Often I hear people say that God doesn’t speak to them. I never believe it. He’s been whispering his reality into your heart since you first took breath, it’s just that we’ve gotten used to listening to other voices until his fades into the background of our own fears and anxieties. The ubiquitous noise of our culture drown him out and the lies of religion have us looking for an accuser’s voice that we’re not enough, rather than the tenderness of the Abba’s voice.
Learning to quiet the noise and hear his heartbeat again is one of the great joys of this journey. Discovering that some of those thoughts running around your head are not you talking to you, but are addressed to you by someone who loves you more than anyone on this planet ever has or ever will. It helps to know what to look for. If you’re looking for accusation, condemnation, and disappointment, you’ll miss him. His are words of endearment, comfort, wisdom, and life! Yes, they may be challenging, but in a way that invites us into a greater reality, not that makes us despise ourselves.
Many have heard him who just haven’t recognized him yet. It may help to know some of the kinds of things God says. Over the years people have told me stories of recognition and freedom that came when they heard him speak to them. I love the things he says to people that are illuminating and liberating at the same time.
Here are a few of the examples I’ve heard:
- To someone lost in a temptation or addiction, “What are you doing? This isn’t who you are.
- To someone complaining about difficult circumstances, “You talk to me as if I am your adversary.”
- To someone drowning in feelings of abandonment, “I wish you knew how much I love you.”
- To someone with overextended commitments, “I didn’t ask you to do any of this.”
- To someone being battered by religious leaders, “They are not your shepherds. I’m your shepherd and I will never treat you like that.”
- Dealing with criticism and judgments of others: “What they think about you doesn’t define you.”
- To someone finding new freedom not to react out of their flesh, “I really enjoy you this way.”
This little two-minute video illustrates this all so perfectly as comedian Michael, Jr. talks about his baby hearing his voice for the first time. Watch the recognition and the immediate change in his newborn daughter. (Sorry about the ad!) And listen to what he is quite naturally saying to her in her disoriented fears.
If you knew Father was whispering similar things in your heart today, wouldn’t it change everything? “Daddy is right here. Everything will be OK. I love you.”
That’s what he is saying to you, whether you can hear it or not. Be still. Find a quiet place. Listen. Lean into the reality of his love, not the lies of our culture or your religious heritage.