If Only It Were As Simple As Having God On Speed Dial

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I have Jesus on speed dial.  When a monumental crisis is looming or I need directions for the roadmap of life, I just grab my iPhone and hit God.  Generally he answers on the first ring, but sometimes I am put on hold due to turmoil in the Mideast or the occasional tsunami. Fortunately, I have a special ringtone, so he generally gets back to me within five minutes – max. 

Yeah right!  If only hearing God’s voice was that easy.  Though we were initially designed for this type of connection, Adam and Eve, bless their sinful hearts, interrupted our ability to walk side by side in the Garden and hear God call out our name.  So, until that glorious day, when we will meet him face to face, we are left with a deep desire within to know our Creator. While this yearning is enough to motivate us into action it is often wrapped in confusion. Does God speak to His people today like he used too in Biblical times?  What does his voice sound like?  Will I recognize it? And ultimately, how do we pursue something so incredibly elusive?

What we often forget in our eagerness for instant gratification and fast answers is that all relationships take time to develop intimacy. Our ability to discern God’s voice is directly related to the depth of our relationship and the journey we have experienced with our Father. Over time, as our spiritual journey matures, our recognition of the myriad ways God communicates will sharpen.  And though we may not be able to hear an audible voice on speaker phone, we can learn to quiet our heart, open our eyes and hear God loud and clear.

When Samuel was a young boy, and God called him out of sleep to give him a message, he did not have the ability to recognize God’s voice and needed Eli’s assistance. But as he grew into a man and eventually into the judge that would lead Israel, he trained his ear to hear the Lord. The name Samuel means “listens to God.” It implies action.  Samuel was intentional.  He paused and…he actually listened!  In a world of incessant noise this may be one of the greatest challenges we face as believers.

One of the ways God speaks is through circumstances.  Doors open…doors close and opportunity knocks. Relationships develop, sparks fly, and something is created out of nothing.  Miracles happen, rescues are made and battles are won.  The first step is awareness in what the Spirit might be communicating through daily living

The other day, I had a great opportunity to hear God and it only took a jackhammer for him to get his message across.  As a busy mother of three children, time alone is nonexistent, and so I was eager to chaperone my daughter’s cheer squad for a long practice at our church, because I knew I could go off and hide while the coach drilled the girls.  I settled down in the nursery with my nine month old baby for a nice quiet afternoon, anticipating that the baby would entertain herself and I could pen about ten thousand words.

My first mistake was thinking the baby could be so easily duped by a few flashy toys and some tasty snacks, but I was determined to be productive.  I managed to write a whole paragraph when my laptop suddenly died.  Because it was plugged in to the charger, I was baffled. But, it refused to start and I was getting frustrated.  Fearing a blue screen, I checked and rechecked, only to realize that I had brought the wrong charger.  I have an HP and I was trying to connect it to my husband’s Dell power brick. OK God, I chuckled, you want me to go Old School and use a pen.  In a posture of sincere adaptability, I sat on the floor with a journal and a pen, to calm the now fussy baby and continue on my literary quest for greatness. 

One sentence in, the baby grabbed my pen and laughed. Every time I attempted to write she batted at the paper, the pen, my face…whatever she could get her little hands on.  Then she started crying.  In an act of surrender I put down the pen and asked God what he wanted me to hear.  I grabbed the bottle and a blanket and reached for the baby. She snuggled close into my arms and I began to rock, rock and rock.  Finally we found our rhythm.  As the baby relaxed and fell asleep, I knew in my heart that I needed to lean into my Father’s arms the way the baby was resting in mine. 

God was giving me a gift.  I had hours alone with my sweet angel, without distractions, time to bond, sing worship songs, giggle and play peek-a-boo. Letting go of my agenda was the only way to experience his plan for me.   Later on the day, she fell asleep again and I was able to write again…deeply humbled, blessed and cognizant of God’s love. 

Ironically, it doesn’t take much for God to communicate a message.  I heard him loud and clear through a power cord and a fussy baby.  The challenge is to be aware, because God is always moving!

First published on Everyday Christian, October 19, 2010

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