Invitation to Listen
Updated: Oct 17
God is speaking...
Do you hear His voice above the noise? What does it mean to "Be still and know"?
What is God saying to you?
Learn how to listen and hear the voice of your Heavenly Father.
For years, I usually prayed during my daily morning commute. Even though I enjoyed a routine quiet time reading my Bible, I usually didn’t pray until I was in the car navigating through traffic. I was habitually cramming every minute of my waking hours full of activity. Eventually, I hired a Christian life coach to help me move forward in work, purpose, and pursuing a dream. I knew the life I was living did not reflect the life I wanted to be living and I knew I wanted to create change. I just didn’t know how or even where to begin. Have you ever felt that way?
What I didn’t expect, was how life coaching would be a catalyst to draw closer to God. Of the many influential suggestions my coach offered, one proved the most transformational. When I pray, to invite the Holy Spirit to speak to me. And then listen.
This was a new concept. When I prayed, I did all the talking, confident that God heard me, and then went about my day. I began asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me. Sometimes I heard His voice, sometimes there was just silence. More often than not, I wasn’t quiet long enough to listen. In time, the dream came to fruition, and I no longer had a morning commute. Morning walks became my new prayer time.
I feel freer and somehow closer to God in nature. As walk, I allow more time and space to listen. Much to my delight and surprise, God does speak to me! I’m learning to recognize His kind, loving voice. His gentle, probing questions that shed the light of awareness in the dark crevices of my heart and mind. Questions that help me grow.
Be still and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:10
Ann Voskamp writes in Waymaker,* "Still hearts see God. Where there is no agitation of soul there can be a revelation of God. The only way to know what you are about is to so intimately know God, that you see yourself as God sees you. Stillness involves being known. If it's true, that our deepest desire is to be seen and known - then we are only seen and known as much as we are still. And we are only able to be still when we are not driven by our own expectations."
"In stillness...sanity is found. Sense is made of things. The roar of the enemy is stilled and the soul can listen to the whisper of its Maker."
You have to make time to be still - in order to make a life. - Ann Voskamp
How can we hear God's voice if we are not quiet enough to listen?
Stillness can be one of the most difficult things to learn. What does stillness mean to you? What does stillness look like to you? What does being still feel like for you? What images or feelings come up for you when you think about being still?
What if, being still and knowing God involves ceasing our endless striving? What if being still is about allowing ourselves to be seen instead of hiding? What if being still requires us to slow down long enough to examine how barren our busyness has left us? And how dizzy all of our distractions have made us, like the whirring of a merry-go-round.
In order to better understand the meaning of the words "Be Still", let's look at the Hebrew word for stillness, which is דְּמָמָה pronounced, demama. The meaning of demema is silence, hush, quietness, calmness, serenity, or placid. Going a bit deeper, in Hebrew for Christians, John J. Parsons explains that "the command to "be still" comes from the Hiphil stem of the verb rapha, meaning "to be weak, to let go, to release." It can also be translated as, "cause yourselves to let go" or "let yourselves become weak."* The Hebrew noun for rapha מְרַפֵּא means healing. And is also a name of God, Jehovah Rapha, God, my Healer.
What if being still before God allows us to not only be seen and known, but to feel deeply loved by God? And in that place of secure, measureless, unconditional love, to also to be healed?
Where, in your life, do you need healing? Is it in your heart? Your mind? Your body? Your relationships? What if, being still and releasing all of it to God, to let yourself be weak by falling into His Arms of Love instead of trying to be strong and hold it all together, is the way to serenity? What if this way of being still and knowing God is the way to know that you are fully seen, fully known, and deeply loved by God? How would that change your life? What kind of impact would that have in your relationships?
I still pray when I walk out in nature. But recently, I’ve also begun inviting God into my day shortly after waking up. Once I’ve poured a cup of coffee, I nestle into my favorite chair with my hands palm open on my lap, in a gesture of surrender. I bless God and thank Him. I pray, “Blessed are you, Lord God, King of the universe. Today is the day that You, Lord have made. I will rejoice and be glad in today.” - Psalm 118:24 (NIV). I praise Him for who He is, give thanks for all that I am grateful for, confess any sins, surrender myself, and invite Him to speak to me. Then I listen.
Today is the day that You, Lord have made.
I will rejoice and be glad in today.
As my Heavenly Father continues to invite me into a more intimate relationship with Him, I am discovering that inviting God into every aspect of my life is filling my heart with everyday joy, peace, and strength in ways I had not known before. I feel God’s presence with me throughout each day. As a result, I am learning to create margin with time, to live with intention, focus and purpose. To trust His leading and the invitation to hear His voice.
Where is God inviting you to listen?
This blog is by Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching Founder and Christian Life Coach, Jen Stone-Sexton. She is currently accepting new clients. You can learn more about Jen here.
* Ann Voskamp, Waymaker - Finding Your Way to the Life You've Always Dreamed Of (Nashville, TN: W Publishing Group, An Imprint of Thomas Nelson, 2022) Book and Bible study
* John J. Parsons, Hebrew for Christians, www.hebrew4christians.com
Jennifer Stone-Sexton © 2022 Freedom to Flourish Life Coaching All Rights Reserved.
Photo Credits: Cover and 1: Photo by Ben White on Unsplash |
2: Photo by David Bruyndonckx on Unsplash | 3: Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash