The Art of Listening

I know what it is to hear God’s voice; we’ve had that kind of relationship for decades. Even so, since I began working with a new prayer journal last December, my relationship with Him and my experience with hearing His voice have been revolutionized.

This journal has a section specifically set aside for listening to Him. Every day, when I come to that section, I literally shut up and take dictation. That first day it felt slightly awkward, but it wasn’t long before I was sitting there in awe, writing as fast as I could while trying to process what He was saying. The experience was, and still is, AMAZING.

It’s not possible to entirely “get” what He’s saying as He speaks it, of course, so I then go back and read what I’ve written and talk to Him about what He’s said. He has opened my eyes to astounding things this way, and in letting Him talk freely (instead of me interrupting Him) I find that we get on topics I’d never have dreamed of. He tells me things that blow my mind, give me instruction, encourage me…

One advantage of this method is that I have what He’s said written down and can go back to refer to it at any time I wish…or any time He tells me to. This morning was one of those times, and while reading I came across one section I wanted to share with you. He was talking about the close relationship I have with Him where, among other things, He tells me secrets just like a best friend would.

This is what life should have been all along, the relationship I desire with everyone. You are no more special than anyone else. You have merely developed the art of listening and learned to trust your ability to hear.

 

Trusting myself to hear has been a big deal – meaning a big challenge. God and I have conversations throughout the day, and sometimes when I ask Him questions His answers surprise me. At those points, I’ll pause and ask, “Was that You or was that me?” I can almost hear Him chuckle as He answers, “That was Me.” So my faith in my own ability to hear has been growing.

But still, the first key to the truly tight relationship we should all desire to have with God (or anyone else) is in the first part of that last sentence. Develop the art of listening.

I have desired this type of relationship for most of my life. Who’d have thought that it would start with something so simple as me learning how to shut up and listen?

Well… you probably figured it out a long time ago. Sometimes I can be a bit slow.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

 

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Slow Down!

Hello. My name is Tammy Cardwell, and I move too fast.

I have moved too fast most of my life. In school, I learned that moving quickly from class to class gave me more time to read. This began a habit of walking fast that still gets me in trouble today as my shorter friends and relatives have to call out from somewhere behind me, “Slow down!” Truly, unless I’m on a deserted road in the country, intentionally idling away the time, I forget there is a such a word as “amble.”

All of which is bad enough, but when you hear God calling out, “Slow down,” as I have, you know you’ve gone beyond a lack of courtesy and are veering into dangerous territory.

He reminded me, recently, that it is those who wait upon the Lord that renew their strength. Too often, I listen to one part of what He says and move forward without hearing Him out completely. This is something I do to people as well, and I assure all of you that I really am working on it!

So, in a recent conversation, God reminded me that it is the warrior who waits to hear everything his superior has to say that is strengthened for battle, and the server who waits to hear everything his customer has to say that is strengthened for service.

It’s bad enough when my friends have to tell me to slow down. It’s far worse when it’s God sitting there, patiently waiting for me to return and actually hear Him out so that I can be strengthened for what lies ahead.

So if you hear me muttering, “Slow down, Tammy.” Don’t worry about me talking to myself. I’m just reminding me before someone else has to.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C