Draw near to God – Day 8
Draw near to God by listening to His voice
[A reader once wrote an e-mail to me with the words: “Benescke, I desire to hear God’s voice, but it feels like He does not talk to me. How can I hear His voice more clearly in my life?”]
Elijah was afraid. Terrified! He was uncertain about the future. In 1 Kings 19, we read that he hid in a cave for the night. Israel turned her back on God. Altars of God were broken down and prophets of God were killed. Elijah was the only prophet left and he feared for his life.
God commanded Elijah to come out of the cave: “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Elijah obeyed God’s commandment. He wondered what God had to say and what God would look like.
A great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before God, but He was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but God was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face. He knew God had spoken to Him.
In Elijah’s darkest season of his life, God wanted to remind him of who He is. That strengthened Elijah’s faith. We too, at times, experience dark seasons in our lives. Like Elijah, we hide in caves, isolate ourselves and even doubt if God hears our prayers. It is during this season that God also calls us to come out of the cave, so He can remind us of who He is and what He can do in our lives.
In Jeremiah 33:3 God says: “Call to me and I will answer you …” It’s a promise. If you call unto God, He will answer. We just have to be open to hear His voice. In Job 33:13-16 we read: “Why do you complain to him that he responds to no one’s words? For God does speak – now one way, now another – though no one perceives it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on people as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears …”
Because many people expect to hear God’s voice audibly (and yes, God can speak to us like that, but He does not necessarily do so), we miss the moments when He does speak to us. He speaks to us in many different ways. Sometimes through His Word, sometimes through people, sometimes by spontaneous thoughts or feelings or impressions in our hearts, sometimes in dreams, sometimes during a church service, sometimes in nature, sometimes in the form of peace or agitation that will not go away. Are you tuned in to hear God’s voice and respond to it?
How do you know that it is God speaking to you and it is not just your imagination? One of the best ways to discern whether what we hear comes from God or not, is to measure it against God’s Word. He will never lead us to do anything in contrast to His Word. In Numbers 23:19 we read: “God is not human, that he should lie, nor a human being, that he should change his mind.”
Do you desire to hear God’s voice more clearly today? Make time to be silent, open your heart to the Holy Spirit to speak to you, focus on God and write down what you hear. Also, get out of the box of limitations by opening your eyes and ears to experience God throughout the day. This may be the first step of a new adventure with Him! God bless.