Tag Archives: listening to god

Hearing God In The Stillness

The chapel where my wife and I attend worship was built in 1935. Constructed in the Neo-gothic style, it resembles a smaller version of a Western European cathedral. And like any old building, it has a unique personality. As a musician, I used to enjoy the quirky sounds our little chapel made. The creaky floor boards in the choir loft were my favorite. 

But the powers that be decided to install a fancy geo-thermal heating and air-conditioning system in the building. One with a fan motor that runs 24/7. And the incessant drone of moving air–through the vents in the sanctuary–totally ruined the audio ambiance! 

But this past Sunday a miracle occurred! Someone switched the HVAC fan to run on a cycle. You can hear the church building again-creaky floor boards and all! 

I sat there in the choir loft before the worship service, soaking in the silence. Then it came to me in a moment of sudden insight: “It’s so quiet you can hear God!”

How many times in life does the “white noise” of the world drowned out His still, small voice? All the screens in my home practically scream, “Pay attention to me!” Then there’s the miniature slot machine in my pocket.📲 Some still call it a phone. Yet it’s far more addictive than the kind that once sat on a little table.☎️

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

Psalm 46:10

Stillness does not come naturally to me. I’ve always been a bit of a squirrel.🐿. I savor quiet contemplation with God, but find I must carve this time out if it’s going to happen.

For the past forty or so years–since I was a teenager–I’ve consistently spent time with God at the beginning of every morning. The first hour of the day, it’s just Him and me. I read scripture and devotional thoughts, spend time in prayer, and jot down my impressions. 

Incidentally, I found the Lord’s prescription for hearing Him better: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”— Isaiah 30:15 (NIV) The Israelites of that time didn’t listen; but you and I know better.

What is your practice for spending quality time with God? I’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comments, if you’d like.

🙏❤️ prayers and love.

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com. This isn’t my church, but it looks similar.

I’m taking my annual sabbatical from writing. I hope you enjoyed this devotional by David’s Daily Dose.

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Seeking God’s Guidance

I’m a pretty spontaneous person. A friend could show up and ask if I wanted to go on a road trip. I’d grab a few things, toss them in a backpack and be ready to go in about ten minutes. It might be a few hours later before I realized I forgot something or realized I had a prior commitment that I had forgotten about. Meanwhile, I have friends who given the same circumstance would not be able to make a decision to go on the road trip for a couple of days. They’d need to know exactly where the trip was going, where they would be staying, when they were coming back, etc. It might take them a couple of days to decide if they were going. If they did decide to go, they would have looked at everything from all the angles before committing.

In 1 Kings 22, King Arab asked King Jehoshaphat to go to war with Romath Gilead. Jehoshaphat jumped at the opportunity, but then thought better of it and wanted to get God’s blessing first. They got about 400 prophets together and asked them. They assured the kings of God’s blessing and victory. Jehoshaphat wasn’t convinced. He asked if there were any more prophets. They told him there was one, but he always gives bad news. Jehoshaphat wanted to hear what this prophet Michaiah would say. Michaiah told them they would be defeated and die. Ahah threw him in prison and the kings decided to go to war anyway. They were defeated and Arab was killed.

Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]” (AMP). When it comes to making big decisions, we need to be less spontaneous and more deliberate in seeking God’s guidance. Not only that, we need to follow His leading even when it conflicts with our own desires. The Holy Spirit is constantly prompting us and speaking to us. He warns us of temptations and sin. If we hear or feel His promptings and ignore them, we are choosing to be led by our flesh instead of God. If we want to live a Spirit led life, we must habitually seek Him, listen to His guidance and follow it. When we do, we open the doors to His blessings and live the life we were created to live.

Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash

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Listening In The Gaps

There’s a comedian named Michael Junior who I listen to from time to time. Not only is he funny, he also shares his faith and encourages believers. In one of his shows, he described how he used to think about seven jokes ahead in his act. In between the jokes, while people were laughing, he began to ask God, “What can i give this crowd? What do you want to say?” It changed how he did comedy and the lives of people who go to his shows. God began to point out people in the audience for him to minister to. Sometimes what God spoke to him was for the whole audience. He calls this, “Listening in the gaps.”

Each of us have gaps in our day and in our life. It can be between customers, between reports, between classes, etc. Too often we fill our gaps with music, books, conversation and more. We’ve become good at keeping our mind occupied at all times, which keeps us from being still, listening to God or even asking Him what He’s saying. God is always speaking and He’s always wanting to use us, but we must learn to listen and to ask. In the gaps, we need to say what Samuel said, “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening” (1Samuel 3:10). When we do that it will change how we give ourselves to others and to do some things we may not have normally done.

