Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hearing God’s voice


I'm thanking you, God, from a full heart, I'm writing the book on your wonders. I'm whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I'm singing your song, High God. Psalm 9:1-2 MSG

In 2004 and 2005, I was so blessed to write and edit the devotional book, We Shall Be Changed. It will be published in hard cover by Review & Herald Publishing Company in 2010. So grateful to God!

Although I wrote more than 90 of the 365 daily essays, this book is an anthology of many authors’ spiritual insights. Planning the content and theme, developing the author guidelines, finding the cover art, pushing the authors to meet deadlines, tweaking (often rewriting) their essays—it was a challenge, but a positive one.

Then, when it was accepted by R&H in 2009, I worked hard on the manuscript again, reformatting, finding 365 new Bible texts in the best version to illustrate the articles, fine-tuning articles again, replacing weaker articles with strong new ones, and much more. I’m so grateful for the contributions of talent and time by all of the 50 or so We Shall Be Changed authors.

But the best and biggest blessing was unexpected. Many in my denomination are fairly inhibited about showing emotion in religion. Raising hands in worship or prayer, clapping, even saying “Amen” louder than a murmur—usually frowned upon. If I claimed to have heard God speak, well, break out the restraints and haul me away, boys!

There have been times when the Lord spoke to my mind or made a Bible text almost jump off the page. But this book experience has been different. I’ve found God everywhere since I started this book. When I’m walking the dog, cuddling the cat, driving, listening to a song, pruning the garden, watching a secular show on TV—I’m in a mindset where I see lessons from the Lord. God speaks to me in His whisper, His still, small voice.

This is a fulfillment of the promise of the New Covenant, that God Himself would personally speak to our hearts and minds. Some people call it conscience. Others know by experience that there are supernatural messages from God that cannot be explained or understood in the same way by any other person. Some messages were just for me. The Bible verse I read meant one thing to the original audience, and another thing to me when God directed my mind to its meaning for my life. An instant messaging session or phone call becomes a way for God to speak to a hurting person through me.

The miracle is: I hear Him! And it’s my heartfelt prayer that you will hear His voice speaking to you when you’re exercising, lying wakeful in bed, waiting for your plane, or doing dishes, but especially while reading these blog articles—and the book when it’s released. The Lord is there, speaking all the time.

I wonder if God speaks to everyone in a continuous stream, and only rarely do we perceive a word or phrase as being from Him.

This GOD says: “I am GOD, the one and only. I don’t just talk to myself or mumble under my breath. … I work out in the open, saying what’s right, setting things right… I promise in my own name: Every word out of my mouth does what it says. I never take back what I say.” Isaiah 45:18-23 MSG

Thanks be to God for His words to us, whether written, painted in nature, or exhibited in the actions of those around us. Open your eyes and ears—He’s got words for you!

2 comments:

  1. Hello Christy,
    You certainly have something to be thankful for in having your book published. Your post for today caught my eye because I talked about the same topic this past Sunday and plan to continue this upcoming Sunday. I have been doing a Sunday series on Bible issues to correspond with a Bible study that I lead at the church where I attend. I'd love for you to look at it and let me know if you have any suggestions.
    The rest of the week I post on various topics. Wednesdays are stories about people. Tomorrow I will writing about a worship leader in a small church in East Tennessee.
    I'm going to add your blog to the ones that I follow. Yours may provide me with some reference and insight for some of my Sunday posts. I think I may use that verse from Isaiah as it is very appropriate to what I'm currently discussing.
    I'm so happy to have found your page and look forward to upcoming posts.
    And hope your book reaches and inspires a lot of people.
    Lee
    http://tossingitout.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, Lee, for your comments, and for adding me to your blog list. I've got several score articles posted here, if you check my archive in the left column. There are at least 20 more already written and scheduled to auto-post in the next few months in addition to what I insert as I'm inspired.

    ReplyDelete

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