‘What is the best way to hear from God? I feel like I’m not connected to God like I used to be. Help me figure out how to be more intimate with God. I want to know God more. I want God to speak to me…” These are questions, pleas and thoughts I often hear from others and have definitely found myself saying from time to time.
The reality is, it’s not that hard to hear from God, actually it isn’t hard at all, we just have to be true to ourselves, who God created us to be, and have space to hear. If God created you, don’t you think God knows how to speak to you in such a way that you can hear? If you’ve spent any time around the fields of education or management or leadership, you know that our individual personalities (how we take in and process information) and learning styles (audio, visual, and kinetic) have everything to do with how we learn best. And I would argue, how we hear best. Theoretically this doesn’t just make sense, but experientially it does as well.
Growing up, one of the most frequent things I would get in trouble is for reading too late after my bed time. I would say goodnight to my parents, my mom would put me to bed, and then I would listen for my parents to go upstairs to bed and I would turn my light back on and get sucked into the world of Nancy Drew. And then mom would come back downstairs (I don’t know for what) but inevitably I would get busted for being up too late. Obviously this was in Middle School because by High School I was stuck doing homework until all the late hours of the night and no one gets in trouble for that. And if I wasn’t insatiably reading, I was outside playing some kind of sport: kicking a soccer ball against my neighbors wall, shooting hoops at the playground, playing catch on the lawn, swimming in pools (#notanativeminnesotan… it took me years to get used to swimming in lakes, let’s all be honest though, there are so many advantages to swimming in pools, least of which is that you can see the bottom and be sure that fish aren’t waiting to prey on you), skiing at Buck Hill (don’t knock it, many an olympian was birthed there!), and the list goes on.
It’s no surprise to me then that the easiest ways for me to hear from God are through reading and when I’m being active. It’s just who I am. It’s who God created me to be. These are the things that come naturally to me, and God knows this. My best ideas, dreams, coherent thoughts come to me at these times. If you’ve struggled with reading your whole life and playing sports just aren’t your thing, then I bet it’ll be super hard for you to hear from God in those things. It’s just not how God wired you when you were created. And that’s FINE! Maybe it’s listening or creating music, maybe it’s helping others or creating things with your hands, the list is endless. As is the way God speaks to each one of us.
I don’t know what your natural bent is, but looking back to your childhood may tell you a lot about when you best hear from God. God is speaking, always. But are we in the best position to hear well in this moment?