Jennifer Camp, co-founder of Gather Ministries, and author of Loop, grew up in the middle of an almond orchard in Northern California and now lives in the busy Bay Area with her husband and three kids. A former high school English teacher, she loves to write, but she especially loves to encourage people to seek and live out the truth of their story, their identity in Christ. You can find her writing at her blog, Jennifer J. Camp .You can connect with Jennifer on both Facebook and Twitter. She would love to have you join her there.
Across this screen, we are not so far away from one another. Hundreds of miles can separate us, making it difficult to wrap our arms around each other in person. But uniting of hearts isn’t something we’re in the business of doing on our own. So miles don’t matter, really.
I have spent this day unpacking duffels and doing laundry–and tossing a lacrosse ball back and forth at the park. Not important things, maybe. But this is: I need to tell you how I believe we see and hear God when we claim what is ours to do with Him. I have friends who crave to hear God’s voice but doubt He speaks to them, only because they think they haven’t heard it yet. They believe God speaks to other people, sure, but not to them.
I don’t believe this.
JUST BECAUSE WE MAY NOT HAVE RECOGNIZED GOD’S VOICE DOESN’T MEAN HE HASN’T SPOKEN TO US.
We have all been given different gifts and personalities, and we are not going to hear the Father the way another person does. But I believe that the God who created each one of us is a communicator, a connector, a relationship-builder. He made us, and He likes us. He loves to hang out and be with us. He does not love from afar.
His own hands cradled the dirt He made, and His breath gave Adam life. When we long to hear Him speak, we must remember that God is more than language, than words, than thoughts formed within a human heart. He is a God of experiences. He loves to experience this Life with us.
I am reading through the Old Testament now and I am humbled by the closeness of God with us, His interaction with the prophets, His caring about the details of our lives. I try to soak up the truth of the Father’s intimacy with us. Everything points to love. Everything points to Jesus. When Jesus died, His Spirit stayed to be within us. I wonder if one of the first keys to hearing the Holy Spirit’s words is to trust that the Spirit of the living God is truly in us. When we say ‘yes’ to Christ, His Spirit is here.
Speech is translated through the language of our heart with the Father. He has designed each of us to love to do certain things–experience life, uniquely, unlike anyone else. And we need to trust Him. The things He puts on our hearts to do can be the words He speaks.
WHAT HAS GOD PUT ON YOUR HEART TO DO?
God’s words to our hearts are a language unique to each of us. And it takes the desire to know the language He speaks–intimately, specifically, to each one of us–to open the doors of our hearts to understand what He loves to say.
I am convinced to this: We hear Him when we are stretched, beyond ourselves, to do what only He, in us, can do.
I may hear Him in words that come out translated into language upon a page. And it is the most beautiful love language, and precious to me, because for most of my life–as much as I have always loved words, and reading and writing–I didn’t believe I had a thing to say. In the very place where I felt the most wounded and insecure, God spoke love and truth. But I have to choose to believe it, sisters.
I HAVE TO CHOOSE TO BELIEVE GOD IS IN ME, DESIRING TO SPEAK TO ME. I MUST CHOOSE TO BELIEVE THIS EVERYDAY.
What experience is He calling you into, with Him, to experience His intimacy, His love language, to you? Sometimes, the first time we hear Him speak is when we let Him in to do the hard work of healing past wounds.
We choose to let Him in.
And sometimes, the first time we hear Him speak is when we are surrendering completely, relying utterly on His own strength in us to complete a task, set out on an adventure. We know we don’t have what it takes on our own. And rather than feel discouraged, we feel free. That is His voice. Freedom. We hear it, and we are emboldened–encouraged, steadfast, sure.
We hear Him when we do things that are too big for us, alone, to do.
How you hear Him may be so similar to how I do–or it may be completely different. But it comes down to trusting Him, believing that you are loved so much that, through the experiences you have with Him, He iscommunicating.
He wants to remind us who we are, with Him.
He wants to be in community with us.
He wants to have us trust Him and go on adventures with Him, so that we can experience His love and hear His voice in our hearts.
God’s heart is not silent. He loves us too much to not connect and say “hey.”
How do you hear God best? How do you experience His voice in you?
This post appeared originally at jenniferjcamp.com