Sunday, June 13, 2010
My Pad of Paper . . .
I carry a yellow, lined pad of paper with me almost everywhere I go. That, along with a .5 mm mechanical pencil which is my "weapon" of choice. I really like that I can just click and no matter where I am I have instant, new, sharp lead—and a new eraser is just one swap away!
I carry my pad of paper because I am always thinking of something I want to write down (my problem is the stack of pads I have filled up that I need to go back through and sift!). I can't stand feeling like I forgot something God showed me, or lost an idea for a teaching or study I am doing, etc. Sometimes, if I can't write something down, I feel like I am working so hard to keep it in my mind that there is no room for new stuff!
Not to long ago I went to head to bed and left my pad of paper and pencil down stairs. I was part way to our bedroom, in that tired state when just going downstairs seems like running 10 miles, and thought, "I'll just leave it there." But then I thought, "What are you saying, Erick, that you don't expect to hear something from God worth recording?" It may seem silly, but it really caused me to pause and reflect in my thoughts. I realized that carrying that pad around was, in my own personal way, my faith statement to myself that I EXPECT to hear from God because I know that He wants to talk to me. I thought, "No. I am not going to give in to the tiredness and say I don't expect God to speak to me tonight." I then went downstairs and got it and put it next to the bed.
It was neat because just a couple of days later Bethany, out of the blue, comments to me, “I like how you carry your pad of paper everywhere.” With no prompting or thought my quick reply came, “That’s because I expect to hear great things from God!” I realized after saying what I did that this reply had been prepared, unknowingly, in my heart days before when I worked it through that tired night.
Now, I am not being legalistic and saying you should all carry yellow pads of paper everywhere—and I don't have stock in paper companies or mechanical pencil companies. But I would like to ask you, "What is your expectancy to hear from God?" I think that this is an important question. If we are born again through the Spirit, by Jesus' work on the cross, we are God's children. He loves us and He wants relationship with us. Sometimes the devil can maneuver our thoughts in to a place where we even doubt God would want to hang out with us, but the truth is that we are precious to Him. I encourage you to expect to hear from Him and to go through the day looking for how He might be trying to communicate to you. Look for encounters, Bible passages, conversations, incidents, "coincidences," etc. that He might be using to speak to you in and through. If we read the Christmas story in Matthew and Luke alone we see at least a half dozen ways God communicated in it alone—including through angels, dreams, prophecy, signs, and other people.
Obviously we need discernment, knowledge of God's Word and character, familiarity with God's "voice" gained through invested relationship with Him, and Godly counsel in determining what is from Him and what isn't—but we probably won't even try if we don't at first believe, and expect, He wants to talk with us and share His heart. Talking about the need to be born again of the Spirit, Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? I believe the Father wants to share with us heavenly things—and if we are born again, and abiding in Him, the primary obstacles to Him doing so have been removed.