God I guess I’m going to have to accept that you’re talking. Really clearly.
Since you turned up and started talking four years ago, I’ve been able to hear you. I’ve wanted to ignore you. I’ve doubted you. I’ve argued with the things you’ve said and promised. Sulked. But there’s not much point denying it. You’ve been talking ever since.
Actually no Mark. I’ve always been talking. You just recognised it, all of a sudden, on that day back then.
Alright fine. But God I’m wondering are we always going to be talking about this one subject. Always talking about having a conversation with you? I mean EVERY TIME we talk it’s about listening to you. It’s ALWAYS about having a conversation with you. Surely we must nearly be out of things to say about listening to you??
God people running churches tell me there’s more than just listening to you.
You need to answer that yourself Mark. I’m putting the question back on you. You’re a man with a strategic mind. You write strategies for your clients. So I want you to put your strategic mind to work on this problem;
If the Creator of the universe will speak this clearly to you even when there’s so much in your life that needs mending, then clearly this experience smashes right across bow of what you believed until now. Until now you believed and were taught that there was a standard you must attain before I would ever enter into a friendship with you. A standard which you found you were never quite able to attain. But now you’ve discovered that if God will talk clearly to anyone, no matter what their life looks like. You don’t want it to be true. But you do. And forget what you want. You’re experiencing that it really is true. And you’re discovering that when God talks to people he doesn’t focus on what’s wrong with their lives, instead he just wants to talk about them.
The implications are huge. Unavoidably huge. This changes everything. That God will talk to anyone, no matter what they’re like, changes everything. Absolutely everything!
You are realising that you are going to need to rethink just about every precept and concept and rule and regulation and idea and theology that you’ve ever come across. You’d rather not. You realise you’re going to get into trouble with various people over this. And you’d rather not, because you feel you’ve caused enough trouble in your life. And you have Mark. More than enough.
But now it’s me who is about to cause the trouble. Stand back and watch me do it. Because Mark EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE TALKED ABOUT, RECONFIGURED AND STARTED AGAIN. We’ve only just gotten started.
So I think you can see that the answer is a resounding NO. There’s not more than ‘just’ listening to me. A conversation with me, back and forward as friends, as I so often say, is what you were born for. Period.
But you and so many other Christians have come up with so many other things that you have decided are just as important, or even more important than listening to me.
You have constructed entire complex doctrines and theologies around beliefs that are, essentially the OPPOSITE to that idea that I will talk to anyone - the complete opposite to the idea that anyone can be in conversation with me. And I mean anyone Mark, no matter who they are, or what their life looks like. That idea, as the chief priests have told you, is the absolute, glaringly, direct opposite of so much church doctrine. Doctrine that fills books, and bible colleges, and sermon after endless sermon.
So here’s my question to all of you. Surely, if so much can be said about a Christianity that focuses around rules that must be followed before you can hear from me, then there must be so much more that can be said about the real truth. The real truth that I can and do talk to anyone, no matter what their lives look like, no matter what they believe. First we talk, then I mend and clean. And often, even though you Christians want my emphasis to be on a person’s sin, the mending and the cleaning isn’t even the focus. My focus is my conversation with the person I love. Not on their faults, but on them.
Everyone, no matter who they are or what their life looks like, can converse, back and forward with the living God. The Creator. With none other than Jesus Christ himself. Go toe to toe with the Holy Spirit. Hang out daily with the father. Surely there must be more to be said about that, than this idea that you can’t get close unless you’re sinless.
Sinless?? Hello!!!! Hasn’t anyone read David’s story. Or Paul’s comments ‘I keep doing the things that I don’t want to do’. What about Peter. Denied me. Point blank, bold as brass denied me and just days later I’m telling him I want him to help lead my people. You Christians wouldn’t have had a bar of it. Peter would not be allowed in leadership in many modern churches Mark. Not a chance!
But God I’ve been taken aside and told that there’s more than just hearing you. More to Christianity. More jobs to do, more tasks that are important as a Christian, than just hearing you.
Mark with me, ‘conversation’ is a doing word. As we talk, I suggest you do certain things. The problem is that you Christians decide for yourselves what I want, rather than asking me. You say that the principles are all right there in the bible, so we don’t need to ask, it’s obvious what we need to do.
Whereas I’m asking you all to please not do that. Please don’t think you know what I want, not even in the smallest matter. Yes the principles are there in the bible. But you DON’T know which principle to apply, and to when to apply it. You have to ask God that.
Remember when my disciples went to get lunch? One of the principles in the bible is that we serve each other. Which means I should have gone with them to help. But God actually had someone else he wanted me to serve even more just at that moment. You know her as ‘the woman at the well’. I knew that I was meant to stay at the well, because I was listening. The Bible says serving is important, and it is. But it also clearly states that I, the Creator, could do nothing without first hearing it, specifically, right then from God. And it also states that you need to live like I lived, in conversation with God.
This nonsense that you can live a good Christian life without ever hearing from me is just that. Nonsense. There’s no such thing as a ‘good Christian life’, without the purpose of that life operating.
The purpose is that you are in conversation with me. EVERYTHING ELSE flows from that. Or is meant to.
‘As they continued their travel, Jesus entered a village. A woman by the name of Martha welcomed him and made him feel quite at home. She had a sister, Mary, who sat before the Master, hanging on every word he said. But Martha was pulled away by all she had to do in the kitchen. Later, she stepped in, interrupting them. “Master, don’t you care that my sister has abandoned the kitchen to me? Tell her to lend me a hand.”
The Master said, “Martha, dear Martha, you’re fussing far too much and getting yourself worked up over nothing. One thing only is essential, and Mary has chosen it—it’s the main course, and won’t be taken from her.” LUKE 10:38-42 MSG
If you like what you read and want to know more about these conversations with God, you can purchase your own copy of Mark Holloway's book, 'The Freedom Diaries - God Speaks Back'.