How do you hear God’s voice? Sometimes I wish I could have a burning bush moment like Moses; where the voice of God was so evident, so obvious, it was impossible to miss.
If I told you that I hear God speak into my life, would you think I was crazy? When was the last time you felt like God was speaking into your life? Are you prepared to hear Him?
Think seriously when the last time you believe God spoke into your life. If you’re thinking, “Wow it’s been a long time”, or maybe you’re thinking, “I’ve never heard God speak into my life,” don’t worry, you are not alone. We all go through seasons where we feel we are distant from God, and cannot hear Him speaking clearly to us.
I have a few questions for you in those seasons of distance. Are YOU seeking God? It’s true that God desires to have a relationship with all of us, and is seeking after us at all times, but are you searching for Him too? In my times of unbelief or in times where I sometimes wonder where God is in my life, I have to do a little self-examination.
What is my prayer life like? [Tweet “This relationship with God, it is not like a vending machine.”] We don’t just put our money in and select the good things we want from Him. It is a relationship. I ask, and sometimes He provides in those ways, and sometimes He provides in other ways, and I am okay with that because He knows what is best for me. He wants to have a relationship with us, He wants us to communicate with Him, even though God knows your deepest wants, needs, and desires, He still wants you to ask Him. If everything was given to us, why would we need prayer?
What is my devotional time like? God has given us a big book of answers. It is His word, written to us so that we can know Him and His heart. In times when I feel like my prayers may not be answered, or there is a distance between God and I, I have to look and see how much time I have spent reading His words to me.
Are you looking for God in ordinary places? God is omnipresent and omnipotent. Before you click away to google that-God is everywhere and a part of everything, and He can speak to you through any moment. Sometimes I get caught believing I am only going to hear from God at church or during my quiet time, when in reality, He is with me always, and can make Himself known at any time. Consider the example from Moses at the beginning of this blog. God showed up to Moses on a mountain in a bush. What speaks to your heart? For me I hear God often in music. Music that resonates in my soul. Maybe for you it’s through movies, or friends, or family.
The last piece of advice I would offer in times when it seems like we cannot hear God: are you giving Him time to speak? Many times in my life when I say “I can’t hear God, He won’t answer any of my requests,” I am guilty of not giving Him any time to speak. When we are plugged in 24/7: texting, tweeting, emailing, calling, going out…we have to ask, “Have I given God a chance to answer?”
Sometimes the best thing we can do is unplug, and get away. Get out in nature, surround yourself with beautiful creation and just be still. Be patient. Give God a chance to speak.
Ask. Be patient. Be still. Be quiet. Look for answers in ordinary places. Trust.
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Have you ever had a test or work proposal that you had to work really hard for? Maybe you studied 5+ hours every day and spent all of your free time working up to that very moment when it was show time. Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, however, I’m assuming most of us have.
When you were finally in the moment that you had worked up to for so long, has your mind ever gone completely blank? I mean, after all of those hours and days spent building up to this point, you could not think of a single thing you had been working so hard to remember.
Maybe this made you fearful because of what the outcome might look like as a result, or maybe it made you angry that after all that time spent memorizing and preparing, you could not recall a single memory. The blankness could bring stress, sadness, or even loneliness.
When I’m in a situation that brings about pressure and I have zero direction with a limited time, I can promise you I feel just about every emotion under the sun. (Anatomy class last spring can attest to that.)
Luckily, that test, presentation, or work proposal passes and with time so do the emotions you felt when you blanked. But what happens when that time where you can’t hear anything happens in real life between you and God? What happens when you feel lonely, and stressed, and angry simultaneously every single day and God isn’t giving you any direction?
Well that is a little difficult for everyone because depending on what your challenges are, the silence can mean different things. For starters, what is God trying to teach you through the quiet?
“Be still” He says, “and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10]
He doesn’t say be still and find some worldly thing to bring you peace. He says be still because He wants us to give Him our issues; He says it because He has a plan for our lives greater than we could ever fathom, and for that, we sit in silence.
Sometimes God is quiet because He is bringing us hope. “How is complete silence when I am lost bringing me hope?” you might ask. Well God is our hope. He is our Savior, our Maker, our Deliverer.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” [Psalm 62:5]
How often do you seek God in the good times? And how often do you seek Him in the bad times? If you’re like me, you probably seek God a whole lot more in the bad times when you really need Him. When you need hope.
Sometimes God uses silence to bring us hope, and sometimes, just maybe, He uses silence to bring us comfort.
Now how in the world does one find comfort from loneliness and silence? Well you see, sometimes we stray away from God. We might not go far, but we aren’t really running back into His arms either. It’s easier to find our worth in our grades, or find comfort in people, or find satisfaction through compliments, yet in the end, we should be finding rest in God alone. If the only way He can teach you that is through silence, He is going to do it.
While these are all things I’ve learned through silence, God could be teaching you so much more. It might be a deep thought in the back of your mind that you really have to dig deep to find. It may take a while to figure out what God is really trying to teach you, but deep down you know what it is. It may not seem like it, but with time, and silence, it will come to you. [Tweet “By running to God and relying on His word alone, you will find peace in His comfort.”]
Silence, at first, may seem like it’s tearing you apart, but hold on to God, for He is greater than your troubles and worries and He heals all.