Let me know if you can relate to this… A friend asks for your thoughts or insights on a particular thing. You follow up in a text or email only to hear… nothing. Hmmm… Or, as so many of us are writers, maybe there have been times when we have brilliant thoughts that we post, only to hear… crickets. Nothing. What’s worse is when, as a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit drops in for an extraordinary visit and GUSH GUSH GUSH, you begin to write and/or share… and… welp… nothing. Where does your mind take you in moments like that?
I just had a conversation with a dear friend on that very thing. She had been asked in confidence to share her insights on a particular concern, and took the request seriously enough to give it prayer and deep thought, only to have the person who was doing the asking behave as though the request had never been made. My friend asked if I had ever experienced something similar. My answer was a resounding YES, many times big and small!
I think we all do to some degree, don’t you? It is natural for us to be energized when we see our efforts are being recognized and appreciated, especially if they are for the Kingdom of God. It is a form of affirmation of our ministry. This made the conversation with my friend even more relatable, and I began to wonder if Jesus had ever felt that way. Just as I was ready to say something flippant like “I bet God never gets ignored”, the Holy Spirit stopped me in my tracks to remind me that He does… ALL THE TIME!
Take for example the time that Jesus took His disciples on a field trip to Caesarea Philippi, where Peter had the revelation that Jesus was the Christ. Did you know that from that point on, Jesus began to tell His disciples OFTEN that he would suffer and be crucified? And yet not once did that message ever really sink in. Not once that we know of did any of them ever ask Him why – why must He be crucified? Why must He suffer? Why does it have to happen that way, and what does that mean for them, for the Jewish people? As far as we know, every single one of them was so devastated by the cross that they thought that was it, that both His ministry and theirs was no over. Of course we all know what happened afterwards… But the point being… was Jesus’ words ever ignored? I think so!
If God’s word was never ignored, there would have been no need for the scripture to remind us not to grieve the Holy Spirit, and this world would look a whole lot different than it does today. So take heart, all you who feel your words have not been heard, you are in good company!
Here’s the blessing: God’s word never returns void (Isaiah 55:11), meaning it never falls flat, it hits it’s mark every time. When He puts His word in us and we are faithful to deliver it in whatever format, we can have the confidence that it does not go out into nothingness. It will yield fruit.
As far as motivations, my friend and I went on to discuss a book I’m currently reading, called “The Fire of God’s Love”, by Bob Sorge. Amazing read! But be prepared to go deep should you ever read it. The author takes you right to the foot of the cross and examines motives in the light of it, noting that the Bride of Christ has gained access to the love that blazes within the Godhead through the cross of Jesus Christ. He goes on to note there are four heart motivations that the Lord wants to cultivate within each of us, and is looking for everything we do to spring up from them:
- “I want to be with Him”
- “I want to know Him”
- “I want to please Him”
- “I want His honor”
I believe the more we obey out of love, the freer we become. Free not only from sin and wrong motivation, but free from wondering if we have somehow fallen short or what others may possibly be thinking. Free to live as God intended. So put yourself out there, and be blessed!