Mark I want to interview you. About this conversation with me. I want to ask you the questions that so many people have about how to hear me. They struggle. They think that they’re making it up, that it’s just their imagination.
It’s the same for me though God. It’s a constant struggle.
They’re not going to like hearing that. They think it’s easy for you and hope that one day they’ll find it easy too. Easy like they think it is for you.
Well best they face the truth. It’s not easy. It draws Doubt down to attack.
But Mark they think that anything to do with me is supposed to make Doubt go away.
I don’t know where they got that idea. The most spiritual man in the history of the universe – that’s you – and you’d just fasted FOOD AND DRINK for more than a month – instead of barring the door to Doubt, it drew him down. The filth – he’s a pain! If it happened to you it’s obviously going to happen to us?
Yes it is. But they think it’s easy for you. When they read your conversations it seems easy.
That’s not true though. Doubt tries to smash every sentence I write.
Exactly. And that’s what I want to cover in this morning’s interview. I want to ask you about how Doubt attacks, what he says and the methods you use to overcome him.
Ok. Well he turns up in my thoughts. He says things but pretends it’s just me thinking. Such a slimy sneaky way to fight. Since starting these conversations I’ve learned to really hate him.
Mark that’s not going to excite some people – they’re going to think that a conversation with me will make the devil seem less real and me more real. You’d better explain.
Both are true. When I talk with you and you talk back then obviously you seem more real. MUCH more real. But it draws the enemy to turn up and start shouting uncontrollably too. He’s a complete pain. But God when I read back over this conversation I realise that some people are going to read this and say ‘who does he think he is?? He’s just pretending to have a conversation with God about these matters – who does he think he is trying to teach us about these things?’
And? Who DO you think you are?
Nobody much. Certainly nobody in terms of knowing about you and teaching others. I have no platform, no experience. I’m not recognised as knowing any of this.
Good. That’s my summation too. You’re nobody much on the world stage. That puts you on the same footing as anyone else I talk to. It’s not what or who you know Mark. Not in my world. All I care about is whether we’re talking. Not whether you’re talking ‘at’ me. Pretty much everyone does that – some now and then, some in an organised fashion – every week, even every morning. That’s all nice but what I’m interested in is whether we’re talking – back and forward like friends. I’m looking for a balance of power in our relationship – where I’m doing as much of the talking as you are. He who talks reigns. The one talking has the power in a conversation. All your life, you’ve done most of the talking in our relationship. Now that’s changing dramatically. That’s all that matters. So carry on – I want you to explain about Doubt and the techniques you use to avoid him in these conversations.
That makes it sound like I’ve got him beat, like for me it’s easy. BUT GOD IT’S NOT!! As I wrote that last paragraph of your words to me I was having to do a constant ‘spiritual check’ – I was ‘feeling’ the whole time to try and determine whether I was hearing you. Sometimes I get through a whole sentence ‘feeling’ that I’ve heard you correctly. Then I’ll type a word and suddenly I’m not sure whether I made it up, so I have to go back and check…
How do you go back? This is important. People need to see in micro-detail what you do and how it works so they can then ask me if the same approach will work for them.
Ok so I might type that last sentence you said right there, and I’ll get to the word ‘micro-detail’ and realise I’m not sure if you really said that. So then I have to check with you.
And how do YOU do that? Others will hear this and adapt their own methods which is fine. Each person hearing me their own way – but explain how YOU check with me.
Ok so as I was typing what you were saying, I got to the word ‘micro-detail’ and realised I wasn’t sure if you’d said that. So I stopped typing and asked you in my mind, not in type, but in my mind. I asked ‘God did you really say that???’ And then in my mind I ‘thought back’ your answer to myself and you seemed to say yes, so I carried on. I always ask a question (in writing, out loud, or in my mind) and then instead of waiting for an answer to float down from the hemisphere I grab hold of your answer – I write it, speak it or think it back to myself. I guess it’s like self-prophecy. There’s an element of faith I suppose. I have to grab hold of your answer and pull it down. You seem to say that’s what you want - for us to push our way into you and demand an answer. And to do that by speaking it, writing it, thinking it back to ourselves.
