Into the Clearing | Creating Space to Hear God’s Voice

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Are you creating space in your life to hear God’s voice?

As I was sitting on my backyard patio the other day I asked myself this question. I have recently felt unfocused and lost in a forest of distraction. My mind is often clouded by fear of the unknown, questions, projects to complete, and honestly, pure laziness. I had not meant to tune out the voice of God and up fill this space, but I so carelessly did.

I was not focused.

This semester I am studying the book of James with a small group of 11th, 12th, and college students. This powerful piece of wisdom literature written by Jesus’s half brother carries simple instructions of how Christ calls us to live. We are digesting the book very slowly. We covered only nine verses, during our last meeting. At this pace it is giving us time to press into each word and truly focus.

As I have been reading along I keep coming back to this verse…

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession”. -James 1:16-18

As I was praying through this verse moving in my spirit I pulled out my journal and started to write in between reading.

Sidenote, this is a very practical way to engage in the Word. Try reading a verse and then write out your thoughts about what you just read. Sometimes your words might turn into questions or prayers. This creates perfect opportunities to listen for God’s voice.

Sometimes it is helpful and fun to bring questions to God. My co-leader and I had encouraged our small group to bring two questions before God this week.

What you do want me to do?

How can I prepare my heart to receive your Word?

As I was writing out these questions and moving in and out of reading James He spoke this to me:

Kohlie, you have to focus on me. Fast secular music and come into my presence. You must focus on what I am saying to you; when to speak and when to move. You have to focus sweet girl. Buckle down. You know I will give you clear direction for all things. Imagine walking out of a forest and into a clearing…this is what I want to do with you. Out of a forest and into a clearing. 

As the verse in James clearly says,

Don’t be mislead…He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word.

It is crazy how specific God is when we take a moment to sit with Him and listen. Fast secular music, okay?! What I love most is the visual He gave me of walking out of a woodsy cove and into a beautiful clearing. If I had not taken 15 minutes to sit outside and  be still I would have missed this moment.

I must ask again, are you making space for God to speak to you?

Don’t be mislead…we out of all creation, became his prized possession.

God is speaking all the time and it is important we focus ONLY on Him. We must allow Him to walk us out of confusion, distraction, and exhaustion and into a clearing. May we learn to discern His voice by spending time in the Word and fully grasp that His Word is our ONLY sustainable fuel.

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

If you are unsure of where to start, ask God what is on His heart?

God, what you do want me to do?

How can I prepare my heart to receive your Word?

As you listen put your pen to paper and write out what you believe God is speaking to you.

Out of the woods and into the clearing.

To accompany this practice, worship to “The Clearing” by Amanda Lindsey Cook

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