Speaking with God
I have always strived as a parent and a teacher to encourage both my children and students to come to me with any questions they may have.
In both instances, I have found that when times of wavering thoughts arise, it is always better to ask a question than to sit with uncertainty or thoughts that can ultimately set you on a path to search for answers through alternative means. I also note to them that I may not always provide an answer, answer you right back, or give you the answer you like.
Whether it has been in the classroom setting or within my own home, my ability to sort through questions and provide the individual attention each one needs with such detail can often be a daunting task. How amazing is it to know that our Father in Heaven is attentive to our voice despite the time of day or the chaos that exists in the world? At times, it is hard to grasp that when we genuinely seek Him, with our concerns and doubts, He is ready and willing to listen.
I recently have been studying Habakkuk and, the first five (5) verses, have been convicting by the Holy Spirit. Habakkuk 1:2-5:
2 How long, Lord, must I call for help,
but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!”
but you do not save?
3 Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and conflict abounds.
4 Therefore the law is paralyzed,
and justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
so that justice is perverted.
5 “Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days.
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.
It is here where Habakkuk is watching a spiritual decline after such a revival had occurred under King Josiah. So, distressed within his heart, Habakkuk does not hide his feelings for God but instead comes to him with pure honesty to put it plainly questioning the Lord’s actions of how he is handling things. These verses speak out so profoundly, especially knowing that I have been on both sides of this issue, at least in my own life. These verses are a reminder of what I once was and help further reinforce the effect sin nature has on people when the standard of measure is anything other than truth, the word of God.
I can only speak for myself, but there have been those pivotal moments where I walk with another brother only to watch them turn back to the ways of the world. It is difficult when it appears that they are on that brink, right when they are so close to surrendering back to the Lord but only to find out that somewhere it fell apart for them. Those have been hard moments, moments I wonder why, why do these things happen, yet I never directly ask God himself as Habakkuk did.
I have come to learn that my inability to be honest with God at times will mostly result in one of these outcomes.
1. If I am not honest with God and do not seek the truth from Him, I will seek my truth from an alternative source. It is only through Him I can press into these deep feelings and questions and find my contentment.
2. I will find myself pretending things are okay. It is human nature to create a false reality to believe we can run and hide, almost as if we are childlike. Anyone with children can probably relate to their toddler, covering their eyes and thinking they are invisible when they did something wrong. Well, just like Adam and Eve in the garden, although we may think we are hiding, nothing remains unseen from God. The action of pretending will eventually trickle into areas of my life. It goes back to what I said previously, if I only am 99% known, how can anyone love me at 100%. My brothers and sisters cannot help get me to where I need to be if they don’t know where I am (Matt Chandler). My honesty needs to not only extend to God but also to my brothers and sisters.
3. I become more mission-driven then Christ driven. My lack of honesty with God can allow things to become out of orbit and surface in front of Christ, given an illusion that they are more significant than Christ, ultimately diminishing the power He has in my life.
The scripture reminds us in verse 5 that our Father in Heaven not only hears us but is willing to answer. This truth is something that is so powerful in this verse and should never be overlooked. The scripture shows over and over how intimately the Father knows us and wants us to seek Him in our moments of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. As Habakkuk would soon find out, sometimes we have to be prepared for the answers we get to the questions we ask.
So, I ask, what questions do you have for your Father today?