In certain ways I’m sad that I’ve been a Christian for so long. When you’re saved really young I think sometimes you learn to just sidestep issues that you’re supposed to know but really don’t. At least me. I just think that in regard to certain issues I’ve heard of it so I must know it. When in reality, I don’t.
When I was in East Asia it was absolutely refreshing because they had never heard the gospel message before so it was completely fresh and novel. So they asked really interesting questions. I remember talking to someone about Jesus, how our sin made us guilty and we required a sacrifice to bring us back to fellowship with God, because God’s nature is holy, so we need to be holy to commune with him, and that holiness comes through Jesus. It sounds really theological but it was natural in the conversation we were having.
Anyway, the guy I was talking to, it was great because his question was essentially: why? It’s all consistent and makes sense within itself, but still, why does it need to be that way? For example, why do we need to be holy to fellowship with God? And why does this require Jesus? If you think about it, God kind of bent the rules with Jesus, allowed us to have his righteousness. But if God could bend the rules that way, why couldn’t He bend the rules in other ways, like just make us righteous without going the Jesus route? In any case, God makes the rules, so why is it set up that way?
And I wasn’t completely sure what to say, because honestly, I hadn’t thought that much about it before. Obviously, I believe the gospel message is true and there’s an answer to it all but it was just refreshing because it made me think about things I just took for granted.
So I always appreciate new believers because they have this bluntness about them where they ask basic questions about faith because they’ve never known. As opposed to me, who pretends to know the answers because I’ve been Christian so long I feel like I should know them. In a lot of ways, I think I’m worse than new believers because not only do I not have some big issues worked out, but I act as if I do so it makes it harder to ever learn.
The thing that’s come up most recently for me is hearing God’s voice. You know, I’m not certain I’ve ever heard God’s voice. I know I’ve done His will in the past, and that I’ve been put in certain circumstances by Him and all that. So I know I’ve been influenced by His will. But I have no idea if I’ve ever heard His voice.
So I guess you’re supposed to hear God’s voice when you pray, but I don’t know if I ever have. Even worse, I don’t even know what it’s supposed to be like so I’m not sure I would know if it happened. I know that audible or visual things are rare. So then what is it? A feeling? How do you separate that from a meditator who hears the/a Buddha’s voice? I honestly have no clue. And I’m pretty confident that Biblically there’s no basis for the “feeling of peace” thing. Besides which I’ve never really felt that either, except way, way after the fact when there were other indications of God’s intervention. But yeah, no clue what it really means to hear God’s voice.
The only thing I know for sure is that the Word is His voice. And you know, I’m not downplaying that. My problem is probably less that I don’t hear enough of God and more I don’t do enough of what I hear. But still, there are wide swaths of life decisions that the Scripture doesn’t seem to immediately cover. Like whether to buy a house in Sunnyvale or something. I guess a decision like that doesn’t necessarily require God’s voice but still, there are some spiritually significant decisions that could go either way that would be great to have God’s voice on. But I don’t hear it, nor know how to hear it.
It’s especially hard when other people do seem to hear God’s voice. What do they hear? How? Wish they could articulate it better.
Anyway, I’m the worst, not hypocrite, but complainer in the world because I don’t pray enough and don’t do enough what I already know to be God’s will. So I’m least deserving of hearing His voice, I guess. I’m not ready for it. Still, it would be nice sometime.