I love gospel music. I'm not a big fan of Christian rock or rap or the new types of Christian music that are reaching wide audiences. I understand their mission to reach various audiences with The Word, but I want sweeter notes than that for my own pesonal listening. I want songs that will play in my head over and over throughout the week. Luckily, I have had that recently. That's What a Savior Does... from our upcoming Easter Contata and You are the potter, I am the clay from today's services have been on repeat since I heard them. I love the music of the songs, but more than that, I love the message of the songs. I believe that God speaks to us in a number of ways daily. Music is one of the prettiest ways He carries on a conversation with us.
People do not want to believe that God speaks to us anymore, that is just something that you read about in the Bible. I serve a living God, however. I have a relationship with my savior. He is my Heavenly Father. He talks to me. What does he say? Well, that depends...
I want you to think about your best friend, your mom, or your boss. With all your heart, you want to visit Paris. You go to these three people, and say I would really love to go to Paris during the spring. It's supposed to be absolutely beautiful; it's the city of lights. It's the city of romance. I want to go and walk through the streets feeling the wonder of it all. Your best friend who has known you forever looks at you, smiles, and asks "can you afford to go?". You go look over your financials and realize that yes, if you scrape and don't pay a few bills, you can go. You run back to your friend, and inform her you can. If you use all your savings and get behind on your bills, what happens if your car breaks down or you get sick? That is definitely not going to happen, you assure her. Then, you notice that your car has a rattle and your throat hurts a little. You realize that maybe you should save for the trip without putting everything else in your life at risk. Did your best friend talk to you? Yes. God will have this same conversation with you if you talk to him like the friend He is.
Okay... mom or dad's turn. Go to your parents and tell them that you want to go to Paris. They explain like your best friend that you can't really afford to go right now, but if you save you can go later... maybe when you can walk through the streets of Paris with a husband. (They're parents.. they can't help this..). You, however, want to go right now so you ask them to pay for you to go, to let you use their frequent flyer points, to make it possible for you to win a free trip, to make it happen for you to go even though you cannot afford it. They tell you NO. Did they answer your question? Yes. God always answers prayers; sometimes the answer happens to be no.
Your boss? You go to your boss and tell him that you have always wanted to go to Paris. Maybe, he sees this as a great opportunity and explains that he can use you there for this huge project the company is working on. Maybe, he says, I need you here to finish the work we are doing and you cannot go to Paris right now. Either way, your boss spoke to you. God is our ultimate boss. We serve Him.
Sometimes the dialogue with God is straight forward and simple as if you were speaking to your friend, you parent, or your boss. Other times, it is a feeling that washes over you when you hear a song, see a painting, or read an article. God is talking. Listen.
I had a friend this week pray about whether or not she should attend a conference. She had been given free tickets, but just felt ill at ease about going. She prayed about it, felt she had received her answer, but still struggled. The tickets were free afterall. Another friend told her to cast out a fleece, to ask for a sign. She felt odd about that. Weren't signs more of Old Testament thing? She asked though. If she was not to go, please let her see a blue bird. If she was to go, please send her a red bird. There were no birds around her house, but when she started inside, two blue birds flew by. She laughed.. Okay, what if that was just a coincidence??? So, she prayed again... Ummm... Lord, if that was a sign, please send me another blue bird... She opened her eyes and there came another blue bird. She spent the time with her family instead of attending the conference. God answers us when we ask in a variety of ways.