The wind could be heard coming from afar. It began as a gentle whisper but caught my attention while sitting on our deck. Peering toward the north, I could sense the wind making its way toward me through the tall Colorado pines. As the voice of the wind came closer, I looked up at the tree tops with their green branches slowly swaying. While the strength of the wind drew near, I closed my eyes listening to the ever-increasing volume. Its energy began to gust through the trees. As the wind brushed over me, peace enveloped me and held me captive. Opening my eyes, I was in awe of the natural rhythm–branches of green needles transmitting the voice of the wind throughout the entire hillside. The air currents continued their pathway through the forest sending waves of melodies throughout the valley below.
One of my favorite things about being at our property in Colorado is the peaceful spirit that pervades my soul. However, it’s not just the abundance of trees or the majestic mountains that create on-lasting images, nor is it the quiet that is rarely broken by man-made noise. Surrounded by nature day and night in this majestic corner of the world, I am just naturally drawn to my Creator and His Voice—the Voice that is always an inspiration. I am reminded of these verses in Psalm 29: 3-5 which resonate the fact that God’s Voice is much more than a human voice:
3 “The voice of the Lord echoes above the sea.
The God of glory thunders.
The Lord thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is majestic.
5 The voice of the Lord splits the mighty cedars;
the Lord shatters the cedars of Lebanon.” (NLT)
Do you hear that? Do you hear what His Voice is like? Do you sense the power in those verses? The Voice that spoke and set the stars and the moon and the sun in the universe, the Voice that spoke our earth into motion creating animals to roam the land and fish to swim in the sea, is still among us today. The Lord’s Voice is powerful and reigns over all. He has not lost His Voice, and like the wind His Voice can have a gentle yet purposeful force. Yet how often do we anticipate His words and actually listen to His Voice?
In my life, I find it difficult at times to hear the Voice of the Lord. The hustle and bustle of life can intrude out of nowhere like a tempest. In the natural setting of Colorado, I was reminded that it’s also my absence of focus that correlates with how well I hear God’s Voice–the one Voice that consistently conveys words of encouragement, wisdom and truth. My attention gets caught up in the teeming noise of this world, and I allow distractions to fill my mind with doubts, emotions, and negativity that can override my efforts in reading scripture, praying, and concentrating on His Voice. I have had to find ways to help me listen more effectively. I hope they can serve your efforts in hearing God’s Voice more frequently.
1) REMEMBER — Recollect those times in the past when you heard His Voice loud and clear. Be grateful for those times when God’s Voice of truth made a difference by answering prayer or carrying you through a difficult season. Reflect on the times He washed His grace over you and spoke life-giving words into your spirit. God does not change. His Voice is always there for each one of us. Memories of what God has done in the past can help center your focus on His goodness and faithfulness. Remember and be grateful for a Voice that has the power to change your attitude, circumstance, and even the direction your life is heading. If you have never heard His Voice, just call out for Him. He is always listening.
2) EXPECT — Be expectant, believing that He will speak. I have discovered I cannot expect to hear God’s Voice without preparation. I need to be free of interruptions, and I have to be ready to listen. Both of these necessities are challenging for me and probably for you. Reading the Bible and praying centers me; however, finding that peaceful focus like I experienced in Colorado is difficult amidst daily activities. Ask God to help you find those few minutes alone knowing that He will serve you well in that quality time no matter the length. Just as I anticipated the voice of the wind to reach me that morning, I must expect God to reach me daily and speak into my life. When you and I communicate with family members and friends, we expect them to talk with us. When we ask a question, we await the response. The same with God—expect His Voice because He knows yours. He is always listening.
3) LISTEN – Start listening and stop doing! Just be yourself and acknowledge that His Voice exists. God will meet you where you are. His Voice may not always be audible, but your heart and soul will hear the words—words that bring clarity and not confusion, wisdom and not foolishness, peace and not disruption. I find it is more about who I am becoming that what I am endeavoring to do. In that becoming, I must get away from commotion–the busyness–so I am able to listen. Sometimes that “getting away” is simply choosing to stop what I am doing even in the midst of a crowd and refocus by admitting I need to hear His Voice if only for a matter of moments. The same power that spoke the world into being and raised Christ from the grave is power for us today. We live in a world of noise, but God can be heard above the rest. Take time to be–listen for His Voice. He is always listening.
How often do you stop and acknowledge that God’s Voice is the instrument of all creation? His Voice is the reason we are alive today, so why do we not remember, expect, and listen? When it comes right down to it, it is a matter of choice. That day in Colorado, I could have ignored the voice of the wind and continued what I was doing. I chose to embrace the moment, and I heard more than just the wind. God’s Voice spoke to me that day as I quieted myself and drank in the peacefulness around me. I was just being and stopped preparing, fixing, achieving, organizing, cleaning—I interrupted my doing.
Psalm 46: 10 declares, we need to cease striving:
“Be still and know
that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
For me, the key words in this verse are “BE STILL.” If only for a moment in time, be still and capture God’s Voice of inspiration bringing back remembrances of His goodness, expect His Voice of wisdom that offers guidance, and listen to His Voice of truth that can transform chaos into peace. More importantly, by being still we show honor to God by accepting Him for who He is–not just trying to get what we need. “Be still and know that I am God.” There is power in God’s words, and He is always listening.
Did you hear that? God’s Voice can be heard above the rest. I hope you anticipate with open hearts for Him to speak into your life today!
Blessings, Just Kathy