How greatly do you desire to communicate with God--that is, feel like you are really connecting with Him and hearing Him reply to you?
Put a number on your desire. On a 1-10 scale, with one being low and ten being high, how much do you desire this connection?
I'm not talking about a word, or a phrase. This is sort of the nomenclature of today's "words from God." God is not curt. He doesn’t communicate in one-word mysteries that are supposed to hold you over for months on end until your one word from Him is depleted and you return for another word of guidance with which to do your best.
You say, “Well I asked God a question and that was His reply: one word.” I understand, and maybe the one word was what you needed, but maybe the one word was indicative of all you expected from God...so that’s all He said to you.
I’m talking about communication. Give and take. Reciprocity. The exchange indicative of a vibrant relationship. How greatly do you desire this sort of mutual respect with your Heavenly Father?
Match the number of your desire with the number of your actual satisfaction, i.e. what truly transpires between the two of you. If one is absolutely dissatisfied and ten is you couldn’t be more satisfied with how you and your Father in heaven communicate, what is your satisfaction number?
Why the discrepancy?
Yes, yes. There are lots of reasons, including that you are always growing and morphing, ever on the road, always reaching but never quite obtaining. Such is life, and such are many of the explanations we Believers offer as excuses for why we communicate with others about God but hear little from Him.
But maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the discrepancy between your numbers is truly indicative of your growth plane. Very well. So long as this yearning you’ve just measured is roughly commensurate with the yearning you have in all your relationships in this life, I’ll grant you this explanation.
But what about the distance between the two of you because of how you feel about yourself in comparison to how you feel about Him? Or, how about the reticence to truly lay all your thoughts—and desires—before Him because of the shame you associate with your history and your fears of what tomorrow portends? Yes, of course. You are forgiven in Christ, but are you really THAT forgiven? Reticence seems appropriately humble, doesn’t it? Never mind the quietness. In fact, the flesh in general—all those patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior—that compromise your ability to realize your desires: these are formidable impediments when it comes to the comparative space between you and the Divine One. And if you are a self-sufficient soul, then what’s the point in communicating with God about things that matter anymore than you communicate with anyone else about what matters to you? After all, you can take care of it more expeditiously yourself.
All those challenges listed in the above paragraph, and let’s face it, a whole lot more that I haven’t written down, often serve as chains that contain our heart’s desire. I understand the bondage, but that’s not the point. What we haven’t fully grasped is the power of our heart’s desire.
The difference between the number of your desire and the number of your satisfaction, plagued by impediments and reticence and flesh, is a significant number. Now we are on the same page, or more accurately, we are working with the same numbers for desire, satisfaction, and the difference between the two.
Can the discrepancy be overcome in this life?
No. Just kidding. I wouldn’t leave you in such a lurch.
I could give you three things to try, and perhaps conclude with a poem. But you already know the three things and are likely to have heard the poem. I could write a book—another book—with thirteen chapters so it would fit within a quarterly Sunday School format for discussion with your classmates, but you already have that book and several others. I could do an inductive study of how to read your Bible for all its worth, but unless you are in a completely apostate church, you likely have all the instruction you need, and frankly all you can use.
No. The best I have to offer is a model. A vision. Someone to follow, to emulate, to learn from—to learn what to do, and what not to do—how to implement, and how to overcome impediments. His name is Hank Henderson.
I think you will like Hank—I hope you will like Hank. After all, I’m going to suggest you spend some time together. Your story and his story will take longer than this note has room to tell, so I’ll introduce the two of you and leave it to you. Hank is a pretty normal person, which means you will identify with Hank’s tale—and he with yours—whether you are a man or a woman. (Don’t let the fact that he is a fisherman dissuade you ladies; he’ll get to the part of his life you’ll identify with soon enough.) In truth, the harder part of spending time with Hank will be to believe him, to take him at his word.
But “hard” is relative. It’s related to desire. How greatly do you desire something different with your Heavenly Father? If it is a number greater than three, then I think you will appreciate Hank’s story.
How Hank resolved much of what is listed in this note to you is recorded in his biography. How he implemented what he learned during his biography is recorded in his second book. I recommend them both to you...provided you desire to connect with God at a different level.