Thursday, March 16, 2017

A Familiar Voice

The one voice we do not want to hear when we prayerfully position ourselves to listen for the voice of God is our own.  But, what is true is that our entering into the silence does not mean our own voice is silenced.  Instead, entrance into the silence where God speaks means entering into a place filled with competing voices.  As Jesus heard Satan during His forty days in the wilderness, it is likely his soft enticing whispers will once again be heard.  It is likely, too, that somewhere in the din of voices will be one seeking to make us feel guilty about the things we left undone.  And, most assuredly, we will hear the familiar sounds of our own voice.
In the beginning of our learning what it means to hear the voice of the Spirit, it will be easy to decide that our own voice is the voice of God.  When we ask God about the choices before us, it is always an easy thing for us to heed what we think is best and then give God the credit for revealing it to us. Tthe truth is we often already know what we want to hear God saying to us so we start saying in the quiet places of our heart with such fervency that we decide it must be Him who is speaking.  Listening to ourselves when we seek God's voice is the beginning of spiritual foolishness.
What is obvious is that this discipline of listening for the divine voice is not going to be an easy thing for the spiritual novice who is in a hurry.  It is often through trial and error that we begin to be able to discern what the voice of God sounds like in our own life.  Beginning failure does not mean it is time to give up.  It simply means that what we have come to understand as an important thing in our spiritual journey is going to take some time.  Most good things do.  As we continue to practice the discipline of listening for God in the silence, we will eventually recognize our own voice, the voice of the one who tries to drag us out of the silence, and the One whose voice is like water is to one dying in the desert.

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