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God's Speaking: Are You Listening?

Noise is getting on my last nerve. What about you? The television is going, the cell phone is dinging (I know I can turn off notifications, but then I won’t know when I’m being notified!), everyone’s talking, and yes, there is an annoying bird squawking right outside my bedroom window. It seems hard to escape the noise and find a quiet place.

Real confession. I am prone to escape to the closet or the bathroom to find peace, and yes, to even have a meeting! And this doesn’t even begin to cover all the noise going on in my head—planning, organizing—you know the drill. It’s no wonder we sometimes feel like we can’t hear the Holy Spirit. How often people have said to me, “I can’t hear the Holy Spirit speak. He doesn’t speak to me.”

He’s speaking, my friend. Perhaps you can’t hear Him for all the noise in your life. Perhaps you can’t hear Him because it’s hard to listen for His voice through your anxieties and fears. Just like you make time for work, school, family and recreation, you have to make better use of your time with Him.

How do you do that? By seeking times of solitude, time when you can sit in stillness and quiet. What you do in that solitude is so important. We need to train our minds to keep still and shut off the noise in our heads and all around us, all those thoughts that just bombard the quiet. Trust that the Lord is waiting to meet you in that still place.

Jesus demonstrated the tremendous value of pulling away for some alone time with the Lord. It was during that time that He received sustenance, strength and direction. In those moments, He poured out His heart to the Lord and He listened. Even His prayer time was richer because He dedicated that quiet time to the Lord.

Here’s a challenge. This week, commit to finding time of solitude each day. Stick to it as much as you can. Seek that peace that comes only through being with Jesus. Ask Him into your prayer time, and then listen. Write in a journal what He shares with you and how long you spent in solitude. At the end of the week, go over your notes, and see what changes occurred. You may be very surprised!

St. Augustine asked,

“to what purpose are we emphatically commanded to ‘be still?’ We are commanded to be still so that we may see that God would say, ‘I am God. That is, not you, but I am God. I created, I create anew; I formed, I form anew; I made, I make anew.’”


Prayer

Jesus,

I will not fret or worry. Instead of worrying, I will pray. I will let petitions and praises shape my worries into prayers, letting You know my concerns. Before I know it, a sense of Your wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle me down. It’s wonderful what happens when You displace worry at the center of my life. Throw wide the gates so good and true people can enter. People with their minds set on You, You keep completely whole, steady on their feet, because they keep at it and don’t quit. May You, the Master of Peace, give me the gift of getting along with others at all times, in all ways. May You, my Master, be truly with me! Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; see for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong—then guide me on the road to eternal life. Quiet my thoughts. Give me the strength to sit still and to know that You alone are God. Let me experience Your peace, that surpasses all understanding. Let Your joy be my strength. Amen!


Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

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