Fifteen Years Later: Andrew Thomas

 
  Hi! My name is Andrew and I'm here because my parents were crazy enough to think I could hear from God. Wow, of all the ways I have introduced myself, I never would have imagined that one. Anyway, I am blessed to have had crazy parents who had firm convictions that I was never excluded from the council of the almighty and God deeply desired communion with a foolish little rascal like myself. Thanks to their risk and the faithfulness of God, I find myself at 20 years old, desperately in love with Jesus and filled with abundant purpose in the midst of a very confused generation.
 
  If you asked me when was the first time I heard God speak, I honestly could not tell you. From as early as I remember, our family's "Chase After God" times (which included Pebbles and Stones) and nightly bedtime routine included silent listening for God's voice. We were encouraged to speak, draw, and share what we felt like God had said. Even at 8 years old, I was invited to help discern God's voice as my mother considered a career change. Now my prophetic abilities were not to the level where I was calling myself "son of man", but, in this formative stage of my life, I became convinced of the words of Psalm 50: "Our God approaches, and he is not silent."
 
Andrew Thomas (right, age 4) 
Colin Thomas (left, age 2)
  Fast forward to the end of high school when I decided to take a gap year. Hearing his voice in snippets had shown me promises of His love that I had yet to know, and I wanted to do whatever it took to taste and see. I moved to Colorado to be under some pretty incredible leaders. While I was taught, given chances to serve, and dove into community, I was forced into hours of prayer meetings every week and relentlessly pushed to take up the posture of David: "One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple" (Ps. 27:4).
 
  So, what did I learn through all of this? A lot. For one, I learned what a relationship with God really looked like. While we are young we learn an understanding of socialization that becomes very hard to change as we get older. Relationship cannot happen one way, and I learned that relating to God was equal parts speaking and listening. I also learned what to expect when I went to him in prayer. In America, we can become so obsessed with what God does and ignore what he is like. As I learned to relate to him fully as a child, I learned that God is my father, my encourager, and my king, not the ultimate business partner. 
 
  Second, I learned to believe in the big and often repeated chorus during my time in Colorado, "The same voice that woke the earth, commanding life to dreams that died, speaking truth to every lie. The same voice split the sea, is drowning fear and unbelief, crashing over me with peace." These are phenomenal realities, but they become harder and harder to believe as we age. We all can come up with stories of kids with crazy ideas and a total blindness to the numerous roadblocks in front of them. In these minds, God's bold promises and brilliant ideas have the best chance to take root... but only if there are those who listen.
 
  Lastly (though I could go on and on), I have learned to listen to His voice to define what things are, especially myself. Isaiah puts it bluntly, "Woe to you who strive with your Maker, earthen vessels with the potter! Does the clay say to the one who fashions it, 'What are you making'? or 'Your work has no handles'?" Listening to God has taught me that it is he that defines things and I am robbing myself if I do not know what he calls them. It was in listening to his voice that I discerned my life mission to serve the church in computer science, I gained major insight on my choice of college, and I have had so many fears cast out by perfect love.
 
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