Who? What? Why? When? How?
Questions. We all have them. We all ask them. But do we take time to ask the right questions? Do we enter into conversation with Father, Son and Holy Spirit and ask them what they are doing - what do they want to reveal to us?
This is something that I believe that God is talking to His people about - He is wanting us to be people that ask questions… to ask so that we fully understand what Jesus wants to reveal to us.
I am discovering that this is actually a growth area for me. It’s not that I haven’t asked questions of God before, or of people either….. but I feel like He is wanting us (and me) to step into a new sphere of this.
As I've been reflecting on this for a while, I realise that I don’t ask questions because that’s the way I was raised - I was part of the generation where “You do as you’re told” was the parenting line.
For many years, I thought that that was a negative thing. However, as I've been exploring this concept of asking God questions, there is an upside to the way I knew: I grew up trusting my earthly Dad because he had good things in place and I knew I was looked after and cared for. And some things I didn’t question because I believed he just knew what was best for me.
I recognise that in many areas of my life, this set me up for a trust in my heavenly Father and often I still operate like this. God says something clearly to me, and I say “OK”…. I believe that He knows best and I respond. Often with no questions asked.
The downside of the “do as your told” thing is that you learn not to question, or to dig a bit deeper....To understand more deeply about what God is doing and what He wants to release.
I am learning that God is wanting to shift this in His people….. in me, in all of us. To bring about a freedom, not only a freedom for us in our relationship with Him, but also a freedom in how we love those around us.
I’ll give you an example to highlight about the downside of not asking questions:
A couple of weeks ago, our Girls group had a Prayer Soak (this is a time where you put on some peaceful, contemplative music and just relax in the Father's presence). So, as I am relaxing, the Father showed me a picture of myself. I was floating on my back down this beautiful river. It was serene and peaceful. So I just thought "that's beautiful, thanks, Dad". But it didn't occur to me to ask what God was showing me… I was just happy seeing a nice peaceful picture of myself!!!
So, when I shared about what I saw during my "soak", one of the ladies who was there asked me: "So, what’s God saying to you in that image?" My response: "I dunno." She said, “Ask Him, right now, let's do it!"
So I entered into conversation and asked the question: "What are you showing me in this image, Dad?"
And then He showed me... While I was floating down the river, I felt peace… And I had a trust in the water carrying me… there was calm… And I had NO FEAR. That was the key. THERE WAS NO FEAR - only trust.
If she hadn’t encouraged me to ask the question, I may have just stayed with it being a nice image... nothing more.
And this is what God is saying to us... get into conversation with me, let's have a chat and I'll show you more.
This is also for not only us, but for others.....
We recently had a visitor from overseas who invested into us, and taught us some things that some of us are still growing in. He was talking about asking questions when God gives you something for another person. Asking Dad, “Father, what are you doing in this person / at this moment / in this situation?”
Secondly, asking the person “What is going on for you right at this point? What are you feeling? (if there's an outward response) Why do you think you are responding like this?”
Love is always the starting point though. Authentic love. It's never about interrogation or about ticking off the boxes. It's about entering into conversation with our Father about what He is doing. Jesus was in such close relationship with His Father, He knew what the Father was doing and who the Father was highlighting to him, and He responded.
Listening and responding // Entering into conversation // To live as Jesus did and to bring glory to the Father.
I decided to check out the Word and see what questions Jesus asked - he asked questions often:
John 5:6 Man by the pool at Bethesda: “Do you want to get well?” Jesus is opening up the conversation, relating to the man and his needs – wanting to have a connection with the man and hear from him what he is actually looking for.
John 20:5: Mary after the resurrection Jesus: “Woman why are you crying?” He knew exactly why she was crying – He knew she loved him... But he enters into a conversation with her, opens the doorway for her to have revelation of who she’s talking to.
Matthew 20:32-33 Two blind men, sitting on the road: They heard Jesus was passing by and shouted out to him. The crowd told them to be quiet but Jesus stopped and called them. Jesus says, “What do you want me to do for you?”
It would’ve been clear to Jesus that they were blind, and that they wanted to see. But Jesus honours them and has the conversation by asking what THEY want, he doesn’t just rush in and assumes on their behalf what they need.
More often than not, we can assume what we think people need without even checking in with the One who knows best what they need. Let’s give time to ask the question, listen to the Father and then be led by Him in what follows.
Fear and Doubt are our enemies – BUT THEY HAVE NO POWER (unless we give them power).
There's a Bethel song that Ive been listening to lately called “Shine on us” and some of the words are:
“And then I saw you shine, shine, shine like the sun
You’re waking us to life, you’ve only begun
Every fear, every doubt disappears when you shine on us”
It’s all about His glory being revealed… All of it.
His glory being revealed to us and in us, His glory being revealed to others, His glory being revealed to the whole of creation.
So, questions are good… They are important… They are part of what Jesus modelled to us. They are good for us to find out what He is doing and be on the same page.
But they are not the final thing… it’s still always about us encountering God, his power, his glory… and others encountering Him too.
In our encounters with Him, that's when Kindom reality is released.
Let’s be willing to ask our Dad these kinds of questions …..
- what are you doing here in this conversation I'm having right now?
- what’s going on in this situation?
- what are you showing me?
- what are your thoughts about this person?
- what questions do you want to me ask this person?
You know His voice….. it’s unique… ask him a question, any question - wait and listen for the answer. Trust what you hear. He is always speaking.
Listen and respond. We are in exciting times!