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Listening for God’s Voice

Today’s Reflection

TO BECOME A SPIRITUAL ADVENTURER means learning to listen for the voice of God. This listening involves a certain level of risk and vulnerability that does not come easily. Here is the story of one woman who had many fears about really listening to God:

I remember a woman I met on a late-night flight to Indianapolis. She was a brilliant, successful Ph.D. who had consulted with corporations and had been a presidential speech writer. She possessed unique and powerful gifts. She had accomplished more in her three and a half decades than many persons do in a lifetime.

In our conversation she expressed her dread of self-confrontation. She described her fear of hearing a voice say, “All right, you have been given so much; now it is time for you to pay up.”

I wondered why she kept running away and asked, “Why don’t you listen to the Voice?”

Over the course of our hour-long conversation, she gave me three reasons: “I fear I would become a fanatic. … I also have a fear I would shatter into a thousand pieces if I listened to and obeyed the voice of God. …But, to tell the truth, I am afraid to listen for God because I want to control my life. I have plans for my life, and I don’t want God or anyone interfering with them.”

Exploring the Way

From page 25 of Exploring the Way: An Introduction to the Spiritual Journey Participant’s Book. (The story of the woman is from Ben Campbell Johnson, Calming the Restless Spirit: A Journey Toward God (Upper Room Books, 1997), page 73. Exploring the Way Participant’s Book Copyright © 2005 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What fears keep you from listening for God’s voice? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20, NRSV

This Week: pray for caregivers. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Katherine Drexel (March 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2016 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


{ 10 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller March 4, 2016, 4:20 am

    Thankful that Anneliese comes home today, a week and a day after hip replacement surgery. Her progress has been remarkable; that Erich’s skin is healing, and pictures of my granddaughters have arrived. A new headband for the Optivisor has come. Thank You, Lord.

    I know my life is in God’s hands, each day is a gift from God. I believe my God given tasks are caring for people – family, friends, church family, people I meet. While I enjoy modeling railroad trains, it is secondary to caring for others. Thank You, Lord, for guiding me. May I do what You ask in away that brings glory to You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

    Lord, You are the ultimate caregiver, You loved us before we loved You, You loved us into being and are with us always. Help us to be like You in caring for and loving others.

  • robert moeller March 4, 2016, 4:30 am

    Thankful for yesterday’s posts. Like God’s love they encompass all aspects of life, joys and concerns. I’m grateful for the prayers, comments of support, sharing of lessons, and expressions of faith. You are witnesses to the reality of God, what God does, and what God will do. Many blessings in Jesus’ name to you all.

  • Carol March 4, 2016, 7:49 am

    One fear of listening to God’s voice is the need I learned as a child to be aware of what other people are saying. It is a protective device to hopefully prevent embarrassment. It is a courageous choice to listen relentlessly for God’s voice. I do know that God’s voice helps me to dispel the human criticisms. For me, this is one of the tensions of life.

  • Sara March 4, 2016, 8:09 am

    Listening to God’s still, small voice. I imagined doing greater things than what I’m doing, but now realize I’m where I should be and doing what I’m doing. Keeping my grandchildren when their parents are working and taking them to and from activities. It seems small, but they are both doing well and I’m filled with gratitude to help mold and shape their lives. And, I’m at peace.

    Blessings to all who visit the UR today. May God guide us with wisdom and His love to help others. Amen

    • Rusty March 4, 2016, 10:55 am

      Thank you, Sara. It is a wonderful service you provide to your family.

  • Connie March 4, 2016, 8:25 am

    I don’t fear God’s voice and directions in any way.He is my shepherd and I am His sheep. I know He only has good plans for me.
    Welcome home, Annaliese TODAY..(thought yesterday).
    Have a wonderful weekend ALL my Reflection Friends. Even if your name is not typed, your posts have been read and thought about.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling March 4, 2016, 8:54 am

    When I was younger, I have a bucket list and one of the items is to tour Europe. However, when I was preparing to go to seminary, I actually crossed that out as I thought I will not have the money to travel that far. However, God surprise me by having one of my classmates Organising a Europe tour and she invited me to join her. She told me that we will be joining the con -tiki tour and it is on a Budget. After considering the Budget, I did make it to Europe.

    At my age now, one fear of listening to God’s voice is the need to get out of my comfort zone and do what God wants me to do. The story of Abraham reminds me that no matter what age God can use us.

    Praying that some day I will be able to teach English in an orphanage or third world country. May God grant me the courage and may He prepare me for this Mission.

  • Rusty March 4, 2016, 10:43 am

    Wow. Today’s reading is right on target with my pre-Christian experience. I am reminded (amazing what still is there in my mind and can be retrieved with a proper prompt) . . . of thoughts I truly had about not wanting to face God if it meant altering my path. I was happy with how my life was progressing. Didn’t have any major problems (that I was aware of) and I felt capable, intelligent, and satisfied with where I thought I was going. The idea that (if there was a God) he would redirect me wasn’t scary so much as merely unattractive to me. I guess I thought something like, “Why should I listen to this God – if he exists – if his purpose is to take me in some direction that is not of my own choosing? I’m a free person, living in a free country, and I make smart decisions – just look at me go!”

    But . . . Praise God, I did listen. But first I had to develop (or be given) a level of maturity. Only then was I able to say yes to his tapping on my shoulder and saying, “I am here – listen to me.”

    Lord, I see my old self so clearly in many of those so close to me who do not know you. Please, gracious God, please keep tapping on their shoulders! Amen.

  • Andrea March 4, 2016, 2:52 pm

    I have faith that God is Love and wants us to step out in Love to fulfill our most cherished dreams. I have not found that listening to God’s voice is a negative thing, or frightening. I believe the woman mentioned in the daily reflection has a very distorted perception of God. God has cared for me and my dear ones in countless ways. Sara, I think caring for grandchildren is not at all a small thing, it is huge, as huge as anything one can do with one’s life, in my opinion, and particularly when the child’s or children’s parents have gone through a divorce. Wishing all a blessed weekend filled with God moments.

    • Connie March 5, 2016, 7:59 am

      “God moments”…..I love that thought.

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