Learning to Listen Large When God Speaks Small

God not only wants our attention, but He wants us to have a listening ear. (Pixabay/Couleur)

Can we really hear God's voice?

Some theologians say, "God doesn't promise to talk to us, so therefore, He doesn't."

Oh, really?

May I say this in response?

Dear Nay-Saying Theologian,

Is this reasoning, as stated above, your proof that God no longer speaks to individuals today?

I would submit that you consider that millions of people can testify that whenever they read the Word, it speaks not only to encourage their faith, but to their personal longings, questions and situations. For example, anyone who has ever read a Scripture, such as, "I can do all things because of Christ who strengthens me" (Phil 4:13) and had it speak directly as a solution to a dilemma, can testify to the power of hearing God's voice.

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But not only does God speak through His Word, He can speak through sermons, friends, nature as it continually worships the Creator and also through God's still, small voice.

After all, if God loves us enough to put His Holy Spirit inside us, I'm sure He meant for us to become human candles burning bright with His presence. So it stands to reason, that a God like ours wants more from us than shopping-list prayers. He not only wants our attention, He wants us to have a listening ear.

Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish Christian philosopher and theologian who lived in the 1800s, once wrote, "A man prayed, and at first he thought that prayer was talking. But he became more and more quiet until in the end, he realized that prayer is listening."

Hearing God's still, small voice is first about learning how to abide in His presence, and while we abide, learning to open a listening ear to His voice just as the prophet Elijah discovered:

 You have heard what the kings of Assyria have done to all lands by annihilating them. Will you be delivered? Have the gods of the nations delivered them, the nations that my fathers destroyed, Gozan, Harran, Rezeph, and the sons of Eden who were in Tel Assar? Where is the king of Hamath, the king of Arpad, the king of the city of Sepharvaim, of Hena, and Ivvah?" (2 Kings 9:11-13).

I believe the question God asked Elijah is the same question He whispers to each of us: "What are you doing here?"

The answer should be; we are here abiding in the power of the presence of God as we rely on His direction and leadership in all areas of our lives.

In my book, Experiencing God's Presence, Learning to Listen While You Pray, I lead readers into that place where they not only can consciously abide in God's presence, but hear and recognize God's still, small voice in their lives.

So dear theologian, did Jesus not say to us when He spoke to his beloved disciple John, "Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me" (Rev. 3:20).

Did Jesus not teach in John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me"?

Not only do these Scriptures indicate that God wants to speak into our lives, but they also indicate that we need to learn how to listen.

Christians throughout the ages have learned to hear God's voice, and in so learning, have discovered that their relationship with God can be more: more intimate, more vibrant, more personal and more filled with the sweet presence of Jesus.

In conclusion, dear theologian, while perfecting the art of dissecting faith, don't forget to live it.

Linda Evans Shepherd is a nationally known Christian speaker and a best-selling author of over 30 books. She's the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA) and the founder of GodTest.com. Her online and speaking ministries have seen well over 350,000 people come to Christ and are seen by over 45,000 people daily.

This article orginally appeared at gottopray.com.

 

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