I had a rough day and I went to talk to a couple of people for comfort. We were sitting on a rooftop overlooking the city, eating brownies and drinking beer. And they were patient as I released a lot of pent up frustration with myself.
They said I should pray about it and hear what God says. One of them even said that sometimes he just drives around praying and listening to God for hours because he just likes God’s presence. That sounds a little bit crazy. Who’s got time for that? And I feel like if I did that I’d just be hearing my own voice.
But is that attitude why I just don’t feel him?
I replied that I wish that I could hear God’s voice, but that instead, my faith is very one sided and often regrettably emotionless. And I just don’t have the patience to wait for hours to hear God. I just think of all the things that I need to be doing. Plus, in the past when I did carve out that time, I feel like I might have heard God’s thoughts until I just concluded that they were my own. I felt like he didn’t show up so I just had to grit my teeth and simply decide to believe He was there with sheer willpower.
And this made my day even more heavy and pensive. I try to base my whole life on this faith but I don’t even have the will power or even know how to pray right. I felt like I was doing this whole Christianity thing pretty poorly.
Then the guy said something else crazy. He said, “Sometimes you have to rebuke all the distractions in Jesus’ name.”
That was weird.
But, the next day I was still feeling really unsettled so I decided to just try it. I got home from lunch and realized I had two hours before my next thing.
So I gritted my teeth, then released them, and dedicated the time to prayer.
To spare you the whole story I listened to some Bible on my Bible App, I had a couple songs come into my head and I listened to those. I tried to listen to God’s voice. I prayed that God would speak and tried to clear my head of any other voices. I even “rebuked” them in Jesus’ name. I tried to do it boldly, even though I felt silly.
And it really felt like I started to hear from God. Some images appeared in my head that felt very applicable, and the songs seemed to speak to what God was doing in me. It was really sweet.
We were having this kind and tender dialogue, almost as if He were a friend showing me pics on his phone, and then showing me different songs He was excited about. But all of it was to show me the sweet things He was doing in me.
But there came a point when something happened– and this is the whole reason I’m writing this blog. There came a point that really practical, logical thoughts entered my head, This is you just thinking up this stuff. It’s not really God at all. Remember, you have a logical mind and a logical faith.
I had “rebuked” thoughts like this over the past hour and a half but this time I realized that I just liked the other thoughts better. I liked the sweet presence and dialogue with God better.
So I let go of the other stuff and got back to talking to sweet voice of God.
And since then, the memory of that sweet time is enough to make me put aside all the pressing voices and tasks and productivity, because that time with him was worth it.
Raw Spoon. 5-24-16