I had a great conversation with a friend yesterday. We were discussing some stories about how God speaks. After a while it was clear that he and I both suffered from a problem common to man. The problem for me was that it reminded me of how there are just some lessons I never seem to learn.
This is a true for all people throughout history: when God speaks, we expect whatever He says to be awesome and happen right away.
I can’t count the number of biblical characters who experienced this heartbreakingly unrealistic expectation. I also don’t know anyone alive today who’s heard much from God who is any different.
Don’t get me wrong, when God speaks it is always awesome. Even if his word to you is as subtle as “I love you” there is nothing more awesome and powerful than to hear God for yourself. The smallest message from God has the power to be eternally transforming. And sometimes God does speak things to us that happen right away. It is possible to have awesome and right now, but that’s the exception, not the rule.
As I talked with my friend I told him the lesson I never learn is one each new time it happens I promise myself that I’ve finally learned my lesson. I promise myself that I won’t fall into the trap that whatever awesome thing God has spoken I’ll just assume it will work out great for me personally and will happen right away. But I just never seem to make it there.
My own selfish ambition and drive to be important cause me to assume that if God’s going to tell me about something cool He’s going to do then I must be the primary benefactor. I know better than to think that way but each new time what’s truly in my heart betrays me. It’s become such a regular occurrence I’ve actually come to expect it now.
Jeremiah said “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9) Every new time God speaks I find myself rediscovering this truth. Every time I get reacquainted with the true nature hiding inside me and my need for Jesus’ atonement.
So when will I learn my lesson? When will I understand that everything God says and does is not just to make me happier, wealthier and more well-respected by others?
I can unequivocally say that now I’ve finally learned my lesson. God, if You’re reading this, I’ve learned my lesson. Seriously. No need for continued humbling here. I’m fairly certain I’ve finally made it to a place where I’m humble enough without needing to reinforce the matter.
Lesson finally learned. Now it’s time to move onward and upward into greater things.