John 14:21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Since God is love, and we all are unique in how we need to be loved, surely He has a unique love language for each of us. Some people report or voice, a whisper, an awareness of a presence. Some people have trustingly told me they have never heard from Him in any way they can describe. Often, this is accompanied by an unspoken. . .Sometimes, bravely asked in a corner after a small group discussion. . .
Is there something wrong with my faith? Does God not love me because I don’t hear Him like that other woman does? What can I “do” to hear him better? Is my faith just immature? And many other honest, vulnerable questions. . .
The first thing I want to say is. . .
Do you know how pleased God is that you are listening? That you want to hear from Him? Your longings tug at His heart like it would a loving daddy with his daughter, wanting his attention? And nothing is “wrong with you or an immaturity in you or lack of faith!” It’s a personal thing that is experienced very differently. But there is not a right or a wrong, or a higher or lower achievement in hearing from God. If there was a formula, it would not be faith, it would be math class.
Awareness can help you get to know His languages/The Ways He Speaks: Nature, The Bible, Worship Music, Sermons, Books, Godly Conversations, Art, Beauty. . .
In a small book, recommended to me by a dear pastor friend, The Practice of the Presence of God By Brother Lawrence. A conversation is referred to in which Brother Lawrence referenced an experience he had with God:
That in the winter, seeing a tree stripped of its leaves, and considering that within a little time the leaves would be renewed and after that the flowers and fruit appear, he received a high view of the Providence and Power of GODm which has never since been effaced from his soul. That this view had perfectly set him loose from the world, and kindled in him such a love for GOD, that he could not tell whether it had increased during the more than forty years he had lived since.
Below is a direct link for you from amazon for this small book. It’s $5.29. You’ll pay too much for shipping unless you qualify for free shipping 🙂 But looking at it on Amazon will allow you to get a feel for the book.
It’s very important to remember He speaks to us in a love language that manifests His presence in infinite ways.
Some of my own personal experiences with God:
God was in the sky and nature as a child, since I was pretty much “unchurched.” After my dad died at seven and my mom went into a serious depression, I found my heavenly Papa in our Bible in the 23rd Psalm. I’ve experienced God through the way my sacred imagination interacts with the character of God: Slipping into Worship music, peeking out as a little girl from the folds of His robe, through red balloons, where sea meets sky, delight in me from a friend, OLD grape vines in vineyards, a tearful smile, warm bread, Wizard of Oz/The Play in London, Design Team work at conference, the breath of a puppy, prayer on my face in a child’s room, books from authors like Ken Gire, C.S. Lewis, Dallas Willard, and Randy Acorn, the smell of a rose, a cotton-candy sunset, breaking open a large sand dollar to find the doves inside, a plane takes off, the compassion of a resident during grand rounds, a game of hide and seek, an old cathedral in New York City, shopping at my favorite Christian Bookstore, playing tag in my car, the Bible verse that you’ve read over and over but never saw that “word” in it, the light’s on my Christmas Tree, a snow capped mountain, playing Cannon in D on the violin, the births of four baby girls, Beth Moore‘s “Stepping Up” Bible Study, a second marriage to the the same husband 😉 in renewal of vows, a friendship fountain garden, Fourth of July Fireworks at the beach, a hand-written note, meals, yes decadent chocolate cake (thanks Kris Ann), the “swoosh” sound of the robe of Christ, warm water therapy, text messages that come with beauty and God’s Truth, during a quiet prayer time: the “calving” sounds from a glacier, laughter from the dining room table, recognition no one could earn, cold water at a funeral, the first steps of my 8 month old, words “in my head” that could never be my own, holding my husband’s hand, Amazing Grace/The Movie, my first step off the boardwalk at the beach into the sand/as numerous as His thoughts about me. . .
Bottom line is. . .be open. . .
God can show up anywhere, anytime and anyplace to make His Presence known to you.