“What’s God saying?”
“What’s God saying?” It seems like such an innocent question…doesn’t it?
- Are you having marriage issues? “What’s God saying?”
- Are you having issues with your personal finances and going into debt? “What’s God saying?”
- Are you suffering from unimaginable back pain which the doctors don’t seem to be able to help? “What’s God saying?”
- Is your ministry, which you felt so clearly called toward, not growing or even going backwards? “What’s God saying?”
- Is your business struggling and even not sure where the next round of payroll will come? “What’s God saying?”
These are all firsthand examples of stories people I’m in relationship and, in some cases, my own personal story. Because I’ve walked with many who’ve wrestled with these types of challenges, I can personally related to the intense suffering circumstances such as these bring. These are normally tough, very tough, circumstances for which I’m cautious not to trivialize. For those whom I feel I have a relationship, I’ve begun to ask what seems like an innocent question, “What’s God saying?”
Most Christians who have gone through similar or even more difficult circumstances have asked the question, “Why?”. Again, as reading this today could hit someone in a very personal way, I don’t want to trivialize anyone’s circumstances. Many times we may never know the answer to the question “why” in this lifetime. Sometime back, in a blog titled Don’t Waist this suffering!, I shared some words of wisdom offered by a pastor speaking at the funeral regarding suffering. He states:
“So many questions, why her, why now.” Jesus asked “why” in his final moments on the cross; Job asked “why” when he lost his family; we all ask “why her, why now”! It’s a great mystery as to why we have to experience suffering in this world. “Mystery isn’t the absence of meaning but the presence of more meaning than we can comprehend.”
As related in this pastor’s words, most of these people never truly understood “why” in this lifetime. With that said, the question I’m asking is a bit different than “why”; it’s “what’s God saying”? In the mist of our circumstances, does the thought even occur to us to ask God? Beyond our asking God the question, do we have the faith and belief that God could choose to answer?
2 Chronicles 7:14 states:
“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
As Jake Barker, Executive Pastor TPCC, just taught this weekend, “we can’t reduce God’s way to a formula. Principles are greater than formulas”. The principle found in this verse as well as many other’s throughout scripture is that those who “humble themselves, seek God’s face, while turning from their selfish ways,” God often chooses to answer. Candidly, I’d go as far to say that even in circumstance where one hasn’t “humbled themselves” or “turned from their selfish ways”, God often chooses to answer those “who seek Him”. It normally isn’t that God isn’t answering the question, “what’s God saying?”; it’s more so that we haven’t asked the question with an earnest desire to hear the answer.
A common challenge for those asking the question “what’s God saying” is we don’t have the patience to wait on the answer. In a world characterized by instant gratification, it’s difficult to “wait upon the Lord” for an answer. And, you know what? I’ve discovered God’s timeline for answers is often much slower than my timeline for answers. Yes, while I’d love to ask God a question and Him immediately speak through an audible voice the answer, I rarely (if ever) have had that happen. Like any “relationship”, a relationship with our Heavenly Father takes time. Unlike relationships here on earth, God knows what we need to hear and when we need to hear it; his timing for answers is always perfect.
“What’s God saying?” isn’t just a question for major life circumstances. Others and myself have discovered that, when asked, God will lead and guide us through many other circumstances in life. Things like:
- “Should we go on vacation?”
- “What car should we buy?”
- “Should I approach my friend about a difficult topic?”
- “Should I take time out for this meeting?”
- “Where should I attend college?
- “Should I be using debt?”
- “Should I run for President of my fraternity?
- “Where should I live next?”
- “Should we entertain this business opportunity?”
- “Should I buy Pacer tickets?”
To some, a few of these questions may seem too trivial for God. Seriously, does God really care whether or not if “I buy Pacer tickets.” Well, I can tell you at the time I asked, he sure seemed to care. You’re welcome to read the story firsthand, “Will God help you buy Pacer tickets?”
So, what about you? “What’s God saying?” For me specifically at this time, I continue to hear the words “hope, trust, and wait” as it relates to some specific circumstance in my life. I’d love to hear more about you! If you need some help, please don’t hesitate to reach out.