Aug 31 2011
On Yearning for the Undeniable God

A text to the show:

I'm trying to hear God's voice.  I'm trying to listen.  I've read that God is always speaking.  I want something that isn't a whimper. Something personal. Something I cannot deny or doubt.

Everything I believe says God wants the same thing. So what is the problem?

 

 

I wish I knew your name.

And I wish I knew your name because... my response would sound so much better. Bad news usually does. "I'm afraid you're asking for something you can't have" seems somehow harsher than, say, "Tara, I'm afraid you're asking for something you can't have."

But it's true. You can't have it. Not yet.

-----

Here, and now, I'm convinced there's not a thing God could communicate to you that you can't deny.  Nothing He could say would be incontrovertible.  And no matter what He did, what miracle He showed you...?  You could rebel against it.  This is the reality of where we are, now.  

Check out the stories in the Bible.  People got pillars of fire, and it took about a half-hour before they were bowing down to a golden calf.  More "denial"?  Peter, one of Jesus' best friends, got to see miracle after miracle, and his name is now synonymous with the word, "deny", itself. Doubt?  John the Baptist, himself, doubted who Jesus was, after personally baptizing Him.  

God fixed the stars in the sky, and holds every atom together.  He's so masterful, our doubt itself is a miracle:  Our very consciousness remains unexplained.  But doubt, and deny, we do.

You want something that makes it impossible for you to doubt. Problem is, you're human, and humans can doubt anything.  The clear voice of God, itself, can be doubted.  ("Was that really Him, really?"  "Couldn't that have been a neural misfire?"  "You know, maybe that 'miracle' years ago was a coincidence...")  

You want something you can't have... yet.

-----

But now... the good news:  

It seems like you really want more of God.  And, from what I read, that's a really good thing.  You're going to get what you're looking for.

If you're frustrated now, you're in great company.  Just look at the Psalms, for instance.  David, who wrote many of them, was a man "after God's own heart" and yet he was left wondering, often, "God, where did you go?  Why did you hide your face?"  He was left with yearning.

Or look at Paul, whom Jesus recruited with all the subtlety of a two-by-four to the head.  Paul had the miracle, the light from Heaven, the conversation with Jesus... and still said we can only see dimly, now, what we will one day see in full.  He was left with yearning.

If you want more of God, you're going to yearn. And yearning isn't bad. Yearning happens when you are in love.   Lovers yearn, when they want, but they cannot fully have.  Not yet.  

Lovers yearn, but religious people don't.  

Religious people have their rules, and they have them in full.  There's nothing to yearn for.  (In fact, when they're honest, the only thing they might yearn for is a way out.)

But God calls us to relationship, and that means yearning.

----

Want to experience yearning in another context?  Try being engaged to be married, but living a chaste life.  I've done it.  It's hard.  You yearn, and you know what you want, and you know you're going to get what you want... but not yet.  You want more... but not yet.

It's really, really tough.  And, tough as it is, it's really, really good.  Yearning like that - that powerful - only happens because the object of the yearning is that powerful.

And let's face it. I said "yearning in another context", but you know what?  It's really not another context: We are promised, in the end, a wedding. Jesus will have His bride, and it's His people.  And He will know us, and we will know Him, fully. Paul wrote as much:  "Then I shall know just as I also am known."

So you're yearning, and so are we all, but it's building up to something. Something really, really good.  

You're engaged, and the wedding is going to one amazing party, and knowing God, finally, and truly, is going to be worth it.  

There's nothing wrong with yearning for it.

