Wednesday, October 03, 2007

because they know his voice

one of the greatest hurdles i have had to overcome in the theology of my past is the silent god theology. looking back i can see how it caused so much devastation in my soul. it is insane to think that this teaching can survive the test of the very scriptures they claim to take so literally. "my sheep hear my voice and they know me" - i can remember feeling deep within my heart that i longed to live in a time when god wasn't silent and that he must have loved those in bible times more deeply and dearly than this time because he talked with them.

it was also the time when i began to feel crazy. there were times when i knew i heard god's voice. times i fought the fears of the voice in my head and the diametrically opposed experience i was having to "the truth". many would chuck the teaching they received in church and follow the truth of the voice. i was so trained not to trust myself that i just couldn't. i blamed myself. i was the broken one. i was crazy.

psalm 23 and john 10 are working deeply in my soul right now, weaving together to replace the lies with the truth. i have blogged, journaled and written about this before - but it feels like a second pass, that my theology is being re-formed (gosh i hate that calvin got to co-opt that word!) and allowing the division i have always felt between my spiritual life and my physical life to rejoin and find healing together.

i have searched my blog for the psalm 23 i re-wrote for me personally years ago that idelette encouraged us all to write. mine was violent, angry and jagged. but so honest and expressive of where i was at that time. i am going to search again for it, through my journals so that i can see how far i've come. i think that one of the reasons that psalm 23 never resonated with me before was because i truly never felt like one of those beloved sheep. the voice and the sheep are intricately tied together. only those who can hear the shepherd's voice are those who feel like a part of the fold. i think i deeply resented that others (in biblical times, i brushed off any contemporary christians who "heard god's voice" as being delusional and skitzo and far too big for their britches, because really, who did they think they were that god would talk to them? sigh...) got to hear god's voice and i didn't.

i have been free from that ugly theology for years now, but i still hadn't allowed it to infiltrate into my reading of the bible. for too many years the bible was all i had, and it left me cold most of the time. i spent 4 years of my life devoted to learning how to rightly divide the word of truth, but all that did was make me a self-righteous know it all. i have spent the past couple of years in the gospels and finally the two are coming together - and both are healing the dry, broken places those heresies left behind.

the sacredness of many of the parts of the bible are returning to me. it has been a long, slow journey and at it's start i couldn't even imagine that it would bring it back to me. i am surprised and pleased. it's not all there and i don't know if it ever will return. i still have deep difficulties with so many parts of scripture (i even despise that word, it sounds so fundamental to my ears) - but those red letters are coming back to life for me. breathing new life into these parched places.

i am finding that my soul, my mind and my body can be friends again. it's slow, sometimes painful work, but so worth it. especially when i take a glance over my shoulder and see how very far i've come.


Dan said...


Great, authentic post. It shows that while you have had to wrestle with a particular view of the Bible, you, nevertheless have continued a trust in the Living Word, Himself. That is beautiful in its raw form.

Patchouli said...

When I woke up too early this a.m. with thoughts of today scrambling thru my head, I went to Psalm 23. This has not ever been a favorite with me, as it is overused just words--but today it was rich.

Anonymous said...

I often think it would help with apologetics if God were not silent. But then I remember the presence of Jesus on the planet and how many people continued to reject him. Apparently his glory is being maximally exalted in this time of our waiting to see him.

I'll be the first to confess that the waiting hurts.

Sarah Louise said...

I too had a hard time with Psalm 23--it was my balm when I was going a bit insane almost ten years ago and then for the nine years it was just a reminder of that time when I constantly repeated those words to try to stay sane. It was redeemed this past spring--it's amazing how 6 verses can be a door or a prison. Shalom to you, dear sister in Christ.

gracie said...

hmmm I think I needed this... thank you.
Recovery is a journey out of mistrust, and I have found myself too burned to trust the Word like I did as a child... wrestle, wrestle, limp, limp