Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Whispers from God

I'm enjoying reading The Power of a Whisper by Bill Hybels. It's simple, down-to-earth and truly helpful for thinking through the whole concept of how and when God speaks direction, comfort and challenge into our lives. So often we use language about hearing from God that makes us sound either super-spiritual all in need of psychiatric help. Bill's book addresses this and offers lots of encouragement and insight into the process of being guided by the God who loves to speak into our lives.

So it was interesting on Sunday to find myself sitting at the communion table wondering what, if anything, God would like to say to us as we drew towards the close of our celebration. We'd been looking at the man who waited in John 5, and I'd had this nagging feeling all through the service that there was more to be said that I was saying. That somewhere in the mix of worship songs, prayers, Bible reading and preaching, there was something that God wanted to say.

So as I sat watching communion being served, I asked God if there was anything he wanted to whisper. I'm not going to claim some great spiritual insight drew me to say what I then shared with the congregation, but I wrote down four things that came into my mind. Only time and other signs of confirmation will tell if these were my thoughts or from God.

Without making it complicated I shared what I thought God might be saying to one or all or some of us. Maybe it was just me, but I took the risk and shred them anyway.

  • Trust me
  • Forgive them
  • Start again
  • Don't give up

Nothing really spectacular, just three two word and one three word phrases. But sometimes this is all it needs to be. Sometimes this is the extent of God's whisper. We like to think that when God speaks it will be long and detailed instructions, but maybe more often than not it is a few words, a single thought.

Other times the whisper might come in the shape of a long forgotten verse or even a very familiar one. It might a verse we learned diligently or that's just stuck.

I don't know what we will do this Sunday. I'd like to think that we might continue to explore being open to God and give him the chance to continue to speak to us.

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