I once heard a pastor say, “How do you spell love?” His answer: T-I-M-E. It’s something that the greatest of relationships have in common, so why would the relationship that matters most be any different? Our world is a crazy mess of scheduling and juggling. I know I struggle simply because there are so many things to do and just never quite enough time to get everything finished the way I would like. Even now, my desk looks like a bomb of papers went off, and there is this wall that isn’t even ¼ of the way having its décor up. I am in the process, and if someone walks in, I just apologize for the crazy and try to help with whatever they need. We always seem to be on the go, but it is critical to take time to be still, to breathe in, and to recognize that breath alone is a precious gift of God encouraging us, speaking over our lives, instructing us, pouring into us and confirming that we are here for a reason.
Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs.
— Zephaniah 3:17 (MSG)
How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
— Psalm 139:17–18, 23–24 (TLB)
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
— Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
— Isaiah 30:20–21 (ESV)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.
— John 10:27 (ESV)
If we aren’t hearing the voice of God, there could only be one of two explanations. We either don’t know him to know his voice, or we simply aren’t giving him our attention and actively listening as he speaks.
Do we know Him?
I began my walk with the Lord at a very young age. People begin their relationships with God at various times. The most important thing to know is that you have begun. Have you come to a place where you turned your life over to him, asking for forgiveness of your sins and begun your new life, your fresh start, walking in him? If not, may today be the day! The Lord patiently waits on us, allowing us to choose him. He is always speaking, but do we have ears to hear?
Does God have my attention? Am I really and truly listening?
If we aren’t hearing God speak, then the problem is with us. In Zephaniah, we are reminded that God sings over us. In Psalm 139, God tells us that, no matter where we are, he is with us. God knows the intricacies of who we are. God speaks and watches over us night and day. We experience his peace, his wisdom, and time with him, when we seek him. He may choose to speak in the whispers as we are so intently listening to him. He may choose to be heard through a sermon or a conversation, or just being still and reading his Word. It may be that God speaks through the tugging of our heart as he calls us to something. God could speak to us through a peaceful night’s rest. Are we listening? Are we seeking him? Are we craving more of him in our lives enough to make knowing God our greatest priority? We can have all the resources and good intentions that could ever be possible and still miss God if we are not moved to action.