Are there other ways to grab hold of my answers?
Well I know for sure we can sing it back to ourselves – my buddies Blessing and Isaac and Wes and John Knight from Excel School of Performing Arts have all experimented with that and seen incredibly powerful results – singing and playing questions to you and answers back. And Anni and Nat and others from Excel did it in drama. So I suspect there are many many ways to grab hold of your answers. My mate David Garratt is big on that, and I think he’s right?
He is. But let’s just stick this morning with how to negotiate Doubt’s taunts and screams when listening to me.
Ok well I guess to summarise - I keep focused. I’m desperate to hear you, desperate not to start hearing him by mistake. So I ask a question, let’s say in writing and then as I write your answer in faith, not waiting for it to float down, but actually starting to write your answer and trusting you to give me more words -- when Doubt trips me up I stop and in whatever language seems easiest at the time – writing, speaking or thinking – I ‘feel’ the question up at you.
So if the conversation has been trucking along in written words and you’re suddenly not sure of a word or a sentence, you often double check out loud or in your mind. Sort of doing it through another language or discipline to be doubly sure??
Yes. And then I’ll think or speak back your answer. Then when I feel like I’m hearing you, then I’ll have a go at running the same check in writing. ‘God did you really say that??’ So by that stage I will have asked, for example, if you said ‘micro-detail’ three different ways - out loud, in my mind and in writing.
A lot of work. Is it really worth doing?
Well God some pretty high ranking people have suggested to me you’re probably not interested. But I know that’s not scriptural. You’re the God who counts the hairs on my head and knows when each of the millions of birds die every day. Each one. You’re clearly interested. So I figure if you’re interested in the detail, and you’re prepared to talk to me in sentences I understand, then it’s worth me putting in the effort to get this right.
And what have you discovered? Is it worth it?
God listening to you speak like this has seen me hear the most ridiculous things – so ridiculous I thought I must be going mad. In the midst of the most horrible time in my life you seemed to promise outcomes that were the complete reverse. I demanded you tell me the truth, again and again I demanded – but you kept saying the same thing. And now, four and a half years after you first said them, those things you promised have at last come true.
Ok let’s finish with that. So you heard me say those wonderfully hopeful things four years ago and then you waited patiently, believing that’s what I’d said?
YOU KNOW THAT’S NOT TRUE GOD!! There’s been no patience about it at all! I’ve pestered you many many times every day – demanding that you admit that I had it wrong. Frustrated to the point of anger and tears that you’d ‘allowed’ me to believe and hope for things that were obviously untrue.
And every single time – many times each day over more than a thousand days – you answered back yes. You told me yes you’d really promised that. The frustration of having to come back and back and ask you whether those things were true is what taught me this conversation with you. I did it for my sake, my sanity’s sake, nothing to do with a desire for you – that process, that coming back and back has taught me, completely by accident to have a conversation with you. And now I can’t get rid of you. You talk and talk.
Is it good?
God it’s SO good. And yet it’s so frustrating too. Trying to listen, about every single thing in my life. Getting full sentence answers from you on what to do about this, and what not to do about that. It’s the best and yet it’s the worst. Incredibly difficult.
‘Right behind you a voice will say, "This is the way you should go," whether to the right or to the left.’ ISAIAH 30:21
Why so difficult?
Because I can’t see or hear you with my ears and because he’s constantly telling me that I’m just making all this up. It’s the best of times and the worst of times – you talking, him shouting - all bundled together.
That’s because it draws me down to talk and him down to shout that I’m not really talking at all. He shouts at you that you’re just making it up. Actually he’s panicking – in a desperate panic that you might realise this is really me.
IF YOU HAVE TROUBLE THINKING IT'S YOUR OWN IMAGINATION WHEN YOU TRY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH GOD - read the 'Practical Tips' section. How to have your own conversation with God in The Freedom Diaries. You can purchase your own copy of Mark Holloway's book, 'The Freedom Diaries - God Speaks Back' on this website.