“Mom … mom, do you hear me? Are you even listening?” your teenager says to you, or maybe you say to her!
We all want to be listened to…. we all want to be heard. Even God.
What is God saying to us right now with so much up in the air, so much uncertain?
Can you hear him speaking to you?
Sure, maybe you have practiced your active listening skills in therapy or even good business practice seminars, but are. you. a. good. listener. to. God?
Do you give him room to speak?
Do you listen for his voice?
Would you know his voice if you heard it?
The ‘H’ in T.H.R.I.V.E. ~ The Holy Spirit enables us to Hear the voice of God.
Hearing God’s voice is not a science; after all, the direction comes from the Holy Spirit. However, there are several things that might enable us to better hear God's voice. The truth is--God does speak, and he has the creativity to use any number of 'mouthpieces' to get our attention. [See the picture above? I sent those two words in a text message to someone and the next day, STAY STRONG was written in the sky above her home. Amazing. Only God.]
Similarly, we see God communicate in different ways when Paul was on his second trip to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in unreached places. Luke wrote, “They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia; they had been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. When they came to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. Passing by Mysia they went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision in which a Macedonian man was standing and pleading with him, “Cross over to Macedonia and help us!” After he had seen the vision, we immediately made efforts to set out for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.1
Sometimes God's direction seems unusual—like the events captured here in Acts chapter 16. Why would God stop them from speaking the gospel in Asia or Bithynia? I don’t know, but I do know God’s ways are not our ways, and sometimes his ways are just plain mysterious, but always . . . they are higher than our ways.
So, how do we increase our likelihood that we will hear from God?
>God is a gentleman. He will not shout over our noise and busy-ness; therefore, we do well to offer him some quiet in which to speak.
For instance, consider this experience of Elijah’s: “a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. . .”2 Ah, yes. And in the whisper, God addressed Elijah.
>God speaks in the still, small voice.
>God speaks through his Word--and he refreshes it in our lives over and over. God's heartfelt words to you are in the Bible! Read, dig out the treasures . . . mine them like silver.
>God speaks through 'open' and 'closed' doors, and through other circumstances.
>God speaks through people--Christian ‘brothers’, sometimes in church services or an insightful podcast, through a Christians sister or even a Bible study email!
>God speaks through impressions [in our spirit] of the Holy Spirit.
Look for him to speak to you . . .
Christine Todd DiGiacomo
1 – Acts 16.4-10, CSB
2 - 1 Kings 19