between God and the world?” God is jealous y’all. He will not share the throne of your heart with anyone or anything. This revelation puts me in a place of repentance and deep heart change. I love God and want Him to KNOW He has a home in me.
Hebrews 10:24-25 New International Version (NIV)
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
1 Corinthians 11:1 New International Version (NIV)
11 1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
I clearly had a bonus scripture, lol. But listen, as we are growing in relationship with Jesus, it is not a time to get jealous and compare, it is a time to get inspired and get going! When I see My Elizabeth receiving word after word and experience after experience, my first inclination if I am in the flesh used to be to get sad and down because when I went to God, I didn’t get all of that. But in the length of time I have been in her life, God has opened my eyes, and dropped a little common sense of, “If you want the outcome, practice the principle.”
I stopped asking My Elizabeth questions like, “What is God saying to you,” and started inquiring things like, “Tell me about what led up to God sharing this revelation with you.” Then, I listen with all my heart. Now, I want to throw a disclaimer in here, God does not talk to us all the same way, but there are some prerequisites that seem to be across the board that God will speak in. For example:
God speaks in quietness.
This is not to say he can’t hem you up in some good revelation on a bustling bus on a busy street in rush hour traffic. It is to say that when you are tuned out of the world, and tuned into God– a stillness in YOU, He seems to magnify His presence and what he is saying.
God speaks when I do not rush.
This is the point of this post, to slow down. I am not racing anyone to revelation in Jesus. It is me, and Him, in an uninterrupted part of my day. I am not speed reading a passage to say I did it, because usually if I do I didn’t really get it. It is me pondering on a verse, or even a word, or even a passage. It is me holding my life up to the verse and examining it. It is me asking questions because I am in a conversation with God— He is speaking to me and I am responding. It is me picturing instances where I see how I can use this scripture. It is me letting it sink down in my heart, repenting for walking outside of the beautiful protection this scripture could bring if I used it, and thanking God for highlighting it in me when He did. It is me making up in my mind to obey and asking Holy Spirit to help me day by day.
That’s what My Elizabeth patterned, getting quiet with God, asking Him questions, waiting for answers, and responding in obedience. That’s when the fruit came. That’s when the testimony came. Because she kept seeking, pondering, obeying, and thanking God day in and day out. And she did it in her time with Jesus. Now this is not to say that we have all the time in the world to get to it before some big milestone in life. You have enough time to spend with the Most Holy God of the Universe. However, we need to hold in our heart that his return is soon coming so we should be stirred to prioritize Him TODAY.
We are not in a race. God wants to speak to us individually and collectively. God will speak if you show up, not like your friend, but as you.
- Find a quiet , clean, comfortable place– it could be your bedroom, office, or even car. Pray and thank God for whatever you’re grateful for. Share with Him how much you love Him. Let Him know that you’re tuning out of the world to tune into Him. Thank Him for the gift of time to slow down and just be with Him.
- Pick a passage of scripture. Do not always get in the habit of wanting something new. It does not have to be deep, just start somewhere, even your favorite verse.
- Read slowly. Think about the words used, look up any you don’t know. Read a little before and a little after to see why the verse is there.
- Ponder and ask God questions! He WANTS you to understand what you’re reading so you can USE it! You are in a conversation and He will speak back. Often time when you least expect it, He will send someone to confirm what He already said to you so you KNOW you heard Him.
- Apply what you learned.
- Do it again. Don’t move from that passage unless God leads you to. If you look up related verses, God will likely give you more nourishment and understanding of what He is saying. Take it slow. You are not racing anybody.
- Enjoy the process. Journal what God is saying and live it out obediently. That is how the testimony is developed.