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Do you want to hear from God?
Unlike Moses, most people who hear from God say that it is not usually an audible voice, but one of conscience, circumstance or repeated counsel from a friend or the bible. But the question is:
Do you want to hear from God? I do.
I want to hear what Moses heard from the bush all aflame, yet not consumed.
I want to hear His voice like Elijah did, in a gentle whisper on a mountain top.
I want to hear Him call my name in moments of deep sleep as did Samuel, and respond without hesitation.
Life: the busyness of it often can drown out the voice of God; extinguish our ability to recognize its presence. Periodically removing ourselves from the extraneous noise can do miraculous things for our relationship with the Holy One.
But as I sit purposefully each morning in the presence of God, I ask for a word. Speak to me Lord. But my ability to listen intently is limited, and soon my mind is filled with life. Tasks and things forgotten extrude from the recesses of memory and the quiet time of listening is again postponed.
Often I believe it is because we don’t really believe that we can hear from Him; from God. Hearing an audible voice is for people of the bible. It is for the Holy and the anointed. But what if you could hear His voice?
Would you even know it if you heard it? Elijah stood on a mountain top through thunder, fire and earthquakes; even the wind, knowing that it was not God – until he heard the gentle whisper. And he responded; he knew. Yet Moses experienced it as a thunderous and powerful force, the kind that would instill fear in the hearts of all men, and Adam and Eve heard God strolling through the Garden in a gentle breeze.
All of these examples are so vastly different, yet – the same. They are God. His voice. His presence. They are things that occur around us each day. Of course not every time there is thunder or a breeze or fire, it is God speaking to you; but I wonder. I wonder if we are missing out on hearing from Him simply because we discount the “ordinary” as being extraordinary.
Listening is the key: becoming in tune to His voice.
I believe listening is a skill that needs to be developed like a muscle; if you don’t work it, uselessness follows. Each day we listen to our kids, our bosses, the television, the radio. We “hear” all sorts of sounds all day, every day. But are we really listening?
Here are some things that you can do this week to begin fine tuning your ears to the voice of God:
Turn off the computer, television and radio and your phone!–
there is nothing like complete quiet to stir the senses. I’ll never forget the time that I went to deer camp with my husband. I don’t hunt but he placed me in a ground blind at 5:30 in the morning – alone. At first the silence was deafening. Seriously, my ears were ringing. But it wasn’t long before I began to hear the sounds of nature all around me: the chattering of birds, the scurrying of squirrels, even leaves falling to the ground. My ears began to pick up sounds I never would have dreamed possible. The experience was amazing; and enlightening.
Really listening begins with shutting out all of the manmade noise, and hearing the sounds that were put here by our Creator.
Have an early morning quiet time with God: outside –
Have you ever sat out at the dawning of a new day? I live on the main road that goes through our town, so the early morning traffic for work can be distracting at times. So I decided to get up extra early one morning and sit with my coffee outside and commune with God. The light was extremely dim, so reading my bible was out of the question, so I sat and listened. A few minutes in I discovered how not quiet it is outside at 5:00 in the morning! The sound’s from the birds chattering was deafening! And I wondered….what could they possibly being saying to each other? Were they waking up friends? Talking to their neighbors? Talking with God?
Quite possibly, God still walks through the garden in a gentle breeze, communing with all that He has made. Why wouldn’t He? Creation was made for His enjoyment. Have you heard Him walking through your garden? Would you know it if He did?
Practice stopping during daily activities to listen –
When my youngest son was small, he had gotten in the habit of asking permission to do things while I was fully engaged in another activity. He asked, and while I was likely looking right at him, I heard nothing, yet I found myself saying yes.
Did I just agree to something?
Off he runs, happy as a lark to….where? What?
A couple of hours later he is standing before me with a suitcase in hand waiting for me to drive him – somewhere. This makes me wonder how often we do this to God. We pray down our list of wants and needs and check it off the list.Read 1 Chapter of my bible – check Pray for so-and-so – check Lord, help me to pay my bills this month - check Go to church on Sunday – check!
The habits that we form each day, even in the mundane, have a great impact on the relationship that we have with our creator. Stop and learn to listen to the people around you so that you will not miss what is being said to you. Give them your full attention. Appreciate the sounds of nature you encounter everywhere, and get in the habit of listening. You will then start to recognize God’s voice and hear the evidence of Him around you, whether it is powerful and unmistakable, or simply a quiet whisper.
Jesus’ disciples shouted out praises to the King of kings and the Lord of lords in Luke 19:40, and when the religious leaders tried to quiet them, Jesus said that if they kept quiet: “the stones will cry out!” All of creation shouts praise for the glory of God…every bit of it. It shouts His presence and His handiwork from the stones on the ground, to the treetops and beyond. It says - God is not dead: He is surely alive!
Practice listening. Do you hear it? The rocks crying out?
Soli Deo Gloria!
Have you heard from God lately? How do you hear His voice? Consider leaving a comment.