I recently finished Margaret’s book, Hungry for God, and was so blessed by her words. She writes about learning to be still and listen to God…something I really struggle with, especially the “being still” part! I am very excited to hear from Margaret today and am hoping to talk with her a little bit more about her writing later in the conference! Stay tuned!
In our time together, Margaret invites us to wrestle with the question, “How do you hear from God?”
How do we discern the difference between our voice and God’s voice?
In Scripture, we see God speaking to his people… both in the old Testament (Moses, Abraham, Jacob) and in the New Testament where we have Christ himself speaking into our world.
Margaret shares in particular about an account in 1 Kings 18. Elijah has a battle with the prophets of Baal, during which God shows his awesome power by sending fire from the sky (terrific passage!!). One chapter later, Elijah finds himself under a Juniper tree, asking God to take his life. An angel refreshes Elijah with bread and water two times, warning of difficult journey ahead. When Elijah was strengthened, he journeyed to a cave on Mount Horeb. (Don’t we also sometimes find a cave when we are down?)
Despite his cowardly move, God meets Elijah in this cave. When Elijah complains that he has been left alone, God speaks to Elijah…not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in a still small voice. God again asks Elijah what he is doing in the cave, and again Elijah laments regarding his solitude in service. God answers Elijah’s concerns, and his still small voice is available to answer our concerns as well.
In her book, Hungry for God, Margaret explains a phenomenon called Sacred Echoes. This is when a theme or a certain Scripture passage seems to echo again and again in our life. In a radio show on the way to work… in a devotional book we’re reading…on the Thomas Kinkade calender your mother-in-law gave you…all within two days. Lately, the Sacred Echo that has been haunting Margaret are these three words.
I Love You.
Have you ever read through the book of John? It is amazing how saturated this disciple was with the love of God.
The Length of Love
Why does God go to great lengths to lavish his love upon us?
1. Because of It’s Transforming Power
In Mark 12, we read the story of a poor widow who gave a small offering. There were people giving left and right, but Jesus focuses on this one woman. When she gives, Jesus says, Why motivitated this woman to do so? Probably not guilt or coercion. No, probably love compelled her to give the way she did.
2. Love Does Not Travel Alone
It’s like Toby Mac sings, “When love is in the house, the house is packed”. When love walks in the room, you can be sure that grace, joy, and peace are sure to follow.
3. Love Erases the Lines We Draw with God
Margaret shares a story about looking for blueberries with a friend. Lost on the backs roads of Juno, the two friends discuss a deep moment of tragedy in life. Lost for an answer, Margaret mourns with her friend – both in her car and when they finally arrived in the blueberry patch. As she slowly picked blueberries, Margaret prayed for her friend and the lines she had clearly drawn in her relationship with her relationship with God. Quietly, in her spirit, she heard, “Margaret, your friend is not the only one who has drawn lines in her relationship with me.”
Perhaps you have been met with disappointment after praying to God. A heavy burden carried to the throne of God, and seemingly disregarded. A line is drawn…. A decision is made… Prayers are withheld and faith is weakened. Remember, when you draw line after line in your relationship with God, pretty soon, you have no where left to go.
God’s love is relentless because God doesn’t want us miss out on the best life possible. God wants us to have a full and all-encompassing relationship with him.