by Nancy Johnston, wife, mother of 4 and MDM team member
Have you ever wondered how God speaks to us today? I sure have! Maybe you’ve cried out to Him pleading and searching for an answer only to hear nothing in response. Maybe you’ve felt lost or confused when faced with a big decision, and you just wanted to know what you should do.
We all have, right? Five years ago, my husband was offered a job that would require us to move across the country. I was seven and a half months pregnant with twins and had a two-year-old in tow asking this very question. Crying for a loud voice to give my husband and I an answer as to what He wanted us to do. How could we leave our friends and family? Our whole lives had been lived in this small little Indiana town. Could He really be asking us to move right now? Days of silence; nights of sleeplessness.
We can’t make demands on Almighty God. We can’t shake our fist at the sky and say, “All right God, let me hear You.” But we can ask, seek and knock, and the Bible promises that God will open the door. God will reveal Himself to those who humbly seek Him, and His Word clearly states that He speaks to those who know Him (John 10:14, 27–28).
But how was I going to hear Him? How would I hear His “WHISPER” to me? I remembered those verses from John 10, “I am the good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,” and realized it was by knowing Him that I would hear Him.
Just like we know our baby’s distinct cry, we know Him because of our relationship with Him. REAL relationships are built on communication to deepen those relationships. Through those days of silence and sleepless nights I began to learn how important this communication piece is. Just like communication is vital to my relationship with my husband and kids, it is essential to my relationship with God.
So, I got to know Him by spending time in His Word. I meditated on His promises. I learned to shift my focus from my fears to His faithfulness.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that we can train our ear to recognize the voice of God above all the noise.This is something that takes practice and patience. We must be willing to take time to sit in His presence and know His Word. “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil,” (Hebrews 5:14). It is by practicing and intentionally making listening a habit that we are able to discern whether what we hear is of God, our flesh, the world, or Satan.
God’s silence, at times, can feel so overwhelming because we live in a culture with quick fixes and solutions. We want a “google search” for our answer. However, God’s still, small voice may not come right away, and it may not come through the means in which you are looking for it. God does not speak to us all the same way. We are all unique. He is a creative God.
He has used so many different ways to speak to me. I’ve heard Him through the sunrise, during times of journaling, and even on good long hikes. He has even used my seven-year-old son. It’s never the same. Five years ago, He spoke to me while standing in the middle of my garden surrounded by corn fields. At the same time, He spoke to my husband in a very different way. He won’t always speak to you the same way He speaks to someone else, but if you wait on Him, you will hear His “WHISPER” in a unique and personal way.
Regardless of the way God chooses to reveal Himself or speak to you today, remember this truth: He will never contradict His Word. So make sure you are in His Word on a regular basis! Also, any message truly from Him will always, always bring Him glory. Even if the message you hear Him speak is hard truth, it will never, ever lead you to toward sin but away from it.
Here’s the thing, every relationship is established and maintained through communication. It is vital that we learn to hear God’s voice, so that we can deepen our relationship with our Heavenly Father. Know Him, by constantly putting into practice the discipline of being in His Word. Listen, by being still before Him. And, wait, for His personal message to you. As we actively pursue Him in these ways, we choose Him over our flesh. That is how we will hear His “WHISPER”, like Isaiah described, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it,’ whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left,” (Isaiah 30:21)
The reminder of these truths couldn’t come at a better time for me. Here we are, five years later in Colorado. As we took this step and followed His calling, the Lord has provided and grown us in ways beyond where my dreams could ever have taken us. And I am speaking these truths to my heart all over again as I wait for His “WHISPER” about our future and where He might be calling us.