I’ve had some conversations with friends lately that ultimately had to do with listening. “Listen for the clue of what is really going on here,” I advised one friend. “What is the underlying thing? We’re not talking about what is happening, but what’s behind all this behavior?” I asked. It all had to do with high school girls and their erratic behavior. So much drama. I loved that my friend ultimately decided to do nothing for the time, that she would wait on God rather than jump into the fracas of her daughter’s social issues at school.
As I ponder this, I’m reminded of a time as a little girl, going to the beach and looking for shells. I wanted so much to find one of those shells you could hold up to your ear and hear the ocean within. I was disappointed that day not to find one and unfortunately, in the area I grew up in, such shells were not to be found. But I remember hearing one once. How could it be, such a wondrous thing, listening to the ocean in a shell? I could have listened all day…
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at the posts of my doors.” Proverbs 8:34 (NKJV)
I wish listening for God was so mesmerizing! He desires that we sit quietly at His feet to listen for His voice. He desires that we sit and just talk with Him, like we do so easily with our friends. We are told that God walked in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. I don’t think they just walked. I think they talked at great length about all that was within the Garden, about how the day had gone, about their plans. Why else would God call out to Adam, when one day they weren’t to be found? He had created them (and us) for fellowship, for relationship. Relationship requires talking and listening.
The hard part of listening for God’s voice is that he doesn’t usually talk to me like I talk with friends. There is no back and forth. It is usually more to do with waiting and then wondering if I’m hearing correctly. That makes me laugh for some reason!
I was reading recently about how God talks with us. I came across a lovely explanation from Graham Cooke in his book, “Approaching the Heart of Prophecy”. He said, “An impression is a finger touch from God. It is an inkling, a notion, a tiny idea in the back of our mind or the forefront of our heart. It is a rabbit trail that leads to a goat track which becomes a pathway leading to a street, then a road which develops into a highway which becomes a freeway and the interstate right into His throne room.”
I loved this although at first I didn’t get it. But the more I re-read this part, I got the ah-ha! Yes, God speaks to us differently than our human experience. And it is my job to take time to be able to feel the delicate touch of His voice that is barely perceptible. It’s so easy to miss it at this point of the transmission. But if I will take the time to notice and ponder it, waiting to see if it’s truly Him, it often develops into that beautiful conversation that has come straight from His throne room right into my heart. Listening to God is a progression of thought as I notice the nuances of His voice and where it is He wants to take me. It is seldom a straight line and it seldom ends where I thought it would. Pure loveliness. Heavenly. Full of wisdom and grace. Nothing like me. But oh so like this magnificent God we serve. And I know it is He.
Let’s spend some time at His gate today, shall we?