Personally, I believe God is always speaking to us. The question is, Are we listening? Over the past few days, I've been asked on several occasions about filling worship leader positions. Is it that time of year again where local churches are " cleaning house"? Is the fact that I've been asked repeatedly a clear indication that God is calling me into that position or is it Satan trying to distract me? I have to believe that part of that answer lies in whether or not I've been given the abilities to perform the duties specified. I know, I know! "God doesn't call the equipped. He equips the called." I've heard that before and, yes, there is a certain amount of truth in that. However, along with walking by faith, we are also to make wise choices in life which indicates that we have to make the effort based on the knowledge we have. Faith without works is dead, right? Moses was given the task of leading Gods people out of Egypt. The only provision that Moses was given was a stick but, oh, look at the miracles that were performed when that provision was surrendered to God's will! Also, there is the fact that Moses was in constant conversation with God. Constant prayer. Prayer without ceasing.
God's word says "My sheep hear my voice and they do what I say."(John 10:27) It's when we don't listen that we find ourselves in peril and outside of God's will. What happens next is beautiful. It's a little known fact that, when a sheep goes astray, the shepherd goes out of his way to find the lost and bring them back into the fold. When He finds them, He breaks the leg of the one which prohibits the one from running off again. By the way, sanctification is always painful. At that point of brokenness, the Shepherd gently holds the wounded sheep close to his heart. There, the sheep hears and begins to get in sync with the Shepherd's heart and it is there that the healing begins. The broken bones are set and fused back together and, often times, stronger than before.
The kind of relationship that God wants with us is one where we follow Him so intently and passionately that we hear His voice speaking ever so quietly. When we don't hear Him, we still follow and we still pray. Why is He not answering? Did it ever occur to you that maybe He's waiting on you to start praying for the things that He wants for you instead of what you want for you? I recently heard Charles Stanley say that we begin to see action when our desires line up with God's will. Understand that God, like any good father, has a permissive will and will allow us to make choices ( good and bad ) and suffer the effects because experience is often the best teacher. If you're a parent then you know as well as I do that there are times when you can talk till you're blue and your kids are not going to listen because their desires are not yours. There are times when your kids will pester you to no end for something you know is not in their best interest and you don't respond because they aren't going to hear "No". At that point, the child makes a decision whether or not to follow through and it is usually determined by whether or not the child shares the same heart of the parent.
God has called us to abundant life. Try as we may, we cannot wrap our little, finite minds around the fact that with abundant life comes those "learning curves". Learning/growing involves struggles, discomfort and, sometimes, pain. All the while, God stands in our corner offering words of instruction and encouragement. We have one goal in life and that is to be like Him. Don't you think it best that we listen to the author and perfecter of our faith?