Listen Carefully: Hearing God’s Voice

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I wish you could hear the songbirds in the trees surrounding my outdoor office. I wish so much you could hear them that I endeavoured to record them.

The result was not as anticipated.

What I heard on the recording was
a train, somewhere a long way off,
traffic on the highway down in the valley,
an air conditioner fan accompanied by windchimes,
the neighbour cleaning his barbecue,
kids yelling,
a dog barking,
a water sprinkler intermittently hitting a fence,
the breeze rustling the leaves,
and tiny birds singing their tiny songs.

The extra sounds had been there all along, but when I was concentrating on the birds I was able to block the noises out. The microphone picked up everything.

As I sat at my computer, I heard another sound, a still small voice saying, “Yes. Hearing is about focus.”

Not long ago, when someone spoke about hearing God’s voice I rolled my eyes.

“Riiiight. How nice for you.”

That was before the Holy Spirit grabbed my attention and spoke to me in subtle ways I hadn’t noticed before. The reason I hadn’t noticed was because my brain is a noisy place constantly full of clutter and distraction. It’s like “the wall of sound” arrangement of music in most popular recordings of the last thirty years. Silence feels weird.

It wasn’t until I started to learn how to still my heart and wait that I could detect a song I hadn’t noticed before. I am so easily distracted. I tend to pack my waking hours with the urgent, the dire, the entertaining, the outrageous, and the humorously absurd. It’s hard to say excuse me to demands of my own making, but once I heard the song, I wanted more.

I desperately want more.

Now I’ll listen carefully for your voice
and wait to hear whatever you say.
Let me hear your promise of peace—
the message every one of your godly lovers longs to hear.

(Psalm 85:8 TPT)

7 thoughts on “Listen Carefully: Hearing God’s Voice

  1. Oh, I love this! Your illustration is perfect. I did this recently with my grandkids. We were in a restaurant, and they were singing a little song that was so wonderful. I was recording because my three-year-old grandson says the cutest thing sometimes. When I went back to listen to the audio, I was shocked at all that was going on, and how his tiny voice was almost unintelligible on the recording.

    What a great example of why we can’t hear God until we stop and really tune in.

    I find as the years pass, especially in a noisy environment, I need to watch people talk–see their lips move if I hope to catch every word.

    Boy, this schools me on listening for God’s voice. When I come to him in the AM and give Him my brief and fleeting attention, it’s no wonder I can’t remember what I heard an hour later. I wasn’t listening.

    Thanks for this!


    1. Thank you, Ben. The child in the restaurant is another great example. A precious voice, easily drowned out. A mature believer once told me that the older we get the softer the voice becomes. When she leans in she hears, “Closer.” It’s all about maintaining that close relationship, isn’t it?

      Liked by 1 person

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