I don't expect God to speak to me very often. I know some Christians do, expecting that God will open up to them frequently, even daily.
My sense about this has been tempered by my experience along with my reading of the story of Abraham. In the narrative, God shows up and talks with Abraham about once a decade. That fact is easy lost on us since these events happen back-to-back in the pages of our Bibles. The reality, however, was that there were long periods of time in between these bursts of revelation. In the downtime, Abraham had to simply act on what he knew, doing what God told him to do until he got further word.
That's how it is for me. Only a few times in my life have I had a strong sense that God has spoken to me. It's never been an audible voice or some Shack-like experience. Rather, it's as if words are formed in my heart and I recognized the voice. It's not something I look for, necessarily, but I know it when it happens.
It happened Friday night.
I had gotten some bad news. The past couple of weeks have been tough ones for me around Vintage. Money is tight, people are hurting, there is always more to do than time to do it, and I generally have felt like I was failing. I'm not sure my feelings are / were accurate, but they were my feelings. After what felt like a couple of weeks of body blows, I got an email Friday night that I didn't expect and that threw me pretty good.
I think I had what could only be described as a panic attack. This was not a pleasant experience, and I would be happy never repeating it. But I was just that low. A couple of times I asked Vanessa to say something as she sat helplessly by watching me struggle. But she had nothing.
But God did have something to say.
Several times in those moments of panic, I sensed that God was saying to me, "Fight for it."
Fight for it.
God usually speaks to me in bumper sticker-like phrases. Fight for it.
Those words brought a lot of calm and peace to me. I knew instantly that God wanted me to not stand back and simply absorb what I was experiencing. He wants me to react to it with an appropriate amount of resolve and determination.
I don't think "fight for it" means being caustic, argumentative, or abrasive. Rather, I think it means that there are people in my life and church that are headed in directions that I don't think God wants them to go. I don't know who wants them to go in the directions they are headed, but I am fairly confident that it is not God. And he wants me to do something about it. He wants me to speak up, to take action, to challenge, and to fight for it.
And so that's what I am going to do. I am going to fight for the growth and maturity of my church. I am going to fight for the well-being of my family. I am going to fight for the health of my friends' marriages. I am going to fight for the spiritual development of my friends.
Until God tells me otherwise, all I can do is fight for it.