God speaks … but do we listen?

God speaks … but do we listen?

“We have to do what is required of us and confidently leave the rest to God.” These words stood out for me in a reflection this week and I thought: “It can’t be any clearer than that.” What was so special about them? It was God speaking directly and straightforward to me, responding to a prayer of the previous night.

About two weeks ago I received inspiration from the Holy Spirit on a project to undertake. I didn’t rush into it, but prayed and discerned, before accepting it was indeed a call to action. I’ve learned that when God wants me to do something, I generally just do it! But this time I did something different. Realising the project needed resources, I began a prayer campaign to ask for something very specific and expected God to respond positively. I put my own needs and desires in front of God’s needs.

God didn’t give me what I asked for and as I expressed my disappointment in night-time prayer, I asked for guidance from the Spirit.

“We have to do what is required of us and confidently leave the rest to God.” Next morning, not only did God’s Spirit speak to me clearly with these words, there was a second reflection in which said: When you say, “God, I’m going to do what you want me to do regardless of whether I have the money or resources to do it” God will provide everything you need to get it done.

Two different reflections speaking directly to me. Coincidence? There are no coincidences with God. It was clear; it was straightforward. God was telling me what I was to do. So I began the project, with no concern about the resources. God will provide … God always has.

God speaks at all times, especially in prayer. Prayer is a two-way conversation with God, not a monologue. When we pray, we should also listen.

God speaks to your mind and heart. God enters directly into our thoughts and desires. Our most hidden secrets are not secrets to God, who knows all there is to know about us, even to the number of hairs on our heads. Our thoughts and our desires may also be God’s thoughts and desires. We know we can do nothing without God. It is only by faith that we know God is working in us and through us.

In the parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus explains that the seed is the word and that “those who have been sown in rich soil; they hear the word and accept it and yield a harvest, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” Jesus goes on to say: “Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!” (v23).

So, if God does speak to us, are we listening?

There are many reasons we don’t hear God’s voice in our lives. Sometimes we don’t want to hear. Sometimes we don’t hear because we are too busy putting our own needs first. Maybe we feel we are not worthy of God’s time and love. We can’t see how God would want to talk to us.

Often, though, we simply don’t recognise God’s voice because of the busy-ness of our lives. We can be so focused on everything else that we fail to hear God’s gentle whispers in our hearts. Often we are so busy we may miss it even when God is screaming our names, trying to get our attention.

We can change that by listening and learning God’s voice. Just as our children listen to us when they are babies, we too must take baby steps. Thankfully God is a patient and loving Father, willing to teach us slowly if necessary.

God speaks to us. It may be in the quiet of a room as we pray, or it may be in other ways. God uses the Bible to speak, guide and inspire us. We may hear God speak to us in our dreams, through quiet contemplation, nature, music, our children, the Mass, and through the people we encounter on a daily basis. God is constantly speaking to us. We just need to learn to hear God’s voice!

God wants us to hear and longs to have meaningful conversations with us. St. Teresa of Calcutta said, “Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.”

Anyone who has ears for listening should listen!” Have a golden day and treasure Life!