Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hearing God's Voice~

A few days ago, as I was waiting at a drive-up window, a phone call from my husband suddenly alerted me to everything and everyone vying for my attention at that particular moment. The list was long:

- the music from my own car radio
- the music coming from the radio inside the eatery
- the conversation of the workers as they prepared the food
- the voice of the person in line behind me as his order blared through the speaker at the window
- the chirping of a bird perched on a nearby tree
- the barking of two dogs in the bed of a truck parked nearby
- the roar of a military jet flying overhead
- the sounds of the traffic on the adjacent street

As I tried to talk with my husband, I found myself straining to hear his every word. Concentrating on what he was saying was almost impossible to do. I felt like yelling out my window, “Please World! I need you to be quiet. I can’t hear my husband!”

In frustration, I ended my conversation, promising to call my husband back in a few minutes. After receiving my order, I pulled into a vacant parking spot located at the far end of the parking lot. I rolled up my window, turned off my radio, and dialed my honey. When he answered, happily, his voice was all I heard. Unlike before, I now had no trouble hearing what he was saying. Our conversation flowed easily, untouched and uninterrupted, at least for a few moments, from the sounds of life. This time when I said goodbye, I felt satisfied I had truly communicated with my husband.

All too often, my times of communion with my precious Heavenly Father are sabotaged by all the noise in my life. Sometimes what steals my attention is from an outward source. Yet sadly, more times than not, it is my own thoughts that leave me straining to hear the voice of my God. Fear, worry and selfishness all push their way to the forefront of my mind, crowding out the still small voice of my Savior until hearing His voice becomes almost impossible.

Ear on a boat
{Photo Credit}
When you talk with God, do you find yourself struggling to hear God's voice? Like me, do your thoughts runaway with you, too? So often, time set aside for just God and me inevitably ends up turning into nothing more than time with just me, myself and I! I end up leaving God out of the conversation completely. No wonder I walk away from this time with the Lord feeling as though the Lord didn't bother to show up. No doubt, HE WAS THERE, I just didn't quit thinking long enough to give Him a chance to speak to my heart.

Conversation is a two way street. There is a time to speak, but then there is also a time to listen. I am learning that in order to truly hear the voice of God, I have to be intentional in my prayer time and disciplined with my thoughts. I have to do all I can to hold my thoughts captive so that the voice of God can be heard in the inner most part of my being. It is not easy. Yet, it is absolutely essential if I want to truly commune with God.

One way I have found to keep my prayer life focused on God is to direct whatever I am thinking to Him. For example, I might be right in the midst of thanking God for a brand new day when all of the sudden I remember that in a few hours I will be meeting with someone who can be easily offended and become angry at the drop of a hat. At this moment, I have a choice to make. I can allow these thoughts to steal my time with God, and take over my mind, filling my heart with worry and dread, or I can choose to include God by sharing this concern with Him.

Instead of allowing this thought to take me away from God, I can draw near to my Heavenly Father by first, thanking Him that He never leaves me or forsakes me. I can then ask God to go with me into this meeting, to surround me with His peace, and to give me the words to say. I can then praise Him for His faithfulness to work all things for my good and for His glory. As I share my heart with God, I find that God IS there, taking my worry and replacing it with a deeper understanding of His presence in my life.

Just like my husband was longing to speak with me, God is longing to speak to us. He desires to engage in intimate conversation with you and me. It is up to us, however, to remove our self from whatever may be wrestling for our attention at the time. If it's the hustle and bustle of the world, then we need to retreat to a place of solitude where God's voice can be heard. However, if it is our own thoughts that are vying for our attention, sharing them with our Heavenly Father just might turn out to be the best thing we could do!

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
1 Peter 5:7

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  1. Stacy, I love this analogy. What you are saying is so true and I am so guilty of letting the "noise" of my own thoughts crowd out my time with God. So many times in Scripture God says to us, "Be still!" We have to just stop, let go, and allow God to fill us up. Sometimes before I begin to pray I picture myself kneeling before the throne of God. My forehead touches his feet and I am reminded of his greatness and my smallness.

  2. Stacy,

    Wow...thank you! I needed that reminder. It seems as though the noise of everything around us drowns out the voice of God, unless we intentionally and purposely listen for Him.

    I especially liked your thought about inviting God into the situation that concerns and distracts us. By taking that thought captive and bringing it before the Lord, we are reminded that He is well able to help us with all our concerns.

    Blessings in Christ...Susan

  3. Stacy, I love your post! I know I am far too often guilty of letting my thoughts wander as I "try" to listen to God. There have definitely been times where I've thought "what is wrong with me...I just don't HEAR Him!" and I wonder why so many other people talk about hearing God and I just can't. Maybe it's because I just don't shut up long enough to listen. I let my attention and my mind wander far too often and I love your solution for that. Thanks so much for sharing.

  4. Beautifully written! Reminds me of one of my favortie scriptures, Be still & know that I am God. Sadly, it IS very hard for me to be still & just focus on God's prescense & voice. This was a GREAT reminder!


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