We live in a loud world. And it’s getting louder by the day.
Text messages, notifications, emails and phone calls constantly demand our attention.
Technology is in a frenzy, keeping us occupied with the latest scandal or crisis. Intriguing facts and images keep us scanning and scrolling.
And yes, we’ve learned to shut out some of the loud. We ignore messages, skip the ads on YouTube, put our phones on silent.
But life is still loud!
And God is a quiet God.
He could be loud if He wanted to, but He chooses to speak in a still, small voice.
(Have you noticed how your children listen better when you lower your voice than when you shout? There’s something there…)
Because the world is so loud and God whispers His messages to us, many people don’t believe God speaks to them. They haven’t experienced it and laugh it off. They haven’t learned to be still, listen, and recognise God’s voice.
The reason we don’t hear God is not because He isn’t speaking. It’s because we aren’t listening.
The noisiness of the world drowns out God’s still small voice and unless we become intentional about hearing from Him, we will miss what He’s saying to us.
Truth is, the world is not going to get any quieter. It’s going to become more chaotic. And we must learn to hear from God in the midst of chaos.
How do we do that?
Have you ever turned the music down in your car so you can find your way around a new area?
Like turning it down is going to help you see better.
Why do you do that? I do it so I can think. To minimise distractions and mental input so I can focus on what I’m looking for or on what I’m doing.
The more chaotic things are around us, the more difficult it is to think and focus. The stimuli becomes overwhelming and it’s difficult to think and respond properly.
Chaotic moments demand attention and intention. When chaos hits we must intentionally limit the input. We must choose what input has access to us.
“You can’t give God your attention when your attention is constantly being targeted and taken captive…and you’re cooperating.” [i]
So we must quiet the unnecessary voices. Here are some ideas on how to do this:
If you don’t focus on the most important voices it won’t matter what voices you’ve limited.
If you’re not used to being still you can train yourself to switch off the treadmill in your mind. Silence and nature will help you do this.
Start training yourself to hear from God when things are not chaotic. Go out into nature and sit. Leave your phone behind. Don’t take a book. Just sit.
The more chaotic things get, the more important it’s going to be that we quiet other voices and learn to listen to the right voices.
We can’t hear from God when all we are giving Him is a flit and flicker of our attention. We must become intentional about hearing from Him.
What’s taking your attention away from hearing from God now? What can you do to change that?
[i] John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back, 43