So my dear friend (http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/onfire) and I were talking the other day about hearing God speak. And I know my last entry was about this too, but I'm on a roll, so bear with me.
We were discussing the difficulty in discerning what the Father is saying on those matters that aren't specifically, obviously listed in scripture. And what about those tricky times that you are SURE you heard from the Lord, and followed that Bunny Trail in obedience only to find that either a) you heard Him wrong, or b) the trail ended at an entirely different point than you expected.
Now as it was a rather long and personal conversation, I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say that at the end of it I was driven back to the Lord with questions: Lord why is it sometimes easier to hear You than at othertimes? Why do I feel confusion in this area right now? I know You mean for me to recognize Your voice, so why am I missing it?
Too bad for me the answer that came back pointed to my problem, not His (go figure). Sometimes it is so easy to look at myself and what 'I need' that I forget what God requires. How can I expect to hear the Lord speak in the 'big things' when I am not being faithful to listen in the 'small things'? What I mean is, is it really okay for me to expect a major "word from the Lord" when I am not consistently in the Word, reading it, meditating on it, praying it back to God?
People experienced in intercession will remind you to start small when you undertake praying for healing, for example. Pray for colds, before you pray for stage 4 cancer. That rings true with Christ's words in Matthew 25:21 "Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things."
There was a time in my life where I felt I was hearing more clearly from the Lord than I am now, and it was definitely a time when I was deep in the Word and prayer, and in a constant state of self examination and confession. I have wandered away from that. I am really busy, sometimes legitimately, and sometimes not. So, I 'don't have time' to meditate on God's Word. Because of that I hope for the instant gratification of a extra-sensory word. That way I don't have to do the work of reading, studying, praying....
Lord, I am convicted that my lack of hearing from You now is my wandering away from the 'small things' of study and prayer. I have not been faithful with those things, so why should I expect you to trust me with more? You, as always, have remained faithful. You are still speaking; I'm just not listening to You the way I should. Forgive me for giving up on my end of our conversation. I humbly ask that You will open the eyes of my spirit to Your written Word again. Send Your Holy Spirit to make plain to me Your truths. And soften my heart to be humble enough to hear what You want to say.
For your listening pleasure, here are two songs that apply right now, if you feel inclined to find them: Sara Groves' The Word and her Hello, Lord (check out www.saragroves.com/lyrics/conversation )