Many of us Christian have a regular quiet time each day where we read our bibles and pray. At least we should be doing this.
However, too often, we rush ahead, rattling off our prayers, doing all the talking, not even taking a breath to pause and mediate on what we have read. God just sits there, waiting patiently, wondering, when can I say something?
Just think about it. When talking with a friend do you do 100% of the talking? If that’s the case you probably won’t keep your friend for long.Of course, it doesn’t work that way. You talk, and then listen to your friend talk to you. It should be about 50/50.
Then why is it so hard for us Christians to just stop and wait for God to speak? Now before you freak out on me, I’m not talking about an audible voice sounding from the heavens. Or a divine message penned in the sky. True, some claim to have heard an audible voice, but in most cases, God speaks to us in that gentle voice of our spirit being—what’s called an inner knowing.
This takes practise. You say you wouldn’t know if God were speaking to you in that still small voice? Well, do you know your own child’s voice? If you’re a parent, I’m sure you can easily pick out your child’s voice in a noisy nursery of children as you walk down the hallway to pick up your son or daughter. This is because you’ve spent time with your child. The same goes for hearing God’s voice. The more you tune into His spirit by reading His Word, the more you will know when He is trying to tell you something through your own spirit.
An excellent method in learning to hear God’s still small voice is that of meditating on scriptures. By meditating, I mean reading a passage of scripture, slowly and then thinking about it. Often when I do this, I feel God place the emphasis on different words, giving different meanings.
Take this example from Psalm 23, verse 1, a passage we know well.
“The Lord is my shepherd.”
First, THE Lord is my shepherd.” As I meditate on the first word, “THE”, I ponder on the reality that there is only one God, the true God. There is no other. This eliminates other “gods” or idols I tend to make as gods without sometimes meaning to do so.
“The LORD is my shepherd.” When I ponder the second word, LORD, I’m reminded to stop trusting in other people, situations, institutions, and circumstances to take care for me. It’s the LORD and He alone who is my shepherd.
“The Lord IS my shepherd.” Praise God that this third word, IS, denotes the present tense. Psalm 23:1 is not referring to a past event, or a future one, but a present, on-going reality. What a comfort to know that the Lord IS (not just was or will be) my shepherd.
“The Lord is MY shepherd.” The fourth word, “MY” makes it personal. Too often, I fall into the falsehood of believing God cares for everyone, but not me. I take heart, knowing the Lord is MY shepherd.
“The Lord is my SHEPHERD.” The last word of this verse conjures the picture of someone who cares, who rescues, who provides for his flock. What perfect image than that of a caring shepherd to assure me that the Lord is taking care of me.
This is just one example of how you can meditate the scriptures. Try it for yourself and see if God doesn’t speak to you in His still small voice.