Comments (38) -

9/1/2011 7:18:25 AM
Amy Saunders United States
Amy Saunders
I am the same has her. I can feel God around me in the things I do. My pastor say God is not going to talk to you in audoable voice. I have been like she has for many years. I am still trying to figure when he wants me to do something.
9/1/2011 7:41:01 AM
waiting4him United States
waiting4him
I'm so glad this was posted.  I have felt this too and Brant's words make sence. It's good to know I'm not alone in my thoughts and yearnings and that there will be something good that comes from it. Thank you!
9/1/2011 8:05:09 AM
Lori United States
Lori
Thank you, Brant. In the past few months, I've been returning again and again to passages about longing, seeking, yearning.  Tshuquah, I think? Thank you for striving to put into words the Truth of our incompleteness until we are perfected in Him. It's comforting to know that the discomfort of waiting is really, really okay. In fact, it's a sign of being in love. Sure appreciate your expression. Thank you.
9/1/2011 8:12:32 AM
Aaron United States
Aaron
ANOTHER awesome post Brant. Man I look forward to reading your post everyday. Thank you for your blessing. Smile
9/1/2011 10:22:25 AM
Sandi Felkner United States
Sandi Felkner
LOVED it! I have experienced miracles in my life.  I have HEARD the voice of God. I KNOW when HE wants me to do something...and yet...I have doubts, just like everyone else. It's human nature to doubt.  To forget.  Even when we KNOW.  Thank God HE understands and loves us just the way we are...huh?
9/1/2011 12:12:06 PM
Rachel United States
Rachel
Beautiful! Simply beautiful and a much needed read today. Thank you so much for your writing!
9/1/2011 12:17:21 PM
lauren United States
lauren
And let's face it.  I said "yearning in another context", but you know what?  It's really not another context:  We are promised, in the end, a wedding.  Jesus will have His bride, and it's His people.  And He will know us, and we will know Him, fully.  Paul wrote as much:  "Then I shall know just as I also am known."

""love it""
9/1/2011 12:48:46 PM
Charlee United States
Charlee
This has been on my mind a lot lately too....I'm 22, and for years I've been wondering what God wants me to do with my life. It was just recently that it finally hit me that Jesus himself didn't start his actual ministry until he was in his 30s, even though he was/is the perfect servant and knew/followed God his whole life, but God didn't send him out preaching til later in life...Gives me lots of
hope Smile.
Thanks for the reminder, Brant....you're blogs are awesome! Smile
9/1/2011 1:07:40 PM
Melissa United States
Melissa
It's funny ... I've been really challenged lately with the idea of knowing ABOUT God vs. knowing God. Loving God. Waiting for Him "like watchmen for the morning."

I wondered -- sometimes, still do wonder -- if I am one of those "religious people" whose faith is well-rooted in my head but hasn't quite hit my heart.

But this made me think I'm actually on the right track. That asking myself, "How do I fall in love with Him?" and *wanting* to do that is yearning.

Until I read this, I thought I had a long way to go. But I think I needed the reminder that our love with Him won't be complete, crystal clear and perfected in this life.

Thanks, Brant. A little reassurance that was desperately needed.

Pax.
9/1/2011 1:15:02 PM
Dionna United States
Dionna
I just love your blog posts.
9/1/2011 2:24:44 PM
Courtney United States
Courtney
I've been thinking this same thing - why isn't God louder?  This post came at the perfect time.  It's amazing how the right blog post, or the perfect comment from a friend, or the perfect song on the radio, or whatever always seems to come at the right time.  That helps to remind me that God is ALWAYS speaking, just not in the way I want.

I often joke that it would be easier if God could just send me an email.  I check that all the time, so it would be a sure-fire way to get me to listen!  Then I remember, he gave me the Bible and if I want to hear from him I might have to close the email for a minute or two and make time.  

As much as we yearn for Him, I try to remember that He also wants time with us.  Give Him the time and your patience and He will give you the time and answers.  

Thanks for the awesome perspective here, Brant.  First time I've read your blog and so far I like it!
9/1/2011 2:26:08 PM
SR United States
SR
Your response is my entire day wrapped in a few paragraphs...How easy it is for us to stomp our foot and say, "But I don't WANT to" in response to God's calling.  I don't want to give that up, or go there, or say this, or start doing whatever it is that God is speaking to us to stop/be/say/begin.   And yet if you are a parent, you know how God feels when he's trying to guide us to the right thing and we rebel.  We're the ones that are hurting because of not listening.  He loves us anyway and He's worth the wait, the yearning.
9/1/2011 2:33:24 PM
Mike United States
Mike
Like Sandi, I have experienced miracles and I have heard God's voice.  In fact I heard Him call me into youth  ministry.  I spent 7 years in trenches and saw numerous miracles and lives changed.  Then, God made it clear that I was to take time to rest.  Since then it seems as if God has been awfully silent.

