There’s something special about listening for God’s voice. And there is something infinitely precious when God speaks so hearts can hear Him. Then He draws us close to His beautiful, compassionate, and loving, Father-heart.
When I received ‘Listen’ as my one word last year, I spent all year trying to hone the skill. Although I still ended the year feeling awed and amazed when God whispered to me.
There wasn’t a predictable pattern. God cannot be boxed. He is calm and loving but also gloriously wild and free. The Spirit goes where He wills.
Most times, I sat expectant with Bible, pen and prayer journal at the ready. At others, He spoke during the mundane, messy moments of my day, whenever He had something vital to say.
Practising the art of restful listening
The more we practise the art, the more we become accustomed to God’s voice, and better able to discern it above all others.
Those times of quiet listening bear inward fruit. They teach greater inner restfulness, peace, and patient endurance so we can grow strong.
Although, after praying for several days, I was no nearer hearing God’s ‘word’ for me for 2015 than I was before. Various thoughts played themselves out in my head then slid silent away. Eventually, one word made its presence known more strongly than the others.
And I was quick to reject it as a mis-hearing, because it felt wryly ironic to be hearing ‘Rest’ shaping itself as my defining word. Especially while laid up in bed with an unwanted Christmas gift of a ferocious flu virus!
Yes, there was no mistake. Far from being simply my usual state as an M.E and chronic illness sufferer, rest would become a strong feature of the year ahead too.
Only, I had to appreciate its nuances more than ever before. Because rest means different things to each one of us but it’s vital that we get enough.
What kinds of rest results from listening to God
At this early stage I can already see the type of rest God has in mind for us is so much more than a Sabbath break in our week. It’s more than ceasing from physical activity, putting our feet up, taking a nap or being on vacation.
His plans for us are complete, holistic, changing from the inside out. I sense rest is no exception. My soul needs to learn how to rest easy in His word, truly believe who it says I am in Christ, lean peaceful on His love and grace.
Maybe I will discover how to actually live like I’m freed from guilt and anxiety. Perhaps I will discover how to stay rooted and grounded in faith. And develop trust that replaces tension. Because we can rest in the finished work of Christ, rather than relying on self-effort and works.
Let’s seek to rest in seeing ourselves as pre-approved, deeply loved and called to make a difference.
My main rest priority
Here’s a ‘Prayer for Rest’ that you can take and make your own. Feel free to pin or use as you need to:
As always, I really appreciate and welcome your input here and would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
As I turned to Jan.1 in my daily Bible, I found this penciled verse from Jeremiah 33:3 " Call to Me & I will answer & show you great & wonderful things that you do not know". I had forgotten about this wonderful promise, but am again praying it with great anticipation! God loves to show us more of Himself, enabling us to worship Him "in Spirit & in truth. I can't wait for the wonderful things He will reveal to me! Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia
What a wonderfully inviting verse that is! Such hope and promise. I'm not surprised you want to pray it "with great anticipation" of good things. I love the positive way you have started this new year, Cynthia, and feel sure God will honour your hungry heart's seeking after Him. Blessings, love and prayers. 🙂 x
Thank you for this soulful reflection, Joy. It encourages me. Joining with you to "Rest in the finished work of Christ rather than relying on self-effort." And praying the prayer with you! I hope you get physical rest from that cold bug, too! Hugs!I struggled a lot with what word to pick, too, but I finally felt it needed to be "follow." I just posted it.
Hi Trudy. Thank you for letting me know what has encouraged you here, and for your kind concern, hugs and prayers. The cold symptoms are abating a little now, praise God. I'm about to hop over and read about your word 'follow' as soon as possible! Bless you, sweet friend. 🙂 xox
Joy, I really enjoyed reading this and found myself nodding along with you in agreement. Love the prayer at the end. I will be posting about my word for the year which is "commit" from Proverbs 16:3 on my blog Monday, Lord willing unless He gives me a different subject to write about. I pray you get well quickly. Blessings, Marcie
Hi Marcie. Thanks for stopping by and for the prayers. I truly appreciate it. These God-given words have a way of defining a year, don't they? I look forward to reading about your equally challenging one too as you commit yourself and the year into God's hands. Blessings to you as you listen, learn and write out what you hear. 🙂 x
Thank you, Joy, for your beautiful reflection and prayer. I will be sharing the image of your prayer on my blog and will link back to your original post. Thanks and blessings to you.
Hi April. Thank you for visiting and being so generous with sharing this post! I'm pleased it spoke to you. Blessings in abundance. 🙂