Learning To Trust A Truly Good God
yup, that's god speaking.
Six or so years ago when I began journaling conversations with God I was instantly dumbstruck by one overwhelming and surprising attribute of God's temperament toward me; his kindness. I had always known and considered God to be a God of love but I guess as I read the scriptures and experienced the judgement of others in life my idea of how God loved was shaped more by human experience than divine. I told myself that God was love but I lived and prayed as if the main thing on his mind was sorting me out.
Then, the very first day I tried out this idea of praying through a conversation with my Father, he hit me with an undeniably gentle tone. He was far more interested in us than I could have imaged. What followed was months of conversation filled with healing and grace and years of discovering wisdom and revelation that countless hours of praying in an empty room had never taught me. Once I discovered that my Father was kind, I realised I could talk to him about things that I never had before. God was interested in everything from my past and how to father my own children right through to what he thinks about the political situation in another hemisphere. Soon, I was asking him about theology and finding the answers I was receiving was both illuminating and entirely orthodox.
That's not to say that every time we spoke I was hearing the pure voice of God. It's taken years of fine tuning for me to realise when it's my insecurity speaking or my image of God echoing back to me. I'm not suggesting it's simple or easy, but I am suggesting it's possible. God, through the Holy Spirit absolutely wants to talk with us as a friend and when he does, his good nature is often so surprising to us it's hard to believe. God is just as good as you may truly hope he is.
Inevitably however, doubt creeps in.
Many of us are so out of tune with an actual living daily relationship with the Holy Spirit that we begin to wander if we're going mad when we find it. It's difficult to imagine that life with Jesus could actually be this good, that even I could hear from and commune with the Maker of all beautiful things. This is a really tentative stage for us in our prayer journey. It's the battle ground where cynicism knocks constantly and doubt hammers our minds. There's a critical moment in our prayer life where the temptation to walk away is at it peaks and ironically, for many, it's because it's hard to believe that it can really be this god.
Yet, the apostle John spoke of us all having an anointing that leads us into understanding (1 john 2:20). Jesus said, "my sheep hear my voice" (John 10:27). The apostle Paul claimed to have been taught entirely by Jesus personally (Galatians 1:12). We hear the early church finding agreement with the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:28) and let's not forget this unbelievable promise fulfilled in Christ:
"No longer will each one teach his neighbor or his brother saying, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest" " (Hebrews 8:11).
In my experience traveling around these years I've found there to be something of a quiet revolution going on. Individuals sitting quietly with the Holy Spirit, learning from him directly. It seems that little of this conversation brings new knowledge per se, but that it brings new dimensions to ancient truth, it incarnates it in today, and the Person of Christ is made more clear to us as a result. It is God illuminating The Way to his people in a prophetic revolution that is for all people. We are, after all, each one of us the poetry of God; those old poet-prophets helping to translate the love of Christ to this present age.
Don't be afraid. Allow the Spirit to show you just how good God really is. Just how interested, close and affectionate toward you our Father is. Learn to trust the still small whisper. Don't be unwise, always test anything that seems out of kilter with the truth of Christ, but don't be afraid to see him in a new light and with a greater love either. God is big enough to help you sieve the truth from the not in the midst of community, reading, prayer and life.
I truly believe in our day we will see an body-wide prophetic renewal. Not necessarily a demonstrative one, but one that places the desire of God for individual and corporate relationship with all nations in the hands of those willing to listen and trust in his goodness.
From the least of us to the greatest.