12 The Lord spoke to you out of the very fire itself. You heard the sound of words, but you didn’t see any form. There was only a voice.
Faith is about believing where we have not yet seen. It’s about learning to trust evidence that is beyond that of our senses – evidence of a presence, of a voice, of an intuition that comes from a place that is deeper than our own thinking.
All of us struggle with this at times. The people of Israel certainly did. They constantly needed to be reminded of what they had heard, seen, and felt, lest they think they had imagined it all.
We’re good at talking ourselves out of our experiences of the Divine. We wonder: did that really happen? Especially once the initial rush of a spiritual experience wears off, and we go back to the worry and anxiety of our everyday, we can’t help but go back to feeling that God is distant and detached.
Faith is hard. It’s hard because we are being asked to trust that which we cannot see. And if you think about it, what we are really asking ourselves to do, in order to hear God, is to trust ourselves. We have to learn to trust our experiences of the Spirit. We need to stop writing off the things we hear – the words spoken from the fire or in the silence – as our imagination.
Faith in God requires us to have faith in ourselves. And for many of us, that’s the most difficult thing of all.
By Joe Monahan
For Pondering & Prayer
How do you know when you’ve heard from God? Have you ever had a spiritual experience, and then found yourself trying to talk yourself out of believing it? How might having a close group of faithful spiritual friends help you to trust yourself more?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, we have faith that you are at work in the hearts and lives of all who believe. Help us to trust you – and our experiences of you – today. Amen.