For many many years I would sit and wait on God like scripture told me to. I'd try to silence my head, sit still with my eyes closed, and listen for something that I wasn't exactly sure how to hear.
Was that my thought, or His voice?
Was that my voice, or Him using my voice?
Was that my stomach growling, or the Spirit moving?
This also meant that for many many years I lived frustrated, feeling like a failure when I always fell short of hearing a clear voice of God, listening to His counsel, or feel His wraparound presence (like David explains in Psalm 119).
So I'd then proceed to throw in the towel on this whole Holy Spirit speaking personally thing, pick up my Bible, and simply start to read with my mind.
Now, please don't hear me say that reading the Bible is bad, because that would just be ridiculous, wouldn't it? I adore the written word that God gave us and am so grateful for lexicons, Bible Gateway searches, and access to the Greek and Hebrew. But like I talk about in Heart Made Whole, we have to remember that the printing press wasn't even invented by Gutenberg until the 1400's, which meant that for well over 1400 years after Christ came…..the vast majority of Christians didn't have personal Bibles. In fact, a huge majority of the population couldn't even read. So were believers just up a creek without a paddle for centuries? Were they destined to live in the darkness, void of the truth? Nope.
They already had everything they could ever need….
On the inside of them.
Jesus just dropped a bomb that he was going away, and his disciples were SUPER bummed in John 16. But then he reassures them….guys…you WANT me to leave. Someone EVEN BETTER is coming, someone who can be EVERYWHERE at once, unlike me. Someone who can be your counselor, encourager, friend, advocate, comforter at every moment….
“But here's the truth: it's to your advantage that I go away, for if I don't go away the Divine Encourager will not be released to you. But after I depart, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will expose sin (Christa's insertion….sin is where you miss the mark and separate your consciousness from the always present and accessible love and power of God, turning towards separation) and prove that the world is wrong about God's righteousness and his judgments.” (John 16:7-8 TPT)
Then Jesus gets all fired up about how good the Holy Spirit is and goes on.
“But when the truth-giving Spirit comes, he will unveil THE REALITY OF EVERY TRUTH WITHIN YOU. (all caps mine). He won't speak his own message, but only what he hears from the Father, and he will reveal prophetically to you what is to come. He will glorify me on the earth, for he will receive from me what is mine and reveal it to you. (John 16:13-14 TPT)
Let's jump back for a second.
Remember when Jesus was talking to the Pharisee or ‘Separated One' named Nicodemus in John 3? Nicodemus is trying to understand heavenly concepts with an earthy mind, but he just couldn't seem to wrap his mind around this whole idea of being reborn. So Jesus says this to him in verse 7:
“You must be born from above! For the spirit-wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound, but you don't know where it came from or where it's going. SO IT IS WTIHIN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WHO ARE SPIRIT-BORN!” (ALL CAPS MINE) TPT
Did you catch that? Where did Jesus say this Holy Spirit (the Counselor, Divine Encourager, Advocate, Comforter) was going to live?
He lives inside of your heart.
Makes it kind of silly to shame your heart, shut it down, believe it's all deceitful, condemn it for being wounded, and ignore it, huh?
Guys, I couldn't hear the personal counseling voice of God for because I hated the place where He lived and was speaking. And according to scripture….He lives and speaks to my heart.
If you can't hear the voice of God, or if you can't experience Him….I guarantee you it's because you shut down your heart when it got broken. We shut down portions of our hearts because the pain gets too great and we have to keep functioning.
But as my extremely wise husband always says, “When you shut down your heart to pain, you also shut down your heart to love.”
You shut down your heart to joy.
You shut down your heart to life.
You shut down your heart to hear.
You shut down your heart to experience.
You shut down your heart to feel.
Take a moment and imagine your heart as the mainframe computer of your entire life. When Jesus illumined you with truth, and the Spirit of Truth came to abide within you with LIFE, you got a download of the most powerful, most sophisticated, most advanced operating system in the universe. You have access to anything you could ever want inside the computer of your heart. You can Google anything! You have access to unlimited knowledge and mysteries, to information and resources far beyond your capacity of what you should know! You can constantly be counseled, encouraged, comforted, with access to EVERY SOLUTION TO ALL OF YOUR PROBLEMS!
But then something traumatic happened. Your internal computer was damaged by pain, and because it didn't heal a virus was downloaded into your system.
This virus messes up everything internally, shutting down your ability to connect, to search, to hear, to explore. And the longer the virus is allowed to stay, the more memory it takes up inside the computer of your heart. In order to protect the rest of your computer, you have to SHUT DOWN the parts infected with the virus, operating at a much lower level. Your capacity gets full very quickly. You can't download new things. You start looking for solutions solely on the outside of you, because the one INSIDE of you isn't accessible. You can only live by what you're able to observe and know with your eyes (like Nicodemus), because you don't have access to the endless resources of mysteries as long as you stay infected.
