Be Still and Listen

peace-quietThe pastor of my discipleship group has been teaching on hearing God’s voice. I am still struggling with knowing that voice and separating it from my own. Why is this so difficult for me? I have full and complete conversations all within my mind. Trust me, I do know this much, I am not crazy, just struggling to know the difference between me and God. We’ve been told to be still and quiet. I try. I try very hard, and then there goes my mind again… wandering around. I know I’m too analytical, but this is how God created me. Even when I’m sleeping I know I’m thinking, because I’m waking up with solutions to issues that I  had gone to bed thinking about. I guess no true rest for the weary. 🙂

There is no silence for me. Then I don’t know what to do, so I pray… but that’s not silence either. So then I sing a song, a little out loud, because I’m a lousy singer, or sometimes in my head, but then that’s not being still and silent listening either.

I pray and think during my walks with Milo, it’s become a habit, a good habit. Unfortunately it’s a mixture of praying, which gets sidetracked into thinking. I have gotten so caught up in being one-sided that I completely forget what a true conversation looks like. It goes back and forth… so, then I’m back to where I started in trying to know God’s voice and learning how to be quietly listening.

So what does stillness and silence look like?

In one of my many prayer walks and tirades I cried out to God for His help in this matter… and He said, “stop and listen.” I argued back, about how that’s what I’ve been trying to do, but I stopped and listened, trying once again. I heard nothing. Then I felt Him say, “what do you hear?”

So I changed my focus. I heard the rustling of leaves, the birds chirping, my feet crunching acorns, Milo’s nails scratching on the sidewalk, the sound of cars going by. Then I realized something. I was quietly listening and my mind was not cluttered or wandering to my own thoughts. God showed me what stillness and silence looks like for me. It may not be the same for everyone and others may find it much easier and in other ways. But I have now learned how to quiet myself in order to listen for God’s voice, and I’m practicing hearing from Him.

It’s growth.