That Inconceivable Voice

I don’t believe it. There isn’t a chance. Impossible. There’s no way that would happen. There’s just no hope. It’s as good as dead. Inconceivable.

These statements never seem too far from my lips. Daily, I see hopeless circumstances to which I long to apply these official pronouncements of death. Sometimes it feels as if I’m training to be a coroner.

I don’t believe that marriage will work. There isn’t a chance he will ever change and get his act together. There’s no way I’ll ever get out of this rut. There’s no hope for that dream. She’s just going to die like that.

Inconceivable. Actually, it’s inconceivable how often we choose to operate in unbelief. It seems we’re constantly running spiritual system tests to verify the death of our unwanted and painful circumstances, and we’re running to others for second opinions and confirmations. We aim with the assurance and confidence that we’re being scientific. In the end, we seek quick resolutions because we know the value of moving on and walking in freedom. And we abhor wasting time. It’s not very fashionable after all.

Indeed our culture — including the church — prides itself in being reasonable and prudent analyzers of fact. Surely everyone possesses the ability, as well as the efficiency, to watch a talk show and arrive at a fair and balanced judgment within two or three commercial breaks. Faced with tragedies, we sincerely desire to make intelligent, beneficial decisions for ourselves and others. We long for wisdom.

But to what degree have we allowed the world to color our concept of wisdom? For example, were the decisions Jesus made intelligent and obviously beneficial? Would His story have made it past even your first commercial break?

Sure, we might follow Abraham on Twitter — but only for amusement, certainly not as an example for how to live our lives. The Bible says he refused to consider his body, or the womb of his wife’s body, as dead. Yet we’d likely post a link to this ridiculous story and joke with our friends that he “refused to consider” reality.

I’ve been wrestling with this tension lately. With so much brokenness and injustice enslaving my loved ones, I feel prompted to race to the same prudent conclusions — because I don’t want to hurt and I don’t want those whom I love to hurt anymore either.

But I also know how much God hates unbelief. I don’t have any easy answers. Without them, this tension simply points me back again to our desperate need to commune, personally, with the Holy Spirit. At some point, we have to seek the quiet of prayer and surrender everything, including our system checks and scientific analysis. We have to surrender our wills which seek to avoid suffering. And at some point, like Moses in the wilderness, we have to surrender our sandals and sit before a burning bush to hear from God alone.

I don’t pretend to know how God will always answer. But I do believe He will always speak most clearly to us once we are willing to sit before the bush and behold how it burns without being consumed. Of course, He will demand that we remove those nicely-fitted securities and certainties that we have fashionably buckled about our feet.

Yes, at some point, we will have to obey that inconceivable voice burning in the wilderness. But it’s the voice of a transcending protection from any flame of hopelessness that He sets before us.

If His voice says to go through it, then go we must.

8 thoughts on “That Inconceivable Voice

  1. Beth, that’s why MacDonald says “except in aid of righteousness”. You’re right we don’t always know what’s best for us and we know even less what’s best for someone else, that’s why George says to leave it to God to say “no.” He doesn’t need our “help” (in teaching others) – He demands our obedience (an example from which hopefully others will learn from).
    Matt, unlike the fast food McNuggets, George’s nuggets are good for you :-)

  2. Philippians 4:8
    New International Version (NIV)

    8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Phillipipians 4:8

    Not everyone’s heart’s desire is in line with God’s will, even God says no when things seem good, but aren’t His best for us. Everything we desire isn’t always best for us. We don’t always know what is best for us. Sometimes we need the truth spoken to us and always we need to trust God’s providence.

  3. MacDonald:

    Faith is obedience, not confidence.

    That those who are trying to be good are more continuously troubled than the indifferent, has for ages been a puzzle. … Is it not simply that the righteous are worth troubling? … Some are allowed to go on because it would be of no use to stop them yet; nothing would yet make them listen to wisdom.

    The more people trust in God, the less will they trust their own judgements, or interfere with the ordering of events. The man or woman who opposes the heart’s desire of another, except in aid of righteousness, is a servant of satan.

    I love you and I love seeing how wise you’ve become!

  4. Matthew………………always keep in mind and hold in your heart the meaning of your name…………….gift from God!!!!!

    • And do not forget the meaning of yours: will, desire, protection, helmet! I’m so thankful to be raised under your protection. Right now, I’m remembering the song we used to listen to and sing at home: “Without faith, it’s impossible — it’s what? It’s impossible — to please God.”

  5. 2 Corinthians 4:8 We are afflicted in every way,but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;
    Psalms 34:18 The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

    Keep following,
    Love and prayers to one of His beloved from one of His beloved.

    • Yes, the Lord is near to the broken-hearted. He can take us through any fiery furnace. He’s with us. We just have to believe that, if we are taken to the furnace, then there will be a fourth man in the furnace standing with us. It’s natural to want to avoid the flames, but we’re asked to discover the supernatural — of not being crushed, forsaken or destroyed. Only then can we understand that He alone is God — instead of our idols of fear-avoiding strategies. Thanks for sharing those verses. Be well with His Presence.

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