People often ask me, “why do I not hear God?”
For some time now, I’ve tried to get up early in the morning to pray. I believe, as most Christians do, that it’s important to try to spend time in the word of God and let Him speak to me as I read quietly, in His presence.
On this particular morning, I had been meditating on some of the ideas that The Lord had shown me in my reading. I was in my office, trying to be quiet and still before The Lord. And then, I heard a ticking noise.
I Never Noticed It Before
I didn’t know what it was, at first. But it was a curious sound. I noticed now, as I actually LISTENED to the noise, that it was rather slow and methodical. It’s not unusual to hear noises in a house – you can sometimes hear wood creak and crack a bit as boards shift on one another in the structure. Sometimes, you can hear the water pipes click and crack as they move around a bit from heating up and cooling off with the water running through them.
But this sound was different. It wasn’t changing. It was rhythmic, steady, unrelenting. I focused on it now, and was curious to know where it came from – how does a sound like this persist for so long without changing or giving some clue as to its origin? And on top of that, I noticed it wasn’t a constant tick. It was a tick with two pitches – high, low, high, low – very slow, methodical and repeatable. I just had to know out of curiosity, where this sound came from.
So I decided to follow the sound. And when I did, pretty quickly, I discovered a clock on my desk.
How Do You Miss Something Like That?
Now, keep in mind that I hadn’t put it there. I don’t know how long ago my wife had put this clock on my desk. But there it was. And the curious thing that hit me in all of this was the fact that I had been in this room for close to a half hour up to this point of noticing the ticking, never having heard it at all. NOT AT ALL, FOR A HALF HOUR. And as I thought about it, I realized it could have been there for days now….
And now, very quickly, it became all I could hear. I kind of got a chuckle about that. Very quickly, it went from something that I didn’t even notice while I was doing something else to the very thing that drew my focus to the point where I couldn’t even do what I had been doing before without a care about it.
God’s heart toward you is that He wants to be that ticking clock in your life. One of the fundamental differences between living for Jesus and living for yourself is that when you’re living for Jesus, you’re trying to be mindful of that constantly ticking clock of His presence and His influence in your life. You’ve heard it before. You’re aware it is out there now. And you know what it is – who HE is. And now that you’re aware, you strive to listen for it whenever you remember that it can be heard. Because an awareness of Him in what you do changes the way you look at everything you do.
Jesus wants you to be aware of that “ticking” of His presence in your life. He wants you to be aware of Him and His presence with you CONSTANTLY – moment by moment, day by day. He wants you to be aware of him in every conversation, in every decision, in everything you meditate on.
What Difference Does It Make?
What difference would it make if you tried to consciously focus on God being present with you moment by moment? Does it really matter that much if you constantly live with one part of your mind being trained to continually be aware of God’s being with you?
There was a man named Brother Lawrence, who is famous for his writings contained in the book,
Brother Lawrence was a 17th century monk who lived his life this way. He lived and breathed by this principal. And in his case, it changed his life and transformed him into a person who reflected the love and the presence of God to others around him to the point that others would see God with him as he washed dishes for the monastary where he lived.
Living with a lifestyle of focusing your mind and your heart on a constant awareness of the reality of the presence of God with you in your life will cause you to keep your thoughts in submission to the nature and the will of God. Doing so will cause you to be aware of the things you focus on, the things you say and sometimes the things you decide not to say about others in your conversations. It will give you a constant point of reference for filtering your emotions and for weighing your emotions with God’s pleasure or displeasure with your emotional state. And when you do, you will be aware of how He wants to influence the way you think so that different, healthier emotions will flow from your renewed thinking.
How Will That Help Me Hear God?
One of the big issues in life for some people is that they spend a whole bunch of their lives trying to understand “God’s will for their lives.” And yet, so often, we are all obsessed with the big picture – where will I live, what job will I have, who will I marry and the like. But we miss so much all the little things that God wants to speak to us about all along the way – about stopping to talk for a minute to that old guy at the coffee shop; and not just to “lead him to Jesus.”
Sometimes God wants us to love people simply because they need to be loved. Sometimes people need to have an encounter with “God in skin” and we are it. But if we are pre-occupied with the “big picture” for our lives, we will miss all the little opportunities to “be the picture” for those around us who desperately need to see Jesus. And walking with a focus on God’s presence in our lives will teach us to hear Him like we talk to a friend – moment by moment, in the moment.
Make Being Aware Of God In The Moment Your Great Focus
This is a habit. It can be learned. You can learn to hear God more as you choose to make a habit of focusing on the reality that He is with you – as you work, as you eat, as you interact with others. He is with you when you lie down to sleep, when you take your morning shower. He is with you when you feel joy and when you feel anger. As you focus on His presence when you are going through all of this, He will keep you aware of the plans He has for you, and will help you align your affections to His big picture of conforming you to the image of Jesus.
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Ironically, the clock just may have to go. But the object lesson is one I pray I will always remember.