“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” ~Mark 4:9
Our God is a God who speaks. Our God is not silent. That truth that our God is a talking God is what differentiates him from all other gods, it’s what separates Christianity from all other religions. Our God has a voice and he uses it. Our God creates us to hear his voice, he indwells his children by his Holy Spirit in order to communicate directly to us. But we rarely tune him in. In a world growing louder and noisier with distraction and static, we are increasingly unable and, maybe, unwilling to hear the voice of God. Or, possibly, we’re just not trained and equipped.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” ~Isaiah 30:21
As children of God and followers of his Christ, we need to improve our hearing. We need to grow in our capacities to hear the voice of our God. We need to diligently work to eliminate the barriers to our hearing so that our Father’s merciful encouragement and direction can come through loud and clear.
We’ve just concluded a six-weeks study here at Central on “Hearing God.” Yes, I admit, I stole most of the ideas from a three-session series Rick Atchley presented at several conferences a little over a year ago. The main point during the study here was that our relationship with God is intended to be a dynamic, personal, intimate, two-way relationship. It’s not a monologue in which we’re the only ones doing the talking; it’s a dialogue in which God talks back! And it was good for us. It was good for the preacher and for the congregation.
As part of the series, we handed out a few hundred blank canvases and asked our church family to illustrate what “Hearing God” means to them. As the art projects came in, we displayed them on the walls inside our worship center as a continual reminder that we each experience the voice of God in different ways. It’s different; but it’s real. Very real.
Our Worship Minister, Kevin Schaffer, made an excellent slide show presentation that highlights each of the paintings. And we shared it with our church family on the last Sunday of the series. You can see the video by clicking here to get to our church website and scrolling down that home page to the “Hearing God” video. It’s about five-and-a-half minutes and well worth your time. It’s an excellent video and, again, highlights the varied ways we all hear the voice of our God.
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” ~John 10:27
God wants us to hear him in order to know him. He longs for an intimate and dynamic relationship with his children. Let’s commit together to continuing our practices of listening for his voice, of being still and tuning in to the many ways he communicates with us, and responding to his loving guidance in trusting obedience.