So many voices clamor for our attention in this world: the news, radio, the Internet, social media, texts, emails, commercials, advertisements everywhere you look, friends, the latest self-help book (or latest self-appointed advice-giver), and on and on.
Go inside your mind and then hear all the other voices—and some of the same voices—shrilling out for attention there: the latest movie quip, what you read last night, what he said, what she said, what you have to do next, and next after that, and what they think, and what will they say, and what you have to do this evening, and tomorrow, and you forgot…
How can we make sense of all this chaos echoing in the world around us? How can we hear when it really matters? Do you have a decision you need to make, that you are trying to hear from God?
“But you have to get this done, and you have to do what is respectable, and won’t rock the boat. You have to THINK.”
“But what if you make the wrong decision? These people say this is right, and those people say that that is right, and you need this and you need that, you have to solve the problem!”
Be Still. And know that I AM God.
If you really think about it, most of what cries for our attention lacks purpose, lacks focus. Often, it pertains to the fleeting moments and the cares of this world. The things that shout the loudest are usually the least important, the most confusing, and all meant to sway us in their direction. We lose the sense of true direction.
Yet, what is the strongest, the surest direction, often comes as a whisper. I have often missed it, or ignored it for what I thought was more important and pressing. The sad thing is, that whisper was so often the direction I was seeking for and longing for, but yet didn’t wait around long enough to hear the answer.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me”. John 10:27
How can I hear His voice if I don’t listen? How can I get all the other voices to be silent so that I can hear Him?
If we practice being still, and actually listening to Him, we can learn several things:
- We can learn to know His voice
- We can gain skill in quieting the outside and inside noise (mastery over our thoughts)
- Because we will know His voice, we can follow it
- We will know Him
“Be still, and know that I am God”. Psalm 46:10a
We don’t have to try to figure out some “sign” of what His will is, or try to reach Him through some complex means—we can personally know Him and walk with Him ourselves. We will hear Him speaking to us directly, unfolding Himself to us. We will know His voice.
And my favorite part about being still is that we will know Him. Knowing Him even closer than we know our friends, our family – closer than we even know ourselves. I don’t know about you, but for me, knowing God is heaven on earth.
— B. Payne