Hearing the voice of the Lord
The apostle Paul said, “When I was a child I thought like a child”.
When I was a kid I thought that when I turned the radio off everything stopped and waited for me to turn it back on again. Somehow in my underdeveloped understanding of life, I concluded that whoever was speaking or singing on the other end of the radio, folded up shop and waited for me to turn the radio on again. Of course,somewhere along the line, I learned that those radio sounds continued, even when I wasn’t listening.
I know just how silly that idea sounds, now that I am older. After all, who in their right mind could come up with such a concept. Talk about feeling like you are the center of the earth where everything stops until I feel like listening again.
But wait a minute, hold everything. That scenario sounds strangely like a whole bunch of Christians that I have been involved with along my journey.
Buy some strange child like imagination they only turn God’s radio on when they have an emergency,or need a quick answer. I suppose they may have the same idea that I had as a kid. God is there just waiting, silently anticipating their click on the radio, so that He can begin to talk and share his plans for them and their life.
Some years later, as a teenager, I discovered shortwave radio. And when I did I was mesmerized by all the voices that were coming into my radio set from all over the world.
There were many nights that I hardly got a wink of sleep. Just trying to catch every word from some far-off ship at sea or from some distant country that I could only dream of.
Of course, by now I know that our heavenly father is somewhat like that shortwave radio. He is broadcasting his message of direction, encouragement and empowerment 24/7.
Now here’s the good news.
There are so many wonderful ways that you can hear His voice and receive His message that He has for you.
When I was a boy my father’s communication to me was not long and complicated. One look from the other end of the table told me to settle down and eat my dinner. The clearing of the throat had a meaning of its own, it usually meant, stop what you’re doing right now and think about the consequences.
Fishing or camping trips with just he and I, spoke volumes, even without much conversation.The making of a model plane together with my dad, in mostly silence, is still a treasured memory all of these years later.
When I became an adult things were much different between dad and I. We became partners at a number of levels and with even more projects than I can remember.
We would talk in depth and plan how to build everything from a house to a congregation of people.
Then there came the time I moved far away so the phone became our contact point. You know, looking back on those days of our numerous phone calls, not once did I challenge the voice on the other end of the line to identify himself and prove to me that he was really my father.
You know why I didn’t have to challenge him? Because I knew him by the sound of his voice and his character in his conversation to me.
Do you know where I learned to know that part of him? By hanging around him at the fishing hole and flying kites together on a windy day.
Here’s a word of encouragement from someone who has experienced the voice of the heavenly Father for over half a century.
There is no way for a new believer to jump right into building houses and changing nations without first flying some kites and hanging out at the fishing hole for a season.
You need to become acquainted with the Fathers scent and feel His hand on your shoulder guiding you before you can really understand His voice, let alone some of the deeper mysteries of His personality.
But don’t worry, if you will learn the sound of His whistle as He walks up the sidewalk, you’ll have no trouble hearing His voice when he speaks.
If you will learn to love His presence and practice listening to His silence while you play together, you’ll be amazed just how quickly you’ll find yourself working side-by-side with the Father of lights, who has plans for you that will blow your mind.
Silence is golden,
Dr. George Watkins