The Grace to Hear God


My Sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51:17

I have noticed something about my relationship with God recently: I am depending less and less on the rules of religion and more and more on what He shows me. I remember as a younger Christian, it was so hard for me to try to figure out how to “hear from God.” I assumed that the only way to do so was to have some sort of supernatural experience, vision, or dream. I thought I had to be “extra anointed” and in order to be so, I had to follow all sorts of rules of religious engagement. I had to be set apart, holy, and pure. The only problem with this is that its impossible. I could never be good enough, and I always felt like God didn’t want to talk to me because at some point, my attitude was off, my motives were selfish, or any number of other problems that kept me from hearing from God.

Now let me be clear. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH PURSUING A LIFE OF HOLINESS. It’s part of growing in a deeper relationship with God. However, WE CANNOT EARN OR RELATIONSHIP BY THIS MEANS. I can’t pray enough, read my Bible enough, fast enough, or witness enough to get God to talk to me. All I can do is acknowledge that I’m incapable.

I started consistently hearing from God after I became the worst version of myself I had ever encountered. I couldn’t pray without feeling sick or angry. I couldn’t read my Bible, I wasn’t fasting…I had stopped pursuing a life of holiness because I was BROKEN. What I began doing, however, was journaling. telling God how broken I felt, and what I needed. And it wasn’t a contrite, placid, Christian journal entry either. These were journal entries that basically whined, raged, and pitched fits at God, screaming “Fix it! My life is garbage!”

And guess what? He did. Not because I was good enough, but because He was good enough. His grace in my weakness was more substantial than what I had once relied on as my own strength to be godly. I have been hearing from his ever since, and even though I’m nowhere near as outwardly “Christian,” I am more reliant on Christ than I have ever been.

Have you ever felt like your behavior, actions, or attitudes have kept you away from God? Do you draw away from him when you feel spiritually low or inadequate? His grace is still strong enough to keep you near.


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