Hearing God

Castro Marim, Portugal, originally uploaded by duopastorale.

LORD, You have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up; You understand my thoughts from far away.
You observe my travels and my rest; You are aware of all my ways. [This] extraordinary knowledge is beyond me. It is lofty; I am unable to [reach] it.
Psalm 139:1-3 and 6

Here is a scene from my recent travels to Portugal. It was just wonderful to see so many wildflowers on the hillsides and taste a little warm sunshine after the snow we had here in London just 10 days ago.

The week turned out to be quite surprising in many ways. I had not booked my flight until the last minute because I had decided that I was not going. However, after some prayer God confirmed to me very clearly that He wanted me to go and stay with a friend who spends the winters there. The feeling was so unusual that I was sure that God had a purpose in it all. The weeks before I left were spiritually difficult. One night I had a nightmare and woke up sensing that there was a spiritual attack. Then the following day I found my car had been vandalised in the the church car park. Even the day before I left I received prayer because I was feeling in a spiritual cloud and unable to sense the Lord's Presence. But on the day I travelled I was wonderfully blessed with His Presence and the journey became for me a great time of reflection and renewal.

In the days after I arrived it became evident that my friend was seeking guidance and confirmation of a vision that she felt God had given her, a vision that could only come to fruition by a huge miracle! As she spoke, I felt that this was why I was here, to pray and seek God for a word. I was sceptical and as we travelled to the place where she felt that God was going to fullfil this vision, I felt even more sure that she was wrong and wondered how I was going to put this into words. We stood and prayed and I felt nothing. After some considerable time a scripture came into my head, buried in the Old Testament. As I turned to it, I could not have been more amazed as it was totally relevant to the situation. God was promising that He would indeed fullfil this vision. My friend's eyes opened wide and we both had the wonderful sense that God had spoken.

I have over recent years come to distrust my feelings when it comes to spiritual things and hearing the voice of God. What surprised me here was that God does not need us to be high on emotion before He can speak to us. He can just drop a word into our minds so quietly that if we blink we might even miss it.


Barbara said…
Hi! Mike, glad you are back, have missed you.

What a wonderful post. Sounds to me like God was leading you all the way. In my experience when God speaks, no matter how I feel it will not go away, it's like I cannot get rid of it or find peace until I do it. I am pleased for you.
Britt-Arnhild said…
God bless you Mike. Thanks for telling us about how God used you.

And thanks for the birthday greeting.
Barbara said…
just flipped through all your photos on Flkr. All lovely but my favourite is the one in Richmond Park. That certainly depicts peace.
zakscloset said…
welcome back! i missed you! sounds like you had quite a sacred experience before and after the trip. very interesting! what a beautiful writing (and photo) too as always!
Abby said…
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Gudl said…
Ups. that was me signing is with my daughter's sreen name. We are in Florida now and we use my laptop together....oh those modern times!!
But isn't it great that God blesses us with vacation?
I am glad to hear that you were used by God and that you heard HIM.
He is so good!
Glad you are back.
dot said…
Beautiful post Mike..one of your best I think!
Sharon said…
The still, small voice :) Beautiful shot.
GrandmaK said…
So, once again you have chosen one of my favorite Psalms. And it illustrates most beautifully how we are so generously and tenderly cared for by our loving God.

"For you created me and shaped me, gave me life within my mother's womb. For the wonder of who I am I praise you. Safe in your hands, all creation is made new." Bernadette Farrell has put the words to music(as above)and it a song I can carry around in my head all day long.

God bless you, Mike! Cathy
Angie said…
Welcome back. 'Wow' on the story you shared. Reminds me of Elijah...not in the earthquake, or in the fire, but in a still small voice.

Lord God, tune my ears in to hear...
mry said…
Yes Mike,thanks for sharing that revelation with us.It goes to show that right on and up to this nday and age miracles still can and do take place.
God bless.
Hi Mike, I can really relate to this topic and God does speak to us in the most unusual ways atimes. . . as long as we are ready to listen to His voice.
Thanks for sharing your faith with us.