How does this image hit your soul? How does it hit your spirit? I know how it hits me. “Wait till your father gets home!”
There are many articles, blogs, books, videos, and messages with a myriad of lists with possible blockages to hearing God. I will speak on behalf of experience and expound somewhat on one thing in my life that blocked it or more correctly held me back from wanting to listen.
First the back story.
Like I’m sure many of us who haven’t walked with God all our life things were messy. We sinned and for a time loved it. I did. But then God came in His goodness…and the enemy with his badness. For me there was a daily struggle between condemnation, conviction, and correcting or whatever terms you like to use. I held a lot of shame in my spirit not the soul. Shame resides in the spirit of a person. Also being an introspective introvert didn’t make it any easier. I was constantly aware of my failures, character defects, etc. In my mind I had this constant sountrack playing that I kept offending and hurting and was a disappointment to my heavenly Father. Here was the agreement and inner vow: I have failed God so many times by sinning I dare not seek Him or else He will tell me to do something that I know I won’t do thus sinning and not being obedient again. How dare I seek His face and ask Him to speak when I know I won’t do it. See what shame does? See what demonically inspired introspection fueled by religion does? It cripples you. It crippled me. One of my only prayer for years was either “Bless this food to my body” or “God please forgive me and cleanse me.” What was weird is that I could hear for others just great. I could prophesy and have words of knowledge and they would be spot on in most cases. For me it was easy to do that when I wasn’t responsible for the outcome. A person could deliver mail all day without a worry until they receive their own mail. When I saw my mail all I saw was bills and junk mail. So what blocked me was I didn’t want to disobey God once again. Best way not to disobey is not hear Him speak because I always thought He would be directive. I never knew He just wanted to chill. Hang out. Enjoy ME for ME. I didn’t know God could and would enjoy the current version. I’m thinking of the digital age we live in where it’s all about the latest greatest version. New comes along and the old gets discarded. Thrown away. Worthless.
And then I found out a secret…God will not set you up for failure. That a test is not designed for your failure or to show you what you are not. But a test is a joyful exploration of my Father’s goodness wrapped up in my seeming frailty and taking life on together. God may set your unrenewed self up to fail or rather realize apart from Him you can do nothing. Know this: God wants you to come to Him warts, spots, and all because He’s already washed them away. Seeking His face is about knowing Him intimately not to get a to-do list. Jesus’ first and second commandment are to love Him and others as ourselves. Love doesn’t produce a project to be completed or a problem to be solved. Love produces an environment where the good, bad, and ugly can reside side by side until the Holy Spirit and man’s spirit come into agreement and start to bring redemptive death to those things in order for resurrection power to come forth.
The religious spirit will do all it can from keeping you from God just like the Pharisees did. In the Old Covenant condemnation was the ministry (see 2 Cor. 3:9) New Testament’s ministry is righteousness. Old Covenant death came by getting close. New Testament life comes by getting close.
If you’ve ever felt like how I felt then today is a new day. God won’t set you up for failure. Even if He does ask you to do something and you don’t do it then there is great grace abounding to you. That is what relationships are about. Walking together through the thick and thin. Blood is thicker than your inabilities.