Take no part in and have no fellowship with the fruitless deeds and enterprises of darkness, but instead [let your lives be so in contrast as to] expose and reprove and convict them. For it is a shame even to speak of or mention the things that [such people] practice in secret. But when anything is exposed and reproved by the light, it is made visible and clear; and where everything is visible and clear there is light.
Ephesians 5:11-13 AMP
Father please make clear my eyes, thoughts, and hearing, so that I can not only distinguish light from dark but also see the path that You intend for me to walk on. I want to see early on and steer clear of those who make the choice to walk in darkness. I don’t want to disappoint or dishonor You.
Father You know my heart and intent, and You also know my weaknesses and that although intent matters, my consistent actions shows where I need to be corrected so that I can be strengthened to overcome. Only You can achieve this and I thank You for the molding process that You are putting me through. I thank You for forgiving my slip ups. I thank You for Your mercy, and know that it is not my right but a privilege that You offer me. I’m working on my obedience Father, as I’m exhausted from the consequences of my disobedience. In Jesus’ name I praise You. Amen.
God speaks to and through us in the simplest of ways, our intuition–that gut feeling you have, that small Voice within that steers you one direction over the other–but do we consistently listen and obey?
My dad used to tell me all of the time that I needed to listen, trust, and obey the Voice, because it was God. He shared with me a real-life story of a woman who back in the 1950s (I think) used to sit in her backyard and pray aloud to God. She would pray through conversation, not a rhythmic chant or poem that many have grown to emulate. She would just speak as though she was having a one-sided conversation with another person.
Many of us participate in a verbal and mental tug-of-war (reasoning and rationalization) with that inner voice, not knowing that this is us conversing with God. Many people feel comfortable with short bursts of communication with God, like:
“God please forgive me!”
“God bless you”
“What did I do to deserve this God”
“God please help me”
“God I promise that if You do _____, that I will never do ____ again”
“God is good all the time…and all the time, God is good!”
Hopefully you get the gist of what I’m saying. We’re conditioned to accept short phrases, but we’re uncomfortable and sometimes outraged when we hear people make reference to speaking with or hearing God’s Voice speaking to them. We roll our eyes, suck our teeth, and try to avoid these people at all cost. Case in point when you hear someone say:
“God told me yesterday to ______”
“I heard God’s Voice tell me to_____”
We’re less comfortable with that but more comfortable with:
“I heard a small voice tell me to _____”
“My gut said to ____”
“My intuition said ____”
Why are we comfortable with these versions of God speaking to us than the earlier versions I shared? Because we have been hoodwinked to believe that only certain, special people, have a close enough relationship with God to speak to Him, and vice versa. Only men and women of the religious cloth can have that type of communion with Him, but not the rest of us.
We forget that every story and parable in scriptural text is of a man or woman who were regular Joe and Jane. Those who heard the Voice tell them where to go or whom to speak with, were just like you and I. Even those who eventually were given titles or commands of authority, were regular people like us that God touched and elevated to a status of high regard.
We want to limit God’s ability to communicate with billions of people at one time. In our limited thinking, we want to say that God couldn’t possibly have this capability, because we don’t, and so at most He could only be speaking to a few hundred or a few thousand people of one or more religious denominations. Then those chosen come before us and somehow translate and connect us to God, and His unique and individual messages to us. So anyone who claims to have their own relationship with God, admits to speaking silently or aloud to God, must be crazy.
We believe in ghosts and spirits, but we can’t fathom God’s active engagement in our lives. Now that’s lunacy!
This woman that my dad told me about (from circa 1950s) was having her private time with God, and a neighbor, not understanding clearly that we all commune differently with God, misunderstood this to mean that the woman was insane. In the neighbors mind, ‘who in their right mind would be sitting down talking to God as though He had the capability of answering, and we had the capability of hearing?‘ So because she was obviously an expert in what God could and couldn’t do, and the capabilities of the average human, she (the neighbor) had this woman of God committed to the insane asylum for speaking with God.
This of course was during an era where anyone could get a person committed for just about anything deemed “abnormal”. I’m sure that the vast majority of you appreciate the laws that now protect us from this hastiness.
I share this lengthy reflection today because we highlight and protect people doing evil every day in their homes, businesses, hotels, and throughout the communities where we raise our families. We are playing an active role in darkness. We are condoning it. Yet we marginalize people who are actively walking with the Lord. Why must we tone down our talk about God to make others (nonbelievers and conditional believers) feel comfortable? Why are eyes rolled when a person who speaks highly and frequently of God enters the room, but people rush to the side of the person who pimps and takes advantage of others?
I would rather be known and admonished by humans for trying my best to walk with and obey God, to speak and listen to Him daily, and sharing His Word with whomever will receive it, than be clumped in and associated with who or what’s hot on reality TV this season–and then have to face God and explain myself.
I am trying to consistently follow the light. We should be embracing the person praying aloud to God, regardless of where they’re praying and regardless of how they are praying. Chastise the person using His name in vain, not the person praising It!
Questions of the Day
1. What would you like to share about today’s message?
2. What are your thoughts, feelings, opinions about today’s prayer or reflection?
3. Why do you think we struggle with accepting God in our lives and instead of fully accepting our connection with Him, we are more inclined to say that we made certain decisions based on gut instinct?
4. What testimony would you like to share with us?
Feel free to share your answers, prayers, comments, and reflections in the comment section below. You can also send me an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also feel free to share this post with others. We’re never quite sure who needs to hear and see what, and when! It would be awesome if whenever you run across a prayer, message, or scripture that moves you, you would kindly share it with the rest of us. You can post it on this blog or send me an email.
Copyright 2013-2015. Natasha Foreman Bryant. Some Rights Reserved. All Prayers and Reflections are Copyright Protected by Natasha Foreman Bryant, unless otherwise noted. Prior posts from 2009-2013 are copyrighted under the name Natasha L. Foreman. breakingbreadwithnatasha.com
Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
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