Friday, March 11, 2011

risk, faith, hearing God


Risk and faith are a tricky business, aren’t they?  God asks us to do big things sometimes, big scary things.  And those always require an element of faith to get them done.  They also always carry some sort of risk.

Abraham risked his son.

Matthew risked his occupation.

Moses risked his upbringing.

Mary risked her reputation.  Come to think of it so did David, Ruth, and John the Baptist.

Why did all these people make such bold moves in the name of God?  Because they heard him.  Some audibly, some through a dream, and some in a face to face interaction.

Hearing God, really and truly hearing his voice, should always spur us to action.  It ought to get us moving.  And again, that’s where risk and faith collide. 

But often, that can also leave us wondering if we’ve really heard God or not. 

My kids have wondered aloud to me many times, “what does God sound like?”  Honestly, I wonder that too sometimes.  But I can say with certainty I have heard God, his voice comes in a variety of ways for me.  And I realize that his voice can come in completely different ways to you.  That’s the neat thing about God, he made each us unique and he speaks our own unique language.

When I talked about our risky move, that big one that took so much faith, I shared that my husband and I had heard God speak clearly.  He did.  And we listened.  But we also wondered along the way, “is this really God?”  Because we knew if it was just us making this whole thing up we were toast.  Through experience we’ve come to understand how God speaks and what that means for us.

First off, he speaks through the Bible.  That is his word to us, irrefutable, infallible and unchanging.  I’ve heard often that the Bible is nothing but a bunch of rules to follow.  I don’t see it that way, I see it as guide on what to do, not what not to do.  And if what I’m about to do, or what I’m planning on doing goes against the Bible then what I’m doing is wrong.  That is one way that God speaks.

But sometimes we need to make big life decisions, like moving or quitting a job.  No where in the Bible does it say: “Zac and Gina: it’s time to move, quit your job and go to Central Oregon.”  That’s where we have to learn the art of hearing all the other ways that God speaks.

God speaks through circumstances.  In our situation, we knew we needed to move.  So we did.  Unfortunately once we did it took longer for Zac to find a job that we had hoped it would.  In the meantime he dreamed out loud, a lot.  He wondered what it would be like to open his own business.  He thought that would be a great fit for our lives, and for why we moved for in the first place:  being the youth pastor at a new church that couldn’t offer us a paid position.  As he dreamed, I worried.  If we opened our own business, would it fail?  What if we couldn’t buy a house?  What if, what if, what if?  Ultimately he found a job.  We bought a home and moved in.  Things went along fine, except that Zac always wondered.  And his job?  Well, it wasn’t his favorite.  He still had that dream of opening a business, but at that point it seemed ridiculous.  Until the day he lost his job because of the economic downturn.  God spoke through our circumstance of job loss that it was now the time to open that business.  I know he could have just quit his job and done that, but it honestly never even occurred to us at the time. 

I’m constantly reminded that God engineers our situations and circumstances so that we can hear him.  He wants us to be where he wants us to be, even more than we do.  Our part is to practice listening, the more we practice the better we will get at really hearing his voice.  It’s a process.  It’s an art.  It’s something I’ve committed myself to for the long haul.  How about you?


  1. great post.

    "He wants us to be where he wants us to be, even more than we do." so true. i know this in MY relationship with God, i need to remember that this applies to mu children too. i need to let go and trust he has a plan for each of them.

    and yes, i hear God. in ways that are unique to me (he is good like that) it is an art. i must tune my ear to hear his spirit's voice, and then i must be obedient to keep in step with his Spirit.

    thanks for this post today.

  2. Wow Gina- I am so blessed and inspired by your blog and all God is revealing to you. There is no better place to be than the place where we are fully living in faith and God is proving Himself faithful over and over again.

    PS- can't wait to see what you do with all those amazing granny squares!


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