“Hearing God’s Voice Over the Noise”
This week’s installment of the TeenPact Blog is written by Brandon Batchelor (NE). Brandon served on staff at TeenPact’s Advanced Survival Adventure Program (“ASAP”), held October 24-29 in Del Rio, Tennessee.
There’s something beautiful and insightful about spending time in the wilderness, surrounded by God’s beautiful creation; I can’t think of a better way to appreciate God’s majesty. That’s exactly what ASAP is about, spending the week completely shut off from the rest of the world and surrounded on all sides by beautiful mountains, by trees so colorful they look on fire, and streams calmly rolling past. What makes this time so wonderful isn’t just the beauty of God’s creation, but how His creation affects us. We experience so much noise in our lives; so many things we “have” to do. This noise can get in the way of listening to God or waiting for His voice. When removed from the outside world our thoughts are quieted and we are able to hear God better.
“We experience so much noise in our lives; so many things we “have” to do. This noise can get in the way of listening to God or waiting for His voice.”
During the week, students went rock climbing, where from the ground staffers gave instructions while other students cheered them on. For them to know where to go, they had to tune-in to where they were being instructed to place their hands and feet. The same is true in our spiritual walk, if we don’t stop and listen to what God is telling us, we’ll never get to where He wants us to be.
There are a select few times where I have spoken with a passion my own heart and mind could never manufacture. In those times, I know with certainty that it was not I who was speaking, but that God was using my voice to speak for Himself. We use that phrase a lot don’t we? “Jesus, speak through me.” Do we live that out though? I remember a moment years ago, at the time my walk with God was irregular, to say the least. My focus wasn’t on listening to Him. I was at a store and saw a man stacking cans on a shelf. To be clear, he wasn’t doing anything extraordinary, he was just doing his job; restocking the shelves. I felt my heart stir, I felt like I needed to tell this man I appreciated his hard work and that God loves him and would reward him one day. To my regret, I walked away, telling myself it would’ve been too weird. The fact that I remember this is a testament to God’s call to speak in that moment. It serves as a reminder never to pass up what God has set before me.
In the past year, I’ve asked God to make His voice heard in my life. Looking back, He kept answering that request, but the lesson He was trying to teach me finally struck home last week. If I want to hear God’s voice in my life, I have to be in the practice of answering His calls to action. The more we obey when we hear His voice, the more we’ll hear His voice and the cycle just builds and builds until finally, every word out of our mouths is His. I believe this is what Paul meant when He said we must die to ourselves so that Christ may live in and through us.
“If I want to hear God’s voice in my life, I have to be in the practice of answering His calls to action.”
In short, God’s voice is hard to hear in our day to day lives; we all struggle to hear Him at times. Weeks such as ASAP serve as cool splashes of water to refresh us and allow us to re-tune our ears to God’s frequency. I hope and pray that when God speaks to us next time we’ll act on it, only to hear His voice louder the next time.