We all hear voices in our heads, sometimes competing ones encouraging us to support opposing ideas. Where do these voices come from? Whose voices are they? How are we to decide which ones to listen to?
1 Kgs 19:11-13, “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, What doest thou here, Elijah?” Apparently, God speaks to us with a still small voice. No wonder it is so hard to hear Him over the deafening noise of this world.
Somehow we need to dial back the noise of this world so that we can clearly hear God speaking to us. Whenever we hear a noise, we can tell whether the source of the noise is near or far from its volume. The closer we get the louder the noise becomes. It is the same with God. His is a still small voice and we need to get very close to hear Him clearly above the noises produced by the devil and people who are not following God. How can we know who is not following God? By watching how they treat other people. God’s way is love, so the closer we are to God the more we demonstrate His love and charity, 1 Jn 2:5, “But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.” and 1 Cor 13:4-6, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;”
So, how do we get closer to God?
When we remain a safe distance from God the devil feels the noise he has placed in our lives is adequate to keep us from God. However, when we begin moving closer to God the devil notices and knows he needs to pay more attention to us, so he begins cranking up the volume on his noise by bringing us trouble or people to entice us to retreat from God. He brings us these distractions to keep us overwhelmed and He, also, brings enough emotional stress into our lives to keep us incapacitated. When we finally feel our separation from God, the guilt makes us afraid to be alone with our thoughts, thus we seek music, games, television, our cell phones and a myriad of other distractions to keep us from being alone with our thoughts, but God still calls us, Ps 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.” It is only when we calm our minds and reason with God that we are able to hear the truth He so freely offers to all, Is 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” Removing the clutter from our minds frees us to finally hear that still small voice calling out to us, Matt 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” God is not asking us to totally avoid the distractions we enjoy so much, He is asking us to carve out some time every day to be with Him, free from these distractions. Think of it as our daily date with God.
His Word quiets the noise of this world and allows us to see the path He has prepared for us, Ps 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” When we begin to see the path we must have faith, Prov 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” We boost our faith by studying His Word, which renews our minds because we come to recognize how good His advice is, Col 3:8-9, “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;” and with our prayers, which are conversations with God and relationship building.
When we pray, we cannot be afraid to tell God everything; He can take it because He already knows what we are going to say. Our prayers are not for God, they are pathways for us to get closer to God. Just as conversations with friends deepen our relationships, prayers deepen our relationship with God. We learn to trust Him. Some of us will not learn to hear that still small voice and we will not follow Him, Zeph 3:2, “She obeyed not the voice; she received not correction; she trusted not in the Lord; she drew not near to her God.” The still small voice led Moses, Joseph, Daniel, John and so many more; and it will lead any of us who willingly choose to listen.
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