“Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left”—Isaiah 30:21(NLT).
“I still can’t hear you,” I replied when my son repeated a question for the third time.
“Hang on a second,” I said as I put my phone on speaker. “Now, I can hear you better.”
For almost a month, I’ve been fighting a losing battle with my allergies. Normally, my allergies are calm this time of year. But the excessive rain we’ve had has contributed to swollen eyes, congestion and a sinus infection.
On my first trip to the doctor at the end of June, she prescribed an antibiotic and eye drops. This past week, I returned to see the doctor because my head was so stuffy, I still couldn’t hear very well. Upon examining my ears, she discovered a wax buildup. She recommended I buy ear drops to soften the wax and then return in a week to have my ears flushed.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Do you remember the commercials used by one company to promote their cell phone service? The actor tries different locations, including some very out-of-the-way places, to get a signal so he can have a phone conversation. His standard line is, “Can you hear me now?”
As I put the drops in my ears this morning, followed by a tiny wad of cotton, I wondered how often God says to us, “Can you hear me now?”
In the earlier years of my walk with Him, I didn’t often pay attention to that still, small voice saying, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left.” I wanted to do things my way and ignored His leading.
Be an Intentional Listener
To hear God’s voice, we must be intentional listeners. Maybe that’s why God created us with two ears and one mouth. Do you do most of the talking when you spend time with Him or is it a two-way conversation?
Evangelist Billy Graham once said, “Prayer is simply a two-way conversation between you and God.”
A two-way conversation means we speak, we listen. Speaking and then listening is how a relationship works. It can’t be one-sided or it’s not a relationship.
Why We Need to Listen
Do you ever get frustrated while talking to someone who constantly interrupts or does more talking than listening? If you’ve experienced this type of relationship, then you can understand how God must feel when we don’t pay attention to Him but do all of the talking.
As my own faith walk has progressed, I’ve experienced a breakthrough in my relationship with Him as well as with others. I’m more interested in listening, not only to others, but especially to God. I’ve learned His plans for my life are the best.
In times of trouble or uncertainty, I definitely want His input. Instead of jumping in to fix things myself or make decisions based on my knowledge, I seek God’s perspective through a two-way conversation in prayer.
How to Hear God’s Voice
I begin each day by reading and meditating on scripture, followed by praising and thanking God for His amazing grace. Only then, do I make my requests known. It sets the stage for a two-way conversation between me and my Heavenly Father.
Don’t know where to start? Try asking Him, “What would you like to say to me today, Father?” Then, sit and listen without rushing or pondering your to-do list. Recently, I came across the following prayer I sometimes use: “Father, I come to you in humility. I have stilled and quieted myself, just as a small child is quiet with its mother. Speak, and I will listen in silence.
Because God always wants to hear from and speak to us, He’s readily available 24/7. It requires us to do our part and listen, even more than we speak. Set aside a special time each day for that purpose.