From a young age, I’ve heard God speak to me. It’s been so matter-of-fact that I find it difficult sometimes to understand why some people say God never says anything to them.
I can say that there are different approaches to a particular scripture that I find fascinating.
I Thess 5:17 – Pray without ceasing.
Thayer’s describes this as without intermission, incessantly, without ceasing.
So what does this mean?
I don’t think I’m alone in this, so just hear me out. If you don’t fall into this category, just hold on.
God, being omnipresent, is with us always. Think of this as never out of hearing range. He hears everything we say. When we speak why are we not hearing, or saying He never speaks to me? But He does!
Look at it this way. He’s always available to hear you, no matter what you say. Even when you’re not talking directly to Him. Haven’t you ever just out of the blue had a thought that was totally off the subject in your thinking at that moment and you reply to yourself, “Where’d that come from”?
I know I’ve held conversations with God and He’s told me things I really can’t say I was in total agreement with at the moment. It couldn’t have been my own thoughts. I don’t normally disagree with myself. You know?
There was a time when I’d ask God (several times) when Libby and I were solidifying our relationship what was the end result to be. He told me time and time again we would get married. At first I was a bit apprehensive, but I felt it was right. I spent time asking this question over and over and one day God asked me why did I keep asking Him the same question over and over. By that time I replied that I believed Him, I just liked hearing Him say it. I could here Him chuckle over that response.
I don’t take my conversations with God flippantly. I take them seriously. Sometimes He says to speak to someone and I take that into consideration as to the reasons why and I’m curious as to the end results from the having done so.
The very first time God spoke to me was more like a vision with audio. I was a teen sitting in White Hill FWB Church. I was looking up into the corner of the room over the choir seating and He said, “I have people in every church, everywhere”. From that I felt a total explanation to say no matter what sign was above the door, He had sincere people in every one of them. What broke my heart was that He showed me how few of them there were in this vision. I was sad over it. Why did He choose me to see that? I wasn’t sure I wanted to know the latter part of the vision.
When I moved into the Pentecostal realm I asked God about speaking in tongues. I asked if it’s real and if it was, I wanted it. Don’t asked God for something if you don’t mean it, because it wasn’t long after I went through an intense week of seeking Him and at the end of that week I was on my knees crying and speaking in tongues. If you have doubts, ask. Be curious enough to find out before you close your mind to something like this. Of course you can search scriptures and find your reasons for either believing or not, but be sure you exegete the scripture. Refine what you read until you’ve removed all of your own perceptions. Like a refiner’s fire, let the dross flow off the top and skim off the impurities of your thinking and get right down to God’s thoughts. Those are the only thoughts of value.
One other time God spoke to me out of the blue one evening at work at DuPont. He told me a simple sentence. He told me to tell my supervisor “It’s your move”. At the time I wasn’t really sure of such boldness, but after some discussion I told Him I would. Once I had gotten alone with my supervisor I told him what God had spoken to me, I got this strange look back at me and after a few seconds he said he knew what that meant. To make this as short as possible, my supervisor told me a week or so later that he had given his heart to God and professed his salvation. A year or so later, he was sent to another plant. He was on his way back to Wilmington after a seven day run on shifts from Charleston SC, he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a tanker truck full of gasoline and was killed. Don’t hold back the Word of God when He says deliver it. Someone’s life depends on it and I believe, in fact, you can be held accountable if you don’t.
To make this more up to date, I was messaged this week if I had time to visit with a man in Greenville who is in very poor health. He was looking at major surgery. On the way up God spoke to me to tell him He didn’t want to heal him. He wanted to make him whole. When I spoke that Word to him he welled up and gave me a great big amen. God wants to make us not only healed in our bodies, but also our soul and spirit. He wants us made whole.
I know I ramble and some one of you is wondering. Pray without ceasing. When are you going to get to it? If so, you have failed to understand what I’m talking about. What I do IS pray without ceasing. I’m listening and talking to God all the time. Not just with a bowed head in my closet or public or other usual perception of what prayer is. God is with you and me all the time as it says “incessantly”. Someone in church keyed in on this recently when they said prayer is nothing more than conversation with God. He hit the nail on the head. See? I told you I wasn’t the only one that understands this concept of “pray without ceasing”.
If, and we should, take time to personally sit down and get some serious one on one time with God on a deeper level, but to pray without ceasing means we have to keep the line open all the time. It’s like we dial up a friend on our phone and we don’t hang up . . . ever.
As crazy as you make think of me, I just asked God if any of this made sense. He said, “I asked you to write this didn’t I”? Okay, God. I understand. Some will balk, some be blessed. If you want this, it’s yours. I’m just the messenger, but you can hear God speak just as well as anyone can. Just listen. and answer. That’s “prayer without ceasing”.