Thanks to all of you who posted comments on my last blog with your own stories and experiences of dealing with the voice. Obviously, we are not alone in our struggle.
Have you ever been in a crowded coffee shop or restaurant, wanting to have a conversation with someone, and become frustrated at the noise level around you? You can hear the sound of your friend talking, but amidst all the clamor, sometimes it’s hard to hear what they’re actually saying.
That’s what my life feels like a lot. Regardless of what I’m trying to focus on, the noise is coming from everywhere, and the loudest thing buzzing is usually what holds my attention.
This passage hit hard one day. “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.” 1 Kings 19
This story helped me begin to understand that perhaps my problem with the voice and all its deception wasn’t so much that it was the only sound in my ear (or mind, or heart), it was simply the one to which I was giving the most attention. The Lord, my Heavenly Father, is speaking but evidently, for whatever divine reason, He chooses not to be the loudest voice.
Learning this has been slow. But if there’s been one practice in my life that has helped the most to hear the voice I want and need to hear, the voice of The Shepherd, it’s been developing the discipline of daily silence into my life. Without it, life is a crowded coffee shop.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a “music person” and among other things, that probably means that, like me, you don’t do a lot without music playing somewhere. I realized that even my times of “quiet” were accompanied by music. And even though it might have been good music, it was still noise. Turning off the music, and sitting with the silence, was SO difficult for me at first. Over the years, I had learned to never be totally quiet. In some ways, I think I was afraid of it. (we’ll save that self-analysis for another blog)
Most of the time, I find myself listening to the wind, the fire, and the earthquake. But I’m discovering that only in silence can I hear the “low whisper”. In silence, I can open the Word and “hear” what the Scripture, the God-breathed words, are saying to me. Then, over time, I begin to know His voice, and I can sense His love, care and direction for me. For me personally.
The enemy is constantly shouting fear, insecurity, incompetence, and the reasons why not to try. My Heavenly Father is whispering love, joy, peace, patience, kindness and goodness. He quietly affirms and encourages me to put my confidence in Him as I walk in to what He’s placed before me.
If you hope to effectively deal with the voice of the enemy, I believe you must begin by learning to tune in to the voice of your King. It is still, and small. It whispers low. Don’t expect to hear it above the din of your everyday life.
He is speaking.
Walk in dependence.
Don’t be afraid.
When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. John 10:4