Friend, all of our hearts have experienced this scenario. But the good news is….no virus can overtake the heart if you don't want it to. And even though you haven't been able to access certain parts of your computer, nothing has been lost. It's all still there. And all of it can be restored.
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath.
And become aware of your heart—this internal realm that God gave you as the central mainframe of YOU. It's the place where He abides. It's the place where you meet . It's the place that He speaks to you, ministers to you, connects and communes with you. It's the place where you make all of your decisions, where all of your thoughts and emotions originate. This place is not bad….because it was created by a good God who only creates good things.
Now, take internal inventory for a second. Have you had to harden parts of your heart up to protect and bury internal pain that you didn't know how to heal? What are the contents of your heart? Does your heart have a downloaded virus that shut down parts in order to survive?
If you're ready and willing to connect within—acknowleding your heart as the place where God wants to meet, speak, and commune with you—ESPECIALLY when it's broken….
Then simply make this confession.
Yes. Yes, God, I want to be as connected to every part of my heart as you are. I want to connect deeply with myself (as the landing pad and temple) so I can finally fully connect with you. I will not shut down my heart anymore to pain, and need you to take the hardened parts and breathe life on them.
I confess that I want to hear you.
I confess that I want to experience you.
I confess that I want my heart to be fully open and alive.
If you want to learn more about your biblical heart and how to connect with it to hear, see, and feel the Holy Spirit who lives inside, make sure and pick up your copy of Heart Made Whole!
7 Responses to “Can’t hear God? Can’t feel God?”
So good!!! 🙂 So love this part , “When you shut down your heart to pain, you also shut down your heart to love.”You shut down your heart to joy. You shut down your heart to life. You shut down your heart to hear. You shut down your heart to experience. You shut down your heart to feel”. Love this book and love walking this journey to a whole heart!!!
Thank you for posting this. I struggle with the discipline of reading the bible. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. Most of the time I can’t remember anything I read. I have been this way for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid I would read it to fall asleep. I told Jesus how I felt and it didn’t even faze him. Now I can read it if I want to. Or not. The world keeps spinning either way. And I am loved. P.S. I’m reading your book. You get me.
I love this. I’m feeling invited into this deeper place of understanding my heart and the ways in which I have shut it down. I do have a question: I grew up hearing that the heart was desperately wicked (this popped into my mind as I was reading your words about our hearts “This place is not bad….because it was created by a good God who only creates good things.”) So how do those two reconcile? I’ve been on a long long journey of relearning some things I was taught in my younger years from people who I’m not sure understood the heart of God for them. Still, I come across things like this every once in a while that I’d love some help in working through… thanks!
Great, great question, and the main reason I had ignored my heart for years. That verse in Jeremiah 17 is actually describing the heart WITHOUT the Spirit of God. So it’s not even for believers! I love how the message translation goes on: “But I, God, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.”
God is actually book ending that verse with how HE sees the heart! In I Samuel 16, man looks at the OUTWARD appearance, but God always looks at the heart! When He looks at our heart, he gets to the root of things and treats us as we REALLY are….not the externals that we pretend to be. God ALWAYS looks at the heart….because He’s made His home inside of it! Make sense? xx
I love the way you create word-pictures (e.g.- the heart as a computer system). It helps me so much as I’m navigating the re-connection with my heart. Your honesty about your struggles and thoughts towards God during paralyzing and painful seasons has helped me extend grace to my own heart. My mother and I wept mournful and grateful tears through Heart Made Whole.
I am in a season where I have prayed the end of Psalm 139 (search my heart…) from a place of honesty and the Lord is answering my prayer, naturally, with a “Yes”. To my utter relief, the Holy Spirit has been using your book to free me from old, condemning accusations and bitterness I’ve held against myself (and God…oops) for years. And the self-hatred as been real, y’all.
Thank you Christa for bearing your soul. Your words have been acting like a catalyst for many of us.
I’m still not totally there- loving myself as He does. I have days of stumbling and numbing myself into oblivion with food and youtube videos and pinterest (I wish I was kidding). But slowly I am realizing that real hope truly is an anchor, not the morning dew I mistook it for. And I have hope that my heart is being healed and set free. <3
I want to first say THANK you. As a Black woman, I appreciate your honesty! Thank you for saying what others would not have said. We need to be reminded that Gods love is only recieved by revelation of who he is. As the body of Believers we have cowarded from this issue. Now it is time to RISE! We must rally together to thrust the spirit of Revival to our Nation! Praying, Fasting and being a light in whatever CAPACITY, is what it will take.
This. Is. Everything. Thank you for sharing your journey! I am in a similar place and it’s good to know that it’s not a “bad” place or that I’m not “off course.” Maybe I’m finally on it…and these blogposts have been loving sign posts of wonderful wisdom and encouragement. Thank you 🙂