Monday, March 28, 2011

Hearing God

How do I know if it is God? This has been my heart cry for many weeks, months, possibly years now. A few weeks ago, I felt graced by the Spirit. I felt as if I was in His presence... clean, redeemed, content. I did not want to leave His presence. His Spirit seemed to linger and then the next moment was gone. I have longed to be there continually... just to sit before Him.

This past weekend, I continued this journey in listening prayer.

I have never been good at staying focused during prayer and usually my mind is consumed with other thoughts: things I need to get done, planning lessons for school, trying to plan meals for the week, simply just making mental to-do lists.

So, here I am Sunday morning, trying to ask God questions burdening my heart eagerly hoping that He will answer. I felt His presence once again. When I felt Him join our prayer time, I didn't care if He answered my questions... I mean, I wanted Him to, but I was so grateful to just feel Him near me. I did hear Him speak, but one thing stood out more than anything else. I kept begging Him to stay with me a little longer and I believe with all my heart that He responded, "I will never leave you." It happened many times.

That was yesterday morning. I went to church and invited Him to join us.... to reveal Himself and He is faithful in answering prayers. I felt His presence join me once again. It was a beautiful time of worship... I wanted to be no where else in the world. I remember Psalm 51 where it says, "Cast me not from your presence and take not your spirit from me." I thought a moment about what life would be like without even that fading presence and I felt hopeless. So my heart cry became PLEASE never cast me from your presence.

After community dinner, I just wanted to sit in His presence. Justin and I did some listening prayer. We questioned what we were supposed to do in our future... seeking guidance, clarity, and confirmation. God seemed so silent, and yet I so desperately wanted Him to speak. We began asking if we were asking the wrong questions. It was then that I realized something stood in between the present and our future. He revealed that my identity has been so intertwined with my job or future role(s). I was getting caught up in who I was according to the world. Justin encouraged me to ask God who He saw me as. At first I thought the question was silly because I knew what I was supposed to say... God was silent though. I heard nothing. But what I saw was everything... before me, lay a cross. That is what I am supposed to identify with.

This weekend, I spent some time reflecting on 2 Corinthians 4:11. "For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh."

I am to identify with Christ. I am to die with Christ that His life may be revealed in my mortal body. May the cross be ever before me.

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