I yearn to be close to Him and serve Him like I did for those 7 years yet I know He has new plans.  I can't wait for those plans to be revealed yet I know when the time comes, it will be obvious beyond disbelief what He is calling me to do.  Yet, I sometimes sit and doubt and wonder.  "God, where are you?" I sometimes wonder.  Yet I know I am foolish to think He has forgotten me.

Thank you for the blog.  It really encouraged me that I am not alone in feeling this way.

Mike
9/1/2011 2:43:15 PM
Mike United States
Mike
Just to clarify, that wasn't me who wrote that there. I'm the Mike that wrote a comment yesterday on the previous post.

I love this post, though. I am engaged to be married--to the King of kings! I will be His bride, and He will be my Lord and my God, my Savior for all of eternity!

That is going to be so awesome to experience forever!
9/1/2011 2:43:18 PM
Sandy Sandmeyer United States
Sandy Sandmeyer
Wonderful post, Brant!  Thank you!  I'm sharing it all around.
9/1/2011 2:45:22 PM
Christina Costley United States
Christina Costley
This is probably the wrong place to post it, but it's a very cute pic. of otters.

th00.deviantart.net/.../...rs_by_Roxaslovesyou.jpg
9/1/2011 3:04:55 PM
Adam United States
Adam
I love the whole '2x4' thing with Paul.
The book of James says to ask God and with faith you will receive. James also mentions how to deepen your relationship with God; you have to make the first move.  You have to drawn near to God, stumbling while broken inside and calling his name, they he will rush to you side. It happened for me, I was living a pascal's wager and was at a very dark and broken place; I realized I had been looking for hope everywhere but God.  I opened my Bible, which I had never really read, and landed in James, which ironically was exactly where I needed to be. I read though James and several verses gripped me; broken, I called upon God as my last hope and I felt him come to me in a matter of a couple minutes.  The problem is most people aren't looking or listening until the only path left is to try God.  However, if you start to slip away, thinking that you mended yourself it will take more breaking for you to return to God. Every time you return, you fall more in love with God however, and it becomes a little easier to not turn your back on him. It took a six years, but this summer I returned to him with my greatest determination yet, and I managed to finish reading all of my Bible in meditation. I am ashamed it took six years, but it isn't that easy.  You give God your heart and jerk it back over and over, until you realize he is the only one who has always loved you and struggle to not take anything you give back.
9/1/2011 4:20:33 PM
Jake United States
Jake
Just reflecting on the idea of "God telling us WHEN He wants us to do something"...The truth is, He is always asking us to seek holiness, that is, the betterment of ourselves, by growing in relationship with Him.  At times, God may ask us to do some specific and radical thing for Him, but most days (for most of us) the radical nature of our relationship with Him is in going against the selfish nature of our culture, and giving fully of ourselves in relationship with Him (in prayer) and His people (all those around us).  

God is not often found in the great earthquakes, wind, or fire (think Elijah in the cave), but in the quiet whispering sound.  If we want to "hear" Him, we must make time to do so.  And just as Elijah found the Lord in the quiet, so must we make time for solitude in prayer & silence, all the while remembering that He answers in ways we don't expect, but are the best things for us.

Last thought, Micah 6:8

"He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?"

When in doubt, be the best you that you know how to be, and pray unceasingly for guidance, strength, and peace to do Justice, love Kindness, and walk humbly with He who loves you.

