Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Disconnected?


After typing up a storm last week, I almost forgot to start writing this week. It's been a busy and long week, already. I'm still here though. So, let me get a running jump at this...

I hear so many people say, "I've heard from the Lord on this decision, so I have peace about it." I hear it on everything from what car to buy to what color of socks to pick out in the morning. I hear it concerning jobs and careers, what school to attend and whether or not to continue a relationship. We Christians have this idea or belief that we ought to hear some sort of an audible voice of God in our minds or "hearts" about decisions we make. Some just think it's all about "bigger" stuff. Some stand in front of their underwear drawer in the morning wondering if it's more spiritual or "Spirit led" to pick the blue ones or the red ones.

The funny thing is, as much as I love and believe in Jesus, I can say that I don't think I've ever heard His voice (maybe once, but that's a long story for another time). I've asked God over and over about different things, and the spiritual community around me during a lot of my formative adult years had me convinced that I needed to wait to hear from God before I made my decision. I never made any important decision, which made it for me. It was a defacto no, constantly. I didn't apply for important career positions, I didn't lay hold of personally enriching opportunities, and I wondered if my choice of purple boxers was spiritual enough to please God, today (which, is pretty funny, eh?).

It wasn't until I quit trying to listen for a response that never came about those issues that my life started moving ahead. I made mistakes for years, but I was actually doing and learning important things, rather than sitting on my hands in fear.

Still, I hear people tell me, "The Lord said I had to sell my car," or "Every decision ought to be led by the Holy Spirit." [A side note for my non-Christian homies that aren't in the know: the Holy Spirit is a part of the Trinity that makes up God, the other being Jesus and the One who we refer to as the Father] Part of me just wants to write off people like that and say they're out of their gourd. Another part wishes that I could claim the same because it would make me "feel" more spiritual. However, then I think about the truth of the matter: I'm not just walking around blindly claiming that God is making all of my decisions for me. I'm standing as culpable for making wise decisions based on my principles before my fellow humans, not just pointing at God, as if I can make Him hold the bag for what stupid thing I did or did not choose. What is more mature and spiritual than taking responsibility for your own actions?

And, just because I don't hear doesn't mean I've quit asking. And, rather, it means I need to have a greater faith in God because I'm living with the hope that He is moving, directing and guiding me mostly beyond the awareness of my cognitive mind. I have to trust that mystical things are happening daily without my ability to perceive it.

And, I don't know if I really need to "hear" God about things. I'll allow the brilliant Rachel Held Evans to sum it up:
I already know what God wants me to do. He wants me to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with him (Micah 6:8). He wants me to love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:36-40). He wants me to go and make disciples of every nation (Matthew 28:19). He wants me to imitate Jesus (Ephesians 5:1). {emphasis mine}

4 comments:

Delia said...

I believe God speaks to us through our Bibles in exactly the way you quoted from Rachel Held Evans; it's just up to us to read our Bibles to know wht He wants us to do. Then we have to try to do it. (Notice I say "try"- for the non-Christians- most of us fail to do what God wants us to do. Just like the errant teen; we're not very good at doing what we're told.)

I've never understood why people blame their decisions on God. I'm pretty sure God doesn't really care what color our socks are so long as we love Him and one another while we're wearing them :)

Niki said...

I can't believe I missed this. So, I'm coming to the discussion very late. You and I have talked about this a few times, and as always, we've had good discussions. I am one who does hear from God, but I also believe that He gave me a brain and heart to make choices based on what I know of Him and His desires for me. I loved the Rachel Evans quote and couldn't agree more. I also agree with you that God doesn't care what color underwear we choose. It's not as if we make the wrong choices we're damned for life. That would be the opposite of living in grace and freedom - gifts from Him.

I think there is wisdom in asking God what He thinks and listening/watching for a response. If He remains silent, then by all means make your decision, but sometimes He answers through the nudging of the Holy Spirit, other people, His word, and a myriad of other ways. Yes, we have to have that faith that trusts He is moving. :)

Dionna said...

Oh - I love this post! I've struggled with the same thing. Hearing people label their decisions in almost a way as if I shouldn't question their judgement. But, I just wonder how many of our decisions are truly what God told us to do, and how many were simply our passionate wishes?

KingJaymz said...

Thanks, Dionna, and welcome to the cafe. Susan B. Anthony once said, "I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." I love that quote. I makes me feel better for being a "doubter" when it comes to that.