Thursday, September 1, 2011

Then I Heard The Voice of The Lord

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A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Isaiah 6:7-8
7 With it he touched my mouth and said,
“See, this has touched your lips;
your guilt is taken away 

and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying,
“Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

I think it is interesting that it is not until after Isaiah’s guilt is taken away and his sin is atoned for, that he is then able to hear what God is saying. As believers in Jesus our guilt is taken away and our sin is atoned for. As a result we should be able to hear His voice. Our personal relationship with the Lord should develop its own intimacy. How you connect with God may be different than how I connect with God. You should be connecting in some way and your relationship should be growing deeper.

If all I did when I talked with my husband was give him a list of things I wanted or was not happy about, we would not have much of a relationship. If I do all the talking in a friendship and never do any listening the relationship quickly becomes very one sided.  Our relationship with God should be more than a never ending list of things that we want or need Him to do. My encouragement in this post is to begin to actively listen to what He is speaking to your heart about ways you can more deeply connect with Him.

I think God is always speaking but we are not always listening. Hearing God and hearing others takes practice. I need to make time to be quiet before Him. I’m not saying you should empty your brain of thoughts and check it at the door.  If I am interested in what you have to say, I will keep my mind focused on what you are saying. I will not be thinking about what else I have to do, or who else I want to talk or even how I will respond to what you are saying. I will focus on what you are saying and do my best to hear what you are sharing. The focus is on you, not me in that moment. In our relationship with God our focus should not just be about us all the time, but about knowing Him more too. In our relationship with God He may be speaking through His word or in that still small voice or through a sunset. He knows how He wired you and He knows how to help you connect with him. How He relates to me may be different than how He will relate to you. He might speak to you through music, or inspire you to write, or to paint, or give you great insights. In our human relationships it takes time to figure out how to relate to one another. It takes time to discover the things we have in common and to understand one another’s differences. It takes time to know and be known. It takes time to figure those things out in your relationship with God too. As in any relationship if you don’t make time to be together and make an effort to know and be known by being open and honest the relationship does not grow. You soon wonder why you are drifting apart.

I love to write I can often feel God leading me as I write these posts. Quite often I start them not really knowing where they are going. The Lord guides and directs me, it is part of the relationship that we have developed. For thirty years I have been journaling my thoughts and listening for His thoughts. I write them down and see how they line up with His word. I don’t always get it all right, but I am trying to listen. The more I have practiced the more I have grown in knowing His voice. The more I have spent time in His Word the easier it is for me to hear Him and to know that the things I am hearing are lining up with His ways and His Word. He often speaks to me by leading me to just the right passage in His Word.  I have gotten used to the feel of His nudges.

You may hate writing and God may want to speak and relate to you in some other way. Sometimes He speaks to me in strong impressions filling me with His peace, faith or courage. Perhaps He speaks to you when you go for a walk and enjoy the beauty and wonder of His creation. Maybe you are musical and he puts songs in your heart or brings to mind a verse from a song you have heard. Experiment until you find ways you connect with God.  Trust that He does want to connect with you and will help you to find ways to grow in your relationship together.
Dear God,
I want to know you, to know your voice and to be sensitive to the leading of your Holy Spirit. I want to share a deep abiding relationship with you. Help me make time to be with you so we can discover together, our special unique relationship.

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