For the last week, I’ve been listening to a worship cd from 1988. It was my favorite as a child (more on that some other time), and it still resonates the strings of my spirit. One of the songs tells us to “lift up your countenance,” and it has kept me smiling all week–not because I’m choosing to lift my countenance, but because I remember being a child and thinking they were singing, “lift up your counten hands.” I have no idea what that would even mean, but in a world of hand-raising Christians, it made sense to my 8-year-old brain.
Isn’t it funny when we think we understand something, and later realize how mistaken we were? It doesn’t make us heathens. It doesn’t make us obstinate. It just makes us mistaken.
So often, this applies to my hearing of God’s voice. He speaks to me in quiet, intimate moments (like dreams), and I awake with this certainty of what He has said, realizing later that I misunderstood what He spoke.
There is a friendship in my life right now that has been the unfortunate recipient of such a situation. God definitely spoke to my heart about this person–even before we had met–and I misunderstood what God was telling me and why. My friend has been incredibly understanding, but it would be dishonest to say it hasn’t caused some tension between us.
All because I didn’t understand what God was speaking to me, so I used my best logic at the moment and tried to make sense of it.
Still, I have to tell you…there is no shame in mistaking.
There’s a verse in one of the Pauline epistles (I can never remember which) where we are encouraged to “only let us live up to what we have already attained.” I have loved that exhort for many years now. It reminds me that God does not expect me to have everything figured out; He doesn’t expect me to walk according to some truth I haven’t yet learned; and He doesn’t expect my fallible self to perfectly understand His infallible self when He speaks. He expects me to live according to what I’ve learned and taken to heart.
For me…today…that means a shift in how I respond to His voice. It means prayerfully considering His words and asking His Spirit to make clear to me what He is saying.
Wherever you find yourself today, I pray that you hear God clearly and seek to understand His words.