Recognizing God’s voice Within

I easily recognize God’s voice within after all these years because he never thinks like I do. For example, yesterday morning as I was awakening: these words on my mind—cerebellum the 2nd. If you’re interested in what this phrase meant to me see the ** section below. When he speaks in my mind, he is not always so obscure as that phrase. Like tonight as I was trying to go to sleep, it was on my mind to edit this blog. So I got up and started to incorporate what I was hearing.

I’ve had dreams that spoke to me with God’s voice as I written before. Sometimes what he has to say is as simple as to take another route home rather than my usual one. Or, more profoundly, when my husband’s cancer returned, it was “if you could just hold all possible outcomes equally, well, then….” That phrase helped me give up the immense resistance I was feeling to his illness’ return. When I am working with an individual in a spiritual direction session, I often hear what I am to say next.

I think there are myriads of ways that God speaks to us in our hearts, in our minds and in our souls, just as there are myriads of different kinds of people in this world. He speaks very directly to each individual just what that person needs to hear at the time. He invites, he challenges, he supports us. He does not scold us, he does not criticize us. He is not like our other inner voices which are always trying to get us to obey the rules, to do exactly what our parents taught us, to not stray from the fold.

What do you hear from God? Do you pay attention even if it seems to make no sense? Do you turn away from his “still, small voice?” Do you always prefer the cultural norms and reject God’s word to you? Is God too impractical? Does what he proposes fit in with how you think usually? Is it too scary to contemplate? Would you have to change? Risk other people’s disapproval?

These are important questions for us to ask ourselves and to answer. God lays many things in our hearts and minds. He is inviting us all the time to engage with him, to let him lead us to our own true, created selves. There are three parables in Jesus’ teachings about the seed and the sower.[1] God, the sower, is always casting seeds our way, hoping that they will fall on fertile ground and not hit the hard, unyielding earth of rigidity. What starts out tiny like a mustard seed in us, insignificant even, can grow into a 12’ tree; so, too his word in us, his Spirit in us grows tremendously. He calls us because he wants to work closely with us, co-create with us; he needs our hands and feet and voices here on this earth to help bring in the kingdom.

[If you’d be willing to share how you experience God’s voice within, I’d love for you to write about it in the comments or messages. I would like to compile stories like this to inspire other people. If I ever use what you write, I would just cite your initials, not your name.]

The more we engage with God and follow his lead, say “yes” to what he is offering us, the more we attach ourselves to his way of seeing ourselves and life itself. The deeper we go into a relationship with him, the more we will fulfill our own purpose. The more we rely on and trust him, the more we are moving out of our pews and our beliefs and actually living the Gospel truths.

If our only engagement with God is to believe in him, then our lives can remain distanced from his influence and his truth. We can sit in our pews and agree with what we hear and bow our heads and do all kinds of good works and never let the messages penetrate our lives, or let his Word influence our actions, our hearts and souls more than just a bit. We can believe and remain unchanged until the day we die.

But, if we let God in even just a little bit at first, and later more and more allow him into our most private selves, then we will experience life in a whole new way, we will be healed of so much unneeded baggage and of guilt and shame, then we will be led to our purpose and our own true selves.

Life then becomes an adventure and a joy as we feel more and more of the love that God has for each of us. We begin to enjoy a sense of freedom to be ourselves just as we are and to let our souls emerge from their hiding place. We find a whole new basis for living and that is love.

________

** I had no idea what cerebellum the 2nd meant, but I looked up cerebellum which is the area in back of and below the cognitive brain. It has an important role in motor control, attention and language. It helps in regulating fear and pleasure responses. It does not initiate movement, but contributes co-ordination, precision and accurate timing.[2]

So the cerebellum has to do with movement and attention, mainly. But what does cerebellum the 2nd mean? As I thought about this I thought that there must be a spiritual level to the brain as well as to the body for healing. So that might be the 2nd cerebellum. So how might this work? If the spiritual cerebellum is about movement and attention, perhaps this is about how the spiritual world and the Holy Spirit support us during our conversion into the surrendered life—through the cerebellum, helping us to move more freely and to pay attention to the broader world of God instead of the narrowly defined world of the culture we live in.

I’m talking about the support of the Holy Spirit for us moving closer to God in our world. This phrase, cerebellum the 2nd, is speaking to me directly because I have just finished a two-year transition with three moves and much disruption. A lot has been shaken loose in me, but I’ve been feeling like I have no solid ground beneath my feet. And at the same time I feel totally held by God. Now there’s a paradox!

I think that God is clearly telling me that I can move out beyond what I’ve been doing so far, that I am actually solid beneath my feet because I have his support and that I can trust what comes to me to do. My needs will be met. My feet will find solid ground. And I will be fine(always one of my concerns!).

If someone else had received these same words, they might have interpreted them in a different way. But I can only see with my own point of view in the context of my life now.

_______

Questions to ponder over the week: Do I recognize God’s voice within me? Do I listen and heed what he is saying? Or do I dismiss his ideas in favor of the world’s ideas? What would it take for me to follow his lead?

Blessing for this week: May we get to know and recognize God’s voice within. May we say “yes” to what he proposes. May we discover our purpose and live it.

If you’d like to see more of By the Waters, check these out:
–There’s a new video up on YouTube: “The First Four Commandments ”youtube.com/user/patsadams
–Check out my twitter feed at twitter.com/BTWwithPatAdams
–Check out the “Offerings” at http://www.bythewaters.net which links to a CD of guided meditation and a series of booklets about the Life of the Spirit.

[1] The Parables of the Mustard Seed[Mark 4:30-2], The Seed and the Sower[Matthew 13:3-9, The Growing Seed[Mark 5:26-9]

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerebellum 4.4.15

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