Some time ago, I found myself lamenting about how I couldn't seem to hear God. It seemed like people around me were all hearing God pretty clearly for themselves and for me. I had people come up to me to release a prophetic word and tell me that God wanted me to know this or that. Don't get me wrong, I am totally appreciative of the individuals who shared the words with me and affirmed me about His great love. But being a thinker, I couldn't ignore the war that was going on in my mind.
'Is He not speaking or am I not listening? What is wrong? Why can't He just speak to me... uh directly? But maybe that's the way He speaks and I shouldn't box Him up... but hmmm...'
We think so much and rationalise so much -- sometimes it's like we create a massive maze for ourselves to be trapped in. Any thinkers out there know what I am talking about?
Thankfully, by the mercy and grace of God, in my season of finding answers, I met someone wise who unlocked my maze with one key question.
'What are you afraid of hearing Him say?'
This powerful sentence got stuck in my mind for days. When I finally got down to my journal and started reflecting... I realised... there are indeed things that I was afraid to hear Him say. And because of that, I had subconsciously not allowed Him to speak to me. Let's just say that that day was a long day... but 3 things came to mind that I would like to share. I hope that they can be part of your breakthrough, too.
1) I'm disappointed in you.
Growing up in a strong Chinese culture where parents are generally not verbally affirming, it is not a surprise that this sentence rings true to many of us. Spoken or unspoken, many Asian parents have very high hopes for their children. And for many Asian children, it is their greatest achievement to make their parents proud. When we do miss the mark, it is almost inevitable that we perceive disappointment from the looks on their faces and tone of their voices.
But when it comes to God, He is never disappointed with us. God does not expect us to achieve the best grades in school and to be on top in all that we do. In fact, God does not want us to pursue earthly things but to set our hearts and minds on things above (Col 3:22). God does not look at the outward appearance but He looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). He sees your trying, and He delights in your obedience towards Him. He says, 'Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these shall be added unto you.' (Matt 6:33).
2) What you did was so horrible, I am angry with you and I am not going to forgive you.
How can an all-knowing God be surprised at our next move, as if He wasn't aware of anything and thus be disappointed and angry in our choices? He already knows that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked (Jer 17:9). He already knew mankind was going to fall and perish without His help. Therefore, He had already planned for Jesus to come and rescue us before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:17-20).
If you need to hear this today, read it and declare it out loud over yourself:
"I am forgiven because of the blood of Jesus. If I confess my sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive me of my sins and purify me from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9)."
God's anger does not draw us to repentance. His kindness does (Rom 2:4). God is love, and He is patient with us. No matter how long the process might be, He takes the time to mould our character and helps us make wise and Christ-like choices.
3) You are not there yet, you are not enough. See that pastor there, he leads way better than you. See that vocalist on stage, she sings much better than you do.
If you hear these voices of comparison, they are not from God. God does not compare us with others because He created our innermost being and knitted us in our mother's womb (Psalm 139). He created each of us to be unique and special. He formed us and said that it was very good (Gen 1:31). He knows our strengths and potential, our flaws and limitations. He distributed gifts and talents among us according to His will (1 Cor 12:11). He knows what we can do, what we can't, and what we need to grow into.
God is the Encouraging Father who cheers you on in this journey of life.
These may not be the exact words you hear in your mind. Maybe you hear something more subtle, but the outcome remains the same. These accusations and lies from the Accuser draw us away from God and form an unhealthy fortress of lies in our mind. It makes us believe the wrong things about a loving God and hinders us from hearing His voice. May today be the day that you find courage to listen to all the good things our Loving Father has to say about you, and experience how the truth of God can set you free.
What are some of the things you are afraid to hear God say? We would love to hear about your journey in the comments below!