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  • Kristie Kroschel

Does God really speak to me? Part 2

 

Have you ever questioned if God speaks to you? Or, if He did, that you could really hear His voice? You are not alone! I think most believers have struggled with this at one time or another, and maybe many times throughout their walk. Me included. 


There are several reasons we might not be hearing God’s voice. In last week’s blog, I wrote about how unbelief can keep us from hearing His voice. Feel free to check it out. This week, we will examine not listening as a possible reason for not hearing God speak. I think these two things, unbelief and lack of listening, can work in tandem to keep us from hearing Him. 


Hearing vs Listening to the Voice of God

Some terms defined.


Hear; verb - perceive with the ear the sound made by (someone or something).

Hearing; noun - the faculty of perceiving sounds.


Listen; verb - listening; present participle 

  • give one’s attention to a sound.

  • take notice of and act on what someone says; respond to advice or a request

  • make an effort to hear something; be alert and ready to hear something


Can you see the difference between hearing and listening? Hearing is just being aware there is sound, and listening is hearing the sound and taking notice to be able to respond. There is a big difference! I am a verbal processor… about EVERYTHING! Travel plans, meals for the week, groceries I need to buy, people I need to see, what I want to say to those people, etc. If my husband is around, bless his heart; he is the one who gets to hear all my processing!! He has become quite efficient in listening without commenting when I am in processing mode, but sometimes I can tell he isn’t REALLY listening by the placement of the ‘uh huh’ when he tries to let me know he is still tracking. I can get mad at him for this, but I shouldn’t since I am the one doing all the talking and don’t want or need a response from him. But it is still nice to be paid the compliment of listening! To be fair, I can do the same thing with him when he shares his thoughts out loud! But with much less grace than he gives me.


Can you see how true communication won’t happen if all our communication is sharing thoughts but not really needing or wanting a response? Listening conveys the idea that WE are not speaking. If we sit down with our list of prayer requests, spout things off, and then amen it and go on our way, we aren’t giving God time or space to share His thoughts. 


I forget that sometimes!! I can do all the talking and then get frustrated when God doesn’t speak back. Silly! Learn to ask a question and be silent, Kristie! God also knows if we are truly listening when we speak to Him. The definition of listening has the aspect of listening with attention ready to respond. Might He wait to talk to us until we are really listening, ready to act on what He says? It’s kind of like when I wait until I know I have my kid’s or husband’s FULL attention before I tell them where something is so they won’t come back and ask, “Where did you say it was?”  


I also think we might expect Him to speak a certain way and miss it when He speaks differently.

In scripture, we see many creative ways He speaks:


vocally a burning bush visions

dreams in person angels

prayer storms (Jonah) face to face (can you imagine!! Some day!)


The last 20 years have broadened my understanding of how God speaks. He is certainly very creative! I have heard God say ‘I love You’ to me through a song lyric, remind me to think of Him through a snippet of a quote from a movie or TV show, bring someone to mind so I can pray for them, bring a scripture to mind to show me what He wants me to see, or convict me through the question of a child. Be open to how He wants to speak! 


One of the most creative ways God spoke to me was when I needed His direction. We felt we were being called to Infusion Ministries, but I was dragging my heels. I liked my job, loved being near my kids and grandkids, and didn’t want to move across the country (WA to TN)! I was at a coffee shop with a friend, sharing this challenge to ask her for prayer. Two men were chatting at the table next to us, and I noticed a bible on the table. Before I even got to the ‘will you pray for me’ part, I heard one of them quote a line from a book I had heard often! It was from a book Neil Anderson and Dave Park co-authored. Since Dave Park is Infusion Ministries’ President, this caught my attention! I looked over, and there was the book on top of the bible. It hadn’t been there 10 minutes earlier. For me, this was the confirmation I needed that God was indeed directing us to move across the country and continue working for Him, sharing about Identity and Freedom in Christ. There were still many tears of sadness shed, but there were just as many of gladness that I knew this was the direction God was leading! 


God has called us to a relationship with Him – and all healthy relationships are based on two-way communication! Let’s press into our relationship with Him, seeking Him, believing that He speaks and speaks to us, His sheep. Let’s be alert and ready to respond when the Spirit enlightens scripture for us or listening for His voice in the everyday sounds of our lives. 


Be patient, expect and believe He will speak, and keep listening! 

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