Let’s move from Tim’s Keys to Healthy Eating to our Keys for Breaking the Hearing Code:
Keys we talked about this week:
Expectations: Open your mind and spirit to letting God be who He really is.
Stone: Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Treasures: He plants stuff in your day. Start looking for it and practice gratitude.
Control: You will never, ever be God. That’s ok. Lean in.
Radar: Just talk to Him.
How do these help us break the hearing code?
Expectations: When we aren’t expecting one specific thing, we are open to seeing all we could have missed.
Stone: Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable helps us not to give up so easily- to persevere. We stay open to Him and to growth.
Treasures: Looking for treasures and practicing gratitude helps us to notice ways that God is interacting we us that we ignored or didn’t attribute to Him before. We are open to “listening” by being aware through anticipation, identification, and gratitude.
Control: Letting go and leaning in helps us open up to courage and trust. In doing so, we open up to adventure and true life.
Radar: Just talking to Him normalizes talking to Him. It opens us up to making Him a normal part of our existence…essentially you develop a God habit.
Now to answer the questions:
How does God speak?
How do I know it is God?
The simple answers are:
however He wants
you may not be sure- you have to use the tools of faith.
We want black and white so using faith makes us uncomfortable, but we are getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, right?
There are some personality types who are more comfortable with abstract, outside-of-the-box, creative thinking. My oldest son is not one of them. J.J. is highly analytical, literal, and logical. He likes rules, plans, boxes, and order. Consequently, thinking abstractly about communication is more challenging for him.
On the other hand, I love the freedom of being creative. I don’t mind a plan but I’d rather follow a rhythm than a schedule. I lean toward freedom within healthy boundaries rather than lots of specific rules. I’m not a fan of boxes unless we are packing something or throwing something away. I hate it when people try to put me in one. It’s easier for me to think abstractly about communication.
Both J.J. and I are at different comfort levels as to thinking abstractly about communication. However, whatever our comfort level, we must think outside of the box when communicating with God because we are created and He is the Creator. Though we are created in His image, He is an entirely different Being than we are. Communication with Him will be different than what we experience with other created beings. He isn’t a created being. He has always existed.
No matter what our comfort level is with being abstract or different, all souls must learn how to listen. In his book, The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything, A Spirituality for Real Life (“a translation of Ignatius’s insights” ), James Martin, SJ, lists several ways that God communicates to His children in addition to prayer and scripture reading (often at the same time):
Emotions– as we read scripture or listen to a message, emotions may stir that lead us to faith-centered action. It can also be an awareness of His presence.
Insights– These are thoughts during prayer or experience that help us to see situations or problems in a new light; helping us to reframe or see things from a different perspective.
Memories– Sometimes memories come at specific times or “float to the surface in prayer”. These memories may convey a specific message or remind us of God’s faithfulness, providence, or grace.
Physical Feelings– noticing that you have tension or have become fidgety may mean that He drawing you in to face something or forgive someone so that you can experience freedom.
The Still Small Voice– This is the voice in your mind that you may hear at times. It is not as common as often as some of the other methods for most people. ¹
This method of communication always gets the question: how do I know if it’s Him?
In reality there isn’t necessarily a hard and fast rule. Over time, you begin to know the kinds of things He says, so in essence you begin to learn what He sounds like. If the phrase you hear leads you on to growth and/or truth that does not conflict with scripture, it is likely His still small voice. His whisper in the thunder of life on broken-earth.
We are not as smart as we think. We are prideful and think that when we see something a new way, like a problem from a fresh and solvable perspective, that we are just all-of-a-sudden a million times smarter than we were seconds before. Not true.
God spoke. He didn’t use words, He just opened your mental eyes. It’s Him. He does so much in our days that we don’t attribute to Him. We attribute those things to chance or coincidence or luck or ourselves and our grand abilities. Then we call Him mute.
He’s not mute.
We are deaf.
But we are learning aren’t we? Learning is good. There is hope here. More light breaks through because the crack in the darkness is getting bigger. He has been speaking the whole time. We just didn’t realize it.
Remember this spoken word from last week:
“Release your agenda,
to do list and find,
what you’re looking for
has been there all the time.
You were blind.
Come and find
peace of mind.
Dare: Pay more attention to the many ways He speaks. Be aware of His interaction with you. Acknowledge it. Prayer is as easy as talking.