So often we think we can only hear God one way and that is audibly. Isn’t that true? If it is not audible and stops us in our tracks, we think it can’t be Him! Yet so often it is the gentle, quiet whispers that we feel in our soul. Many times, it can also be mistaken for our own thoughts, and we second guess ourselves.
There is a lot to say on this, but it is also profoundly simple in application.
Two words I feel are deeply connected to hear God are to listen (which seems obvious) and to respond in obedience :
We frequently assume hearing and listening are the same, yet they are uniquely different. Listening is a choice, a trained discipline to engage. Hearing however is literally taking in sound waves and interpreting them accordingly. It is a physiological sense. Do we mark our lives by the quiet, connection and simplicity or do listen to the narrative of the day and define ourselves based on busyness, opinions, temporary fixes? We focus and listen to the metrics of society instead of the values deeply held within us as we listen to the Father’s voice. The voices we choose to tune into, can be liars. Do you trust the voice of peace and simplicity more than pride?
The more I choose to listen, I know that an inner core of silence and substance is unshakeable in the busyness of life.
The more I choose to listen to myself, my own issues the less I listen to the voice of my Father. Maybe all along my inner dialogue and my Father’s voice have been whispering, but I could not hear them over the chaos and noise of my own life that I had created?
The world will tell you how to live, if you let it in. Don’t let it take up space! It is often only when we are truly alone that we can listen, and God’s voice speaking out from the silence. We so often crave the silence yet equally want to avoid it!
To help me listen, I frequently ask myself these questions:
- When was I last alone and quiet, and let silence just be so I could listen?
- What has dominated my thoughts today, this week, the year or often?
- What am I giving a lot of attention to?
- What was the last thing I heard God’s voice say to me?
As listening is a discipline, responding in obedience is a choice. It is a choice of surrender, it is a choice of laying down my own reactions, needs, wants and rights. To obey often conjures up negative feelings or responses, yet it is the small task of saying yes to what my Father says.
- What can I lay down?
- How can I make this simpler?
- Am I getting enough rest?
Obedience is an act of faith. Maybe it is also as simple as creating a sacred margin at the beginning and the end of the day, to go to bed a little earlier and wake a little earlier… We usually overcomplicate this and make up our own rules. I do know without a doubt, that God is always speaking and I need to lean in more and listen.
By Jenni Lloyd