All followers of Jesus want to hear Him speak. Many never do and others rarely.
Don’t approach God as a discipline, something to accomplish with a “3 Steps to Hear God List”.
God, I’ve read Pastor Grant’s Interruptions, memorized my verse of the day, listened to an Andy Stanley podcast, gone through my prayer list – now speak, Lord!
Hearing God speak comes from what you don’t do rather than what you do. As the Psalmist writes: “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
Consider a walk in a woods. Quiet! No wind. You encounter a small pond and throw a small pebble into it. You notice the ripples.
Walking on a beach. Storm approaching later in the day; wind, and large waves. You toss a large stone into the surf and see nothing. The waves so churning a rock makes no difference.
You soul is mind, will, and emotion. That in you which thinks, feels, and determines. All work together. Any daily situation will stimulate thought, feeling, and decision. During any day, everything that you confront, whether good or bad, creates storms of thoughts and feelings, accompanied by good or bad decisions.
Add tomorrow to today – keep going day after day – no resolution or forgiveness or healing or eliminating fear. Storm upon storm.
Most of us walk the beach during a hurricane daily.
And there arose a fierce storm, and the waves were breaking over the side of the boat and it was filling with water. Jesus was sleeping in the stern of the boat. When the boat was about to capsize, they woke up Jesus saying, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” Jesus stood up in the boat and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Be still!”. Jesus then said to the disciples, “Why are you afraid? Do you not have faith?” (Mark 4: 37-40).
Being still, not filled with storms, onrushing thoughts that you can’t stop, worries constantly raising your blood pressure – should not describe us. God’s voice should speak.
The storms quickly and supernaturally calmed.
Adding discipline, a “to do” list, and heroic effort won’t help and can add to your storms. Taking away is the solution. Not what you do but what you do not do.
Easier to consider than accomplish, learning to be still!
Practice casting anxiety upon the Lord. Peter writes: “Be humble, you don’t have to do anything, trust in God’s mighty hand! Don’t focus on your efforts to work things out but cast your anxiety on the Lord because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7 OGV)
Jesus is next to you. He isn’t sleeping; just waiting to take your burdens and calm the storms. Throw your anxieties on Him.
Do this: Tomorrow morning sit in a chair or take a walk. Every thought, emotion, or decision that comes to mind say, “God, take this!”. It might take you a few days for this to work. You cast worries, the next day you cast needs, the next day, and the next day until you find peace.
Think of the pond in the middle of the forest. When it is calm, God speaks, and you hear! His quiet voice is a small stone that is now loud.
Walking the woods to encounter this pond should become your approach to Jesus. He will speak! You will hear.