I am trying to listen.
Morning seems like a good time for listening, with the sunlight spilling full and bright through my high bedroom window.
The neighbors across the street are having a new roof put on their house. I hear the truck delivering the shingles, "Beep--beep--beep," it says, "Big truck backing up. Watch out. Beep--beep--beep."
Shawn's electric razor buzzes.
Piper licks his paws, the incessant licking, smack-smack-smack, that can nearly drive me crazy sometimes.
The shower water starts to run and I hear the door of the shower open and close.
Someone outside hollers directions to someone else about the shingles. Motors rumble and the gears of a lifting machine grind away.
Schubert at his post by the front door sidelights watches the workers and growls low in his chest.
How can I hear the voice of the Lord?
The Lord said,
“Go out and stand on the mountain
in the presence of the Lord,
for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind
tore the mountains apart
and shattered the rocks before the Lord,
but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake,
but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake came a fire,
but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire came a gentle whisper.
When Elijah heard it,
he pulled his cloak over his face
and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.
~1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)
I want to be in the presence of the Lord.
How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
~Psalm 84:1-2 (NIV)
I want to see the glory of the Lord.
Then Moses said,
“Now show me your glory.”
And the Lord said,
“I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you,
and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence.
"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
"But,” he said, “you cannot see my face,
for no one may see me and live.”
Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me
where you may stand on a rock.
When my glory passes by,
I will put you in a cleft in the rock
and cover you with my hand until I have passed by.
Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back;
but my face must not be seen.”
~Exodus 33:18-23 (NIV)
Most of all, right now, I want to hear the voice of the Lord, calming my spirit, whispering truth in my ears.
(I guess what I really want is for God to fill me in on what He is going to do, and how He is going to do it, and when. But that's not going to happen, because that is the opposite of faith.)
Jesus is the Word of God, the voice of God who came to us with the message and the love of God. Jesus is the final Word, the fulfillment and completion of all the prophecies and all the promises.
Because of Jesus, I am in the presence of God daily, constantly. The Spirit of the Lord of the Universe actually tabernacles in my body, promising never to leave me nor forsake me.
Yet, how can I discern when it is His voice that speaks to me in the recesses of my mind, and not my imagination or my wishful thinking? How can I tell the difference between holy conviction and ingrained earthly guilt? How can I weigh righteous hope against pie-in-the-sky optimism?
The only really solid thing we have is the Bible, the Word of God, the measuring stick that allows us to test the truth of each thought that passes through our minds.
Jesus, please lead me in Your Word to the words that will bring me peace and joy and hope. Your Spirit lives in me; please help me apprehend what this means. Please teach me how to avail myself of Your almighty power that is already here in my heart. Please help me find what I need in the Bible.
The thought just occurred to me:
(Because my camera broke. We've ordered a replacement. This has me thinking about cameras.)
My camera is a fairly good one, with lots of buttons. It can do many, many things. I can do a few things with it. I know how to put it on the manual setting and adjust the light the way I want it. I can zoom in and out. I can also use a number of the automatic settings. However, there is a whole bunch of stuff that I do not know how to do with my camera. I've only read small parts of the manual that came with it. I figured out how to do a few things that I wanted to be able to do, and then I stopped reading, stopped learning more. If I would read and study the whole manual, I would probably be shocked and delighted to learn about all the features I could use to get great pictures.
Many of us Christians are like this with our Bibles. We read John 3:16, and we figure we're all good, we're saved from the fires of hell, so what more do we need? Like the person who buys a fancy camera and then never does anything beyond point-and-shoot in the automatic setting, we settle for so much less than what is available to us.
Jesus, please show me Your glory. Meet me in Your Word. Be alive in me. Fill me with truth. Teach me who You are and how to love You. Help me hear Your voice. Help me listen and learn.