In his book When You’re All Out of Noodles, Ken Jones writes about a lesson he learned one day at the office on hearing God.
[When I walked into my office,] I noticed something I had never seen before. It was round, about the size of a dessert plate, and plugged into the wall, giving out a constant noise. It wasn’t a loud noise, just constant. What in the world is that thing? I thought as I stopped to stare. I finally asked the receptionist about it. She said, “It’s an ambient noise generator. If it’s too quiet in here, we can distinguish the voices in the counseling offices, and we want to protect their privacy. So we bought the noise generator to cover the voices.” Her explanation made perfect sense to me but didn’t it have to be louder to mask the conversations, I asked. “No,” she said. “The constancy of the sound tricks the ear so that what is being said can’t be distinguished.” Interesting, I thought. Very interesting. One kind of noise to cover the sound of another. It made me think and pray. No wonder, Lord. No wonder I strain to hear what you have to say to me. The constancy of sound—little noises, soft, inward, ambient thoughts and fears and attitudes—tricks the ears of my inner man and masks your still, small voice. God isn’t silent. We just have trouble hearing him. 1
Spiritual Things Can Be Practiced and Trained For
- Did you know that you can practice hearing God?
- Athletes practice and train in their sporting discipline.
- Christians can too.
- How do you do it?
- Where can you start?
- Here is one simple training truth to help you hear God better.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you with your memory.
- Ask Him to help you remember.
- Where you left your keys for example.
- Or that ‘to do list’ item your spouse asked you to pick up from the store.
- Learn to trust Him without leaning upon natural devices.
- There’s nothing wrong with natural devices.
- But you are a believer in training.
- As you do this and the Spirit of God brings that area to your remembrance, note what that sense was like in your heart.
- Now. practice it again.
- Lean on Him again in the area of memory.
- And again, remember how it’s sensed.
- Over time, you will become familiar with His voice and how He leads you.
- Your sensitivity to His voice will increase.
- You will become more and more familiar with the Holy Spirit’s leading inside of you.
What It Means to Be Sensitive
- Remember that sensitivity does not translate directly to spirituality.
- Do not let anybody sell you that bill of goods.
- That is just because you can hear does not mean you are an elite Christian.
- Hearing God is everyday Christianity.
- Being deeply spiritual is more about developing the fruit of the Spirit in your life.
- It means walking in or developing the fruit of love and it is components in your life.
- Sensitivity to His voice means you have practiced hearing.
To Develop, Exercise the Process
- In any area you desire to grow in, you have to exercise yourself in the process in order to develop.
- There is no other way to develop.
- The more you exercise yourself in hearing Him, the more sensitive to Him you become.
- When you trust Him to help you remember something, and He helps you that’s development.
God Knows Where You Live
- Some believers get in a quandary over doing God’s will for their lives.
- They don’t have specific direction from Him and so they think, ‘Maybe I missed hearing Him.’
- Don’t stress out about this.
- It’s right to ask Him.
- It’s proper to seek Him.
- But, once you do, you have to relax and trust Him.
- If God wants you to do something for Him, understand that He knows exactly where you live.
- Don’t get the jobs description confused.
- It is God’s job to get the information concerning His will to you.
- Flowing in this eliminates the ‘I must be defective in some way’ line of thinking the enemy uses to constantly beats people over the head.
- You know, the “I am not hearing from God because there must be something wrong with me” syndrome.
- There’s nothing wrong with you; there is nothing wrong with your born-again experience.
- Your spirit man has no warranty.
Relax and Take the Pressure Off Yourself and Lean Instead on Him
- Your confidence should not be in your ability to hear God; your confidence should be in His ability to get direction to you.
- Take the pressure off yourself and put it where it belongs – on God!
- He can handle it.
- Saying it another way: Relax and walk with God.
- Just think about it.
- If God is not big enough to get a simple directive to you, He would not be much of a God, now would He?
- And, if He can’t do that, we do not need to be fooling around with Christianity anyway.
- The truth is, He is way bigger than you can possibly imagine.
- He just wants you to believe that and trust Him.
Settle the Question
- That is the question you should settle within yourself; ‘Is your God big enough to communicate with you?’
- Think biblically at all the methods He has ever used to get someone’s attention.
- Did He not speak with thundering’s and lightning’s on Mount Zion?
- Did He not speak with fire on Carmel?
- Did He not speak with a still small voice in a cave?
- Did He not speak with a loud voice on the road to Damascus?
- Did He not speak by way of an angel?
- Did He not speak by way of a jackass?
- Did He not speak by a burning bush?
- Does He not speak by a burning conscience?
- Surely, He will find a method that works for you.
Call to Action:
- Craig Brian Larson, 750 Engaging Illustrations for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2002), 235. ↩