Hearing from God: Part II

I wanted to follow up on my series, Hearing From God. In Part I of the series, we touched on how Pharaoh’s heart was hardened as God showed His glory through the plagues via Moses’ successful efforts at convincing Pharaoh to let the Israelites go.

After the Israelites were freed, they experienced miracles left and right. From giving the Hebrews a pillar of cloud and a pillar of fire to guide their travels (Exodus 13: 21-22), parting the Red Sea (Exodus 14) and raining down manna (bread)and quail each day, God showed himself miraculously and yet in still, the Hebrews seemed to reject God whenever things became inconvenient for them.

And like I talked about in the first post of this series, I really think that if I was Pharaoh, I would have had sense enough to realize that it did no good to challenge Moses’ God. But when we fast forward to the Israelites in the wilderness, we see that unless a person’s heart is right, they won’t be able to appreciate the wonder and greatness of God’s miracles.

While talking to a friend, he asked me why we don’t see miracles today, like the ones we see in the Bible, (Parting the Red Sea, people of the Old Testament having one-on-one conversations with God, Daniel and the lion’s den, etc.) My response was that we do see miracles every day. From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the divine order and beauty of nature along with our ability to love each other and connect with God are all miracles to me. I went on to point out that to some degree, organized religion has distorted God’s purposeful and personal relationship He wants to have with each one of us.

My hunch was that by miracles, my friend was referring to what would be known as a theophany, “a manifestation or appearanace of God or a god to a person.”

I remember crying in church on a number of occasions, asking God to grant me a theophanic experience. And when I look back, I was really asking God to give me confirmation that I was on the right path. Another way to look at it, is to consider a hostage situation where a loved one is being held ransom. Before you negotiate, you want ‘proof of life’ in the form of talking to your loved one, to make sure they are still alive.

For me, I wanted proof of God independent of what the Bible said or through other people’s experiences. But it doesn’t really work like that. I felt that my one big ‘burning bush’ moment would be all I needed to sustain my walk with God forever. I have yet to have a moment like that but it is not until we live for the relationship and not the miracle, that we can truly experience the greatness of God.

So let me ask you, why don’t you think we see miracles to the same scale as we saw in the Bible? (the Old Testament in particular)

What do you consider to be miracles experienced in your own life?

Have you ever waited on a miracle to really jump start your relationship with God?

Let me know,

Stay up fam,

Brandon Q.

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5 responses to “Hearing from God: Part II”

  1. Tait says :

    Brandon,

    I believe we experience theophanic experiences everyday. Everyday we experience something we need and/or a loving act from another person. That’s an appearance of God. Because everything on this earth is God (God being all things) you receive that verification daily. And I live for not only the relationship, but how it’s represented in my day-to-day life.

    And as far as the miracles represented in the bible, those stories were told in parables, passed down from generations before ever being written down. I’m not underestimating God’s power, but the power of the human mind and events being exaggerated in translation might be one possible reason for the discrepancy. People might believe that we have been lead off the path too far and that’s why we don’t receive such blatant signs, but I do believe there are still events of significance, but we tend to be more skeptical of those things. For example, there have been many cases of people curing “themselves” from the most deadliest of diseases (cancer, AIDS, etc.). Nothing short of a miracle, God’s will, but you don’t see people documenting, showing it on the news, making grand displays towards the one who actually did the work – God. I think our skepticisms has lead us too far off path and nothing more.

    Thanks,
    Tait

  2. Margaret says :

    In response to your question, “What do you consider to be miracles experienced in your own life?”, what I consider to be a miracle in my life is as follow:
    In June 1998 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor on my right brain stem. After numerous tests and MRIs, I had two brain surgeries to remove it in August 1998. The miracle: The first surgery was at Piedmont Hospital on August 6th, Transfiguration Day. After 11 hours of surgery, my surgeon told me I would have to have a 2nd surgery. The morning of the 2nd surgery, while in pre-op, my surgeon told me he could not do the surgery. There was only one Surgeon he would let do it and he was in Little Rock Arkansas. I later found out that my surgeon what awakened in the middle of the night before my 2nd surgery and was told not to do the surgery. I went to Little Rock a week later and had the 2nd surgery, 14 hours, and to this day the tumor has not come back and I am doing great. Had my first surgeon not listened to that voice, I believe it was God, who knows what my quality of life would be today. To me the whole experience was a miracle and it changed my life and my relationship with God and my children.

