How to hear the voice of God? That’s the question stirring today. Uncharacteristically. These blogs are usually of a general (and random) nature, seldom addressing ‘religious’ topics. But discerning the voice of God surely enters everyone’s thinking, even the non-religious. If we’re honest, most of us are often listening out for guidance on big decisions, etc, from somewhere in the cosmos! Some seek it from tea leaves or crystal balls, but the more discerning would seek the voice of ‘God’.
Easier said than done. And worthy of more words than this piece can offer.
But signposts are posted for the discerning and focussed traveller, and I offer the following three helpful quotes.
John Wesley (learn of him here) proposed: “When a person is ‘born of God’ … their whole soul becomes aware of God … The Spirit of God breathes life into the new-born soul … Their ears are now opened and the voice of God no longer calls in vain. They hear and obey the heavenly calling. They know [his] voice … All their spiritual senses are now awakened, they have a clear course of communication with the invisible world … they know more and more of things which before their hearts could not begin to understand.”
Frederick Buechner (see here) posited: “… the word that God speaks to us is an ‘incarnate’ word – a word spelled out not alphabetically, but enigmatically, in events, even in the books we read and the movies we see … [but] we are so used to hearing what we want to hear and remaining deaf to what it would be well for us to hear that it is hard to break the habit. But if we keep our hearts and minds open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, … deeply and honestly, … we come to recognise that, however faintly we may hear him, he is indeed speaking to us, and … his word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling.”
And King David (in the music of Psalm 19) said: “The heavens declare the glory of God … day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the end of the world.”
‘Incarnate’ is an interesting concept. It means (according to Merriam-Webster) “made manifest or comprehensible”; as if to say, we need to be looking for signposts or impressions less than obvious or not part of our normal noise, but listening sensitively and with God-ward focus to something unobvious, but somehow made manifest or comprehensible.
But practise. Look for those signposts, and discern what God’s voice would say to you in your current circumstances. Write and tell me about it.