Ross: Hearing the voice of God
We live in a world consumed with how many things we can cram into our schedules, what is going to get me the most ‘likes’ on social media or how can I get to the next best thing?
Not everything we put on our schedules, post on social media or even do to better ourselves are bad things.
What things have we placed value on in our lives to share with the world, our family and our friends?
As a follower of Jesus, our first priority should be spending time with the one we claim to follow. Unfortunately, because of everything else we tend to pack into our days, the last thing we do is “find time” to spend with Him.
What would the disciples have been like had they never spent time with Jesus? Why then, do we, as followers of Jesus, think we don’t need to spend time with Him?
As a pastor, one of the most important things I can do for anyone is teach them how to hear from God.
For some people, this is a difficult concept because we think about talking to someone or hearing someone verbally speaking to us face-to-face or on a phone call. Anymore, we even communicate via a text message, instant message, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media.
We have, however, been given the greatest written message ever given to humankind in the form of the Bible.
I often ask individuals when we are discussing how to hear from God, ‘What do you think God sounds like?’ Some think He should sound like Charlton Heston, Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones, but, in all honesty, He sounds like the Bible.
John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God.” Simply put, God sounds like His word.
We can hear from God if we will slow down, set time aside and listen. One easy exercise in doing this is called Lectio Divina, which is Latin for “sacred reading, holy reading or divine reading.”
It isn’t a new fad, or something brand new, but a proven way of slowing down, reading, meditating on and listening to the Word of God. Lectio Divina incorporates what I like to call the four Rs: read, reflect, respond and rest.
Begin by choosing a passage of scripture, such as Ephesians 2:1-10. Before you read, take 60 seconds, close your eyes and quiet your heart and mind to focus on what you are about to read.
Next, read the passage out loud intentionally slower than you normally would read. When you have finished reading it, write down the word(s), phrase or verse that stood out to you almost as if it were jumping off the page.
Next, read it again slowly. This time, when you finish reading, write down an answer to this question: “How does this word(s), phrase or verse fit my life today?”
Once again, read the passage slowly and out loud. This time, when you are finished, respond to what you have read and how it fits your life by writing out a prayer about what you have been shown through this passage.
Lastly, take two minutes, close your eyes and rest. Rest thinking about the things you have just read and written and allow that still small voice to speak to you. Then finish this sentence, “God is my…”
Hearing God and listening to His voice is the best conversation you will have in your day. God is alive and well, ready and willing with a desire to speak to you.
Always remember, “God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to be just like Jesus.’ — Max Lucado, “Just Like Jesus.”
Renny Ross is the founding Pastor at Oasis Foursquare Church established in May 2013. He can be reached by email at email@example.com.