Can I be blunt and tell you that the church cannot meet my every need? I hear great preaching, stories, and teaching meant to provide thought and heart provoking light to my life. And it is good. The church body caring and sharing brings encouragement and uplifting joy. And it is good. The church can unite together and meet a need bring satisfaction of a good work that benefits others. And it is good.
If you find yourself asking what else could I possibly want more of, then you would be just like I use to be. I need to hear the voice of my Lord. Hearing His voice talk to me only made me want more of Him. Though many years I believed in Jesus and the bible, I discovered that I did not fully believe because I did not seek Him fully. John 10:27 says “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me”. As I look at many in the church today and the way I use to be, we got the second part of the verse down pat and so that seems to be good enough.
Think about the first part of the verse and its place coming from Jesus, “My sheep hear my voice.” What I once thought impossible, I now seek because I love His voice. How do I hear Him and how do I know it is Him?
- His words to me align with the Bible.
- I hear Him while I am silent, still and thinking about Him or His attributes
- His word speaks to my condition in a true and loving manner even in correction.
- His words are brief yet they can take your mind to different places in the bible to give you a clear picture of His message.
- Every time, His voice has interrupted my thoughts and took me to a new place to reveal something to me.
Hearing His voice and getting His perspective of me has done more for me than all the years that I have attended church combined because I now have confidence and assurance that He knows me and no one can ever take that away.
One of the times I have heard His voice, I was at Emory Hospital in Atlanta, GA., for cancer treatments. I was meditating on the Lord and started to think of how even before He crated the earth and humankind, He knew we fall and keep falling thereafter. I started to think of Him as a “no matter what God” and the many ways that He has fulfilled that characteristic over history. He interrupted my thoughts and asked me “will you be a no matter what follower of me”?
The questioned stunned me at first, but I knew that I deserved the question from earlier I was going to leave Him and the church. As I thought for a moment and then I said “yes Lord, I will serve you no matter what”. I felt touched and challenged by this moment and it encouraged me to be more determined to be more intentional in this new light. So now, when I come to a decision or problem, this question comes to mind and it helps me be comfortable in whatever happens; I am in the will of the Lord if I am in obedience to Him.
Since making this vow with the Lord, It has transformed my life. My mind, body and spirit are united as one and I don’t have the inner conflicts that use to plague my mind. I have given the name to this life style that has brought me so much joy and peace. I call it living the 23rd Psalm life and it has become my heaven on earth. I finally feel like I am prepared to die and meet my Savior. I have firsthand knowledge of my Shepard Jesus Christ and I am in love with Him but even more so, I have assurance that He loves me. Its personal.