Relationships depend on communication. If one person in the relationship is doing all of the talking and is not interested in what the other person has to say, that relationship is going nowhere.
Too often in my prayers it is a one-sided conversation. I do all the talking, then say “amen” and go about the rest of my day. But God has a voice, and He wants to speak to me and to you. More than that, we desperately need to hear His voice, not only for direction but for identity and relationship.
God designed fathers to give children a sense of identity and relationship in the family, but even the best fathers fall short. Only our heavenly Father can give us our true identity — why He made us, what our purpose is in the world, and how significant we are to Him.
If we don’t know who we really are, we will try to find signficance and meaning in other ways that will ultimately disappoint us. We will struggle with insecurity, and it won’t be pretty.
Without God’s voice speaking to our hearts, we will default to the mostly negative self-talk in our hearts that tell us that we don’t measure up or have little value or importance. “For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Proverbs 23:7)
If Jesus Christ, the sinless, spotless Man who was fully God needed to hear: “You are my dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy” at the start of His ministry (Matthew 3:17), then how much more do we need to hear the Father’s voice saying similar things to us?
We need to know that our weaknesses and failings are not our true identity. God’s word describes our identity, and everything that we perceive we are hearing hear from the Father should line up with that word. God’s voice will never involve shame, condemnation or guilt, because all of that has been taken care of through Jesus’ sacrifice (Romans 8). If we get off course, the Holy Spirit shows us we are not living out of our true identity and how to return to God’s will.
He is a personal God, not a far-off Deity, and He longs for you to hear His voice coming from His heart of love toward you. It will probably not be an audible voice, but a thought that comes from inside you, coming from a different place than all of the negative self-talk going on in your brain. He will tell you affirming and loving and assuring things that He thinks about you that you would probably never think about yourself. His words are so gracious, in fact, that it may be uncomfortable at first to open up your heart and allow those words to come in.
We never have to be afraid of what God will say to us. Even when bringing correction, His voice is sweet and affirming. He wants to speak words of love, peace and comfort to us in the midst of our difficulties.
Let’s ask Him to do that today: Father, will you help me to hear Your voice as I make time to get quiet and listen? Jesus, You said Your sheep listen to Your voice and follow You. Will you help me to be courageous to open up my heart and allow Your words to come in? Thank you that You desire to have a relationship with me where we can talk and listen to one another. Would you tell me who I am to you and who You are to me? Would you tell me what You were thinking when You made me? I listen for Your words now and trust that I will hear You speak to my heart. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, amen.