While having a delightful conversation with an old friend, I was reminded of just how clearly God speaks to us. But, we have to quieten ourselves enough to listen. Those who are serious about God will seek His voice to guide them along life’s pathways. Even though faith demands that we believe in Him with all our heart, soul and our might, there are times when we go to Him in prayer and it might not seem that He hears us.
When teaching His disciples about the Parable of the Sower, Christ told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables so that, they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!”
Similarly many people do not see what the Lord is constantly revealing to them. Though everything is right in front of us, our view is usually obstructed by the things that life throws in our path. To see what the Lord provides we have to remove the blinders that we create, and then a clear pathway may be revealed to us by the Lord.
Likewise the Lord is always speaking with us but we can’t seem to hear Him clearly. It is as though we have on headphones playing loud music blocking Him out. The cares of life seem to always overshadow that still quiet voice. In order to understand His commands we would need to take off the headphones and turn off the music. Otherwise you would be able to hear Him clearly and follow His instructions. God is always right before us but until we are willing to rid ourselves of the distractions, we will be ever seeing but not perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding, just as was the disciples of Christ.
Firstly, it is impossible for God not to hear your prayers if you have given your life to the Lord. The Holy Spirit lives right inside of you. If your prayers were not answered as you were hoping, it is usually because they were not yet in God’s will for you. Our Heavenly Father doesn’t just give us everything we ask for, but He gives us the things we need in accordance with His divine will and plan for us.
Lately I have learned to only ask for God’s will. I used to ask for all the things that I thought I needed but when they did not arrive in the time and manner I was looking for, I would be disappointed with God. Knowing that I could not get even with Him, I would just sulk like a spoiled little kid not getting their way. After sulking for so long, I learned that tactic wasn’t working with God. I turned to playing the victim game hoping God would show me some undeserved mercy. That did not work either. Now after all these years I just ask God to show me grace and mercy, and do for me according to His will. It took me a while to accept this, but once I did it took a lot of stress out of my life and helped me embellish my personal relationship with the Lord.
As an older person with lots of spare time on my hands, I spend more of it seeking God’s presence. In fact I have been attempting to keep the Spirit on my mind most of the time. When I drift away and forget to think of God, it could have been several hours passing without His presence in my mind. That does not mean that God wasn’t there but that my focus was elsewhere. God is always there in me, watching over me, and actually sending me messages. But I am not always listening for Him. After continuing this practice of keeping His presence near me at all times, I find myself in a strange new place of peace. It is as though I can speak with the Lord at any time and I know that He hears me. My confidence is from the practice of keeping His presence near me. This was for my benefit… not God’s. He is always there but I am not. The more I keep His presence near me, the better I am able to turn to Him at will.
As I go about my daily life there are people that cross my path on various occasion… some strangers and some friends or associates. There have been times when I have petitioned to God for something and left the request at the alter. God, being God, would use a person of whom I was in contact with to say something to me that was directly related to an issue concerning my prayer. I used to consider this to be a mere coincident but when you keep God’s presence that near… you learn to connect the dots better. When God answers He might choose to work on something in your character. He could be teaching you how to strengthen your faith. No matter what, if you belong to the Lord, He is always working on you, perfecting you and preparing you for His kingdom. Therefore, Thy will be done!
On one occasion I gave a friend a ride home. He doesn’t have much, but he seems to be satisfied with the little that he has. In fact, at one point he was actually homeless. Today he has a home with friends, a fellowship group, and a church that he attends regularly. I asked him how he managed with so little and seem not to worry about the little he has? He told me that a long time ago he realized that no matter what might be going on in his life, he always knew that God has his back. That hit me like a ton of bricks! Even though I do not have much, I have never been homeless and most of my needs taken care of. My issue is more of what I don’t have rather than what I have. Knowing my prayer, it was like God was speaking to me so loudly that I could not help hear Him.
On that same day another friend shared with me something profound. I was complaining about not being able to keep sinful thoughts out of my mind. Even when I want to do good things, sin would constantly beckon me to do otherwise. I said that I wished God would take this mind out of me so I could please Him better. My friend told me, “Greg, do you think God made a mistake when He gave you the mind that you have?” Again, God spoke to me so loudly through my friend and I knew it was a response to something I had just said. Since both incidents came to me in close succession I knew that it could only have been God’s way of speaking directly to me. I also knew it was the results of me practicing the presence of God… keeping Him near to me at all times.
The point I make is that God is more than likely always communicating with those He have accepted as His children but we need to find a way to keep our minds tuned to Him in order to hear Him clearly. I suppose this closeness is available to anyone that desires intimacy with God. But, it is upon us to keep His presence forever near so you are tuned to receive His communications more frequently. The more you give of yourself to God, the more you are capable of receiving His utterances. It is not just people that He uses, it can also be through nature, the sun, wind, moon, animals, and all the elements of His creation. Look at His daily brushstrokes across the sky! It never ceases to amaze. If you listen you can even hear that still quiet voice that utters only in the temple of your heart.
God speaks to each of us if we quieten ourselves enough to listen. He is always speaking to those whom He accepts as His children. “And we know that God does all things for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” A true child would only seek God’s will knowing that the Father knows what is best for us and, that He is constantly working on things in us. If you don’t get something that you think you need, then just know that God is on it. You might not always get what you want but He will make sure to give you what is needed to become mature and complete, not lacking in anything… acceptable for entry into His kingdom. Selah!
NOTE: Look up Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. You will be blessed.