Psalms 85:8 says, “Now I’ll listen carefully for your voice and wait to hear whatever you say” (TPT). When you ask God to speak to you, He will. He may ask you to do something you think is crazy or He might ask you to speak life to someone. Whatever it is, remember that we must obey without hesitation. You may never know what is on the other side of your obedience or how you will affect someone’s life. I believe God is calling each one of us to make a difference in the lives of people around us and in our path. In order to do that, we have to be praying and listening in the gaps. Look for where your gaps are today and ask God to speak to you. I’d love to hear back how God used you.

If you’d like to see Michael Junior discuss this, click here.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

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Listening To God’s Voice

One of my daily prayers is, “Lord, help us to hear your voice more clearly, and give us the courage to do what you say.” That prayer prompted my son to say, “I’ve never heard God’s voice before. Is He speaking?” I told him that God is always speaking. It’s up to us to find a quiet place and listen. I then explained that God rarely speaks to us audibly. He usually speaks to us through the Bible or He whispers in our heart.

One of the times God spoke audibly was in 1 Samuel 3. Samuel was just a boy and lived in the Temple with Eli the priest. In the middle of the night, God called to Samuel. He thought Eli had called him, so he went into the room where Eli was sleeping to ask what he wanted. Eli told him that he hadn’t called him and sent him back to bed. This happened three times before Eli figured out what was going on. He then sent him back with instructions should he hear the voice again.

Verse 10 says, “And the Lord came and called as before, ‘Samuel! Samuel!’ And Samuel replied, ‘Speak, your servant is listening.’” As I told my son, I believe that God is always speaking to us. It’s up to each one of us to listen. Just like you have to learn to actively listen to someone, we have to purposefully listen for God’s voice. When you open the Bible, pray, “Speak, your servant is listening.” Do it when you pray as well, then give God Time to speak.

We live in such a busy world that we rarely take the time to slow down and listen. The same voice that spoke billions of galaxies into existence wants to speak to you today. Any relationship requires two way communication. God isn’t looking for someone who will just follow a bunch of rules. He’s looking for someone to speak with. That’s why Christianity isn’t about a bunch of regulations, even though we’ve made it that. It’s about having a relationship. All relationships rise and fall on communication. Yours and God’s is no different.

Photo by Adismara Putri Pradiri on Unsplash

I’m enjoying one more day of rest today. I hope you enjoyed this devotional I wrote previously. I’ll return with a new devotional tomorrow.

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Listening To God’s Voice

If you’re like a lot of people, you have this voice in your head that can be quote negative. Whether it’s your own voice, someone else’s or the enemy’s, it can be loud and obnoxious at times. It tries to drown out all other voices of reason and even the truth. It tells you that you’re not good enough, not smart enough, not appealing enough, will never amount to anything, that you’re going to fail, that God is mad at you, etc. You know the voice I’m talking about and what it says to you. It may have been speaking to you for so long that you’ve begun to believe it and doubt what the truth of what God says. It’s much more difficult to hear His whisper over this voice, but it’s there speaking the truth to you.

In 2 Kings 18, Hezekiah had been king of Judah for about 14 years. He had done everything God asked of him when the Assyrians attacked and captured al, the fortified cities of Judah except Jerusalem. The king of Assyria sent his highest officials to King Hezekiah to take all the go,d and silver. When they arrived, the stood outside the walls and taunted them. He assured them that no one was coming to help. He told them that God had told him to come attack them because God had abandoned them, so trusting in Him was pointless. If they would just surrender, life would be better. The officials begged them to speak in a language the people didn’t understand, but they instead spoke Hebrew to try to get them to not listen to their own king. When they left, Hezekiah went into the Temple to seek God’s voice on the matter. He knew God had the final say.

In 2 Kings 19:6 Isaiah spoke God’s words and said, “Do not be afraid because of the words that you have heard, with which the servants of the king of Assyria have reviled (blasphemed) Me” (AMP). He went on to say that the Assyrian army wouldn’t shoot a single arrow against them, but this first part is what we need to remember. Do not be afraid of the words you’re hearing from that voice in your head. They may make sense, sound logical and be believable, but it’s the voice of God you need to be listening to. His voice does not bring fear or shame. Declare Psalm 85:8 today. It says, “I will hear [with expectant hope] what God the Lord will say, For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones.” Choose to listen and believe what God says over the other voices in your head. He’s the one speaking the truth and peace to you.

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Are You Listening?

