This past week, we did not have any lectures nor speakers. Instead, we practiced our skits, dances, and dramas for outreach. That being said, I'm going to talk about something that has been developing slowly over the weeks that I've been here; hearing from God.
Here's a random video of God blessing me with Gandalf the Mountain Goat to play the harmonica for, 14,000 ft above sea level.
HEARING FROM GOD
God speaks to me when I climb mountains. Descending Gray's Peak with Torrey's Peak in the background.
For about as long as I can remember, I've always had a fascination for things I've seen with my own eyes.
I can vividly remember waking up in the middle of the night on an airplane - must have been flying back from Hong Kong at 3 years old - and looking out the window into the pitch-black darkness. And yet, there in the sky was a little portion of a rainbow, its colors glowing in neon ROYGBIV. I remember turning at looking at my mother, who (I think) was sleeping. So I continued to stare out into the window and feel at peace, watching the bright rainbow until I slipped back into slumber.
Looking back, it is very likely that there was something inside of the airplane reflecting off of the surface of the glass to create such an image. But regardless of any scientific hows and whys, it was still a rainbow, shining in the dark of night, just for me.
As I continued to grow up, my mother took keen notice of my observant behavior. I have hundreds of up-close photographs I've taken over the years of seemingly insignificant objects.
Here are a couple examples...
By the time I was about 13, I began to wonder at little things I would see or experience in a given day.
For example, let's say I was walking to a store from the parking lot and a trash bag floats by me.
"Why did that happen?
What caused this trash bag to float in this direction right as I was walking to the store?
Surely some wind, or a moving car... but what caused those to occur at the moment they did?
Did God let this bag float in front of me?
After all, there isn't anything on my mind that is too insignificant or unnoticeable for him...
Why am I so fixated on what just happened? I've been thinking about this for over a minute now.
Is God trying to tell me something?
Well, I am thinking about God now, aren't I?
Maybe he just wanted me to think of him?
And so, those little things that I noticed began to be simple, little reminders that God was there and that I could talk with him. By noticing God in the little things, I became more aware of him at times when it mattered.
Some of these little happenstances would be recurring things. For instance, for years now, white, puffy, floating seeds have been a reminder to me that God is with me. (Even as I was just writing that sentence, a white moth flew up out of nowhere and fluttered around the room - the closest thing to a floaty-seed indoors.) Things like this make me smile inside, because God delights in me when I enjoy the beauty he creates for me. When God does something like this, he's breaking down a wall of ignorance and opening me up to openly conversate with him in my thoughts.
Now maybe you're thinking, "Wow, Dan is really off his rocker." Maybe I am! I am trying to explain something that is crazy in such a way that a rational person can understand. But remember;
"If we are out of our mind, it is for the sake of God. If we are in our right mind, it is for you."
~ 2 Corinthians 5:13
Since being here at YWAM, I've never been more aware of how he speaks to me through what I see with my own eyes.
Once I closed my ears to listen to the Lord and heard the bones of my fingers creak as they pushed up against my ear drums - it sounded like crumbling rocks - an earthquake, so I proceeded in that direction through prayer.
Another time I was praying for Indonesia while sitting on a bench overlooking a nearby lake. I saw a fishing bird fly out over the water and literally pee directly above a floating flock of geese - an anointing? I watched in awe as the flock of geese slowly made their way towards me from the other side of the lake and began eating grass just inches from where I was sitting. God was giving me a vision of his heart to unify and gather his people to sit and feast in his presence.
When I called my mom before the start of this week, I was sharing all of these thoughts with her while laying on my back on a picnic table, looking at the sky. The sunlight was blocked from my face by a pine tree, and yet was illuminating floaty-seeds above me. I told her, "Even right now as I'm talking to you I see one, two, three - no four - five! six! seven eight floaty-seeds passing over my head! And I think that God is saying that he's happy that you and I are talking together right now." Over the course of that phone call, over fifty floaty-seeds passed over my head - I've never seen anything like it.
You get the idea. I've been noticing this kind of stuff all the time. At first, I was very hesitant, afraid that I was stepping into some sort of superstitious practice. But then I realized that God gave me both my mind and my eyes... if I believe he told me to come here to YWAM, as I do believe, then I might as well give it a try, if at least for only a season!
Sometimes I interpret or discern poorly. Sometimes it goes right over my head. Sometimes I forget to ask him what he is trying to tell me, and I fail at trying to interpret it on my own. Sometimes it doesn't line up with scripture, so I discard it, ask God to show me his heart, and try again. Sometimes nothing happens. I make the intention not to ask God to speak to me in the way I want to be spoken to, nor to demand anything from him - if he'd rather put a thought in my head, give me an inclination towards something, etc., then that is wonderful. If I get nothing, that too is wonderful - he's already given me enough to read into through the full revelation of what Jesus did on the cross; we ought to require nothing more.
As you're reading this I don't want you to think that I have some crazy super power. I don't. I'm just looking at things and asking God questions. Then I see if my subsequent thoughts line up with scripture, and if they do, I try to trust them. Or something like that.
If you've read my other blog posts, you've gleaned that I don't really 'feel' God nor his presence, despite my desire to. Here at YWAM I feel surrounded by people who can get 'senses' from the Lord and have intensely emotional experiences. I'm walking out healing with God in that area. So to have a medium through which I can continue to recognize God's voice without having to 'feel' it, is a blessing I mustn't take for granted.
So, for you who are reading this, I want to challenge you to stop and ask God how he likes to speak to you. Then start trying them out! Worst case, you look like an idiot and your reputation gets harmed. Is that something you're willing to sacrifice?
Remember that your identity is always secure as one who is loved by Love himself.
Reflect on your motives to hear from God. Are you interested in just hearing from him and having a cool experience, or are you interested or curious into the character and nature of who God is?
Are you actually open to what he might have to say? An openness that is not constrained by the box we so often put God in? Listen, then verify with the Scriptures.
On another note: our DTS got to put the previous' weeks topic of spiritual warfare into practice when we ran out of funds to continue cooking meals for breakfast. (We still have cereal, toast, and hard-boiled eggs though!).
Gandalf the Mountain Goat waving goodbye.
That's all for now!