For those of us seeking to go deeper in the spiritual journey with God, creating space to listen to the voice of God is vital. Listening to God is the foundation of relationship with him, and is at the heart of our spiritual growth.
Yet, so much of our lives are filled to the brim. Filled with activities. Filled with noise. Filled with distraction. Consider a typical day in your life. What fills your time and your mind? All sorts of things fill my day and call for my attention - people, emails, chores, social media. If your life is anything like mine, I'm guessing that it is rare for you to have moments of true quiet and stillness.
Listening Internally and Externally
In my own journey of learning to listen, I've learned that there are two areas where I need to make space - externally and internally.
Externally, there are voices and noises that beckon. These are relatively easy to identify. External noises include my phone's text and voicemail notifications going "ding!" or my 3-year-old daughter asking me to help her.
Internally, I also have voices and noises calling out. Depending how tuned in you are to your own soul and inner life, these noises may be more of a challenge to notice. My inner voices often sound something like this: "Larissa, you have a lot of important things to do today. No time to just sit and think. Go, go, go!" That inner voice distracts me from listening from the deeper longings of my soul, and from hearing God's whispers.
Do you have space to listen to the voice of God?
The good new is that God loves to speak to us. He might speak in clear words, impressions on our soul, or simply in a quiet whisper. The question for us is, are we actually listening for God's voice?
Whether externally or internally, creating listening space takes intention and practice. In the same way we might turn our phone to silent mode, we can create space in our daily life to listen.
I encourage you to create some listening space in your day. It might be five minutes, or an hour, or a full day. Make some time for quiet stillness, and allow yourself space to listen to the stirrings of your soul and the voice of God.
To help guide you into a time of listening, I have created several prayer guides:
Creating Space for God: Paying Attention (Exodus 3:1-22)
Creating Space for God: God's Whisper (1 Kings 19)
Creating Space for God: Listen (Mark 4:1-9)
Each prayer guide is meant to help you listen to God's voice, reflect on what he is saying to you, and allow his words to shape you. Print any of the guides, and use them in your own time of prayer and listening.
For more guides and resources, check out the library of Spiritual Journey Resources.
If you want to grow in listening, I highly recommend reading Hearing God: Developing a Conversational Relationship with God by Dallas Willard.
How do you feel compelled to make space for God in your life? What helps you create space to listen to his voice? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments.