How Can I Hear God's Voice?
Several times a week, I’ll lose my phone, wallet, keys or other essential item. Lose is too strong of a word. In fact, I’ve never actually lost these things; I just often can’t find them right away. Inevitably, “Cait, have you seen my phone?” is hollered down the stairs, and my wife will walk right into the den and find it immediately. I should be embarrassed by the ease at which she sees that which I am apparently incapable of seeing, but this has been happening since childhood, so I’ve basically accepted my condition.
People lament that they struggle to hear God’s voice or they never notice the small promptings of the Holy Spirit that seem to be regular occurrences for “holy people.” They’re like me with my cell phone, looking everywhere but not seeing. Too often, we look for some extraordinary movement of God, but we ignore how everyday life is amazing and can be used by God to guide, purify and inspire us. We cry out to heaven, wondering where he is and why he’s silent, when our ears are plugged by the limitations of weak faith and the unwillingness to consider that everything is at his disposal.
In 2014, Pope Francis said, “Let yourselves be guided by the Holy Spirit … And please, do not cage the Holy Spirit!” Don’t put God’s messages and promptings in a box. It is prideful to listen for God’s voice but restrict how he’s allowed to communicate. As Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God.” Be eager and willing to see God’s love and direction in and through even the most unusual of channels. When we actually expect to hear God’s voice and to see him moving, we’ll put ourselves in the proper humble posture of receptivity to receive his grace in the moment.
St. Paul reminds the Philippians, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (4:8) The more we meditate on God’s power and express our gratitude for his gifts, the more we’ll receive new eyes to see and new ears to hear, because we will experience “the transformation of the renewal of [our] minds, so that [we] may test and approve what is the will of God.” (Rom 12:2)
God isn’t hiding. The Holy Spirit is always calling, speaking, revealing and drawing us to himself, so never stop listening and looking, because all who seek will find him.