Monday, March 1, 2010

No Buts!

First, I don’t hear voices. God doesn’t come to me in the form of a burning bush or a booming voice from the sky. All the same, I “hear” God in my life. He speaks to me through quiet peace in my heart or the certain knowing of what the next step He wishes me to make. I know that I have heard His voice when my thoughts begin to line up with scripture.
Second, God spoke very clearly in my life a few years ago. Some friends and I were sitting in a coffee shop when I said, “God says I should pray without buts.” Yep, that look you have as you read this is exactly how they looked at me when I said it to them. I know, it sounds kind of silly. But really it was a profound insight into my soul that was seeping out through my prayers.

You see when I realized God wasn’t just commenting on my sentence structure I began to get His point. Often so many of my prayers go something like this – “Dear God, I know that you are faithful, but…..” or “God I know you are asking me to do this, but……”

Those three little letters – B.U.T. – were the indication of something so much deeper in my spiritual life. As I talked this through with God He led me to see that everything after that BUT was a sign of my lack of trust or lack of faith.

My response was a vehement, “No Lord, it’s not true. I have great faith and I trust you explicitly!” Still, I couldn’t hide from the fact that the BUT was really my way of trying to portray my uncertainty in a cloak of faithfulness. My prayers were more a way of hiding the holes in my faith than they were true dialogue with God.

Dialogue is really what prayer is all about. God knows what is going on in my heart. I don’t have to tell Him that I am unsure of what He is doing, but He wants me to speak honestly with Him. When I am uncertain or questioning He wants me to boldly come to Him with these thoughts. When I want to ask something in His name, He wants me to pray that confidently also. He wants me to deal with my BUTs so that I can pray honestly.

Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; ~Romans 12:12

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