Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shutting out all voices but God's

When we are born, we have to rely on others for our very survival. We learn very quickly (if we weren't born knowing it) that we are dependent upon others.

As we grow, we do some exploring on our own, but most of our information comes from others. Especially in this day in the United States (and perhaps in other so-called “developed” countries), children are kept caged, so that they may not explore. Playpens, car seats, baby carriers, etc. are the norm. Crawling on floors or on the ground is pretty much forbidden for most babies.

(Okay, true confessions. I let my babies roam. I learned by baby three, that they don't even get sick, let alone die if they eat food left on the floor that missed getting swept up.)

True, that babies try to assert their independence around age 1 ½. Most are shot down for it, though. The attempts continue off and on until a child is legally old enough to move out. But by the time a child is in grade school, they have pretty much learned to depend on others' voices.

Teenagers may think they are thinking for themselves if they rebel against their parents, but they really aren't. They are following what someone else told them to think - to be.

So, here's our dilemma: God has told us to rely only upon HIS arm, not the arm of flesh - yet we are surrounded by the arm of flesh. We have learned our lessons well. A partial list of who we rely upon instead of God (though sometimes, we share our reliance upon God and another, yet Jesus has said we cannot serve two masters)

Ecclesiastical leaders
School teachers
College teachers
University professors
Other Christians
Media (either mainstream or not)
Medical professions of all kinds:
      Faith healers
      And the list could go on and on
Self-proclaimed experts
People with a bunch of letters after their names
Publicly-proclaimed experts
And on and on.

So here's mydilemma, at least: How do I shut out all others and hear ONLY God?

I know many people on the internet (a tiny few of them “in real life”) who say some pretty awesome things. When they say (okay, write) something, I want to learn more from these people. Whoa, Nelly! Stop right there.

If they are writing by the Spirit and the Spirit tells me the words are true, I seem to have a difficult time separating the awesome words from the person they came through.

And if I have a physical need that I am unable to take care of (say a home or food), I have a tendency to think God cannot help me unless another person is willing to cooperate with Him. Now, technically, that may be true that God won't magically build a house or grow a garden in my poisoned soil, but I'm thinking that if we look at any need we have and have even one part of us that believes God cannot fulfill it without another mortal showing up to help us, then we don't have the faith required for God to help us. Besides, God has worked miracles before, when no one was doing His will because they cared about anyone but themselves.

I think we are so intertwined with others that we cannot even tell when we are not fully relying on the Lord. We think we are, but we defer to someone else for some reason or other.

Perhaps we are even afraid that if we listen to God and to God only, we'll “go apostate” from the religion we belong to. Well, if the religion we belong to really follows God, how is that possible?

I find it a bit frightening to “go it alone with God” yet He has let me know that that is the only way to find Him. I have to let go of EVERY crutch, whether human or not, whether real or imaginary. It has to be just Him and me.