Peace in Christ
9/1/2011 5:18:12 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
I love Jake's comment. I agree strongly with his first paragraph. When I read the bible, pray and just spend more time with my God everyday, (basically submitting myself to Him) I find it easier to hear Him. He is always working on me and we are always strengthening our relationship with each other. But sometimes I don't hear Him, and that's ok too. I just have to have faith that He's there and He cares about me. That's why I like the Barlowgirl song, "Never Alone."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8QubLxJI54
9/1/2011 5:28:13 PM
Lauren
Lauren
Just to clarify, that was not me lol.
But I'm with my "same-name". I LOVE Barlow Girls "Never Alone" as well. They are one of my favorite bands and they're songs have good meaning to them.
9/1/2011 5:33:12 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
Of course, we should continue to seek God, and love justice and mercy.  Definitely.  And read the Bible lots.

I guess here's where I'm going:  Even if you do all those things with all your might, with every drop of everything you have, there is STILL a "not yet" quality to our relationship.  

This "not yet" should not be easily interpreted, then, as "you're just not doing enough," as we are wont to do in the religious world.
9/1/2011 5:40:35 PM
Casper the Gypsy United States
Casper the Gypsy
One thing I didn't read in the comments that is important to note.

God isn't waiting for you to listen so he can tell you a grand plan and direction for your life.  Life isn't an event its a journey!

God doesn't call you to one thing and then leave you there, God is calling you to walk with Him.  Like a kid at the zoo you may really want to see the monkeys and spend all day there, but Gods the parent that says there is so much more I have for you.  God does talk to you, but sometimes He doesn't use words, sometimes He paints pictures, or makes music, sometimes He calls you to stillness and quiet to contemplate Him.

Don't wait for God to give you a 40 year plan, take Him one day at a time be christ to those around you and walk the path before you, and you will have a beautiful ministry and story of the journey you and Jesus have been on.  Jesus called his disicples to follow him, that's all and that's all He ask of you.

Blessings to you on your journey!
9/1/2011 6:07:56 PM
Lauren Schmuck United States
Lauren Schmuck
Brant,

Well I feel sheepish.
I'm actually confused by your comment. At first I thought I knew what this blog was about (see my comment above 5:18:12 PM), but now I'm not so sure. And in the past, when I've been confused about an idea that other Christians are talking about (I'm still a baby Christian see) it's because I'm not there in my relationship with God yet to understand.

I guess I'm just so focused on Him and His love for me and our current relationship and building that, that I can't even fathom feeling this, "not yet," feeling you're talking about. I yearn for Him daily and sometimes He doesn't give me answers and sometimes I don't even hear Him, but I guess I can only explain that this doesn't bother me because I have faith that He still loves me and wants a relationship with me and wants to use me for His will.

I know that our relationship will not be perfect until I'm in heaven with Him, and I guess that's what you're trying to say, but that doesn't really matter to me in the here and now. He has given me so much in this life... I'm just happy to know Him personally now. He saves my life everyday. I am SO looking forward to spending eternity with Him and that is always a thought that brings me great joy.

I will pray for understanding though. Sorry I missed the point. Tong And thank you for clarifying.

Lauren Schmuck
9/1/2011 6:11:31 PM
brant United States
brant
Oh, gosh, Lauren -- don't feel sheepish.

I honestly don't think a majority of people will "get" this, though it's clear many do.  I do think it's something that might come along as one gets older in the faith.  At least, I gather that from reading and talking with people.

Do NOT feel sheepish about it!  This is not a one-size-will-fit-all thing!  It's all good.
9/1/2011 6:29:14 PM
Lauren United States
Lauren
Thanks Brant.

Ok, I won't feel sheepish. Smile I know your blog will help others who are feeling this same way. Your blogs are inspirational to me.

