Listening for God
By Christa Cottam
"Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21
It was undeniable. God had just spoken to me for the first time … and I wanted more.
I first heard Him during worship, so I expected that again. However, as week after week passed with no divine encounter, I began to feel discouraged.
Was that the only time I’d hear from God?
Deep down, I knew differently—knew that God desired a relationship with me.
But, I had to get honest with myself: Did I know my Heavenly Father well enough to recognize His voice again?
It was clear that I needed to adjust my thinking. I was limiting a limitless God, expecting Him to show up when, where, and how I wanted, like an actor responding to their cue. Thankfully, God is much bigger than the confines of my expectations.
I wondered how many times I’d missed opportunities to connect with my Heavenly Father because I was too busy looking for Him elsewhere—how many times I’d drowned out His still, small voice with the clanging of my demands.
So, I quieted my soul, released my expectations, and asked God to speak to me. I also began to dig into my Bible. Pretty soon, I started to hear Him. Sometimes it was a resonating sound within—leading, affirming, or correcting me. Other times, it was a whisper to remind me He was near, a verse from Scripture, or worship lyrics that continually ran through my head. I felt Him speak to me through creation, heard Him when others’ words sparked something inside of me, and experienced His presence in ways that are difficult to articulate.
I’m in awe that the Creator of heaven and earth desires for us to be in constant communion with Him. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us—close enough to rest assured that we are known, seen, heard, held, and above all, loved.
Christa Cottam is a spunky woman with a fire in her belly to tell others about Jesus—how He brought her from being held down by a past filled with shame, guilt and unforgiveness to embrace God’s love and ultimately find freedom to be the person He created her to be. As part of the Wholly Loved Ministries team, she is passionate about encouraging women to go deeper in their relationship with God. Christa also uses her gifts in the arts and leadership to make kingdom impact at her church, serving as a worship leader and volunteering in women’s ministry.
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Originally published Saturday, 15 December 2018.