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"Many times they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me" (Ps 129:2).
I'm kicking off the new year with fresh resolve: Speak Up. Speak Out! (Proverbs 31:8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves." This scripture got me thinking. . . Are we listening for how God speaks to us all day--everyday? --or are we straining to hear a friend across the table in a noisy restaurant?
Last week I shared a video by Matthew Kelly titled: How does God speak to us? I'd like to take the next 3-4 weeks to unpack his thoughts (in quotations) followed by (How I see it) from the vantage point of healing from abuse/exploitation/betrayal.
[Point Number One by Matthew Kelly]
"Every single day God speaks to you and He speaks to me in three very clear, distinct voices.
The first voice of God is the voice of legitimate need. We experience this legitimate need in four areas.
[How I see it]
- Physically, I have legitimate needs for food, rest, activity, and touch. We need all four to thrive. The voice of God is a tummy-growl when I'm hungry, a yawn when I'm sleepy, low-grade depression when I need to exercise, and loneliness when I've gone too long without a hug.
- Emotionally, I have legitimate needs for a sense of safety and acceptance (belonging). The voice of God is the cautionary churn in my stomach when I'm in a relationship with someone who does not have my best interest at heart. It's also a broad smile when I discover someone shares my twisted sense of humor!
- Intellectually, I have legitimate needs for intrinsic motivation. "Intrinsic motivation refers to performing an action or behavior in order to receive an external reward or outcome." [study.com] The voice of God is the tedious distance between where I am now and where I long to be. "Wake up, sleepy head. Time to heal." It's the light at the end of the tunnel that compels me to take action on behalf of my own well-being.
- Spiritually, I have legitimate needs for intimacy with God and self. (If I don't know God, and I don't know myself, my relationships suffer.) Personally, I hear the voice of God best in the stillness and quiet He offers through nature. ("Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime"--Martin Luther.) Through pink skies the voice of God says, "You will always be my little girl." In the vastness of clouds I see His beard, and hear the reminder that He holds my life in the palm of His hands. When birds chirp heaven sings to me. When flowers bloom I'm offered perfume. Through falling leaves I'm prompted to let go. In springtime, with a wink I'm encouraged begin again. With every sunrise and sunset I hear, "I am faithful and in control." Insomnia is an invitation to a season of watchful prayer for unity in the body of Christ and the offering of special intentions for family and friends. Through rejection He exposes egotistical agendas with the loving offer to purify my motives. The Bible is the voice of God, though it does not compel me to study harder (!), but rather, to allow every word to shape my thoughts and desires until they best reflect through loving and humble deeds who I am created to be in Christ. The voice of God reveals my strengths and my weaknesses. Through my strengths He affirms there is no reason to feel threatened/intimidated or attempt to emulate another person's natural gifting. Through my weaknesses He forges empathy and compassion for the frailties of others.
Indeed, God speaks to me all day--everyday!
How do YOU see the voice of God?
- Practice listening with your eyes.
- Journal what you hear.
- Have your notes on hand for the next series.
We are not alone,
I'll share the video at the end of each blog throughout this series. (Fast forward accordingly.)
Published on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 @ 5:24 PM CDT