Hello Be-Held Woman!
A home is a safe place to rest your head. It is a place to which you belong. It is a place you know belongs to you. It is a place spacious enough to grow up in.
God has desired to give His children an eternal home: one in which they are safe, at rest, to which they belong, that belongs to them and within which they may grow without fear. He has satisfied His desire by giving Himself to us. He has satisfied His desire by drawing us unto Him through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.
To be spiritually well is to have God as our home. Our right relationship with God through the finished work of Jesus Christ, in reality, makes us well. We are new creations-vessels of clay that have been made holy by His awesome presence. But how do we experience this reality? Why does there seem to be a gap between what has ALREADY been accomplished and what we experience every day? The answer may lie in our active embrace of what God has done.
Imagine opening your home to a child who has been in state care. Before this child’s arrival in your home, you ensure that you’ve included details that will signal just how excited you are to receive her. She arrives at your doorstep. You embrace her with a smile and a hug. You lead her to her room, decked with all the things you were told she loved. You give her some time to settle in and unpack before calling her to the table for family dinner-a tradition you would like to start with her. After dinner, she volunteers to clean the dishes, giving you some time to check in on how well she’s settled into her room. You open the door, and to your surprise, the drawers you lined with soft pink scented tissue paper are empty. Where are her clothes? They are in her suitcase. Despite the clear welcome and the reality of your acceptance of her in your heart and home, she has not yet embraced her new place in her forever home.
The key to her experience of your love is the courage for her to open up to receive it. There isn’t a need for you to love anymore. You know in your heart, you couldn’t. There is only the call to receive. And like it is with this child, so it can be with us and God. God has ALREADY spread the table. We have been, in Christ Jesus, tailor-made for a place in His heart. The love He has for us could never be increased-it is eternal. He doesn’t need to love us more. We need to open up and receive what He has freely given. In receiving His love, we open ourselves to the awesome adventure of living as His daughters.
A part of living as His daughters is having the confidence that we can hear His voice. There has been an increased level of caution around declaring that one has heard the voice of God. Yet, Jesus Christ makes it so clear: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (John 10:27, NLT). Accepting our true identity as His daughters allows us to embrace every privilege He has granted to us in Christ Jesus. One of these privileges is hearing His voice.
The voice of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Father are one. There is never any contradiction between the three Persons. The three dwell in one perfect accord. The voice of God is instructive, disruptive, and transformative. God’s voice resounds within our hearts to accomplish real work in our lives. He never speaks an idle word. Therefore, hearing the voice of God carries along with it, responsibilities.
We are responsible for listening to His voice. Listening is more than hearing. Listening is attending to what is heard to understand. Listening is what we do when we treasure the person expressing his heart through words and impressions. Listening to God, then, is when what we do when we treasure Him and desire to know what is in His heart.
We are responsible for obeying His voice. God’s voice is instructive. It leads us in the way in which we should go. It is also disruptive because it is by His utterances that we receive correction and invitations to depart from comfort to enter into greater depths of intimacy with Him. Obedience to His voice is obedience to the truth. We come to live integrous and purposeful lives by walking out His Word.