This week’s Loft Prompt is Listen.
When I first read it, I thought of an experience I had at camp one year.
I think it was my first year as a counselor.
We set up an activity in the gym. Having lined up chairs in two rows, in a windy path. Gathering the campers on either side we explained the game.
The goal was for one camper to follow a leader’s voice through the windy path, around a few obstacles that had been placed after the camper was blind folded. The catch? We instructed the rest of the campers to yell at the one camper who was ‘it’. Nonsense or wrong directions around the course before them.
With their fellow campers yelling, the camper who was walking the path had to listen carefully for the leader’s quiet words.
This is such a great exercise to illustrate an important truth: as followers of Christ, we have to listen to God’s often quiet voice. Sounds easy, but when we get the world’s nonsense and contradictory voices loudly yelling at us all of the time, it gets hard.
I have worked with young kids for more than half my life now. It is so much fun when they begin to talk.
Often it is hard to tell what they are talking about though. Unless you spend time with them. The more time you spend with them, the easier it is to understand them.
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”
To listen to the quiet voice that God often uses, we must spend time with Him. To know His voice in the crowded lives we live, we must know how to listen.
Here are some ways we can ‘tune in’ to the Lord.
1) Spend time in His Word.
When we are filling our hearts and minds with God’s word to us, it is easier to recognize His voice.
Also, God will never speak to you and contradict His Word. If you know His Word, you can recognize voices that are not from Him. Remember, Satan know Scripture too and tries to twist it to tempt us, knowing the Word and context of verses is important.
2) Run away from ‘stranger’ voices.
How often today do we run from ungodly things? I mean, really, when was the last time you put down a book because it got raunchy, turned off the TV because it was portraying things clearly against the Word of God, or changed the radio station because a song with questionable lyrics came on? I talk a bit about this in my post, Lessons from the Garden.
When we cut out unnecessary voices, it makes it easier to hear God’s voice.
3) Cut the business
This kind of goes along with spending time in the Word, but is slightly different to my mind.
When we are going, going, going from on thing to the next, we get so busy we have a hard time hearing anything.
Taking time to be still in the Lord’s presence is important.
As a mom of two kids under 3, I know this is probably the hardest for me, but work hard to make it happen regularly. Night nursing sessions are a great time to just be still before the Lord. We are also working on having quiet times during the day. Time to turn off devices.