I came from a mix of very Pentecostal and Charismatic backgrounds, so for a long time I thought the only way I could hear from God was if I got a prophetic word. Naturally, that word would sustain me until I heard another one. I feel like, for a season, God removed that from my life so I could learn to hear Him for myself.
I started working through this book Hearing God’s Voice. (And by ‘working through’ I mean I read the prologue and it radically changed my life). I was wrecked by page two, and now I’ve been hearing from God in a whole new way. He’s been answering questions I’ve had for years! It wasn’t that I wasn’t asking before, it was that I had no idea how to create space for Him to speak. I didn’t know how to listen. Now I create space and an awareness of Him. I’m realizing that God speaks in my language. It’s not all “thees and thous” and “thus sayeth the Lord.” We laugh a lot. We’re very casual. It’s more natural and ongoing now. I spent years feeling guilty if I didn’t do devotions in the morning, but now I miss it if I don’t set time aside to hear from Him.
It’s not about us changing our minds or our hearts. It’s almost imperceptible, but it’s Him doing it. I tried my entire life to get people to say that to me: “There’s something different about you. What do you have that I don’t?” You know, that whole cliché Christian success story, to be actually known by love. I tried my whole life to make that happen. It wasn’t until I stopped trying that He shifted my heart. Now I’ll be in a situation and I’ll react differently than I did before. People started saying that to me, “Keeley, you’re different!” But it’s nothing I did… it just seems so simple.
I realized that ultimately, change happens because His words are substance. They’re not just words that we hear and are then supposed to make happen. When He speaks something, it is. We just get to choose to step in. If you’ve grown up in the church like I have, there are so many words and promises spoken over you. I used to cling to those and hope they happened. Now, I’m realizing the words and promises are just another thing I get to step into. It’s like when James Jordan talks about the substance of faith, how we receive it as a substance. I’ll never forget when God said to me:“You’ve been sustained by the vapour of my words and not received the substance of them.”
My old house is a cool story about His words. I found out that it had been sold to a developer and was going to be torn down. I’d been living there for 15 years, with Mike for the last 5 of those years. The moment we learned we had to move, we decided there were things in our lives we wanted to leave behind. At the time, there were so many areas where we felt stuck, like we had no momentum. So, on the walls of our old place we wrote the words that we were going to leave behind. Things like “disempowerment”, “hopelessness”, “anxiety”, and “fear”. We were both weeping as we did it because it was so powerful. Now that house has been plowed down; all that stuff is gone.
My heart has shifted. I suffer from anxiety and from panic attacks every once and awhile, but now even my anxiety is different. It’s not completely gone yet, but even during a meltdown I feel this solid peace inside me. I know I’m different. I’ll go to say something out of that place of anxiety, and it’ll be halfway out of my mouth when I realize, “I don’t actually believe that.” Now when He says, “I’m going to provide financially” it actually means something. Tangibly, I’m just expecting Him to provide. I’ve stopped saying: “Yeah, I’m kind of nervous about the future,” because I’m not nervous anymore. I honestly want to do a job interview right now. Not to get a job, but because I’m so much more confident. I’m confident in my strengths, my weaknesses, in all of it. I’m confident in it, but also confident that things are shifting.