By Dr. Bev Rodgers and Pastoral Counselor Linda Newton
Isaiah shares God promise in Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you.” We can’t keep our thoughts fixed on God if we are interrupted by our phones. With the average user checking his or her phone every 6.5 minutes or an average of 150 times a day during waking hours, and so many people surfing the net or trying to feel a connection from virtual friends, it is no wonder we can have trouble hearing a still small voice from our Creator. But we have a choice to clear our heads and calm our minds.
Maybe the idea of spending time talking to God is hard for you to wrap your head around. But it’s real; it’s a game changer; and here is what it looks like. Make an appointment with God as the first thing you do in the morning. The truth is that we can meet Him any time of day, but without the opportunity to dose up on the strength He provides, you just might find that the day proves to be too much for you. Jesus set the example for getting up early to spend time with His Heavenly Father, so if it worked for the Savior of the World, it’s a good example to follow.
Set up a place to meet with God like favorite recliner, the patio chair on your deck, your kitchen table, or whatever works for you. Put everything you plan to use in this special place. Then you won’t spend half an hour looking for your Bible, or your glasses, or where you left your journal. And you can avoid starting your day in frustration by wasting valuable time that you could be quieting your soul and hearing from the Lord.
Keep your phone face down unless someone is on a road trip and you know that their car is acting up, or a loved one is currently in a life-threatening surgery. Do you see how specific this is? We can easily make excuses for keeping our phones on for any number of unnecessary reasons. But spending time getting our tanks full in the company of the Creator of the Universe trumps seeing pictures of my friend’s tail-gate party or even knowing my cousin’s latest Pinterest pin.
Get a good devotional. Anything by Sarah Young will work. Sarah writes as though Jesus is speaking directly to the reader. In fact, here is a quote from her book, Jesus Calling about spending quality time with the Lord. “Come away with me for a while. The world, with its nonstop demands, can be put on hold. Most people put Me on hold, rationalizing that someday they will find time to focus on me. But the longer they push Me into the background of their lives, the harder it is for them to find Me.” There is so much truth in these words, and they provide compelling motivation to meet with God.
Open up your devotional and let it guide you into the presence of your waiting Lord. So often when we sit down to spend quiet time allowing God to calm our mind, a thousand details, and at least two thousand worries, along with three thousand things on our to-do lists threaten to rob us of that time to refresh. It works to set a pad and a pen by your Bible and write down those things you fear you will forget. But stay with that connection time with God. With all of that swirling around in your mind, it would be so easy to get up and get busy. But you can’t because this time with Him is too important.
Don’t let Satan rob you. We have this incredible privilege of spending quality time with Jesus, and letting the light of His presence illuminate our path. It doesn’t get any better. David understood it. He writes in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” And again in Psalm 16:11,“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
I hope this sheds some light (pun intended) on how to hear from God.