In my quiet time, if I listen really closely, I am positive I can hear God speaking. I know it is His voice and not my imagination because at such times I feel so much closer to Him than at other times.
I wish the sensation could occur more regularly, but the noise of the world and the busy-ness I carve out for myself rear up like a wall between us. I know in my heart that this barrier is not God’s doing, but mine. And this means I have the responsibility—and the ability—to do something about it if I really want to hear the Father when He whispers in my ear.
Some time ago while on a retreat at Camp Egan, I sought out some “me time” with God and climbed a rambling path to the top of a hill. At the summit, I emerged in a clearing among the oaks, with a rugged cross at one edge and on the other side, a gathering of charred rock and a picnic table. I could imagine the worship services that must have had been held there with campfire and singing, the prayer and meditation; but this afternoon, it was quiet.
The floor of the clearing was strewn with acorns from the surrounding oaks, but the top of the picnic table was immaculate—save one solitary nut, polished and without blemish, squarely centered in the middle of the table. It was as if it had been placed there just for me. I took it in my hands and centered my attention on the one true savior, the one Lord, the one Spirit.
It’s at times like these that I am able to isolate myself from the noise and the busy-ness of the world and give God my full attention. It is truly amazing what can happen when I focus on Him, not talking but listening, really listening. It’s not easy for me and it may not be for you.
I find it helpful to meditate on the scripture Psalm 46:10a, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still, the scriptures tell us. That’s step one. We can never hear God when we are busy running around and thinking about all the troubles of the day.
Step two is found in the second half of the same statement: “…know that I am God.” We cannot hear Him if we do not first acknowledge who He is. Sovereign Lord, Almighty God. Creator of all things; Master of the universe.
Step three: consider Psalm 46:10b. “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Exalt means to elevate, to raise on high, to glorify. If I am to draw near to God, I diminish myself and increase Him. He becomes all-consuming and I shrink to the size I actually am. I am humbled and He is exalted.
There is no magic formula. With your relationship with God, it is always a matter of the heart. Get the heart right and the rest flows naturally.