This may seem like a strange post, but it came to me tonight and I can't let it go.
I have been doing a lot of contemplation and prayer in the past couple of weeks. So many things sitting restless on my mind. Now that I can look forward to a more healthful future, I am in a constant state of anxious joy. Anxious and jittery, but joyful. And thoughtful. My mind just won't be still.
As a Christian, I have prayed so many selfish prayers that I'm used to God just silently shaking His head and waiting for me to get over myself. I usually do. I know which of my prayers are silly and not even fit to have been uttered in the first place. The tough thing is listening for God's voice when I have prayed out of a sincere desire.
In the past few days, I have prayed for something that is truly between me and God, and I am wondering now if God leaves even some of our most sincere prayers unanswered.
My prayer this time is so real for me. This time I am not praying only for myself and I'm not praying for anything material. I even think that I am being given an answer - slowly and in stages - but how do I know that it's God's voice and not my own hope?
I have been known to run off on the wind, working under my own will and making things happen while convincing myself that it was God leading my success. I have learned the hard way that just because God let me get away with something, it doesn't mean He approved.
Once a long time ago, God gave me a significant blessing. I didn't understand that it was a blessing and I didn't give it the reverence and care that I should have. At another time in my life, I took what I thought was a blessing and ran with it. That was a disaster of my own making. I hadn't taken the time to even try to discern that situation before it got out of control.
Now I am at a crossroads of a sort. I've been stubborn and willful for so long, ignoring His voice and listening only for what I have wanted to hear. I am now trying to remember what the Lord sounded like to my heart.
I was taught as a young woman that we know and hear God's voice because we belong to him (John 10:1-4 *), and that we are supposed to flee from the voices of strangers. My problem has not usually been the misleading voices of strangers; my problem has been listening to myself.
Taking the advice I remember from childhood, I am going to do a prayer and fasting because I need to block out my own voice. I need to hear God and I am listening for Him.
If you are a praying Christian, pray for me.
*“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. (John 10:1-4)