Welcome “Made to Crave” webcast friends! I pray God encouraged you tonight through Lysa’s message, Dr. Chilton’s nuggets of eating and exercise wisdom, or something JJ and I shared about our “cravings” that are drawing us closer to God and each other. If you missed the webcast, you can watch it Tuesday at 12, 3, 8 and 10pm EST here.
Today, I’m continuing my mini-series on listening to God and discerning His voice. Tuesday JJ and I will be taking questions and then Wednesday we’ll be sharing more about journey ing together through Made to Crave.
Years ago, my friend Melissa learned a powerful lesson about discerning God’s voice. It happened on the soccer field one afternoon. Melissa’s son Hayden was really good at playing offense on his soccer team, and loved to score goals. But, although he was good at scoring goals, his coach recognized that Hayden was even better at defending the goal.
It was the last game of the season, and Hayden’s coach had decided to put him on defense for the majority of the game. As the game came down to the final minutes the score was very close. Every one was excited, and many of the parents became a little vocal, to say the least.
At this point Melissa noticed the coach was shouting to Hayden “Back up and play your position.” While another adult yelled, “Kick the ball and follow through!” Then another said, “Come on, number 9, chase the ball, go for the goal, move up, go right, you can get it.”
The coach, beginning to get impatient, said “Come on, Hayden, listen to me.”
Melissa noticed a look of extreme frustration on Hayden’s face, and she knew something was wrong. When the game ended, Melissa called Hayden over to the side and asked him what was wrong. He simply replied, “I couldn’t make up my mind who to listen to. I couldn’t tell which one was the coach’s voice.”
This is one of our biggest struggles in discerning God’s voice. We are bombarded by voices all day. Some are audible voices, but others are non-stop choices and unending noises. Decisions and concerns. Discouragement and doubt. Desires and dreams.
If we want to hear God speak, we have to slow down, look God in the face and become so familiar with His voice that we can recognize it in a crowd…a crowd of thoughts. A crowd of emotions. A crowd of confusion. A crowd of great options and big decisions.
That is what Hayden would have had to do to determine which one was his coach’s voice. Are you willing to do that?
Are you willing to spend time with Him, reading, talking, listening and letting Him whisper to your heart? Are you willing to turn off your computer, radio or t.v. and give some of your undivided attention to Him so He can give His undevided attention to you? Are you willing to let Him replace your thoughts with His by just being still and writing down what you sense He’s whispering to your soul?
When you do, you’ll become familiar with His heart. You’ll begin to know His character and concerns. And you will learn to recognize His voice over all the others. But it will take time.
Sweet friends, there are no short-cuts to the deepest desires of our hearts. We long to hear God and He longs to speak to us.
All of us have different things that draw us closer to Jesus, and there are two practical things that help me: reading through the gospel of John very slowly each year and watching the Gospel of John movie on DVD. The movie was in theaters a few years ago and it was breath-taking. It makes Jesus, His words, the people and the stories He lived in come to life in a powerful way. Now, after watching it, when I read my Bible I can see Him and hear Him. Which makes me want to spend more and more time with Him, which helps me know Him and recognize His voice more clearly.
So, what is one thing you will do this week to become more sensitive to and familiar with your Coach’s voice so you can recognize it in the crowd?
Let me know your plans, thoughts or questions, and I’ll enter ou into my give away that includes a copy of the Gospel of John movie on DVD.