Jen’s Gem: To hear from God, turn down the noise.
My morning quiet time with God consists of reading a prayer card, a daily devotional, and a chapter of the Bible. I then listen to an audio teaching, taking notes along the way and end with prayer. This sets my day up for success as I fill my head and heart with truth and positivity.
The prayer card I pulled one day this week was Psalm 32:8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” Next, as I read the devotional for the day, the Scripture reference was…Psalm 32:8. The chances of this happening are near zero. How could a random prayer card and a daily Scripture reading possibly be the same?
Coincidence? Spooky? No. God? Yep.
So many of us, myself included, want God to answer our prayers with billboards or Broadway lights. “Jennifer do this!” We want His response to be crystal clear so there is no doubt whatsoever about what we are to do. Sorry to tell you this but God does not work that way. Sure Moses got the burning bush, but if he wasn’t looking or didn’t take the time to go see what it was, even he would’ve missed it and missed God.
These little “coincidences” may be God’s way of talking to you, but if you’re not paying attention, you too might miss it. This is why quiet time with our Father in heaven is so critical. God is not going to compete with the noise in your life. He’s not going to stop the world, come off of His throne and shout in your ears. He desires a close, personal relationship with you and that includes one-on-one time.
Think about it in natural terms. When you’re with someone special in your life, do you want to spend that precious time with them in a crowd or over a cup of coffee? Do you want to fight for their attention over a Sunday afternoon football game or be squeezed in between Zoom meetings? I doubt it.
When Jesus was here on earth, He spent a great deal of time with His Father. The Bible tells of Him going off to pray away from the crowds and the noise so that He could reconnect and recharge His spirit. Before making big decisions, He would pause to contemplate His actions.
Remember the woman caught in adultery? (Click here to read the story.) The entire town wanted to stone her. The so-called “holy people” approached Jesus about her, asking what He would do. Jesus knelt down and began drawing in the sand. The Bible doesn’t tell us what He drew, but I think the more important takeaway is that He paused before responding. He knew His words would have great impact on the crowd and this woman – changing both their lives, which they did.
Our world is filled with 24/7 noise, whether it comes to us via a television or a hand-held device. Work, childcare, chores, and “life” volley for our attention all day long. Yet if we don’t take some time for ourselves, burnout is sure to come. If we don’t take some time for God, His plan for our lives will be delayed.
We need to quiet our minds and our worlds. How we do this is a personal choice. I find carving out time early in the morning works best for me. I’ve been doing this for nearly ten years and it’s transformed my life.
Currently, I’m looking to make a few big decisions. I want to make the right ones so that my family and I will be blessed with God’s best. To do that, I need to turn off the world and tune in to God. I need to pay attention to the ‘burning bushes’ that appear to me like prayer cards and devotional readings aligning. I need to note when an audio teaching or sermon confirms something I’ve been praying about.
Now I’m not saying you should get all “wooo wooo” about this and turn God into some kind of magician. No. Not at all. Whatever confirmations you are getting must line up with the Word of God. If they don’t, then toss them away like the candy corn in your trick or treat bag.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV)
That “coincidental” duplication of Bible verses this week was no coincidence. It was God telling me to look to Him for the answers. It was a reminder to seek Him first before making a move. God’s ways are not our ways (thank God!). He knows what’s best for us just as a parent knows what’s best for their child. When we take the time to find out God’s best, we will be blessed. (Click to Tweet.)
This week, I’d like to encourage you to stop seeking the billboards and start paying attention to that still small voice of God inside of you. If you’re having trouble hearing it, turn down the noise, get away from the crowds, and play in the sand.
You’ll get your answer and there will be nothing spooky about it.