Hearing God

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to "hear God." 

I've heard spiritual leaders in my life say before that they can only count on one hand the number of times they can say with certainty they know God spoke to them. I found that surprising because the spiritual world I came out of most recently was filled with people constantly sharing what God was saying to them. Lengthy and specific dialogue, words of encouragement, short answers to prayers and reminders of truth that pointed back to scripture. Stories of healing and praying and faith that would make your hair stand on end. And I connected with that, because God has always talked to me. 

So lately I've been thinking and wondering about how different people have such different experiences with God. My next blog post will most likely be about my spiritual journey in the last three years, and that will go into more detail about what my experiences with God have looked like over time, but this is something that has really been echoing in the back of my mind lately so I wanted to go ahead and get it out. 

What if "hearing God" is really just trusting ourselves to recognize truth that is within us? Because God is truth, correct? And if we hear the truth resonate in our bones and connect with it and follow it, I am beginning to realize you can call that hearing God. 

I'll give an example. In the post titled "An Ode to Holy Quitting" I shared how I heard God say, "I never told you to start a business." And I did. I was standing in the shower, I was listening to worship music and I was contemplating where I wanted this Enneagram thing to go and I felt deep in my bones and in my mind and my heart and my gut - everything in my felt it at the same time - that now wasn't the time. It's not what I was supposed to be doing. I heard a voice in my head say "I never told you to start a business." 

It was so impactful that I literally had to steady myself on the wall of the shower. It resonated so deeply that when I told the story to people over the next several days that I had to swallow hard when it came out of my mouth because I was getting choked up.

So, was it God? I think so. I'm pretty sure.

Was it true? Absolutely. 

So, I'm pretty sure it was God. Since God dwells in my being I'm confident that my body physically and spiritually can recognize Holy Truth when it hits me, or when I hear it. I believe that the spiritual leaders who have made comments about hearing God are referring to something different than what I'm talking about when I say I hear God. I believe we all "hear God" regularly whether we acknowledge it or not. 

Have you received an encouragement from a friend when you most needed it? 

Holy Truth. God.

Have you stared at nature and felt physically affected by it's beauty? Taken in the patterns in nature that directly reflect the truths in the Word? 

Holy Truth. God.

Have you read a piece of fiction that struck you so deeply that it literally changed your life and how you live?

Holy Truth. God.

Have you seen a piece of artwork that communicated something that you could never articulate but know at a bone deep level? Heard a piece of music that did the same? Watched two people dance and walked away stunned by how connected to humanity you felt in the moment? 

Beauty. Truth. God. 

I am trying these days to slow down and notice the God around me. I was raised in a faith tradition that says if it isn't biblical it isn't truth and these days I wholly reject that idea. How can God be contained in anything? God is everything. 

So when my kids are yelling and crying and I'm on the verge of tears and I want to punch a wall and my house is a mess and I'm completely losing my mind ......

it is a gift to take a deep breath

welcome my feelings

and then meditate for seconds at a time on the feeling of my body against theirs, the heat in my ears from the anger bubbling to the surface, the sound of the wind chimes outside my door, the wind rustling the leaves in the trees surrounding my house, the air going in my nose and out my mouth. 

God is in this beautiful and devastatingly hard life and talking to us each minute of each day, we just have to decide to enter the beautiful flow that is Spirit and listen and take it in and receive the holy truth that is being offered to us this day. Here. Now.