I’ve Stopped Arguing (Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness, Day 23)
This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge. You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.
When you sit and wait for the voice of the Lord, two things will surely happen. The first is that you will have some dry, boring, seemingly ineffective days. The second will be that there will be days where the Lord breaks in with His voice and totally changes things because you’ve purposed to wait for Him. Today was more like that. This was probably the second most powerful day of the entire challenge so far and it’s leaving me hungry for more and totally committed to going through more of the first type of day in preparation for days like these.
Let me explain. The last week has been hectic and hurried. We have a block party coming up on Saturday along with a host of other things that needed to be taken care of or completed. So up until today I’ve been tired and lacking some spark, even in my walk with the Lord. My good buddy Sean even lovingly hit me alongside the head for being too busy this morning.
I had some free minutes for lunch so I decided to lock myself in my office and do a couple of things on the internet and then wait on Jesus. The last thing I did before I waited on the Lord was I watched a video about the history of Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll’s leadership of what has become a church planting movement that sprung up from there. One of the things that stuck out to me in the video is the inconspicuous comment he made about the supernatural calling he had received from Jesus. Already tired and needing to spend time with Jesus, I put away the computer feeling a little bit defeated at not being more like Driscoll.
As I sat and waited I had this question that was forming in my spirit: “Lord, why can’t I be more like that? I’ve had similar encounters, what’s different from Mark’s life that is not going on in mine?” As soon as I asked the question, the Lord thundered in a way that I haven’t heard Him in a long time. It was imperceivable to the human ear but was forceful and alarming to those who were listening to the Spirit. “You need to stop arguing with me about your calling.”
Those words thundered through me and when He spoke I saw all the times that I had told Him that I wasn’t qualified for the thing that He has called me to do. I saw all the times I had said that I don’t have the right personality for my calling. I saw all the times I said that my situation in life was wrong for my calling. The list could go on and on. And as I saw all of those arguments against my calling I had participated in with Jesus, I began to see the shallowness of my arguments in light of who He is.
Then came the same voice in the same style a second time. “I’m removing the words I can’t from your vocabulary.” And when he said that I saw the numerous times where I’ve looked at my own ability to do something and passed on an opportunity because of my weakness. I also saw how I had become accustomed to filling up my schedule with commitments and then used my busyness as a way to say no to others but not make them feel bad. “I can’t. I’m just too busy,” would be my typical line. Now, however, the Lord has removed the words “I can’t” from my vocabulary. As I saw this, spontaneous wisdom came from my spirit (a very distinct way of hearing, different from the voice of the Lord before) and I began to see that I would need stop saying “I can’t” because of busyness. That is no longer an option. But I can say, “I won’t” which is something I hardly ever say.
Those of you who know me well know how huge of a struggle some of these issues have been for me. Today in the span of ten minutes the Lord corrected them with His thundering voice. I’m reminded of a line from a book I bought for my daughter before she was born: “The things which have happened to me are so strange, but although they seem silly they’ve caused a great change…” This was my day today. After enduring some dry times, I’ve heard something powerful and I’m going to live it out.
Have you endured a long dry spell? Maybe it’s time to get back in the place of listening again. Have you encountered the Lord during this journey in a way that has encouraged you not to give up? Share with us about it in the comment section.
Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment. For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do. Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience. It’s not too late. If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in. And if you want more information, you can check it out here.