  3. The Consigliere says :

    Yo B,

    Excellent post. In the New Testament, when Jesus was in his hometown, He said that He did not do many miracles because their was no faith. Faith is the precursor for God to manifest himself. Jesus was constantly saying, “O ye of little faith” to his disciples. Or remember when the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith, He replied “If you had the faith of a mustard seed, you would be able to say to this mountain, be thou removed and cast into the sea?” He also said, that when the Son of man returned, would He find faith on the earth.

    If you think about it, since we live in an information age, we tend to disregard anything that cannot be explained. Hence, there is no room for faith in our world. We want God to prove himself, but as Jesus said to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” Remember the story of the Rich Man who wanted to send someone back from the dead to warn his family about hell. Abraham told him that if they do not believe the prophets then sending someone back from the dead is not going to help them.

    If you want to see the miraculous, if you want God to show himself to you, you must start by seeking Him with faith. For without faith, it is impossible to please Him.

    Also, I agree that God is doing miracles everyday. Just because He is not sending fire from heaven does not mean He is not working. We find God working in nature and through people is evidence enough. The fact that there are not any disasters in my life or that the status quo is still in tact even though people are hell bent on destruction shows me the mercy of God and that is enough for me. If you need a “burning bush” experience to believe, then you probably would be like the Israelites and it still would not do you any good.

  4. super_mujer06 says :

    I thought of your article when I was driving home last night. I was driving calmly up the street trying to listen to the new John Legend cd (yes I am a little behind) when out of no where this car running the light was side swiped by another car. I saw the aribags blow up and the other car make a mad dash to speed off. And I thought to myself o no, what happened to those people inside of the car. I pulled over to the side to call 911 and watched some random people that were at the gas station try to pull the people out of the car. I was a little startled by the whole thing then I looked in my back seat. My son and my god-daughter were in the back sleeping, and I immediately began to praise God for the angels encamped around me keeping me and my family safe. Then even crazier is that minutes later while driving up a different street, this car came out of no where going at least 60mph up the street. The street was pretty empty but all the lights were red, but this didn’t stop this guy from going full speed ahead. I watched him as he ran the next two lights in front of us. When he went by my car I could almost feel the car move a little from the wind of his car rushing by. God had me in just the right spot to be out of his way. Had I been a couple inches over he would have hit my car with no time to stop. I kept on praying for the people in the accident, the car that drove off from the scene, and now this man in his car charging up the street. It may not have been manna from the sky, but it was miracle enough for me to know that God is protecting us. I pulled my son out of his car seat once I got him in the house and gave him a big hug. I know God is real and that the blessing is over my life.

  5. Brandon Q. says :

    To everyone, I truly appreciate your comments and stories on this topic. I should say that it is hard to comment when each of you write things that I don’t feel worthy enough to reply to.

    But to Super, I am so thankful that you, your son and god daughter are ok. I think that was a miracle that no harm came nigh. My prayer is that there will never be a time you will need a catastrophic experience to exuberantly praise God for the blessings he has bestowed in the form of your family.

    Margaret, your story stopped me dead in my tracks. What I understood from your post is that miracles are often put in the context of what God can do for me. But because your doctor was discerning, he was able to play a part in making your miracle a reality. And just think of all the people that you have touched (myself included) through other people making the decision to let God have His way. I am even more excited that your excitement and zest for life hasn’t decreased since June 1998, (PRAISE GOD FOR HEALING!!!!)

    I am reminded of the verse that says, we look to the hills from which cometh our help. I am so happy that you are able to enjoy your family and know that God has a special plan for your life. Thank you for sharing.

    Steve, I appreciate all of your Biblical anecdotes. I couldn’t agree with you more when you said, If you need a “burning bush” experience to believe, then you probably would be like the Israelites and it still would not do you any good.” If I could add anything else, I would.

    Tait, I agree with everything you said and I wonder if we are guily of not properly documenting and/or acknowledging the work of God. How else can people know God is real if we don’t proclaim His being real in our lives?

    Thanks to everyone, I appreciate your thoughtful contributions.

    Stay up fam,

    Brandon Q.

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