Theology Thursday: Hearing GOD
I ended the last "Theology Thursday" blog with John 8:47 that says, "He who belongs to GOD hears what GOD says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to GOD."
The focus of that blog was that the ability to "hear GOD" begins with having a relationship with GOD. I stand by that point.
The problem with the blog and with many of our ideas of "calling and hearing" GOD when He speaks to us is that we over-mystify it. Our idea of "hearing" someone or of someone "calling" us almost always has to do with our auditory or visual senses and so, logically, we wait to either see or hear GOD. We seek for miracles, signs, and creative ways of GOD giving us a message that nobody else can see.
Many people make comments like, "If GOD would just speak to me audibly" or "If Jesus would just show up like He did for the disciples and just talk to me face-to-face" then we believe we would be more apt to follow Him.
Before we had kids and when we were traveling pretty regularly, we used to hire house sitters to watch our stuff and to take care of our dog and cats. We would be gone for weeks or months at at time, so it was important to find the right person. Even before we were moving to Haiti, we would go on trips or visit my parents and we would have a house sitter for those trips as well.
Early on the in process, Jessica developed a list of responsibilities, and because we were mostly having college students stay, there would be a list of "rules" as well. Some of the things included when and how much to feed the animals, when to take them out, how to clean the cat box, how to turn the tv on/off correctly, where the thermostat was, etc. It was a very thorough list, but it was far from complicated.
When a house sitter followed those rules, we knew they were someone that we could bring back again another time. There were also some things that the house sitter either did or did not do that would make us use them more or less.
For instance, one of our house sitters washed and folded all of her sheets. Another seemed to eat a lot of frozen pizza, and did not remove said pizza from the pan prior to cutting into it with the pizza cutter thus ruining said pan. One of them took pictures of our dog and sent them to us to show he was doing well and was happy. Another wore Jessica's clothes and did not hang them back up.
The bottom line is that the list was easy to follow, and then we expected that the spirit of the list would help the house sitters figure out what we did and did not want them to do.
The Bible is not a "To Do List" or a list of rules, and it is certainly not a housesitting responsibilities letter, but think about it.
Just because our house sitters could not physically see or hear us while we were gone, the vast, vast, vast majority of things were already worked out for them...If they just read the document, sought to understand the document, and then followed what it said.
Were we there for them when they needed to talk...Absolutely. Would we help them if there was a question about what to do next...100% yes. But there was also an expectation that they would know and follow the letter that we left them...