Lauren

PS: Totally off topic! But my husband just informed me that he called Air1 and talked to you today about a friend of ours being judgemental about my fairy figurine collection. Lol. I believe the keyword is, like it usually is: love. If we go to a brother or sister in Christ because we love them and we're concerned about their sin, that is completely different. The greatest commandment is to love God above all others. The second is to love others. We should always base our actions on these. Sorry I'm off point AGAIN. Smile
9/1/2011 7:20:59 PM
val United States
val
God is precise: It is a woman Rev 12 that delivers the true word John1:1, Rev 12:5, Rev 12:13 who restores Acts 3:21 all things to the world before Christ’s return. This woman exposes the lies of Satan who has deceived the whole world Rev 12:9. This woman creates a new thing in the earth by fulfilling God's promise to Eve Gen 3:15, Jer 31:22, Isa 14:16. Moses and Elijah are together with the word Matt 17:3 they all three are in this one woman. She is like unto Moses Num 12:3. She was raised up Acts 3:22 from the Laodicean church that becomes lukewarm because they refused to hear her Rev 3:14-17. She is bold like Elijah Matt 17:11, Luke 1:17. As Elijah was alone declaring the true God to the people 1 Kings 18:22 so also her witness alone turns the hearts of the fathers to the children Mal 4:5-6 to prepare a people for the Lords return before the great and dreadful day of the Lord Matt 17:3, Luke 9:30. Those who will not hear Acts 3:23 the true word of God she now delivers to the world free of charge, as a witness, at the heel of time from the wilderness Rev 12:6 will not be allowed inside the walls of God’s coming kingdom from heaven Rev 21. This true testimony of the true value of the blood of the Lamb delivers the truth that not one child of God will be put in a hell fire no matter what their sins. It never entered the heart or mind of God to ever do such a thing Jer 7:31, Jer 19:5. God created evil Isa 45:7 to teach his children the knowledge of good and evil Rom 8:7, Gen 3:22 so that at their resurrection they  become a god Matt 22:29-30, Ps 82:6 and are placed Ezek 37:26 in God’s world. Prove all things. You cannot rightly judge this unless you read all that has been written by this woman first Pro 18:13. Start here  http://minigoodtale.wordpress.com  Check out the bruising of Satan and the reason for all of mankind’s sufferings.  This is the Gospel that shall be preached in all the world as a witness and then the end will come.
9/1/2011 8:45:16 PM
Noeiza United States
Noeiza
Watta biutiful piece of lecture, for a moment it didn't sound like DJ Brant, God Bless you! Brant
9/2/2011 7:17:43 AM
Jeff United States
Jeff
I am understanding by the blog that God does not speak to us in this life.  If I have misunderstood, please forgive this post.  I have to disagree with this based upon John 14:16&26 and John 16:7-13.  These passages clearly show the purpose of the Holy Spirit, God Himself, is sent to comfort us and lead us into all truth in John 16:13 to speak to us.  How can we be comforted if He does not speak to us?  Rely on hope alone?  Sometimes that is not enough which I believe is why Jesus made the point that He wasn't leaving us alone but giving us the Holy Spirit.  Why would He leave us someone who is to comfort us who would not speak to us?  We also need Holy Spirit to speak to us because there are decisions we need to make as humans that just don't have a verse in the Bible that tells us things such as where to live or who to marry.  

