Responding to God
God speaks to His people, expressing His heart and His perspective to them. God shares Himself out of His desire to have an intimate personal love relationship with each one of us. God does not just love us, He is love. Love is the very essence of who He is and what He is. You cannot experience God without experiencing His all-encompassing love.
Yet for those of you who, like me, have known God for a long time, you can almost forget how amazing it is that God invites each of us to experience and share His love with Him. Not only is that what God desires but it is actually what each of us was created for.
So, if you ever feel that God is not communicating with you, know that it is not because He is not talking to you. God loves to speak to us but so often people are not sensitive to Him and listening to His voice. They are tuned into and distracted by other things. When any of us first encounter God, we experience His love and He invites us into His presence. When we respond, He then asks us to remain there, living with Him and focused on Him alone. But because God created us in His image and gave us a sovereign will, we are always free to choose what we do and why we do it – at every moment of every day. So we are only with Him and tuned into Him at any point in time when that is what we choose at that moment.
When God speaks it is for our response, which must be total and immediate. The moment God speaks to you is the very moment He wants you to respond.
God does not speak for the sake of it – projecting His voice into space like a radio station broadcasting and hoping ‘someone out there’ will tune into the right frequency and hear it. He speaks directly to each of our hearts. It is always personal and is an expression of His love and will for you. That is why you need to be attuned and sensitive to Him; to His voice, to His touch and to His direction.
When God speaks it is for our response, which must be total and immediate. The moment God speaks to you is the very moment He wants you to respond. God chooses when He speaks to you, but it is important you recognise that timing as being vital to the fulfilment of His purposes.
Yet, as humans we like to consider, to discuss and to evaluate the potential consequences of any choice and what it will mean for us. In short, we delay. Why? Because this gives us the feeling, however illusory, that we are in control and that is what our humanity craves. But, as God’s people, it is our joy and our privilege to freely and willingly yield our lives to Him. That is how Jesus lived. Not because He had to, nor was it His pre-determined destiny, but because by His own free choice He lived only for God.
What we often forget is that when God speaks to us He does it in a way that makes Him vulnerable. Every time God speaks and expresses His will, He is then totally dependent on our response to Him.
This is summed up beautifully in Jesus’ words to God: “Yet not my will, but yours be done”. Personally, that is all I want for my life and I know that, because of Jesus and the enabling of God’s Spirit, I can actually fulfil the desire of my heart.
What we often forget is that when God speaks to us He does it in a way that makes Him vulnerable. Every time God speaks and expresses His will, He is then totally dependent on our response to Him. Each of us is the vital link in His will being fulfilled here on Earth as it is in Heaven. It is one of life’s mysteries that God wants to be seen and known on Earth through the love relationship He has with ordinary people like you and me. Yet that is how He has chosen to be glorified and I love that this is His will – both for Him and for us.
So as powerful and omnipotent as He is, God has made it so that He cannot do anything in my life without my free and willing response. To me, that is the ultimate expression of His love and trust, and of His desire to have relationship with each of us.
It is not difficult to give God the response He desires when God, His will and His glory are all I truly want. Not as something I have placed at the top of my “Things I want” list, but as the only thing I want in my life. To love God as He loves us is to love Him to the exclusion of everything else. Loving God is not some inherent ability that some people have and others do not. For it is simply an act of will – a choice every person can make and keep making.
Such responsiveness requires us to be solely focused on God and attuned to Him and what is on His heart. In my experience God sometimes ‘speaks’ louder and clearer than at other times, though in truth, His ‘voice’ is never as definite as I would like. I tell myself that if only I knew for certain that something was God’s will (for example, if it miraculously appeared written on my bedroom wall) then I would respond without hesitation. Of course, I don’t actually know if I that is true because that has never happened! And I don’t expect it to because responding to God is, by design, always an act of faith. In a recent prophecy God told us that His deepest desire for us is that we should be so sensitive to His Spirit, that we follow His faintest whispers as though they are a loud distinct shout.
It does cost us to respond to God and do His will. It is meant to. For it is an expression of our love for Him. God does not hide or minimise that price and we should not pretend that it does not exist
All I need to know is that God is speaking to me. That is His part to do, but nothing more can happen until I respond with my “Amen”- which literally means, “so be it”. Of course, it is far more than simply saying the word as if that alone will somehow magically cause it to happen. My “Amen” adds the essential ingredient that ensures God’s words are fulfilled in my life, because it commits me to their fulfilment. It is mine and mine alone to give and nothing can happen until I commit all that I am and all that I have to do God’s will.
It does cost us to respond to God and do His will. It is meant to. For it is an expression of our love for Him. God does not hide or minimise that price and we should not pretend that it does not exist, for it is a beautiful component of any love relationship to freely and joyfully make a sacrifice for the one you love.
God will never speak to you for the sake of it. In whateverway He speaks – whether through prophecy, the Bible, prayer, circumstances, someone else or in some other way –it is always for a purpose; His purpose. And He will always speak in expectation of your total and immediate response.
It reminds me of a line from a song that we sing in church: “May all You’ve done and all You gave, return fulfilled in me each day.” Such a statement is not just a lovely aspiration that I can sing in church to make me feel good. Rather, it is a commitment from me to God to continually live by all His words, responsive to His touch and doing His will.
For God cannot have the love relationship He longs for with anyone who does not love Him as He loves them
In all this you must never forget that because each victory for God is also a defeat for the devil, he will always try to deter, distract and delay us from responding to God. Often he will do this by luring us into compromise, as the devil knows how appealing it is to us: because it takes into account our feelings and our perspective. But the truth is that there is only one way to respond to God and it does not take us – our feelings, our fears, our insecurities, our perspective or our circumstances – into consideration. For our responsiveness is not about us, it is about God and giving to Him. It is the outworking of His love and His Spirit in and through us.
God does not speak to us because He needs people to do things for Him – He has angels who are much better at that than we are. The reason He involves us in what He is doing is to draw us deeper into our love relationship with Him. For God cannot have the love relationship He longs for with anyone who does not love Him as He loves them. Which is why our total response means so much to Him each time.
– Simon Kostas