It’s been a few weeks since I stepped into the role of Director of Children, PreTeen & Family Ministries, and they have been weeks jam-packed full of learning. Every day, I continue to meet more of whom I like to call “the extended family” – that’s you, by the way – and I get the immense privilege of getting to know you and what makes you come alive for the sake of the Kingdom. It is such a great honour.
Lately, the Lord has been taking me on an adventure of hearing His voice. That sounds kind of basic, but I’ll explain.
Over the past few years, the Lord has been stirring my heart about stepping into the “more” of God. I often feel, that in our Western culture, we approach the throne of God with such a consumerist mentality that we miss out on relationship – friendship – with the King of kings and Lord of lords. I have been convicted, in my own life, to push past feelings of complacency and to seek the heart of God, getting to know His nature – getting to know Him as my dear friend, going far beyond what I’ve known in the past. I believe that sweet spot of friendship houses revival.
To aid in my pursuit of “the more,” I’ve dedicated my Friday mornings to the discipline and practice of hearing God’s voice. These are moments that stretch beyond my daily devotional times. I come armed with my journal, pen, Bible, and hot cup of tea, and go through an activity that pushes me outside of what seems to come naturally. For example, I find it easy to approach the Lord before making a big decision. It comes naturally to have “listening ears” as I’m leading worship. What doesn’t come as naturally is listening to God’s voice for our city. Or, asking Him to show me His heart for someone who has hurt me. Last week, my activity included writing a letter to God and expressing all that was going on in my head and heart. My job was then to wait, and listen to His voice. As He began to respond to me, I penned a letter back to myself. The Lord met me in such a beautiful and profound way.
As a teacher to Grade Ones, my kids and I were able to have transparent conversations on what it means to hear God’s voice. Our conversations had to be transparent, because, well... they’re six. I had just shared with them the story of Samuel and Eli, and my little friends were curious about how they, too, could hear God’s voice. Before I could even open my mouth, the Lord spoke so plainly through one of my boys: “Sometimes, you don’t hear God’s voice through your ears, you hear him in your head! Or maybe when you’re walking outside. Even when you’re playing music! You can hear God in so many different ways!”
I believe it is so important to be able to recognize and hear the voice of God as a young person. My heart is for the next generation of our district to know the voice of God like never before; to begin listening to His heart for things big and small, knowing that they don’t need to wait to be adults to hear God’s voice and make a significant Kingdom difference. My prayer is that they might be a generation that can confidently step into the fullness of their God-given potential, becoming everything He’s called them to be. My desire is that we would set a good example as forerunners.
May we not only set a good example as forerunners, but may we be a people that prays big out-of-the-box prayers, listening and responding in kind, with childlike obedience, making Jesus’ name known on earth as it is in heaven.