Hearing the Voice of God – Part Twenty-Seven

God speaks through practicing His presence. God is never away from you. He is continually present in your life.

As a Christian, your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and God takes up permanent residence there. God wants you to live daily in His presence. He longs for you to open your spiritual ears to hear Him speak as you walk through your daily life. How is it possible to live minute by minute in the presence of God?

Living minute by minute in the presence of God takes practice. It involves learning to open your spiritual ears. When he realized that he could continually be in the presence of God, Max Lucado recalls how it revolutionized his life:

For years I viewed God as a compassionate CEO and my role as a loyal sales representative. He had His office, and I had my territory. I could contact Him as much as I wanted. He was always a phone or fax away. He encouraged me, rallied behind me, and supported me, but He didn’t go with me. At least I didn’t think He did. Then I read 1 Corinthians 6:1: “We are God’s fellow workers.”

Fellow workers? Colabourers? God and I work together? Imagine the paradigm shift this truth creates. Rather than report to God, we work with God. Rather than check in with Him and then leave, we check in with Him and then follow. We are always in the presence of God. We never leave church. There is never a non-sacred moment! His presence never diminishes. Our awareness of His presence may falter, but the reality of His presence never changes.               (Max Lucado, “Just Like Jesus,” page 59

The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) God wants us to experience His presence and continually maintain a God-consciousness. Daily, we can enjoy unceasing communion with God, finding in Him all that we need all of the time.

Since “being still” is a presence of mind — a state of rest in the Lord, it does not necessarily mean you have to find a solitary place and shut everything else out, although there are times this is necessary. It is possible to experience God’s presence in the daily routines of every day life.

I believe that practicing the presence of God can take place in the midst of your routine as you learn to tune your spirit to loving the Lord with your whole heart, soul, and mind. When you want to please God in your thoughts, words, and deeds, your will becomes united with God’s will. This affects your attitude as you loves God with no other motive than to love Him and listen for His voice.  

Brother Lawrence, a monk from the seventeenth century, known for his book The Practice of the Presence of God, said, “We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him. And when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our heart will be with our treasure.” Brother Lawrence described this continuous practice of His presence as a “quiet, familiar conversation with Him”. (Pages 49, 80)

The most effective way Brother Lawrence had for communicating with God was to simply do his ordinary work. He did this obediently, out of a pure love of God, purifying it as much as was humanly possible. He believed it was a serious mistake to think of our prayer time as being different from any other. He said, “I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God.”  (Pages 24, 80)

Walking in the loving presence of God daily and making each day one continuous prayer can be compared to the biblical challenge to “pray with our ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). But how is it possible to fellowship with God continuously? Can it become as natural as breathing? I believe it can. But for that to happen we must learn to listen. 

For most, listening is an ability that must be developed by practice. If you are a born talker, you never had to work hard at making conversation; but you may have had to make an effort to listen intentionally.

According to Hebrews 5:11-14, sometimes our hearing becomes dulled because we are not listening to or obeying the truth we already know. The writer of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament expressed his disappointment with the Hebrew Christians because they had not grown up spiritually and learned to hear God’s voice for themselves and then to obey the voice of God. 

“About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil” (Hebrews 5:11-14)

Babies are not ready for solid food. They need to grow first. As spiritual babies grow and mature, they eventually learn to hear and obey God’s voice. The Lord does not reveal everything to baby Christians at once; He explains things to them as they are able to understand. If they obey the truth they have, the Lord will be able to reveal new truths he wants them to know.

God will tell us the way to go, but then we have to do the walking, one step of obedience at a time. The Bible states, “The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand” (Psalm 37:23-24). Start right where you are and learn to enjoy practicing His presence in simple faith.

Jesus gave His life for us on the cross two thousand years ago. He paid the price for us to experience a loving relationship with our heavenly Father. Practicing His presence in our lives each day is about nurturing a love-filled relationship with Him that lasts forever!