Psalm 17:6 I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words (ESV. )
The other day my husband and I got into an argument. It started with a misunderstanding. I walked in the living room to find the children watching a learning video. I asked (or attempted to) my husband a question. He didn’t hear all of what I said. There was too much noise. He told me first to speak louder, then responded with a statement that didn’t match my inquiry. We both thought we could just speak louder and the communication would be fine. It wasn’t.
Not until the television was quieted and the kids were settled did the mess actually get resolved. Both of us clearly thought we understood the other person. But we didn’t. I sought God shortly after in prayer and exclaimed in frustration, “Speak louder. I can’t hear you!” In that moment a spiritual light bulb went on. God was speaking. He didn’t need to talk louder. I needed to be quieter.
I have been processing the times in my life when I thought God wasn’t speaking. I’ve discovered a few things.
- God communicates primarily through His Word.
- He doesn’t always use words
- God speaks through His creation (sometimes people)
- Silence doesn’t mean ignored
- His voice is, in general, more like a whisper
- You have to listen to hear
- He speaks through peace or a “check/caution”
- If we are in sin or not seeking wholeheartedly we cannot usually hear (though there are scriptural examples of God speaking through a donkey or using a whale with Jonah)
The bottom line is…God and the world around us has lessons to teach. We must be humble enough to recognize them and apply the wisdom to our lives. Sometimes our lives are too loud to hear Him.
Today, I want to encourage you to be still. Read the Word, pray, and let your prayer be a two way conversation. Speak, then listen. Or perhaps let God speak first. Just recently I’ve been doing that. My formula used to always be “I speak then He speaks.” Really, what He has to say is more important than my words. God is much smarter.
Get somewhere quiet. Or at least be in solitude with yourself. Riding a bus is alone although there’s people around you. In the car. The shower. While vacuuming. On break at work. There’s time if you really want to.
Get quiet. You never know what He’ll say.
1 Samuel 3:10 ESV And the Lord came and stood, calling as at other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
Job 13:22 ESV Then call, and I will answer; or let me speak, and you reply to me.
Psalm 119:135 ESV Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
Colossians 4:2 ESV Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.