Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Hear

I took a mini-day trip yesterday to Eze village. Just me, my devotional, my camera, and the sunset (okay, and a little Christmas shopping, too).

Although in general I prefer to “go places” with other people, on occasion I also really enjoy getting away by myself. Which is good, because I’ve definitely had a lot of “me time” since coming to France.

But you know what? It’s been such a rich and good thing. I didn’t say easy—sometimes it’s not. But good? Definitely.

I think we all experience things differently when we’re alone. Personally, I find that I appreciate things more deeply, take more time to observe, walk a little slower. I give life my fully focused attention.

But the best thing about being tout-seul, I’ve found, is that it has enabled me to hear the still, small voice of the Lord that had been escaping me before I came here.

Scratch that—His whispers weren’t escaping me. I just wasn’t tuning in. Not with my fully focused attention, anyway. I gave the Lord bits and pieces, carved out a little space for one-on-one time with Him when I could fit it into my jam-packed college schedule. But you know what? It wasn’t the Lord who was getting gypped out of a great relationship with me during this time. Exactly the opposite, in fact.

I was gypping myself out of walking the pathway to peace. I was taking away the assurance that comes from keeping an open line of communication with God. I was scheduling my spirituality instead of basking in the comfort of being fully known by my Creator.

Being alone isn’t the easiest thing, and it’s certainly not the most comfortable. And don’t get me wrong—I think that by nature, we’re all made for companionship. But think about it. When you need to have a heart-to-heart with a close friend, where do you go? To a Taylor Swift concert jam-packed with screaming 15-year-olds? To the top of a roller coaster at six flags where you can’t hear anything but the wind rushing past?

I’m thinking no. You go somewhere quiet and peaceful, where the two of you can be—you guessed it—alone (and preferably where you can get some really great coffee, too). You sit with your friend. You talk some, but you listen more. You focus. You forget about everything else on your agenda.

In my life, I’ve found that God kind of works the same way. Whenever He has some serious work to do, or some important directions to give, He’s probably going to try to get you alone. And take my advice—go where He’s leading you. Don’t resist His calling out of fear of isolation, or breaking away from everything you’ve ever known, every plan you’ve ever made for yourself.

Hear this: He’s never going to leave you there, and you will never be abandoned or forgotten by God. In all likelihood, He’s just trying to get you to a place where you stop looking for answers within yourself and other people, and turn first and only to Him.

Acts 17: 26-27 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

The barriers we construct are the only things that distance us from Christ. Finding Christ’s will for your life is not impossible. Discerning His voice and His leading is not a special privilege reserved for pastors, Saints, and spiritual gurus. Before the beginning of time, God determined the exact place you should live so that you would reach out your arms and embrace Him as your only answer, your only hope.

Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

We don’t know the place in the heavens where we were first conceptualized in the mind of God. But we can rest in assurance knowing that we are here now, exactly at this moment, by His design. Turn to God. Seek Him first. And I promise, you will hear.

These are a few things I saw (and heard) yesterday in the beautiful village of Eze.

Psalm 16:11 You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Matthew 4:19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said.

Psalm 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

“In this age of independence, people find it hard to acknowledge their neediness. However, I have taken you along a path that has highlighted your need for Me: placing you in situations where your strengths are irrelevant and your weaknesses were glaringly evident. Through the aridity of those desert marches, I have drawn you closer and closer to Myself…you have realized that needing Me is the key to knowing me intimately, which is the gift above all gifts.” Jesus Calling

Matthew 28:20 And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

1 comment

  1. Love all your great pictures and Psalms 19:1-4.


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