I strive to be a conscionable fellow and often rely on the moral compass from within to speak to me. There are times when I hear can almost hear the voice of my wife, friends, family members or even colleagues speaking to a particular situation. As I go for that 3rd cookie, In my head I can hear my wife reminding me of our goals we set together to get back into shape. I can often hear my dad’s many lessons and notes of wisdom speaking to my conscience as I strive to live a life worth living. Those so called voices of conscience speak to us as if those persons are right there having a conversation with us. The connection we have with people does not end when they are no longer within earshot. Why would we expect it to be any different in our relationship with God?
I often hear from people that they wonder if God is even listening because God may not have responded to them in a way that they were expecting. I was visiting with a congregant the other week and he was sharing with me what he had been praying for and was wondering why God had not responded. I asked him, “based on what you know about God from scripture, from our United Methodist tradition, from past experiences and through your ability to reason, what do you think God would say to your prayer request if God were right here having a face-to-face conversation with you?”
As he looked at the scenario from God’s perspective, he began to respond to his own prayer as if the Holy Spirit was speaking through him, to him. Who’s to say it wasn’t the Holy Spirit speaking? Although it is always good to edify our understanding of God with others, the voice of God does not always begin with an external voice. God has placed God’s likeness within each of us and has given us the ability to know God’s heart, to be of God’s heart and to speak God’s heart to those around us as well as our selves. I invite you to try this exercise in your own prayer lives as we all seek to follow the will of God more closely.
Pastor Michael Maroon