Monday, April 22, 2013

How to hear that Still Small Voice of God

Sometimes I struggle with how to hear God’s still small voice. Below is an example of a time where it was more clear to me. I was out on our deck. I looked at the church in our backyard and saw 7 lights on the church, which in revelation represents the church and that was brought to my attention. Seconds later I looked to the right and saw 3 short poles in the parking lot that immediately made me think of the trinity, and the fact that God is in front of the church. Then I looked again to the right and saw a power transformer and I had the thought God’s power is behind him. I then understood that I was to continue turning in a clockwise motion to see what God was revealing to me. Looking to the right I saw a stained glass window I created sitting in our kitchen window and I knew behinds God’s power was God’s love. I then saw a pot of flowers and knew that God’s creation reveals his truth, his love and his power. I then saw our chiminea and thought of God’s all-consuming wrath and holiness. After the refiners fire I saw my rows of strawberry plants and though how God has plans for our lives that bear fruit and he is the gardener. I was then back at the church where I had started in the first place. This entire move on my spirit was clearly thoughts placed in my mind. I spent no energy trying to decipher what was being said by particular things. I was drawn to items and words were put on my heart. This sort of things has happened more than once, but it just clarifies how God sometimes speaks. Most of the time however, it doesn’t seem to be that easy. I really have to work to get to a place I hear God clearly. For the past few months God has been quite clear to me that I need to live in the present. I am so consumed finding whatever challenge or call God has next that I often neglect the present and the present is always where God is reaching out his hand to connect with us. I have tried to put things into practice to help. I am praying several times a day, reading about 10 chapters in the Bible a week, reading pages and pages of commentary on those scriptures and also listening to multiple audio sermons a week. But what I have discovered is that unless I really slow down to tune in first I really don’t get a lot of depth. For me a prayer doesn’t always cut it, even if it is genuine. Regular Shabbats on Friday night have also helped clear my mind and begin to understand God’s rest. For once I am able to enjoy and be at peace instead of feeling restless because I am not getting things done as I have in the past. I never really knew how to rest until I experienced the fullness of true rest in Shabbat. That has been one of the more recent tastes, but more was to come. A few weeks ago I hit another break through. In trying to learn more survival skills I came across the phenomenon of bird language. The real study of bird language is much deeper then it sounds. It is also about reading all the other signs and alarms animals give in the wilderness. The kind of guys I am taking cues from are known for their ability to sneak up and touch deer in the wild. Yes they are that good. It is not made up and once you understand how they do it, a while new world of thinking will open to you. God has spoken to me through nature several times and why not? God created us to be stewards of an Earth that reflects God in amazing ways. The world of man is almost detached from the world God created. If you want to see and observe nature up close, to really understand it, that requires serious sensitivity and awareness. To see and understand nature, we need to slow down far beyond even what we view as slow. We need to dump our baggage and stand in awe of God’s creation. We need to observe respectfully, thankfully with a clear mind and a clear heart that is sensitive to everything around it. That still small voice of God is not usually a shofar blast and we need to continually tune ourselves to hear him. In order to be aware of nature you have no choice but to learn to live in the present and to be filled with God’s “shalom.” I have discovered that quite naturally I am able to pick up on things, I am very sensitive, but because I am so sensitive it is very difficult to function in the modern world at the same time, so I have created an alternative mode to operate in and detached myself from the sensitive mode. In my sensitive mode I am almost unaware of time, lost in the moment, full of gratitude with a mind continually day dreaming. Being sensitive it is easily to be disrupted in the modern world and flip automatically into a protection mode, but when you do that you lose the sensitivity and intuition. My job includes a very tight schedule and it causes me to be efficient and focused on my time management skills, which constantly forces me to prioritize whatever is happening and ignore the things I do not have time to fully observe for effectiveness sake. I have discovered this mode I am forced to be in just to function on the modern world puts so much stress on me it causes me to overeat, to react pessimistically and to be ungrateful and apathetic. Not only am I learning how to turn this sensitive mode on, I need to learn to create a hybrid mode between the protection mode and sensitive/awareness mode.