Hearing God: Lesson # 1
Posted on November 27, 2010
I had been taken in by this group of unusual Christians. I just didn’t know they were unusual. They loved easily, including those that might seem unlovable. They seemed to have great respect for others, not based on social positioning. They laughed. A LOT! This laughing thing was a key to me, as it was attractive. I later found out that fun was a fruit of the Spirit. Well, OK, Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, but they are very closely related. All this and the genuine-ness with which they lived had drawn me into this group.
In the early years, they seemed to include me in talking about things that I thought only the veterans, the experts, should discuss. You know, things like Bible teaching, and leading retreats. I was still figuring out what the Bible was, and how to find stuff in it.
So, somewhere in this first year, the leader of the group had a few of us in his car and we were discussing the next year. He had asked us what we thought were the most important things that we needed to learn as High School seniors. We threw out a variety of ideas, and began to narrow it down to things we could cover over the next year.
We all felt it would be important to know how to recognize when God was speaking to us. So we began to discuss all the factors involved in this. I was amazed. These guys seemed to know so much, and have so much understanding. We talked about alignment with scripture, and utilizing wise counsel. We talked about attending to the peace in our soul.
In the midst of this deep conversation, we all acknowledged, we were hungry. So, the conversation continued as we drove through a fast food drive-thru.
The moment came, and it seemed small at the time. A few moments later we would realize that it was much larger.
In passing out the food, we realized we had hit a bonus. We had more food than we paid for. Not only that, but we had been given back more money than our change would have called for. We all celebrated how great it was to receive this gift. And then we tried to return to the conversation about hearing God.
It felt different.
It’s hard to put it into words, but it was…heavier…thicker, as if we were trying to think through molasses.
One of us, and I don’t remember who drew our attention to this shift. We were mystified and we all recognized the shift.
Then it hit us. What we had called a “gift” was really stealing. Seriously. Everyone of us acknowledged that when we first had gone through the drive thru, each one of us had a sense that we should go back and return what did not belong to us. But in that moment, each of us was caught up in everyone else’s outward response. We all heard a voice inside and we all ignored it out of people pleasing and in the name of what had moments earlier been real “fun”.
We were so intent on discussing hearing God, that we didn’t pay attention when He spoke.
We went back and gave back what was not ours…