“S -” ! More often than I care to admit I received the “S -” symbol on my report card for my listening skills, which indicated I was below satisfactory. One teacher told my mom “he seems to day dream a lot.” Her diagnosis was correct. I would find thoughts leaving the classroom and dreaming about what games we would be playing at recess or about an up coming football game on the weekend. For a variety reasons it was difficult for me to stay in the moment during those elementary school days.
I’m glad in the Father’s Kingdom I don’t get a quarterly grade on my listening skills, since I tend to still struggle with some of the same issues when it comes to listening to His voice and following it. However, the Father is a patient teacher, and over the years His Spirit has helped to guide me in learning to hear and discern the Father’s voice.
After all, our Father is always speaking to His children and it is His greatest desire for us to hear Him. All we need to do is open up our Bible and we find out it is filled with stories about God sharing His heart. From a joyous fellowship with Adam and Eve before the fall, to God’s unfolding plan of redemption after the fall-shared with Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, the Prophets, and finally His most powerful Word to us Jesus His Son.
I could blog on countless ways He is still speaking through His Word, such as in creation, people, circumstances, dreams, visions, prophecies, etc. But one of the most vital ways in which you can learn to listen to His voice is leaning into it. I must be getting as I find it difficult to hear in one of my ears, so I find with some people I have to turn my good ear toward them and lean into the conversation. The same strategy can be applied with God the Father as I need to deliberately lean in to listen to His voice.
Presently as I write this I’m leading an individual in a spiritual retreat. This person is hungry to hear the voice of the Lord and they have taken the next few days to listen and lean in. What excites me about this is how the Father will honor the effort.
This promise from the Father is found in Jeremiah 29: 13, when you “seek Me you will find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
This is exactly what Jesus did, leaning in to hear the Father’s voice was His greatest spiritual discipline. He did this before He started His public ministry, before choosing His disciples, before miracles, and after times of powerful ministry where the crowds would have made Him into an earthy King. The greatest example of Jesus leaning in to hear His Father’s voice is recorded in all 4 Gospels, it was in the Garden of Gethsemane. That dark night He leaned in to make sure He was hearing right about the cross and His pending death for our sins. What a battle He went through to hear and then obey-but oh the glorious result for Him and all who believe in His death, resurrection and reign!
I can say with 100% confidence that your Father wants to speak to you and reveal His desires for you. The question is are you willing to lean in? Will you take time, make the effort to wrestle with God and wait for His voice. It may not come right away, but in time it will come and blessings will follow as you obey.