Listening For The Voice of God
By Merlin M. | Volunteer
As a believer, one of the most difficult things to do is wait on God and often in this situation I find myself praying and continuously bringing my requests before God. But the real question should be: As I wait, am I actually giving God a chance to speak? And more importantly, am I actively listening for His voice?
We all have that one friend in our lives who is “the talker.” No matter the situation or topic they always have an opinion but more importantly they need to share their views. They often dominate entire conversations with just their thoughts and don’t usually give others a chance to talk and share. For “the talkers,” all the world is their stage and their needs and views matter more than anyone else’s. However, “the talkers” miss one of the most important parts of communication-LISTENING!
In basic human interactions, the act of listening is often overlooked or not given enough credit; which leads to miscommunication. To listen not only requires focus and effort but active involvement in the conversation. To put it plainly, it requires you to care. Surprisingly, most successful business leaders credit some part of their success to effective listening skills. Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen is quoted as saying: “The most basic and powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Just listen. Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.” If the skill of listening is such an essential part of human interactions; how much more important is it in our relationship with God?
I truly believe prayer is the equivalent to having a conversation with God. Though often it’s used as a one way interaction to upload our wish list to our Heavenly Father. But this is not the type of interaction that God desires with us. From the very beginning, He wanted a close relationship with His creation. We can see this straight from the Garden of Eden and how God would spend time each afternoon with Adam and Eve. Our God is not a distant God who just sits up in heaven but He longs to commune and develop a connection with us. Therefore, when we ask something of Him, in His time and according to His will; He responds. But most of the time, we just keep talking and fail to listen to what He is actually speaking.
In Scripture, we can see countless examples of God talking to His people. For Moses, it was through a burning bush. For Gideon, it was through a fleece. One of my personal favorites is how God used a donkey to speak to Balaam. But each example shows how God is creative in how He responds and interacts with His people. He knows our depositions and what manner would work best for each of us. Many times, I expect God to speak through earthquakes, floods, and fires. But instead He shows up in the gentle whisper in my heart; much like He did with Elijah in 1 Kings 19: 11-13. Verses 12-13 says: “ 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?” The key to Elijah hearing the voice of God was that his heart was open and listening for it. What a great lesson for each of us!
So can I encourage anyone waiting on the Lord to remain steadfast in seeking the Lord. Spend time in His word and in prayer. But also leave time to just listen. Our God can use supernatural means and methods to get His point across but He can also use a gentle whisper in our hearts to convey his love and message to us. As it says in Psalms 27:4: “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” Can I also add to that..listen for His voice! He is still speaking today to those whose hearts are open and listening!