God, what now?
Do you want to listen?
Then that’s ‘what’s now’. I want you to listen.
Did You just say you want to talk about how to have a written conversation with You? That You want to talk about the practical details?
We’ve done that before though God. And I think it seems like too much of a ‘system’, or a technique for some people God.
Speaking in tongues is much the same.
Yes. To the skeptical it seems too much of a technique, but it works. A written conversation is much the same. It works. How do you think David wrote his psalms, or Moses, his books?
Does the written conversation work for you, Mark?
What about others?
How many others does it work for? One or two?
Wel,l about 150-ish that I know of.
So what about the people who read The Freedom Diaries and get your email?
Well, some do. I guess I just assumed that all of them did. But I’m discovering a lot don’t know how.
That’s because the method needs repeating. Often. So let’s repeat it now. What are the steps to a written conversation with me?
Well, I write down a question to You.
What sort of question?
Any question. Most of mine are about my own stuff. But, God, some find writing down what You say a bit too contrived.
Mark, I want to ask you a question. Because even though you’ve written a book on this subject, you still find it hard to come to terms with. When talking to others about it you’re a bit ashamed of it. Don’t be.
Here’s the question. How do you think the Bible got here?
People wrote what You said. But You just said that before.
I want to expand on it. Much of the Bible was written long after it happened. And many times the entire story was written as the writer heard Me speak the words. You’ll notice they even recount the conversations I had with the particular Bible hero they write about. They recount things they could not have known themselves.
‘Write my answer in large clear letters…’ HAB 2:1 NLT
Can you imagine the faith required to recount another person’s life, someone you’d never met, details you had no idea about, and then say, ‘God told me to write this?
Ok. Shall we continue with how to do this?
No. Wait a minute. I want to expand a bit more about writing down what I say. How do we know that I told Isaiah those things, or John? How do you know I said all that to John in Revelation?
He wrote it down.
Exactly. Don’t despise hearing My words and writing them down. Anyone who hears My words and writes them down, is doing what the Bible writers did.
Good. So you write a question about your own stuff?
Yes. Or I speak it out, or even think it out.
Let’s just stick with the writing. The speaking and the thinking can come later. We’ll keep this simple.
Ok, so I write out the question to You. Something like, ‘God, do you REALLY want me to have a written conversation with you?"
And then what? People tell you that when they try this, sometimes all they get is silence.
It’s the same for me.
Well, they don’t think it is. They see you write a question and write back the answer. They think it’s never silent for you.
The writing draws down Your voice even when it seems You’re silent. Because obviously You’re not. ‘The heavens pour forth speech’.
What do you mean it ‘draws My voice down’?
When I begin to write your answer without waiting to hear you speak, it builds my faith and you seem to step in and complete the sentence.
People are going to think that sounds like deception, like you’re making My voice up.
Not at all. But I know what they mean. It sounded like a total deception to me when I heard about it, too.
So how does it work?
I write the beginning of the sentence; not your answer, but the starting words for the sentence.
Ok. I’ll write the obvious beginning for the sentence hoping that you’re going to speak into my mind as I come to the end of what I’m writing. For instance, I’ll write ‘What I’m saying about the written conversation, Mark, is….(and then I’ll write whatever comes into my mind and heart – which just now was ‘it’s changed your life, Mark. That’s what I’m saying about it.’)
Good. Two final questions. The first is that you don’t set up My sentences anymore. The beginning of this sentence for instance; I just started straight into ‘Good. Two final questions…’
That’s because after a while it doesn’t seem necessary to do that anymore. I think it’s because the more I hear Your voice like this the more my faith grows, and I’m able to hear Your answer before I even finish writing out the question. It just sort of flows. ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the spoken words of the living Christ’. That’s closer to the original Greek for that Scripture.
Ok. The final question is what about doubt. When people try this they feel doubt.
Of course they do. They feel doubt whenever You speak. They’ll feel it particularly in this situation because this is new. In church they’re used to the fact that You speak there, and so when You do they feel less doubt, and more comfortable. They feel safer there because they’re surrounded by friends who believe.
Talking with You in writing is like that, too, if a person sticks with it. Their faith grows. They become more confident that You’ll talk. Doubt is still crippling and redoubles his attack often, but the more a person hears You speak in a written conversation, the more their faith grows.
And a final, final question. What do you do when you’re not sure what I’m saying? When you think I say one thing, and then it appears I’ve said something else?
I do what the Bible says. ‘Seek and keep on seeking, Ask and keep on asking’. One translation of the Greek suggests that means to demand an answer. And that fits with that Scripture that says ‘The kingdom of heaven suffers violence and violent men (and women) take it by force.’
Yes. I want you to keep asking, to keep demanding an answer until you’re satisfied you’ve heard what I said. Even about the smallest matter. You’ll sense in your spirit my pleasure, as you brave the frustration of trying to hear what I’m saying about the smallest little matter. I love it because you’re putting effort into hearing my voice, no matter how small the matter. And that fits with the Scripture ‘It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. It is the glory of kings to uncover a matter.’
I never understood that before, but now I’m seeing that You want us to work hard to hear what You want to say. That You like that, it’s fun, it seems frustrating to us at first, but as our faith grows, each little thing we hear from You, it grows, it becomes fun for us, too.