What if God's voice is so obvious that you don't hear it?
[For my Friday posts, May is “body month.” It’s about how we relate to our bodies as spiritual people. This is in keeping with chapter four of Luminous, Being Present with Our Bodies…]
If God is speaking, it would be great to hear what he is saying. I think a lot of us feel that way. But most Christians are resigned to disappointment: hearing God is tricky – maybe too tricky for me. I want to challenge that idea. What if God is too obvious rather than too subtle?
I’ll give you an example. I’m tired. I have been tired a lot lately. Based on what I hear from people I talk to, I’m not the only one who feels this way. Are you one of the Tireds?
Now we could ignore our fatigue and push through it, making life happen at the pace our culture says we should go. Or we could ask, “Is there something God might be trying to say in and through our fatigue?” Might it be something as obvious as, “I didn’t create you live at that pace. Let’s start exploring a more sustainable pace of life.”
Side note: God likes to lead us on explorations. He doesn’t always give us answers right off the bat. Like a loving parent with an inquisitive child, he invites us to explore with him. If we’re patient, we find out what he wants to show us. Along the way, we unexpectedly learn all sorts of wonderful things about him. That’s if we stick with the exploration.
Like one’s body burning up with fever because of a nasty infection, our culture is beset with chronic fatigue. We are under-rested and over-caffeinated. The condition has been well documented by both Christians and non-Christians.
Fatigue is a physical condition, but like all physical conditions, it has spiritual dimensions. As it turns out, the Bible has a lot to say about the value of working hard and resting peacefully. Working without sufficient rest is a form of idolatry. It’s our way of saying, “God, I don’t trust you to give me everything I need. I can’t rest now.”
If you’re one of the Tireds (or the Stressed-Outs or the Overeaters, or the You-Name-Its), it’s time to listen to the very obvious message your body is sending. God is patiently speaking in very physical ways.
I’m excited that this Sunday and next at Sanctuary, we are talking about resting, Sabbath, and being unhurried. This is an ongoing discussion.
Note: Throughout 2014, my Friday posts will be excerpts and thoughts from Luminous: Living the Presence and Power of Jesus (IVP, 2013). My hope is that these posts launch you into the weekend in a Jesus-centered way.