Romans 12:10 NIV
Matthew 14:22-23 NKJV
Deuteronomy 32:1-2 NKJV
Psalm 96:1-2 NKJV
God speaks to us in many ways, and what I’ve noticed from talking to people is that God uses our brain, our personality, and our desires to speak to us.
When I was younger, I used to think when I prayed I was begging for God’s attention. I hoped He’d hear me. I used to think the way I worded my prayers was important. I thought if my prayer was selfish God wouldn’t receive it. Once I started having conversations with my dad about God, my theology changed. Ergo, children need good theology during their formative years.
I’ve come to a place in life where I think God loves us so much that He would do just about anything to communicate with us. Now I believe all I need to do to get His attention is to think of Him.
Now I know (Revelation 5:8) every prayer I think is saved forever.
How I word a prayer is not a deal. Any thought is a prayer, including, “help me”.
God receives me just as I am, and that includes my selfishness. Your indicators may be very different from mine, but I believe if you ask the Spirit to teach you how to know God has something to say to you, God WILL teach you.
I think God speaks to us and reaches us in myriad of ways and today we’re going to cover just a few.
That brings up the question, how do we distinguish our thoughts from something God gives us. As far as I can determine from reading, studying, and praying about it, it’s by sensing the presence of God. I’ve said before that I sense the presence of God in several ways. One way is by a slight quiver I feel. Another way is that I feel something touching my right ear. A third way I know God is near is the same way the prophet Samuel heard it when he was a boy. God calls my name.
Some people, usually extroverts thrive when other people are around and they hear and see God at work through other people. It’s not that they don’t hear God and listen to others who hear God, but it’s that they often get flashes of thoughts or ideas from God when others are around. I think that’s because they feel at home in the presence of others. Being with people is their ‘optimal’ zone. They relax when their ‘people’ are near them.
While we are all called to love one another, extroverts seem to have spiritual gifts that give them the opportunity to love others en mass. That doesn’t mean you don’t need to spend time alone with God. In many cases, people with serving and helping gifts draw strength from being with others.
Romans 12:10 says, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” We are all called to love. Extroverts simply embrace being with people as they love them. My youngest son is a pretty extreme extrovert. He loves being with people...lots of people.
Other people, usually introverts hear God best when they are alone. They may love the silence of God and if they are given time to be alone, they hear God speak.
There are spiritual gifts that require alone time with God. That doesn’t mean you don’t love others, it only means you draw strength from being alone with God.
According to Matthew 14:22-23, “Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.”
Some of us need more time alone with God. Some need more time loving and serving people.
God created us all to be unique and set apart to be in fellowship with Him.
According to the Myers-Briggs indicator I fall in the middle zone. I am slightly more extroverted than introverted, but I learned how to sit in silence of God. Once I experienced sitting with God, I found I loved it!
I know people who love nature. While they may go to church to visit with like-minded people, their real sanctuary is found outside. Stepping outside to see a beautiful sunset draws them closer to God. They hear God when the wind swooshes through the trees. Scripture is filled with accounts of people encountering God through His creation.
We learn in Deuteronomy 32:1-2:
“Listen, you heavens, and I will speak;
hear, you earth, the words of my mouth.
Let my teaching fall like rain
and my words descend like dew,
like showers on new grass,
like abundant rain on tender plants.”
I love watching old Westerns, especially stories about people traveling west to settle in isolated areas. When they traveled and built a life, they were primarily by themselves. Many of our ancestors worshiped God in the wilderness and they were at home with God in the wilderness. One of my grandfathers went with his parents to Montana to homestead in 1910. Their farm was not near a town and they didn’t have neighbors nearby. I knew my great-grandmother and she was a woman of faith and her faith held strong while she was in the wilderness. Church was not nearby so they worshiped God on the farm most of the time.
Some people connect with God through their musical gifts. My Grandmother on my Mother’s side, and her Mother both played piano for church for most of their lives. They loved to play the piano and sing hymns.
As a boy, King David played his harp and he connected with God through his music.
We read in Psalm 96:1-2:
Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.
Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.”
Clearly, people who write music about God hear from God as they write. God speaks to them and they write what they hear. The melodies they hum, become a song from God. When I was younger and I worked in children’s ministry I would sometimes write children’s songs about God. I didn’t publish them but I did occasionally sing them. I took piano lessons for several years growing up so when I heard a melody, I picked out the notes on the piano. I would hum the tune and eventually God would give me words to match the notes. I don’t pretend to be a song writer, but I know what I did write came from God.
God created a diverse world. Some of us need more time alone with God. Some need more time loving and serving people. Some love connecting to God in nature and others meet God when they sing or play an instrument.
We are all different, uniquely created in the image of God. In our own way, we connect to God in response to who He is.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Prayer
Pray about your gifts and passions and how you connect (hear) God. Listen FOR God through what you love. Think about where you thrive. More than likely, that’s where you will hear God.
In God, Deborah