Finally! The last two posts were a depressing I know. But this is the post I’ve been leading up to for the past couple weeks. For me this is where things get juicy.
The third voice we hear is the voice of God. We can hear God’s voice in a variety of ways. The Bible itself is one way God speaks to us. In the Bible, God communicated to people through angels, dreams, directly (remember Adam and Eve?) and of course in the person of Jesus Christ himself. For us, God may speak through our community, through our prayer times, through music and art or nature. For further reading, I like Dallas Willard’s book called “Hearing God, developing a conversational relationship with God”. I say this because Dr. Willard does a better job at encompassing this journey in general. For the purposes of this blog, I’m merely sharing my own experience in developing that conversational relationship and how it affected me as a single person.
Before the Esther Salon year I had heard God’s voice directly a few, brief but powerful times. The first time was when I was in college. I had not been intimately walking with the Lord at that time, but I was still attending church and helping out here and there. I was chaperoning our church youth at a weekend retreat when out of no where I heard what I can only describe as silent yelling. It was not audible to the ear, but it was as strongly imprinted in my thoughts as if someone was actually yelling in my ear. It wasn’t an angry yell. It was an urgent, “Listen to me I’m serious” yell. I heard, “I don’t want to be part of your life anymore. I want to be the Lord of your life. I want all of you.” I also received the distinct impression that being in youth ministry was a large part of that. Twenty plus years later I’ve been doing just that.
These moments were far and few between, but after developing a more intimate relationship with God, I feel like hearing God’s voice is much more natural and frequent as with any other relationship I have cultivated with time and intention.
I’m not special to hear God’s voice. I truly believe hearing God is available to anyone seeking (and sometimes when they’re not). One of my favorite passages is in Jeremiah 29:12-13. God is speaking through the prophet Jeremiah to the exiles, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” This particular promise was to the people of Israel, but Jesus reiterates a similar promise to all of us in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks find; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” The more we seek God’s voice, the more we find God.
The reason I had to distinguish between our voice, the lies and God’s voice is because this is what my year’s journey was all about. As a single women it is easy to hear our voice say “I’m not lovable” or the lies say “choose your way, God hasn’t been answering your prayers fast enough”. What we really need to hear whether single or not is God’s gentle and firm voice reminding us, “I love you my child. I always have and always will. You are my beloved.”
From here on out I’ll be sharing how God reminded me (and now hopefully you) of this for a whole year, the year I call the Esther Salon. Esther spent a year to prepare for the opportunity to be a queen. If you’re single, whether you hope to be married, are content with your singleness or both, we will be journeying together in pursuit of the One who already loves us.
Exercise: Spend 3 minutes in silent prayer. Just listen. Try not to “say” anything. Who’s voice do you hear in those short moments? If you hear your voice or the lies try answering this; If God were to speak to you directly what do you think you God would say? Write that down and save it for later to compare what you hear as you develop and cultivate your conversations with God.