We spent a considerable amount of time praying to God and reaching out with our requests and praise reports. However, how often do we take time and listen to what God has to say to us? Our Heavenly Father desires to share His thoughts with us. Remember we have a relationship with a Living God, and like in any healthy relationship, there should be two-way communication. Each time God speaks to us we can learn more about Him and about His will for our lives. What an incredible opportunity to become closer to our Father.
So, how do we listen to Him? There are several ways.
He can speak clearly to us as we have seen in the bible. He can speak to our heart through something we may see around us. God also uses His word to speak to us. We can spend time in His word daily and learn more about His character and His will for our day. We need to be in a posture of receiving to hear God. Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and you can tell they are distracted by something else and not really listening? That is how conversations degrade and miscommunication occurs. To hear our Heavenly Father clearly, we need to come in a posture of listening, and not with a list of our personal requests. Remember God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason so we can listen twice as hard as we speak.
We must first clear our head from all the things that are distracting us from Him. It takes focused attention. We need to take the time to step away from the grind of the day. Or perhaps - start your day fresh before leaving your bed by asking God to speak to you first. Focus on His still small voice speaking to your heart. Give it some time. Like every good skill, it takes practice…
It takes a moment of silence sometimes. It’s okay to be silent. We are so caught up with the noise around us it is hard to sit in silence. Ask Him for help being still and silent before Him. Remember, He hears everything we ask and can help with this simple request. Don’t get frustrated if you do not hear anything the first time, or even the second or third time. Every moment you spend with the Lord is not wasted. It is a chance to get to know Him more and grow as a Christian.
There may be times that God just keeps repeating something in our head over and over - until we hear Him - through the clutter that is going on in our thoughts. Yesterday was one of those days for my husband.
God often speaks to Carl late at night when he is asleep. That is normally when Carl’s brain is the quietest. God wakes Carl and proceeds to give him a solution to a problem he was working on the day before. Occasionally he receives an idea to proactively take care of something that is coming up in the future. Each time Carl wakes up and excitedly shares the new revelation with me. “God gave me the answer!” He always says. He then proceeds to move forward with the direction God gave him for the job or project he was tackling that week. One of our relatives used to say that Carl had a lucky horseshoe and that is why it happened. That relative didn’t realize a simple shoe didn’t have the power of God who can speak to anyone. The rank was much higher than an inanimate object.
Back to my story…
Yesterday afternoon my husband was working hard at a job and God wanted to get his attention once again. So, while he was diligently working on the job, the solution to another job was put in Carl’s head. He didn’t know why he heard the solution but filed it for a later time. God kept bringing the answer to the problem over and over into Carl’s mind. The solution became a proverbial pebble in Carl’s shoe. He couldn’t get it out of his head. As Carl cleaned up from the job he was working on and headed home, he called me and mentioned the solution in passing. We discussed it several times as dinner was cooking.
Then the phone rang. It was the answering service. A service call that day needed assistance again. That was the call Carl kept thinking about. He mentioned to the technician earlier in the day the solution that needed to be implemented. Somehow there was a breakdown in communication. Carl knew it was coming and was prepared. He got back into his truck and headed out to the customer. The solution God gave him was the exact thing the customer needed to fix their problem. Imagine that.
It wasn’t the first time it happened to Carl, and it won’t be the last. Each time he listens to God speak they become closer in their relationship. I envy that but know God speaks to each of us differently. He speaks to me through daily activities and a still small voice. Each time I listen I am getting to know my Father more and we are becoming closer. That is the ultimate goal.
Reach out and see how God can speak to you today.
He does and He will.
1 Samuel 3:10
The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
Then the Lord opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”
1 Kings 19:12-13
After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?
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