When I was around 9 years old, I had been going to Sunday School all my life. I noticed that curriculums started to repeat, and I wasn’t having it. I had heard this story before several times from previous Sunday School lessons, children’s church and Vacation Bible School. So during the Bible lesson, I began to talk and cut up. Sister Belva, who had known me all my life, wasn’t afraid to call me out or to make an example out of me in front of the other children. She said, “Chris, if you think you know so much, why don’t you get up here and teach this lesson.” Instead of being embarrassed and quieting down, I got up and told the story I had heard so many times before. After class, she told my parents what had happened. Even though she told them I did a good job teaching the lesson, I still got in trouble. I didn’t understand it at the time, but my parents were trying to drive out a prideful spirit that won’t listen when I think I know something. I still struggle with that today, but I’m getting better at catching myself.

My parents introduced me to James 1:19 that says, “My dearest brothers and sisters, take this to heart: Be quick to listen, but slow to speak” (TPT). They would also say, “God gave you two ears and one mouth. You should listen twice as much as you speak.” I always thought that was impossible since I was such a talker, but it’s true. If you can’t listen, how can you learn? If you can’t listen, how can you empathize? Listening is a skill required to follow Jesus closely. He said, “My sheep hear my voice (John 10:27),” but how can you hear it if you’re never quiet. The psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).” When we are quiet and still, we can listen, learn and know. It’s time that we ask ourselves when is the last time we just sat and listened to God or others. I can assure you that it’s probably been too long. I’ve learned that when I sit and listen, God will often give me instructions I’ve been needing.

Proverbs 10:8 says, “The heart of the wise will easily accept instruction. But those who do all the talking are too busy to listen and learn. They’ll just keep stumbling ahead into the mess they created” (TPT). Do you consider yourself a talker or a listener? If it’s a talker, how easily do you accept instruction? Chances are it’s a hard thing for you to do. It could be pride causing it or fear or something else. Dig down deep to find out why you have difficulty listening and learning. God is always speaking to you, but you can’t hear it if you’re too busy talking. He also places people in our lives to guide us along the paths He is trying to take us down, but we will miss the instructions if we’re too busy trying to talk over them. If you want to be wise and grow in your faith, learn to listen and accept instruction. It’s time we stopped stumbling from one mess to another and took the time to hear what God is saying. He knows where all the pitfalls in our path are. So focus on listening for a change and you just might graduate from the school of hard knocks.

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Getting Daily Manna

When I started writing devotions back in 2012, it didn’t take long before I started to have a problem with fear. Each day I was afraid that I wouldn’t have something to write about. I started to keep a list of topics that I could write on in case I couldn’t think of anything. Still, each night and morning I had trouble wrestling with the fear of not having something to write about. I expressed this fear to another writer and asked them how they dealt with it. He replied, “You’re looking at God wrong. You’re approaching Him as if He is a well, and they run dry. God is a River always flowing and always fresh. He is the all creative One. If you will take your bucket to Him each day, ask Him to fill it with fresh, living water, He will fill it.” I have done that for over 8 years now, and God has never failed to meet with me and fill my bucket.

In the Old Testament, the Israelites has left Egypt and were headed to the Promised Land. It was about a month and a half into their journey when a similar fear came over them. In Exodus 16:3, they complained to Moses that they didn’t have any meat. They wished God had just left them in Egypt where they were slaves, but at least they had food. God replied, “Now I am going to cause food to rain down from the sky for all of you. The people must go out every day and gather enough for that day” (GNT). God provided fresh manna each day, but the people had to gather it and only get enough for that day. God continued to meet their need each and every day until they entered the Promised Land.

Fast forward to the New Testament in John 6. Jesus fed 5,000 people with a few pieces of bread and some fish. The people ate, were filled and had leftovers. The next day they were asking for more food and a miracle again to prove that Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus referred to God providing the manna, and the people asked Jesus to do the same for them. In verse 35 He replied, “I am the Bread of Life. Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty” (TPT). Jesus reiterated to them, and to us, that if we will come to Him each and every day, He will supply our need with more than enough. However, each of us must seek Him daily, spend time alone in prayer, hold out our buckets and ask Him to fill it. He’s providing fresh manna for us every day. We just have to go get it.

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Listening For God

Each year on President’s Day, the pastor of the Church I grew up in would take the men on a day of prayer and fasting. I remember when I was finally old enough to go and got to go on my first trip. Several men from the church had a deer lease not far from town, and that’s where we went. Our day was very structured. There were times of teaching, we would go get alone in the woods, return to discuss and then hear another teaching. On this particular trip, the teachings were about hearing God’s voice. On one of the prayer times, we were instructed to go into the woods, speak a few words of prayer and then listen. That was the first time I heard God speak. I wasn’t sure it was Him until we came back to share and several others had heard the same thing.

