For the record, I really don’t like the word Blog. It sounds so much like “blah” and the “og” is just not flattering. I prefer to think of it as “public correspondence” or “streams of consciousness”. But whatever you want to call it, I’ve been inspired to put some of my thoughts out into cyberspace for friends, family and perhaps new friends I’ve not yet met. I’ve always wanted to write and/or speak, mostly because I’ve always had a passion to encourage and inspire others-spiritually and emotionally. I felt inspired to write, new and afresh, very specifically last week. I would argue that God spoke to me very clearly, I heard Him loud and clear, and now I’m going to listen and act accordingly. Or at least attempt it at my best.
I know a lot of people struggle to hear God, despite the desire being there. I feel that God has always spoken to me, in one way or another, my whole life. I think it must be a gift of grace and I very much accept it as so. But that being said, I thought I would share the practical steps of how I hear God and perhaps it will help some of you in your own quest to hear from Him.
So, in my completely personal experience with no fancy theological training but yet wisdom that God says defies scholars, this is how I hear God speak:
#1- I am a Christian. I am a child of God, I am a sheep and He is my shepherd. John 10 says the sheep hear His voice and they know it, they recognize it. I would not recognize His voice if I wasn’t His sheep, His child. Because I am, I have the Holy Spirit, and so when God speaks I have the *ability* to hear.
#2- I *asked* God to speak to me. I had been feeling somewhat distant, of my own fault, and thus one weekend morning I woke up, went to my usual reading chair, and prayed very simply, something along the lines of… “Lord I long to hear from you today. I don’t have a ton of time and I know it seems selfish to put You on my schedule, but if there is something for me to hear today, please open my heart and my ears and know I really do long to hear it. Forgive me for not having been in your Word and for having found my strength and joy elsewhere lately, but know that I come now to meet with you and I am listening.”
#3- I read my Bible. I believe I started in Hebrews that morning, of which I was in the middle of reading previously, but then felt drawn to Psalms. I read through some Psalms and Psalm 90:12, which I have read and heard many times, was very compelling this morning. "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." I thought upon this for a little while. Then I remembered a reference to Revelations 5 from our church service the night before, and I love that chapter, so I turned to Revelation and read there for a while. I read of the throne room in Heaven, the judgments of the Earth, the tribulation…and it was rather upsetting I must say. Revelations is a book mostly avoided and I had not read these chapters in years and the end of times as the Bible describes it is very …I struggle with the right word to put here. Unsettling is not strong enough, scary is not wise enough…whatever the word is, it was unpleasant. And then at the end of Revelation it describes Heaven…very real and incredibly breathtaking. Not fluffy clouds and baby angels but the most brilliant, GORGEOUS, indescribable, ACTUAL place, in the presence of God, and it is wonderful. Again, not Scripture I had read in a while and it made my heart soar with longing to experience God and His glory in full.
#4- Feeling full in that moment with all I had just read, I prayed and went out for a morning run. I have some Christian music in my workout music and a song called “Blink” came on which starts “Teach us to number our days, and count every moment, before it slips away”. The same Scripture I had just read in the Psalms! Now I really had something coming together.
#5- Now I was meditating, while I was running, and it all connected so beautifully. The Scripture to number my days to have a heart of Wisdom, the picture in Revelation of the impending second coming of Christ, an end to all that we know here and how this urges me to seize every moment for Christ WILL come and Heaven WILL be here and what will I have to show for my life on Earth? What have I done and what am I doing that matters? Do I number my days? Do I live with a heavenly perspective? Do I have a heart of wisdom?
#6- I was running outside, and I ran by a crab apple tree (I think!). I very much see God in the everyday nature that many people attribute to atoms, of which I would argue are Holy fingerprints. And it occurred to me that a couple months ago this tree had been cloaked in beautiful flowers, and today it now had the cutest little multi-colored apples. They were so majestically painted in streaks of red and green and I hadn’t noticed until now. The beauty of the fruit, the cycle of the seasons, it all echoed to me to number my days, before they slip away unnoticed and empty.
#7- I let all this simmer together and it became the unmistakable voice of God. A sweet encouragement and admonishment to be longing for a heart of wisdom and to be living every day with eternal perspective in an effort to gain that wisdom.
- A heart that belongs to God
- Reading God’s Word
- Believing God’s Word
- Listening to Worship music
- Spending time in God’s creation
- God spoke
This isn’t meant to be a “formula” or “magic”. It may not mean anything to you, it’s just an example of something that God made meaningful to me. I trust His message to you would be personal and applicable to your life. It’s just the way I heard God and I think it makes a lot of sense. God is not a God of chaos. He gave us His Word and His Creation and Minds to Think because He WANTS us to know Him. So maybe this will help give you some ideas the next time you are longing to hear from Him. It wasn’t a specific answer to any of the questions on my heart, but it was a Truth and a Principal that I can apply to ALL of my questions, which really makes it better than just one answer to one question.
And now here I am and these words are the result of that morning. I don’t think my thoughts on life will change the world, but I do think they might help or encourage or bless a couple people. I hope you are one of them. The internet is such an amazing technology and yet very much a double-edged sword. How much time do we actually use it for things that are good and purposeful versus things that are inconsequential and empty and even wicked?
Mission statement: To share some of my personal thoughts on life with the aim of edifying and encouraging my audience while glorifying and delighting in my God.
Caveat: My grammar and punctuation will not always be perfect. I will do my best, but it has slipped in these years since school and I ask that you politely overlook it or please advise me whatever needs correction-this is a standing invitation!
I am not a studied professional Theologian, just simply a girl who loves the Lord and is seeking to know Him more and have Him be known. Religious debate can often get heavy, but this is good. If you have questions about anything I write, I will do my best to answer them or else refer you to sources/people more learned than I for further information.
Finally, I’m not going to hold myself to any rules just yet. I figure I will just start and see where it goes. Maybe I’ll share pictures, maybe I’ll talk about my day, maybe I’ll share jokes and quotes, once a day or once a month. Believe it or not, my type A self is going to let this be a very unstructured creation for now and hopefully it will become a beautiful mosaic where all the pieces in and of themselves are jagged and awkwardly shaped but the big picture is quite meaningful.
Quote for today:God gives people direction more often than directions.-Claude Hickman