What did you say?

whistle

I have a friend who can stick two fingers in his mouth and whistle.  It is loud and can be heard from 734 miles away.  I have tried and tried but it doesn’t matter who sticks their fingers in my mouth, I cannot whistle like that. (Heavy and disappointed sigh, with head shaking)

What I can do, however, is make a short, not to loud shrill whistle.  I tell you this because from the time my kids were little, I have told them to listen for this whistle.  They have become so attuned to the sound of this whistle that wherever they are they can hear it above almost any sound.  When I want them to find me in a store I make my whistle and they come running.

This is something I really want for me and God.  How cool to be able to recognize his “whistle” no matter where I am or what I am doing.  Recently a friend asked, “How can I be sure of God’s voice?”  In short, I believe God speaks in four primary ways.

God himself speaks to us.  The bible says “in these last days God spoke through His own Son” and that God the Holy Spirit speaks to us and guides us daily.

God speaks through His word.  The scriptures are God breathed and we are wise if we know them, live by them and love them as though they were His very own voice to us.  (This probably requires more than five minute devotion a few times a week.)

God speaks through his people.  It is not wise to listen to every single person who claims Christ, but we do need to be in faithful connection with God through his people.  We need to be in accountable relationships with wise people.  (This would mean more than showing up on a Sunday 2-3 times a month.)

God speaks through providence.  Circumstances give us direction and confirmation as to the instructions that come from God.

Here is the key:  God never contradicts His word.  He will not lead you to sin or to a lack of love for others.  God’s word gives guidelines for hearing Him through His people.  He speaks about our relationship to authority, to friends, to the church, to wise and foolish people.  God uses circumstances to adjust us, confirm what we heard, encourage us forward or direct us as we are following.

In a store my kids will most likely hear my whistle but not at a baseball game.  In my house my kids will most likely hear my whistle not at school.  The two factors are proximity and competing noise.  It is the same with hearing God’s voice.  If you struggle to hear and recognize God’s voice, ask yourself, how close are we right now?  What other noises are drowning out His voice?

We often want to know the voice of God so we can find God’s will for OUR lives.  This is backwards.  We should want to hear the voice of God so we can find the WILL OF GOD.  Once we know what God wants done in this world, we then put our lives into that will.  If we will ask God; “What is YOUR will?  “What do YOU want done?”  “How can my life be used to accomplish YOUR will?” and we are in close proximity with Him without too much competing noise, His voice becomes very clear.  Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on August 28, 2009.

4 Responses to “What did you say?”

  1. Makes so much sense. I’m keeping this one handy to look at from time to time. I need the reminder to help me keep on track… Thanks for sharing truth.

    Bev

  2. I like that Leonard. It is something that I am working on right now (as you know) in my own life.

  3. Great analogy, Leonard! My bro-in-law does the whistle thing too. It’s very effective!

  4. My dad could whistle like that too: two fingers and loud! We could hear him 5 acres away when we were out in the field, or 1/4 mile up the road at a friend’s house. Then we knew it was time to go home.

    The part about “God’s will” is right on. Reminds me of how God will “give you the desire of your heart”. Not that He gives you what you want, but that He gives you the actual desires that dwell in your heart – His will, His desires.

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