It started almost 20 years ago: asking a single question.
My emerging spiritual walk would simply overflow in conversation. I’d request, with anticipation: “So, what’s the Holy Spirit saying to you lately?” I really wanted to know, for several reasons:
- to hear the heart and mind of God in the context of real, everyday life.
- to stir in both of us the desire to listen to Him more.
- to remind of His words that had been set aside.
- to build vulnerable, genuine relationships.
I received many amazing, sometimes very personal, answers.
The truth of God’s heart and character never wavered, but His personal application and encouragement in each life strengthened my resolve of His loving, intimate nature. In just a few words, or hours later, inner fires burned hotter. Understanding deepened. Lives changed.
There were, however, many looks of confusion or nervous laughs as well. It’s not the usual, “Nice weather we’re having,” kind of dialogue after all. This simple inquiry went to the core of a deep issue: Are you living out your relationship with God, daily, in such a way as to know, hear, and obey His voice?
Sadly, many didn’t know what to say.
So, after years of asking, somewhere along the line I’ve mostly stopped. Honestly, I didn’t want to make people feel uncomfortable. I didn’t want to put them on the spot. After so many awkward excuses and testimonies from many years past, I decided to soften my entrance. (I must note, I still ask with anticipation close friends and people I know who actively pursue God’s voice.) But with many, I’ve turned into a “nice weather” conversationalist – and it breaks my heart. I’ve somehow slid into the common mindset that discomfort is undesirable and deep questions are rude. That vulnerability is offensive.
But, is it?
Have we, have I, become so sensitive or so lax that we can’t challenge others and get excited to be challenged?
Why is this important?
AW Tozer wrote years ago in The Knowledge of the Holy: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” How you view God speaks volumes about where you are in relation to Him, yourself, and others. If you aren’t actively listening for Him, watching, waiting, and anticipating His constant, personal communication, your thoughts of Him will be tainted by self and the world around you.What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. #Tozer Click To Tweet
How can I know this?
Because I’ve lived it. You don’t have to be a scholar or scientist to know life is in a constant state of movement. Absolutely nothing sits still, unchanged. It is either moving forward or backward, toward life or toward death. Our relationship with our Creator is no different. If you’re not actively involved, walking with, listening to, sharing together, obeying, and enjoying Him, you’re starting to drift. Sometimes silently. Sometimes not. But you aren’t staying the same.
Think over the last week, month, year.
- What growth do you see, personally?
- What memories of days and moments in His presence?
- How often are you distracted by thoughts filled with Him?
If these questions make you feel awkward or uncomfortable, please don’t turn away. If they excite you and you can’t wait to speak, I can’t wait to listen.
As the year draws to an end, I can hardly think of a better way to humble myself and stir others to deeper waters.
So, I ask you,
“What’s the Holy Spirit saying to you lately?
- What is He whispering in the night hours or singing over you while you dance?
- What does He mean by His words?
- How do they change your perspective?
- What has He been nudging you to do, gently but persistently?
- What changes have been made?
- How do they give direction for your next step?
May we live in such a way as to be ready to give these answers. To call each other higher. To celebrate His faithfulness. To live in humility and love.
“As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ…”
Ephesians 4:14-15 NASB