adventure, college & career, lifestyle

Lean In and Listen.

We as Christians are called to listen to the voice of God, to silence the noise that silences the voice that we most need to hear.

Recently, I went on a hike to a waterfall near my college campus. As I approached the waterfall, I began to hear the echoes of falling water hitting the rocks below. The closer I got, my anxiousness grew to see the greatness of this waterfall. I just knew that it had to be wonderful because it was so loud. I walked around the trail bend to survey the waterfall before me, and it was simply extravagant. I caught my breath and thought to myself what an awesome Creator I serve. A few moments passed, and I found myself contemplating what the waterfall would sound like if I took away everything that was suppressing the sound (think of a room that has had everything taken out and everything suddenly becomes louder).

As my thoughts chased one wonder to another, I began to make the comparison of the waterfall noise to the voice of God in my life.

I have asked God to speak to me and show me himself countless times and when He doesn’t I become bitter and resent the season or situation that He has me walking through. But I also am never still or quiet enough to truly hear his faint whisper.

Thinking back to the waterfall, what if I were to take out all of the noise that suppresses God’s voice in my life?  If I were to do a spring cleaning of the assignments, insecurities, and doubts that clutter my headspace, would I suddenly begin to hear God’s voice?

Making the decision to drown out everything in my life that suppresses the roar of God’s power is a very active choice. It must be done persistently and constantly with complete perseverance.

What noise do you need to silence in order to hear God’s voice?

Is it the voice of culture and media, the voice of your peers, or even your own voice? Sometimes you have to silence your own conversations with yourself because, depending on your situation, your thoughts may have become toxic, and you need to cut them out to hear God. We’re sinful people with sinful tendency’s, but because of God’s greatness and sacrifice on the cross, we can be rid of our old self and become a new creation.

This process is called sanctification.

Sanctification is the journey to becoming more holy and righteous; to be more like Jesus. Becoming spiritually mature is not going to happen over one night’s sleep. In fact, it’s a lifetime process that will not be fully complete until you get to heaven. Part of this process is learning to hear and seek out God’s voice even when the world’s noise is so very loud.

Here are three practical ways to become more conscious to tender whispers of Jesus: Take a step back; refocus your heart and mindset on what is truly important. Get alone with Jesus; sit in silence and meditate on several pieces of scripture. Pray that God would reveal himself to you in mighty ways through specific things.

words by Joy Johnston and photo by Cate Willis

Just a girl seeking to spread the love and light of my sweet, sweet Jesus. Within myself, I hold the desire to see Christian women make the eighteen-inch journey from head to heart; to be cautious to the tender whispers of our Father, and become movers and doers of the Word. As a senior at Western Carolina University, every day I see uneasiness and weariness behind the eyes of so many. The goal for my writing is to gently but boldly urge women to realize that Jesus yearns to be their shoulder to lean on and ultimately quench a dry, overburdened life. As a lover of the color forest green, my passions include, leading worship at Biltmore Church, hiking in the beloved Appalachian Mountains, photographing the adventure of life, and writing songs that touch the deep places of souls.

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