On our beach trip with our friends Nat and Salena one of the things we talked about was hearing the voice of the Lord. We were saying that if we can teach our kids one thing, it would be that. Because if they can hear the voice of the Lord for themselves, they are set for life.
I think sometimes we think that prayer is a one sided conversation with God. And honestly, that's probably why a lot of people think it is boring or pointless to pray. Have you ever had a one sided conversation with a person? You know what I mean, where you are pouring your heart out and they are just nodding along, their eyes looking just past you, offering nothing back, no council or advice, no hug, just waiting for the conversation to be over so they can move on to the next thing... It hurts having conversations like that. As a matter of fact, my tendency is to shut down, and not talk to that particular person about anything deep or anything that truly matters to me for quite a while. God is SO the opposite of that. He cares MORE than we do. His heart is moved by what moves us, he holds us in the palm of His hand, he is our defender, our counselor, our shelter... He wants to be our all in all. There are not one sided conversations with God. He talks back.
So, if we don't always hear an audible voice coming out of the sky, how do we hear Him?
I spent 6 or more months in a small group with awesome mentors, Doug and Becky Hershey, when I was a senior in highschool. Every Saturday night we met and learned what it means to hear God's voice. And we practiced it. We practiced listening. Listening is a skill we are often not naturally good at. It takes patience and self-discipline and quietness to truly hear another person. It's the same with God. If His holy spirit is in us, there is a quiet voice of wisdom that speaks inside of us. We just need to get all the other voices that shout over Him to stop talking and listen up.
In our small group we would put on worship music, close our eyes, and just sit and listen. It is amazing how clearly I heard God speak to me during that season. I am actually in another season of hearing Him very clearly right now too... and I love it so much. I can't move, can't function, can't make decisions if I can't hear His voice.
In my recent Bible study on Jonah one little sentence stood out to me from the whole thing, and it was not meant to be a major part of the study, but it was for me. It said that prophets are chosen based on their sensitivity to the voice of the Lord. This means we all have the ability to hear Him, but some make themselves more sensitive to it. I want to be constantly in tune to Him, I want to hear every single whisper of His heart that I possibly can.
Have you ever had lyrics to a song stuck in your head that seemed perfect for the situation you were in? Have you ever noticed a certain sign or advertisement over and over again? Have you ever felt like a sermon was written just for you? Have you ever felt a peace you just can't explain in the midst of hard times? Have you ever heard something resonate within you that you know you didn't think up on your own? Or maybe you felt a premonition about something you were about to do, and knew you shouldn't do it... There it is. The voice of the Lord.
I pray my boys will be able to discern the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking to them. He is the best counselor there is. When I don't know the answers, he does. Lord make me into a listener. And help me teach my boys how to hear you.