Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Jesus' Voice Sounds Like This

A few days ago I was listening to a speaker online discuss the ways that God speaks. When he started to talk about how God speaks to us through the Bible, particularly mentioning that it isn’t always about warm fuzzies and that God uses the Bible to convict us too. He suggested that when God convicts us it makes us uncomfortable, makes us squirm, and puts us in the ‘hot seat’ so to speak.

I believe that God does convict through the Bible but as I was listening to him, panic and dread quickly built up in me. I turned off the sermon and asked Jesus what was going on and why was I reacting so strongly to something I mostly agreed with.

In listening to this teacher speak, I felt that old fear that maybe God did require something of me and if he found me out it was going to be very uncomfortable and awkward and I would be embarrassed. Then I felt a slightly newer fear that maybe I was going to be persuaded by a nice sounding man who has a lot more training and experience than I do to return to those dreadful lies. Then I was afraid that I’d never be free of fear while listening to sermons!

I know that fear comes from the Enemy and is in direct opposition to the truth and love of Jesus so I asked him how was the Enemy giving me this fear?

Very quickly it came to me. “He’s suggested that you don’t know my voice. And you agreed with him.”

Now that is how God convicts. Just the facts. Firm but not the slightest bit condemning. I’m thinking, “Okay . . . if that’s a lie . . . then . . . the truth is that I know your voice. I’m gonna choose to believe you but how can that be true?! I feel like I’ve been fooled so often.”

I guess I got him going a topic he likes because he suddenly became loquacious. I wanted to share this because, well, it’s genius and because God is so much better than we’ve imagined.

“My voice never condemns, accuses, or shames you. My voice never communicates disappointment with you. My voice to you gives you peace, my direction to you is clear. When I ask you to repent it is an invitation to freedom and a request to accept more of my love.

“My voice does not give you confusion. My voice does not say what you are not ready to hear. My voice marks a clear path to freedom. My voice is enjoyable to you since you love my truth.

“My voice rolls with authority, affirms who you are, speaks to you with respect. My voice, even my correction, gives you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. My voice brings light and understanding. My voice does not cause you fear. My voice relaxes or excites you but I do not bring you tension or worry.

“My voice speaks of my goodness. My voice will not manipulate you or suggest that you are failing or a failure. My voice will speak better of you than you speak of yourself. My voice is gentle and kind because kindness leads you to repentance and gentleness makes you great. My voice is everything you desire.”


Anonymous said...

Any truth taken to an extreem becomes heresy.
What do you say to God's judgement of Anannias and Saphira? Peter, speaking for God said, "How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost:and the young men came in and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. And great fear came upon all the church, and as many as heard these things." Act 5:8-11
This is the same Peter who wrote, "And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear." 1 Peter 1:17
Neither does Jesus tickle the churchs' ears when, in Revelation He calls them to repent, lest He remove their candlestick out of his place, fight against them with the sword of His mouth, shall come upon them as a thief, shall spew the out of His mouth.

Ruth Dueck

Lauren S. said...

Ruth, I just found your comment, sorry. I thought I was getting them emailed to me.
I don't know what to say about Anannias and Saphira partially because that is a story that scholars differ in opinion on and partly because I don't quite follow your train of thought. Sorry.
As far as Peter telling us to sojourn in fear . . . well, there is fear and then there is a totally different kind of fear. I know that it is biblical to fear God. However, this fear and the fear coming from lies is easily distinguished in my heart. I believe it is a foible of the english language that they are even called by the same name.
I think the difference is between fear abusive fear, fear that closes you up, locks you down, keeps you constantly worrying and walking on eggshells, and freeing fear. There have been moments when I have glimpsed how terrifying my husband might be to someone who tried to hurt me. I would call the feeling I get in those moments fear. But, I am not the least bit afraid of him. I'm just really glad sometimes that I have him fighting for me and not against me, you know? It's the same with God. He scares me spitless. I would NOT want to be against him in anything but since I'm not, this "fear" is just thrilling. It actually brings me closer to Him because I know that as his child He would never direct his awesome destructive power against me and that is in fact for my protection.
I think this is also my answer to what you say about Jesus not tickling the church's ears. Jesus has never 'tickled' my ears either. There is a far cry between the absoluteness and strength and unbendableness of what he says and anything that is ticklish. He does call me to repent, to change, to let go of sin. But it is still out of kindness. I don't need him to terrify me to listen to him and he knows that. The Bible says it is God's kindness that leads us to repentance, not our fear of him. So it stands to reason that when he is calling us to repent, he will use kindness, a very strong, firm, unbendable sort of kindess to be sure, but not terror.
I know this doesn't cover all of the angles of this topic at all but I hope it helps to explain what I was thinking better. Thanks for asking. =)