One of the reasons we focus on learning to hear and recognize the Lord’s voice, and how to test what we hear, is because God often makes Himself the most real when He shows up in the small moments of our lives. We want to be able to recognize and respond to every overture He makes toward us, no matter how small.
You may sense a gentle tug in your awareness, or a song or word, or a sense of His presence that you have come to know through your waiting times. How do you respond? Simply, “Lord, I’m available. How do You want me to respond?” If you are doing something that can’t be interrupted, think of yourself spreading a protective covering like a tent around the awareness of His presence, then get back to Him as soon as you can.
There are times when God knocks on our door, then withdraws, so that we have to go out of our way to find Him. God wants to be wanted, and He wants us to prioritize our lives around Him. There are also times when He has an urgent message, and He makes His presence and message clear and His direction obvious. We learn to respond immediately, and ask questions later.
Sometimes He comes to us “about something,” and we pay attention to the content of His communication. But sometimes He comes to us, simply to be with us. The notion that God enjoys our company is something that most of us have a hard time with, let alone that He will intrude on our lives just to keep us company, that He enjoys our companionship.
The more quickly and peacefully we respond to God’s overtures, however they come, the more likely He is to expand on this way of making Himself known to us. This greatly benefits us, in that He can provide direction, warning, encouragement to us when and as we need it, as well as teach us to provide direction, warning and encouragement to others as each need arises.
Say you’re walking down the street and you notice yourself thinking about a friend, an acquaintance or your boss, and as you think about that person the draw of intercession falls. You find a private place to sit or stand and give yourself to that intercession. You may not know what it is about, and you don’t need to know, but you give yourself to that presence. Eventually it lifts, and you go about your day. This is just another form of ministry, the Spirit of God flowing to and through you, and is just as important and valuable as any pre-planned ministry.
Becoming aware of His possible involvement at any moment will keep you from compartmentalizing God’s presence in your life. As your awareness increases, you will begin to notice Him more (He was always there, you just didn’t notice Him).
This is also one way He teaches us to overcome the world system of Time as we learn to step back from our daily lives and experience every moment as an opportunity for God to make himself known to us.
“Lord, I give you permission to interrupt whatever I’m doing, whoever I’m with, and whatever I’m thinking about.
No matter how you come to me, Don’t Let Me Miss You!”
An important aspect of the nature of God that is missing in our midst is sound judgment. Somehow the concept of “judging” has become an unequivocally bad thing. I’m not talking about criticizing out of our own opinion, I’m talking about being healed enough, insightful enough, loved and loving enough to be able to see when a fellow-son is engaging in or heading for trouble and being courageous enough to (lovingly) throw down a spike strip and blow up their tires.
Instead I often hear that we shouldn’t judge at all, and leave that up to God, that others’ behavior is between them and the Holy Spirit. Funny though, I also hear how the church is supposed to be the “hands and feet” of God — He accomplishes His purposes through us. I guess we tend to pick and choose beliefs that suit our temperament and comfort level.
Well if you and I aren’t loving and wise enough to help our brothers and sisters by sharing sound judgment, who is going to do that? Their ex-spouse? Their former boss? The courts? Wouldn’t it be better if their misbehavior was caught early on by those who love them, and can share God’s ways of doing things? Like healing, freedom and restoration?
With freedom comes responsibility. As we are healed, and we are changed more and more into His likeness, His expectations of our involvement and commitment increase. As a child grows, his skill and judgment improves, and he takes on greater and riskier responsibilities within the family. Likewise in our relationship with God, the more we are dependent on Him, the more like Him we become in our soul and body. And the more He desires our involvement in His plans for this time.
“Lord, I want to be available to you to bring wisdom into whatever situation you choose, and I recognize that I will need healing and courage in order to do this. I understand that your Truth reveals areas in each of our lives where we are relying on our own standards and information, but that your Truth sets us free to live our lives as spirit beings. I ask you now to do whatever is necessary to bring my soul into alignment with my spirit in this area.
Lord, is there a situation that I have been avoiding because I have confused criticism with judgment? Change me, teach me what I need to know to be your wisdom in this situation. I am willing to be misunderstood in order to be obedient to my new spiritual nature.
Lord, is there a situation where I have been resisting sound judgment, rejecting it as human criticism in order to maintain my control in that area? I give you permission to reveal those areas of my life where I have resisted your Light, so that I may receive healing, strength, love and confidence.
Thank you Lord, I appreciate your persistence on my behalf.”