Keeping it simple…
Hearing God’s voice is something very simple that we have made complex. Simple doesn’t always mean easy. And something can be simple, but also very dynamic. My 1 year old has figured out how to take pictures and open (and delete) apps on my phone. It’s simple and intuitive enough for her to learn and do, but obviously there is much more to my phone than taking pictures up my nose.
In upcoming posts I want to share several things that have helped me understand the more dynamic elements of interacting with God in everyday life. For now, let’s focus on the simplicity:
- God is speaking to us all the time.
- He has given us the ability to hear.
- He speaks all kinds of different ways.
Let’s just stop there and notice something. If these statements are true, how would you answer the question: How do you hear/see/experience God? Really, take a moment to think about how.
This could involve looking back at times in the past you’ve experienced intimacy with God. Or you can pay attention to the things you do or even where you go and who you are with when you want to connect with God. And right now you may not even be consciously aware of ever hearing God or don’t have a language yet for answering a question like this.
If your experience is anything like mine we usually put the focus on what we need to do to hear God’s voice. People have various answers for this, from spend more time reading the Bible, spend more time praying, we even have a whole vocabulary for this from ‘quiet times’ to ‘devotions’. Surely there are things we can all do, general principles really, to help us hear God’s voice better, but what if we wait on those a second and just stay on these three statements?
I’m pretty convinced that if we agree with them, believe them, we will start hearing God’s voice more than we do now.
- God is speaking to us all the time (whether we are listening/paying attention or not).
- He has given us the ability to hear his voice. We are made for intimacy with God, so you in cannot ‘not’ hear him. And he is very, very near to us by the Spirit.
- He speaks all kinds of different ways to different people. So hearing God’s voice is unique to everyone and their personal relationship with God.
Often the issue is not “God, what do you want me to do?” but “God what do you want me to believe?”. We do what we believe. Our beliefs shape our actions and our expectations and subsequent interpretation of our experience. Which either reinforces or changes our beliefs. We are often so focused on behavior modification, or what we need to do to get something to happen we miss the significance of core beliefs and identity. More on this later…
For now, try this out. Agree with/believe these three statements and start seeing what happens. Whether you declare them out loud or meditate on them or whatever it looks like for you to believe them, see what starts to happen over these next few weeks.
And in future posts I’ll go more into what God talks about, what his voice sounds like and discernment (‘how do we know it’s God?’).