When was the last time you heard God’s voice, a real audible voice? Not through a song that spoke to you, or a book that you were reading where you highlighted it and wrote in the margins, or when your Pastor’s sermon really “moved you.” When was the last time you really HEARD God speak to you in that still, soft voice?
I can tell you that for me it had been a very, very, VERY long time. Recently, it had been just as I had described above. Sure, there is nothing wrong with that and God works in those ways but, as God’s children, we are designed to hear directly from our Father. I can tell you that when I finally heard from Him again, I was stunned. And, let me tell you, I was not happy with what He said! I seriously tried to tell God He was wrong.
I was listening to a Beth Moore podcast and she happened to say that if you’ve been praying for something for a long time and it hasn’t happened yet then it’s either a timing problem or a faith problem. I rolled my eyes and thought, “Whatever, Beth! You don’t know how long I’ve prayed and how I’ve been serving, tithing, worship, praying, reading my Bible, going to church and still my prayer isn’t answered. I’ve been praying for sooooooo long! How much more time am I to wait?” Over and over I thought things like this.
“There is a difference between obedience and faith” God said.
God’s voice was clear. I was in the middle of arguing with Beth Moore’s podcast and God spoke to me! Since I was in the arguing mood, I argued with God. I know I’m not the only who has ever yelled and argued with/at God and if you haven’t then maybe you haven’t had an open and honest relationship with God…just being real for a moment!
I told God how ridiculous that was, how good of a little Christian I was, and all the great little things I was doing. So, since He is a patient God, He repeated Himself, “There is a difference between obedience and faith.”
UGH! Why does God have to be right? SO, I called one of my Christian confidants and told her about all this and she said “But haven’t you even said that sometimes you’ve struggled with having faith?”
When I got home I wrote this down in my journal. I also looked up verses on obedience and faith. According to Bible Gateway, we are taught on obedience 38 times in the Bible, yet we are taught on faith 458 times. Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God…” Basically, all of Hebrews 11 is known for being about faith!
Yes, there had been times my faith has waned and in my storms it was hard to see God’s faithfulness so I fell into a pattern of “doing” because it was a habit. The things I was doing: going to church, serving, tithing, I wasn’t even doing those for the right reason! I had become religious. The most important things that mattered like praying and reading my Bible fell away.
I’ve been on a journey to get my faith back! We still need to be obedient to God but we need faith! “…Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’, and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” Matthew 17:20.