|Just Sit Back and Relax! by Vinoth Chandar|
Romans 8:14 NKJV
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
On July 7, 2014, I wrote a post in my bible study journal on Being Led. Then on July 14, 2014, on this blog I wrote "Faith Is... A Faith Journey To Being Led". I now know that this topic will be with me for some time to come. I ended that article with this statement:
If you don't hear the voice of God in your life, you can't have faith.
So how do you do that?
In that series of posts, I ended by talking about Faith Failures, and how doubt comes from not hearing the active present tense voice of God.
I'm not going to pretend to have all the answers; however, I may be able to open the door, take a peek, and tell you what I see from my current vantage point. Let's have a discussion about hearing the voice of God. These are just a few things I've learned to put into practice recently that have yielded some amazing results.
Psalm 46:10 ESV
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
The first time I've ever came into contact with this concept on a practical level was through an article from one of my favorite bloggers, Michael Hyatt, entitled: "The Practice Of Stillness." Here is a small excerpt:
What Is Stillness?Well, like Michael, I am a high achiever. I want to be moving, and going. I once heard Dave Ramsey ask a caller if she was a first born. She replied "Yes, how did you know?" Dave said: "I am too. The thing about first born kids, is that as soon as they identify a goal, they immediately feel as though they are already late! You need to learn how to relax girl!"
Beck’s premise is that “doing nothing is the most productive activity you will ever undertake.” By doing nothing, she means literally doing nothing.
Doing nothing is being still, quieting your mind (and the cacophony of voices), and simply being. (Read the rest of this great article HERE)
- This is not prayer (at least not in the sense of talking to God)
- It is not problem-solving.
- It is not planning.
I immediately saw myself in this comment and took the command "relax" to heart. I'm always moving inside, even sitting perfectly still... I'm thinking about what I could/should be doing to be more productive!
So I started to put this practice of being still to work in my life. It was quite interesting. I get up, brush my teeth, wash my hair, get dressed, and do my bounce and shake. I do all this first to ensure my body is fully awake and I won't be going back to sleep. Then I find my place to be still and I literally just be still. I don't pray out loud, I don't read, study, nothing. I Be Still...
Sometimes, I'll even do this throughout the day. I'll do it before getting out of bed, then get ready and do it in my office, and then again at my desk periodically throughout the day to re-center.
However, I put my own perspective and spin on it. You see, being still is fine. But I found my mind still wondered so many places. I'm not looking to adapt eastern meditation and slap a Christian label on it. I'm not looking to empty my mind, I'm looking to bring divine focus to it. I wanted to know from God what he felt about this. There is nothing the world does that it didn't get from God at some level, twisted as it may be. So I asked God about this stillness.
I realized the verse doesn't just say to Be Still...
It says to Be Still And Know....
So I allow my mind to rest, let my thoughts float for a few moments, like so much dust falling from an unused ceiling fan. However, as I do this I am drawing my attention inward and upward. I say softly: "Speak Father, I'm listening." or "Speak Holy Spirit, I'm listening." or "Speak Jesus, I'm listening."
As I do this I find myself hearing more and more clearly. The first few times were vague impressions. Later, I would start to hear things more clearly. One day, for example, I came out of the house and went to the car and the battery was dead, I'd left the lights on. Usually this would result in my angry outburst. But I've been practicing stillness. So this day I said: "Father, I'm going to trust you and not be upset."
Right then I heard him say: "Start in Faith. If you were expecting someone to come you'd have your cables out." Now, there hadn't been anyone in site, no-one, since I got out to the car. But I went to get my cables, just as I brought them back to the front of the car, my neighbor pulls out of her garage. Then at my signal, she drives over to give me a jump. Then drives on her way.
That may seem like a small thing to you, but I was jumping for joy! I ended up leaving 5 minutes late, instead of 30 or more.
And Know... that Still Small Voice
1 Kings 19:7-17 NKJV
12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 13 So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"
1 Kings 19:12 ESV
And after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.
Half of the reason for being still, is hearing. It's not enough to be still, one must hear also. It's a matter of hearing God's voice speak directly to you. That voice may come 1,000 different ways. However, I have found for me it most often comes in two forms.
One point of this verse in 1 Kings is to show you that if you are surrounded by too much noise it's hard to hear God clearly when you need to. In order to hear Him, you will need to shut off, shut down, and shut out, all the other noises. That includes, especially includes, the constant barrage of thoughts in your head.
If you haven't done this ever, or in a long time, it may come hard. You may not hear anything at first. I liken it to tuning into a radio station (for those old enough to remember radio before the digital revolution). It often begins as static; however, as you dial in you hear more and more clearly.
One great way to start is to get still, allow things to settle, meditate on a verse, and then when you feel start to feel more still inside say out loud-softly: "I Love You Jesus." You will most likely hear: "I love you too."
This voice isn't audible to the ear. It's in the heart.
Have you ever caught yourself talking to yourself... and answering?!
If you haven't you are the rare one, most people have done things like this. Have you ever had competing thoughts in your head/heart? Where do you think the cartoon of the devil on one shoulder and angel on the other came from? They came from this part of your spirit that is tuned to the spiritual realm. It's always tuned there because we are spiritual beings, we can't-not-be. However, when you get born again your spirit is retooled to hear God's kingdom again.
Hearing God's voice is similar to hearing your thoughts; however, the thoughts of God will be qualitatively different from your own. With time, you'll know instantly when you are having a thought, vs, God is giving you one.
You have spent years, probably, hearing the voice of the enemy/world. You will need to work on re-tuning your antenna to hear God, the same way the old radios used to work. But it's not like you can do nothing and expect 2 years from now to hear better... You actually have to work on tuning in. It takes work, and practice, but it can be done. It's not hard, it's just not comfortable at first.... it will be if you give it time.
Acts 15:28 demonstrates that one of the ways HolySpirit does this is to lead through impression. "It seemed good to HolySpirit and to us..." Have you ever had a funny feeling? "I just have this funny feeling I ought: to do this, go there, take a different route, etc".
HolySpirit was given to the body of Christ to lead us into all truth. This doesn't just mean doctrinal truth. This means all truth. If God wants you to take a different route to work today because it will help you avoid an accident, that is a truth HolySpirit was given to lead you into.
John 16:13 - GOD'S WORD® Translation
When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into the full truth. He won't speak on his own. He will speak what he hears and will tell you about things to come.
1 John 2 - GOD'S WORD® Translation
The Holy One has anointed you, so all of you have knowledge.
I vow to #BeStillBeLed (Tweet That)
This Weeks Resource:
- Michael Hyatt and Dave Ramsey - For all your sage wisdom and advice! I advise that you listen/watch/read/devour all the material these two have to offer.
- "The Joy Diet: 10 Daily Practices for a Happier Life" By Martha Beck
- *Disclaimer: I usually only recommend books I've read. I have not read this yet. However, I felt that it was only right that I should give credit for this practice of stillness to the author that inspired the author that I learned it from. I haven't read this book yet, but he got something out of it, and so I'm thinking of buying it myself.
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And now I leave you with a question:
How you achieve stillness in your life?