Inward, Upward, Onward -Day 3 – Recognizing God’s Voice
I promised a story from Mother Teresa’s life today, but I’m going to push that out a couple of days. There were some great comments to yesterday’s blog and I want to expand on those. How do we find the silence and how to we know when it is God talking? These were the questions that kept coming up. Preparing for this Blog and for a couple of upcoming sermons, I have been thinking a lot about prayer. Here are some thoughts that I have found helpful.
It will come as no surprise to any one that my degree is in English/Creative Writing. What might be a surprise is that in college I had a “concentration” (an undeclared minor) in Mathematics. Math is so black and white. And what I loved most about math were the theorems because a mathematical theorem is constant. It is a proven truth. ( Just ask Mr. Pythagoras). If the shorter sides of a right triangle are a and b and the long side is c, then a²+b² =c² EVERY TIME…. ALWAYS. There are so many things in life that are ever changing, I was drawn to those things that are constant.
With that in mind, here are three “constants” (theorems, if you will) of prayer. We enter prayer knowing that:
GOD IS GOOD;
GOD LOVES YOU (AND ME AND ALL OF HUMAN KIND)
GOD WANTS TO GIVE GOOD GIFTS TO HIS CHILDREN
There is plenty of Biblical back up to these constants; here are three of my favorites. Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord is good.” John 3:16 and Matthew 7:11 just bring it all home. God loved the world so much, He gave his son. And if we (such that we are) can give good gifts to our children, how much more can our Father in Heaven give to those who ask. (When we ask something of God, think about how we feel when our children asking something of us.)
I’m getting to a basic answer to the question, “How do I know if the voice in my head is God?” Check it against the constants. God’s voice is a voice of love. It is a voice from the God who wants the best for you, who wants you to know joy and abundant life. If what you hear is negative, or hurtful to you or someone else….it is NOT God. It may sound obvious but our minds and the pull of the world can be tricky. With the God of love who wants only the best for you and me, there is no guilt or shame in prayer. Jesus takes guilt, remember? He doesn’t dish it out.
St Augustine said. “He (God) loves every one as thought there were but one of us to love.” Keep that in mind as you go to God in prayer today. That’s the voice we are listening for.
We’ll work on finding the silence tomorrow.