Something stirs in me when I see sisters and brothers in Christ still caught up in law no matter how subtle it is. God is constantly calling us to come up higher – to leave behind the elementary teachings and enter new mansions in faith as the Spirit opens up our inner eyes to new and unchartered spiritual sceneries.
I notice that many still see God as apart from them, and one of the consequences of having this inner outlook is that we strain our ears to hear God’s still small voice. We are taught that in order to be obedient to God and His voice that somehow comes to us from outside ourselves we have to learn to be quiet, take no thought, there must be no fear in us because it overrides God’s voice (ergo our fear is greater than God which is nonsense) etc etc. We all start out here, because this is how God comes to us in the beginning, that is, as apart from us. But, there is a better way. It is what Paul called the obedience of faith. Simply put it is doing the next thing and trusting it is God.
In John 8 Jesus outlines what hearing is and how this hearing is spontaneously, without any effort on our part, expressed by our lives in every now. “I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father” (John 8:38). The Pharisees trouble was that they were completely blinded to that they expressed what they heard from their father (the spirit of error). A hearing hidden from them, but nevertheless, operative in them. Jesus even said that their desire was to do the will of their father. Something they of course vehemently denied.
Since the Pharisees heard without hearing, as it were, this evidently must be true also about those who belong to Christ. We hear and see what our Father speaks and is doing and by faith we speak and do accordingly. It is a very spontaneous thing. And like the Pharisees, our desire is to do the will of our Father whether we know it is so or not. The Pharisees were blinded to this, and so are we when we start out on our faith walk. Appearances and sense-knowledge are the beacons we navigate after in the beginning. But these things have to be brought down by the Spirit as we are brought to faith only.
Not few of us face difficulties with our prayer life and we find it also hard to speak words of faith often afraid of the results, and we are also wavering because we think that it is “only us.” This has been a lifelong battle for me, and I find only one way out of this battle and that is in simple obedience of faith saying that it is all Him by me.
My present outlook is thus: God is responsible for the results, not I. And if He wants to look like a fool because I see no results in the visible that is His problem, not mine. My stance is that He prays by me and He speaks His words of faith as me. Anything less than that causes unrest and confusion in my consciousness. To step into the obedience of faith when it comes to these things can be a bit unnerving in the beginning, but the Spirit pushes me onwards.
Paul encourages us to cast our burdens on God which of course means that the burden of prayer, words of faith and results are on Him. The heat is on Christ, not the vessels. It is very tempting to say that something is wrong with us when the answer lingers or the result seemingly fails to appear. Please don’t take that! Christ is working His faith by us, and we cannot say that His faith has failed in accomplishing whatever we have prayed or spoken. The faith heroes of old are our example if we are seemingly confronted with a “failure”: These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar (Hebr 11:13). And then we have Abraham who waited 25 years for God to fulfill the promise He had declared to him.
I do not pray because I have to pray. I do not listen intently in order to know what my Father is up to. If I pray or not pray it is Him. What I do next is Him. This is the oneness Jesus spoke about which was true about Him, and which is true about me too because I am also a son. That God in a sense has made Him available to us is beyond comprehension. Likewise, that He lets His sons be an active part of running His business. Grace upon grace – love too grand to comprehend.
As we are increasingly established in our oneness with God another way of listening comes into play. The Spirit begins teaching us to listen to what we say as a way of finding out what God is up to. God spoke this universe into existence by a word. The foolishness of God is this very thing that we speak substance into existence by our words or confessions. Of course, it is not us, but God speaking as us, yet it is us calling things into existence that are not as if they were. Words that expand the universe and penetrate the invisible. Words that move God. Words that activate all the power of God. Words that open up a way where there is no way. Words that call the impossible into existence.
By faith, just like Sarah, we receive power to conceive (Hebr 11:11).