Voices

When I was a kid, my Dad would occasionally travel. It didn’t happen very often, and I was quite a Daddy’s girl, so when it did happen, I wasn’t very happy about it. I would cry when he left and I’d miss him so much while he was gone. One of those times that he went out of town, he recorded a cassette tape of his voice for me so that I could listen to it while he was gone. And I did – over and over again. It wasn’t the same as Daddy being home, but it was comforting and reminded me that he loved me and that he’d be back soon, and that everything would be “right” again.

I also remember the days, as a young woman, waiting by the phone for a young man to call. I just wanted to hear his voice. I cherished love notes. But in time apart, there was just nothing like hearing his voice on the other end of the phone line. There’s just something about the voice of the one you love… to make you feel loved, safe, and important.

As special as other voices have been to me, there’s one voice that trumps them all.

“The blessing is simply this: In time, God will speak. Ah, for this we live! When God speaks, everything changes.” (Bob Sorge, “The Fire of Delayed Answers”)

I remember the first time God spoke to me. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I knew in my heart that I had heard God, and it was just as clear as if He had spoken aloud. It was during a wretched time in my life when I was facing abuse, neglect, fear, and despair. But at the dark wooden altar in that little country church, God told me He loved me. And for years, the memory of those words literally kept me alive.

I’ve heard a theory that God is speaking to us every moment, but that we just don’t always know how to hear Him. And I think that might be true. He speaks with a voice that is strong, but quiet. We have to ask the right questions, and then we have to be still and quiet, and willing to hear what He has to say. And those are hard criteria to meet all at the same time. At least they are for me.

I hear a lot of voices – friends, family, co-workers, the car radio, the TV, and thousands of people on social media. But how often do I shut off all of the noise, step away from the other voices, and just listen for His voice?

Not often enough.

His voice makes me feel loved and comforted. His voice gives me courage and clarity. His voice changes me for the better.

A boyfriend’s voice doesn’t do that. As much as I love my Dad, his voice doesn’t have that power, either. Only the voice of God does.

It’s time to be more intentional about choosing which voice I listen to, and which are unnecessary.

What’s your experience with hearing the voice of God? How have you heard Him? How do you listen to Him?

This post is part of a weekly book discussion on Bob Sorge’s book, “The Fire of Delayed Answers.” You don’t have to read the book to stick around for the discussion, but if you have written a response to this week’s chapter, link it up at the widget below before you run over and visit my friend and co-facilitator, Jason Stasyszen.

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About Sarah Salter

Comments

  1. I have only heard His voice in my heart too.. Sometimes it seems like “Thunder” and sometimes its just a “still small voice”….And things that take place afterwards, you know it was the voice of God.. Out loud.. I don’t think I ever have ever heard that, I would probably faint… But that would be an awesome experience for sure… We all hear from “other” sources, but you are right we need to be more intentional about which voice we listen too..

  2. Since you know my story, you know I’ve heard His voice a few times, and there was no mistaking the voice of the speaker for that of another. Those, indeed, were life-changing, game-changing moments.

    Today? I try to hear His voice, and not my own – though that can be a challenge.

  3. I love His voice. Like you said, there have been times in my life where if I didn’t have it I would have collapsed. There’s a faith that comes from hearing His word that bypasses the mind and emotion. It’s a beautiful thing! Thanks Sarah.

  4. God has spoken to me in that little country church too….it’s like he has a direct line . . .

  5. Sarah Salter says:

    Blake, I can’t tell you how good it is to see you here on my corner of the web. And how good it was to grow up with you in that little country church. :-)

  6. For me, the more time I spend with God, the easier it is to hear Him through the noise of the world. But it’s so easy to get distracted and busy.
    I’m continuously challenged to spend more time with God, to get alone with Him. The more I long to do that, the more distractions that vie for my attention. I must make Him a priority.

  7. Papa Bear says:

    I remember the first time I went into that little country church. My brother in Christ, Gene Tyson, and I went to that community to check it out. I was told I would be moving there and we wanted to see what the community looked like. It was a cold, rainy day and the inside of that building was so cold. As we knelt at the altar, Gene prayed that God would bless me and use me there if in fact it was HIS will to move me there. I did move there and I really believe God used me there for the four years I had there as pastor. Every Sunday morning I would kneel at that altar and ask God to use my poor inabilities to become HIS great abilities. We often had around a hundred and that was not my count–Joe Blake and Robert Gore counted everyone there and worked hard to put that information on a big bulletin board for all to see. It was not strange to have a hundered and twenty-five for worship. God spoke to me many times in that still small voice that Barbara spoke about. HE’s still speaking even thirty plus years later as I sit here on the creek bank and contemplate what HE is saying to me about the future. I am blessed to have a daughter that has listened to HIM for most of her life and radiates HIS messages. Thanks Sarah for being YOU!

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