I like how my current pastor describes hearing God’s voice. The next time you’re in an auditorium, listen for the air conditioner. When it gets quiet in there, you can hear it. The sound is there all the time, but it’s only when you’re quiet enough and listening for it that you hear it. Too many times, we miss hearing God’s voice because we’re too loud and our lives are filled with peripheral noise. There’s a reason God said in Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” When are we ever still anymore? When do we ever go to where it’s quiet and there aren’t any distractions? We’ve grown accustomed to noise so much that our minds crave it. We turn on the radio when we get in the car. We turn on the TV when we walk in the house. We create our own noise without even thinking, and we’re doing it at the expense of hearing God’s voice.

Psalm 81:13-14 says, “O that my people would once and for all listen to me and walk faithfully in my footsteps, following my ways. Then and only then will I conquer your every foe and tell every one of them, ‘You must go!’” (TPT) God is constantly speaking to each of us. He’s not silent, but He is quiet. He’s begging us to once and for all stop and listen so we can go where He’s called us and to follow where He’s leading. In John 10:27 Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (NLT). How can you know His voice or even follow it if you aren’t listening? It’s time to find a place away from the noise in our lives, to put down our phones and to listen to what God is saying. He’s speaking to you this very moment. Are you listening?

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Watching And Waiting

Have you ever been around a person who loves to hear the sound of their own voice? How does it feel when you try to engage them in conversation and they never give you the opportunity to speak? After a while, you either quit trying to talk to them or you just don’t say anything at all to them because you know it’s going to fall on deaf ears. When you see them approaching you or their caller ID shows up on your phone, you almost sigh because you know what’s coming.

If we don’t like it when people do that to us, then why do we think God likes it when we do it to Him? Think about your prayers to God. How often do you stop talking and start listening? Prayer should be a conversation between you and God, not a wish list of things you’d like to see done to make your life easier. There’s a time for you to talk and a time for God to respond. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard God speak to you, ask yourself, “When’s the last time I was quiet in my prayer time?”

I know it’s a hard concept to some because we think of prayer as a list of things we want, but prayer is so much more than that. It’s designed to be the time you communicate and have a conversation with the creator of the universe. It’s designed for us to spend time with Him getting to know His heart. We have to learn that it’s ok to spend our prayer time listening. If we never listen, how will we know His heart, His desires for our life, or His thoughts on how we should respond to social issues as His representatives on earth?

David said in Psalm 5:3, “In the morning You hear my voice, O Lord; in the morning I prepare [a prayer, a sacrifice] for You and watch and wait [for You to speak to my heart]” (AMP). David understood that God wanted to hear his prayers and that God wanted to speak to His heart so he built time to watch and to wait into his prayer time. God wants us to do the same so He can speak to our hearts. If it’s been a while since you’ve heard God speak to you, try watching and waiting today to see what He says.

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Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Be Quiet And Listen

Have you ever been talking with someone and your thoughts took over to wear you quit listening to them? I mean, you can be looking them dead in the eye and not hear a word they say. It’s one of the things I have to constantly fight against. Staying engaged in a conversation can be hard work sometimes. When my mind wanders off, and I tune them out, I have to tell myself, “Stop! Listen! Pay attention. You can figure this out later.” In order to pay attention and to listen, I have to work on it at times. Hearing is passive, but listening requires action.

You and i are to listen to God’s voice. He’s always speaking to us, but we aren’t always listening. That’s why having a quiet time is so important. A quiet time is where you get alone, calm your thoughts and listen for God’s voice. It takes discipline because we are constantly on the go and have a culture that ranks busyness with godliness. However, even Jesus took time to go be alone with God so He could listen to what the Father was saying to Him. If Jesus needed to take time to listen to the Father, how much more do we? If you’re not in the habit of listening for God’s voice, start with a five minute quiet time and then work your way up. When you start listening to what God says and start applying it, your life will change.

Here are some Bible verses on listening to God.

1. “O that my people would once and for all listen to me and walk faithfully in my footsteps, following my ways. Then and only then will I conquer your every foe and tell every one of them, ‘You must go!’”

Psalms 81:13-14 TPT

2. Don’t just listen to the Word of Truth and not respond to it, for that is the essence of self-deception. So always let his Word become like poetry written and fulfilled by your life!

James 1:22 TPT

3. God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.

Hebrews 4:12-13 MSG

4. Everyone who comes to Me and listens to My words and obeys them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a [far-sighted, practical, and sensible] man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and yet could not shake it, because it had been securely built and founded on the rock.

Luke 6:47-48 AMP

5. Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God.

John 8:47 NLT

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