God is always speaking – the question is, Are we listening?
I love the story of how God encountered Elijah in the wilderness and what that means for us too:
There he went into a cave and spent the night.
And the word of the Lord came to him: “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
He replied, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, torn down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too.”
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 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.” (1 Kings 19:9-13 – NIV)
God wasn’t in the wind. He wasn’t in the earthquake. He wasn’t even in the fire. He was in the gentle whisper.
Because you whisper when you’re close.
Think of the last time someone whispered something to you. They weren’t on the other side of the room; they were right next to you, true? God isn’t some far-off deity, He’s a personal God, a personal friend.
He’s a God who hears, and He’s a God who’s here!
A few practical ways to tune into His voice:
1. Come close
Did you know God is waiting for you? Yes, He’s actually anticipating your arrival. The Bible tells us in James 4:8, “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
The problem is so often we forget that we have to respond to the invitation. God’s promises still require our participation. Seek and you will find. Ask and you will receive. Knock and the door shall be opened. Stop letting so many other things take your attention from the most important thing. Step close, draw in. I guarantee when you do, you’ll find Him waiting right there for you.
2. Turn down the noise
So often we can miss His voice, because we’re so busy listening to the many voices around us.
Our lives can get so cluttered by white noise that His still small voice faces into the background. Have you ever tried answering a phone call in a crowded restaurant? It’s awkward and cumbersome, and most of the time you end up missing half the conversation. If you want to hear the voice of God, turn down the volume of the world.
Best advice I could probably give you (and me) is put down your phone and pick up your Bible.
I know that’s not easy, I reckon my phone is one the biggest blessings and curses in my life. It’s so useful and efficient, yet so distracting and time-wasting. I wonder how much revelation we’re missing because we’d rather scroll Instagram for an hour, than read our Bible for a few minutes.
What you eat, physically and spiritually, either makes you healthy or sick – what you feed grows your faith or diminishes it. Feed on His voice. It’s amazing that when you do, all the toxic things in your life – such as fear, worry, stress, anxiety and ego – slowly start to starve to death and lose their grip.
3. Open the Word
The truth is God can speak to us in a thousand ways. Through people, a sermon, a thought or simply the gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. But I can guarantee one thing – His word is ever speaking! It’s a symphony of love and light, illuminating truth with every note.
You want God to speak to you? Open your Bible, my friend. I’m pretty sure He already has:
The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together. The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road. The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee. The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
God’s Word is better than a diamond, better than a diamond set between emeralds. (Psalm 19:7-10 – The Message)
I love that God’s Word is not only a blueprint upon which we can confidentiality build our lives, but we have been graciously gifted with our own personal tour guide (the Holy Spirit) to help us navigate the highs and lows of this journey!
Be reminded today that He is a God who can be found, a God who can be known, a God who wants to be close. That’s why His name is, “Emmanuel, ‘God with us”.
Article supplied with thanks to Sabrina Peters.
About the author: Sabrina is a writer, pastor and relationships blogger. She is passionate about Jesus and changing the way people think about God and sex.