Initially you might think a yell is, because you can be heard above the daily noise. I beg to differ.
Last Monday a virus camped out in my throat and decided to sink its jagged teeth firmly into my vocal cords. By Tuesday I spent most of the day whispering. In meetings, or on the phone, it didn’t matter. I whispered.
I was not happy about this turn of events, but I did make an interesting discovery. People listen more closely when you whisper. They don’t have a choice. They’re forced into an active listening pattern.
How often do you actually HEAR what someone is saying? Isn’t it true that generally a conversation goes something like this…
Friend - "So we’re taking a family vacation next summer and thinking of going to Maui…"
The Listener’s Brain - "Did I unplug the iron before I left this morning? I have to remember to pick up bread on my way home…and…oh right, that credit card payment is due tonight. I have to make sure I do that on line. CRAP, I meant to respond to my boss’s email before I left the office, what’s that beeping in my ear? Really, my phone’s dying?"
Friend – "…yup, and snakes."
The Listener’s Brain -"Snakes…what? What about snakes? What did she just say? Where are the snakes….SNAKE!!! Crap I have no idea what she’s talking about."
We’ve all had one-sided conversations similar to this (maybe without the snakes). Are your conversations with God one-sided? How would your relationship with God change if you practiced active listening skills with Him?
In order to hear God you really do need to pay attention.
Remember Elijah after he kills all the Baal prophets? Jezebel is ticked and she vows to kill Elijah. At the direction of God's angel, Elijah goes to Mount Sinai and that’s where God speaks to him.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. “ 1 Kings 19:11-12 (NLT)
How did God speak? In a gentle whisper. If you're not paying attention you’ll hear the thunder and feel the earth shake, but you’ll miss the whisper.
It takes practice to actively listen for God’s voice. It also takes silence and solitude. Make some time for that today.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:When was the last time you spent time in silence with God listening for His whisper? Do you need to start today?
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