This month, we’re celebrating 10 years of God Conversations (check out our highlights here)!
Here are some things I’ve learnt along the way:
We’d like to thank you for your support and encouragement in the journey, and invite you to get on board with our next season by becoming a prayer and/or financial partner. Our heart is to reach people with the message that God is personal and he wants to speak to each one of us about his plans for our lives. Will you consider joining us?
Become a partner today!
It was the beginning of 2007. I’d just quit my job at Hillsong College and found myself sitting at a desk in Sydney Australia, wondering how I was going to fulfil the mandate I’d been given eight years earlier: “You have a very specific gifting to hear from God – your job is to teach others.” It was followed up by a dream that spoke using a clever symbol of a broken periscope with fuzzy mirrors. My job was to replace those mirrors with clear ones – to help people see what was so often confused and obscure (Listen to how the ministry began in the first GC Podcast: If God Said it, Will it Always Happen?)
Since that time, the message of God Conversations has gone all over the world via face-to-face speaking engagements, podcasts, books, TV, radio, video and magazine articles.
It’s been a wild ride – one where I’ve experienced God’s incredible favour as well as the guidance of some extraordinarily gifted and generous friends and supporters. So this is a thank you to them: my leadership team: Anita, Pete, Dave, Vicki, and to our staff and prayer team: Jenny, Ali and Zoe. It’s also a thank you to YOU: those who have received from the ministry and encouraged us along the way. Will you join us in thanking God for his goodness and in sending up a prayer for the next season? We are committed to reaching millions of people around the world with the message that God is personal and he wants to be involved in our lives through the power of his spoken word!
You don’t need to be a Christian to live a good life. Plenty of my friends live a great life without God. They are well educated, hold successful jobs and live in beautiful homes. For the most part they enjoy happy, contented lives – even with a few bumps along the way.
In our Western world, it’s not difficult to live a good life. There are common sense decisions we can make, self-help books to read and plenty of resources at our disposal. In the Western parts of the world, we are blessed with opportunity and prosperity. Even with a bad start, you can turn things around if you make good choices and work hard.
But God has a very different life for those who choose to follow him. It’s a good life, but it’s more than good. The ‘God life’ is not an ordinary life because it involves walking with a supernatural God. This week on the show, we’re talking about the God Life – and how to live it.
The God life involves walking with a supernatural God. It involves living with an expectation of the supernatural intervention of God working through our circumstances. That means our lives will look different. We will make illogical decisions in the face of impossible circumstances. We’ll take risks when there’s not enough resources. We’ll step out into areas of fear just because he told us too. And when we do, we see the miracle working power of God.
One of the most surprising findings of my PhD studies is that a significant number of interviewees testified to hearing God’s voice about a future marriage partner.
The stories are pretty dramatic. One man saw a vision of a blonde woman with two small children. Four months later he met her and her children in the exact place he’d seen in the vision. Another heard God speak audibly about a man from another culture, an experience that provided a way to negotiate the avid protests from her family. Another received a word promising her to a man who displayed no interest at the time, but who ended up proposing just as God had said.
Of course, while there are happily-ever-after stories like these, there’s also your fair share of heartbreaking tales. In my studies, one woman (and I have to admit it’s usually the women on this one) thought she’d heard from God about a certain man and wasted her money travelling across the world to seek him out. She later realised “God’s voice” was merely of her product of her own wishful thinking. Another woman had a vision of her prospective husband, describing his appearance and the location of their meeting perfectly. However after dating for some time, they broke up due to irreconcilable differences. Each time, the result was confusion and heartbreak… and you can start to see why many churches actively discourage prophecy in this area.
How could God have created the world in 6 days when geological data shows the earth is over four billion years old?
How does the Bible’s description of human creation align with scientific evidence supporting evolution?
If Adam and Eve were the first couple, where did their son Cain’s wife come from?
These are the kinds of questions that come up today when Bible-believing Christians read the story of creation in the opening chapters of Genesis. The various answers are often fuel for furious and acrimonious debate that has led to an artificial division between faith and science. While these questions may be important in our progressive world, our pre-occupation with them has meant we’ve actually missed the main point of the story.
The problem lies in the questions themselves. Genesis was written at a time when people were not asking the same kind of questions we’re asking today. Theirs was a world where science hadn’t even been invented – when there was no such thing as the “scientific method”. Understandings about the world was simple – the earth was a flat disc separating the waters below and the waters above. All of it originated at some point of time with the gods.
In the Genesis story of creation, God didn’t bother taking time to correct readers’ cosmology and explain that water isn’t held up by a dome with windows that allow the rain to fall through. Genesis 1-3 is not a scientific account given to explain how the world was created. Far more important issues were at stake. Genesis was written to show us who we are, why we’re here and what we’re supposed to do. The answers it gives have framed the foundation of Christianity and have become the bedrock of Western civilisation.