There are seasons where I don’t “hear” the voice of God. It’s difficult to explain to people, mostly non-Christian but even some Christians too, about how I and others can hear His voice. The Voice. I have never heard an audible voice and while I’m sure many people would like to, it’s quite rare that this happens today. I’ve heard that it does, I’ve met one man in particular…as you can imagine, that was a life-changing experience for him. It took me a few years to believe him.
For me, I experience his voice through appearances of the 11:11 phenomena (another post for another day), dreams which freakishly come true (i.e. While my dad was on life-support, I had a dream that it would be 3 months. Almost 3 months to the day, he woke up and called me on the phone to say hello. God can freak you out, man.), and urgings. Some of these urgings are strong, sometimes it’s a whisper that I cannot hear/feel unless I get really quiet and spend time seeking Him.
I’ve known from very early on in my Christian walk (in which I am still a toddler getting potty-trained) that I have a call on my life for intercession and prayer. How do I know? I cannot get away from it. I. have. tried. I wake up in the middle of the night and I cannot go back to sleep until I pray for people. It’s this bubbling-up deep within my soul to pray that isn’t satisfied until I “obey” (a word with such a bad reputation, seriously) and I can almost physically feel the burden for people when I am given the “assignment” to pray for that person. Then I am released just as quickly as it came upon me. Sometimes I have a burden for someone for a day, sometimes months, some have yet to release.
It’s not my intention to sound hyper-spiritual. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I didn’t choose this, it chose me.[/pullquote]
Sometimes I wonder if it’s payback for all the times I stayed up all night doing drugs and other people stayed awake in prayer for my soul.
While I realize I have this “calling”, I have been resisting it lately. Sometimes intentionally. Mind you, everything that has been going on in my life has been amazing placements of the hand of God and I know this. I still pray for people during the day…I’ve had two women I’ve been praying for lately…one in dire need of a job or she’s going to be homeless and one desperately wanting to get pregnant. At the very last moment, the first friend is in final interviews & pay negotiations with two separate companies finally, and my other friend finally had three…THREE positive pregnancy tests after doctors told her it was a no-go. Just this morning. I continue to be awed. Not because I prayed, because it’s not about me, but because someone was faithful to do it. If not me, if not you, then who?
Yet I continue to resist at night. I’ve been woken up repeatedly, usually between 1:30 – 4:00 am and I know what it is. And I know it’s the Holy Spirit knocking on the door of my heart because I know for sure that the devil wouldn’t want me to pray for people ever and my flesh definitely would rather sleep. So, I toss and turn, watch my family sleep peacefully beside me, I stare at the wall, the ceiling, sometimes even my phone. But I will not slide out of my bed and kneel.
What. is. my. problem.
While I’m not a huge “it’s works-based” kinda gal, there is a direct correlation between my obedience to this call and my ability to hear His voice, whether his presence during the day or dreams or anything. It’s silent. The silence creeps me out, then the lovely enemy rushes in with Doubt. “I told you He doesn’t love you.” “You never heard his voice to begin with.” “I told you God doesn’t exist.”
It’s dangerous. Emptiness enters, even in the midst of great blessing.
[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]”For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12[/pullquote]
So I really write this to create accountability for myself. It takes me just a moment to slide out of bed in my stupor onto my knees and pray. I need to just do it. I already know from experience that I will be able to go back to sleep more peacefully, the relationships with those around me improve, my heart is gentler, and the doubt will leave.
I can blame it all on my flesh, or the enemy, or whatever. But let’s just be real…I just don’t want to. Usually this is fear. There’s often comfort in the uncomfortable, it feels safer in the old routines and the ruts we get ourselves into even if they are unhealthy, selfish, or just plain dumb.
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]I have been selfish.[/pullquote]
We each have a calling. Some of us don’t know what they are yet, some of us do, many don’t care. To know it and to refuse to do it is just ludicrous to me, yet…here I am.
So, Lord…wake me up. Tonight, I will kneel.
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” James 4:8