We are able to hear God clearly as we spend time with Him, just as we recognize the voices of those we spend the most time with.  I know a lot of people are concerned that they do not hear God the  way others claim to have heard.  Continue spending time with Him.  It is something acquired with time, do not give up.  
9/2/2011 8:04:26 AM
Lori United States
Lori
Sorry, Jeff, I didn't get that understanding at all. I thought Brant was referring to the incompleteness that I read about in Romans 7. We who are His long for Him, and have His Spirit dwelling within us, and yet ... we read in Romans 7:24: "Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God but on the other with my flesh the law of sin."  I thought Brant's blog was about the puzzlement of the two hands, and our longing to be fully with Him in eternity. Holding hands forever. Did I miss the point?
9/2/2011 10:34:05 AM
Cathy United States
Cathy
Wow. This was the what my personal study was about this morning. Thank you for being my confirmation.  I've been waiting on a "sign" as to which job to persue.  Something "undeniable".  The scripture God spoke to me was John 14:8-11.  Thank you for shining a light on what I was trying to grasp, and thank you for being obedient.
9/2/2011 11:23:42 AM
Jeff United States
Jeff
Lori, that could very well be the point.  However, the original comment/question was the person's desire to hear God.  They are wanting to hear God and know that it is God speaking to them. The conclusion I drew from Brant's reply to the question was that God does not speak to us while on this earth which is why I commented.
9/2/2011 11:56:19 AM
Kelly United Kingdom
Kelly
Thanks for posting Brant! Smile I've been feeling the same too.
9/2/2011 12:35:50 PM
Sue United States
Sue
God does speak to us today, it says in the Bible, ''my sheep will know my voice''. I could be he is speaking to us, but don't realize it's Him, because we have our own ideas how He talks to us. Have you ever just had a Bible verse pop into your head, I don't mean the words, I mean something like John 3:16, and you wonder what does that verse say, then you look it up and realize it's about something you've been wondering about, or something you've prayed about, to me that's God speaking to me. Years ago before I thought God spoke to us, I woke up really early one Sunday morning, I decided to write our minister a thank you note for something he had done for our family. I didn't even think about what I was writing, I just wrote came into my mind. I took the note to church to give to him after the service, during the service he talked about 4 different things I had written in my note-I would have had no idea what he was going to preach about, but I wrote about all 4 things, that's when I realized God was speaking to me. Sometimes I take a pad of paper and my Bible and just go outside and talk to God, I write down things that come to mind, if I start struggling with what to write, I know it's me doing the writing and thinking. He doesn't speak to me every day or every week or even every month. But having a hunger to know God in a personal way is so awesome and exciting. Don't give up, just be more aware of your thoughts and the quiet times.
9/2/2011 2:45:18 PM
Nicole United States
Nicole
When I was 5 yrs old God spoke to me and asked me to be His. I heard His voice, i answered yes. God spoke to me again when i was 12. I knelt beside my bed praying for my uncle. He told me he was dead. my parents had left early that morning saying he had been in an accident. they came home and told us that he had been stabbed in the heart by his girlfriend.
The years that followed were hard. I doubted God's existence, His love. I didn't want to be His voice. Depression and sadness haunted my existence. No one teaches you how to deal with the sad parts of life. I was shy and didn't trust anyone. God never gave up, i would go through phases. Good years and bad years came and went, life is a roller coaster. I never fit in with Christians and I never fit in with the "world" either.
I could never give up on my faith completely. In the deepest part of my heart i knew God loved me and i loved Him. No matter where i've been, wanting to die or standing unafraid to try anything God always went there with me.
Just wait, because He's there...you'll hear Him...
9/3/2011 8:14:48 AM
JamesCReedJr. United States
JamesCReedJr.
"Try being engaged to be married, but living a chaste life."  This is exactly why I am not getting married until I am old enough to handle a serious relationship.  I want security first, then I will look for a partner.  

This conversation reminds me of one I had the other day about foundationalism and the need to justify.  Infinite regression states that you must justify your answers while "god" is not an answer but a denial of ignorance.  You say there is something out there (god) yet you do not know why or how to prove it?  It is very frustrating to have a conversation with that type of person.  These are things that I don't understand.  We are in the same boat Brant.
9/6/2011 9:49:25 AM
Jessika Canada
Jessika
Thank you Brant, I REALLY needed this.

9/11/2011 5:51:12 PM
Brant Hansen United States
Brant Hansen
To clear up a misunderstanding:  I'm not denying that God speaks to us, in various ways.  But she's asking, again, for something that she cannot deny.  

I respectfully disagree with those who think we have a complete, no-veils relationship with God right now.  Or that those who don't are somehow just not doing enough, or are doing the wrong things.  This is because there is a "not yet" aspect to the Kingdom.  

Implying that others just aren't trying hard enough ignores this, and that there are many quite-mature believers who are "ready to go home", in their words.  They want more of God than they are finding here, and it's not because they're not religious enough.
3/27/2012 10:19:23 PM
overtime wages United States
overtime wages
I haven’t checked in here for a few weeks because I thought it was getting boring, but the last handful of posts are really awesome quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily favorites. You deserve it mate…

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