My husband and I have been together for twenty-five years and at this point, it is safe to say we know each other well. I can hear his voice in a crowd and immediately recognize it. I can tell you how he would react or what would say in pretty much any situation. Of course, to folks who know how long we’ve been together, this comes as no surprise. In fact, I’d venture to say it is expected at this point.
But when we were dating, I didn’t know him nearly as well. He lived in another state and we only saw each other on weekends, but even those were irregular based on our schedules. So what made the difference? When our commitment changed, our relationship changed. Then, over time it deepened as you’d naturally expect it to under those circumstances.
I found the same to be true of my relationship with the Father. For most of my life, I went to church once a week, unless something came up, and other than a few passing flips through my Bible or maybe a study of a book or two, that was it. I had the spiritual equivalent of a dating relationship with the Father. And as a result, I thought I knew Him but in reality, I don’t know Him even remotely as well as I do now.
You see, when I started reading His word, I realized that all those times you hear people say “We can’t possibly know the will of God” or “The ways of the Lord are mysterious” – well that isn’t true at all. Through reading His word, I realized that He wants us to know Him, but I had just not taken the time to do so. I realized that the Bible (all of it) is where He reveals His character, His love, His hopes, and His expectations of us. It is where He instructs us on how to live and shows us the blessings and the curses that come from our own behavior when we choose to take the paths He has clearly warned us against.
The more I read His word, the more I began to recognize His hand and His voice. Further, I learned how to test my thoughts and actions to see if they were from Him – and I realized that He calls us to do just that, to hold everything up to His word and see if it lines up.
Each day we are invited to have a date with Him and the more we show up, the more the relationship grows. Imagine, what if all you knew about someone was what you learned on the first date or what other people told you about that person? Over time you may think you know that person but really, you’d just know other people’s perceptions of them.
That was me for decades. But now, I learn how to recognize His voice more and more each day, and how to know if something is or is not of Him because I know His word. I know His character, and I know that He does not change (Malachi 3:6).
This relationship takes time but it is some of the best time you could ever spend, and that time can yield eternal fruit in your own life and the lives of those around you.
Please don’t think that I instantly know what to do in all situations or that the clouds split open and a voice rings out in answer to every question I ask. I have to seek Him, I will always have to seek Him, and that is a blessing. Sometimes, I have to wait a long time before He speaks and guides me. Sometimes, His silence tells me what I need to know. And always, when I hear from him, I still have to test it to make sure it is my Father’s voice. Does it line up with His word and who He says He is? Does it contradict His word in any way?
Sometimes I recognize His voice and sometimes I even recognize His silence. He will not always speak on everything. There are things He will leave up to us (I have actually caught myself asking Him things like “Which shirt should I buy?” I can imagine Him chuckling and shaking His head.)
So I want to encourage everyone who is reading this and straining their spiritual ears in hopes of hearing the voice of our Father. This is proof that you are seeking Him and longing for that deeper relationship. This longing you have is evidence of His calling and your answering because you see, He is longing to have that relationship with you as well.
Be patient with yourself, stay in the word, and give it time. He promises us
“You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13
Keep showing up every day.
He’ll be there.
And He will be found by you.
Print This Post
- Begin In Genesis, Email Study - March 23, 2023
- Joy Markers - March 23, 2023
- Passover Resources on Seeking Scripture - March 19, 2023