Creating Space To Listen
“Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” Romans 12:2
There is something beautiful in following Christ, obeying his whispers as well as his bold words. It is easy to claim the messages that fill our social feeds and church services, the ones that are fed to us by famous Christians and our local pastors. It is the whispers of Spirit that lead us deeper into knowing Christ and becoming more like Him. To become all we are designed to be.
I am not great at listening or following the whispers. Sometimes I fear what I will hear, because I know it will lead to places I never thought I would go, but I always wanted to be. I fear the unknown that I desire, because I know that God can provide it. It is an insanely irrational fear.
I am easily distracted and would rather take what I can figure out and get out of Jesus time as quickly as possible, so I can move on with my day. I have put more stock in what I can decipher of scripture, than listening to what God has to say to me. Beyond time in the Bible I believe God does speak to us. He leads us and nudges us towards what we should do; big and small.
Today I was writing at a local coffee shop. A girl walked in wearing a beautiful dress, but with a kind of sad look on her face. The line to order was close to my table and I felt like I should tell her that she looked beautiful, but I didn’t. All the excuses started pouring in. Isn’t that how it always goes? The noise of but, can’t, and shouldn’t that could result in embarrassment become more important than the other person. Complementing the coffee shop girl on her outfit may have ended up creepy, or it could have brightened her day, I will never know.
“If God has put the sparks of an idea into your mind, you can be brave enough to follow through. Trust the sparks.” – Annie F. Downs
People talk about making time for God, but I think it is more about making the space to hear Him. He already has all my days recorded, I gave Him my time when I gave him my life. He has my days I need to make the space to hear, to listen. God doesn’t need tons of time to communicate with us, but He does need the space to be heard.
God has our time, but are we giving him the space to speak and ourselves the space to listen?
In the Christian community there is this thing referred to as a “quite time” that can also be called “Jesus time” and is also known as “Bible Study”. I prefer “Jesus time”, but that is beside the point.
Quite. I try to make this time physically quiet. No praise tunes or pop tunes. No T.V. No Phone. Quiet. Just me and zero noise. Maybe my cats meowing, but other than that quiet. I do this not to fulfill some religious ritual, but to hear God. Just as I can’t hear my friend in a crowded place or my parents when my headphones are in, I can’t hear God’s whispers if I am consumed by noise.
Hear me. God does speak in the noise, but it is hard to hear the whispers. We need to take time to be in the quite with God. He has something to say to us in the quiet, just as we have things to tell him.
I must get away from the noise to hear the whispers.
I need to believe God made me brave, to follow Him.
I have to trust that encouraging the coffee shop girl is worth more than staying silent.