In 2019, God reminded me of His closeness.
Yes, I know He is always near…
But sometimes the noise of the world makes it hard for me to see and hear just how close He is.
Near the beginning of the year, my husband Seth started listening to a podcast where the host interviews people in ministry about how they hear God’s voice. Seth was a little obsessed and kept sending me episodes he wanted me to listen to.
Finally, I listened to the first one, and I was hooked, too!
Most of the people the host interviewed were familiar names from the Christian culture in America (and some international as well), but I had never heard personal stories from this side of their ministries before. They were giving the inside scoop, if you will, about their conversations with God. They expressed their concern that maybe they had missed Him sometimes, or maybe they didn’t feel bold enough to step out and obey but made the move in faith.
Over and over I heard these people tell their stories and I realized something I’d always known but hardly wanted to admit: they’re just like me.
God is no respecter of persons.
If He was speaking to and working through these people and their faith and actions, then He could do the same through me.
With that realization, I set out to hear God.
I know that may sound funny, but I started pursuing Him in my life in a way that I really hadn’t done before. Bible reading, worship, and prayer have been a large part of my walk with Him for almost twenty years, and I was really good at the discipline of these things… but I wanted something more, something different.
I continued in my disciplines, but approached my relationship with God differently.
I sat more.
I tried to talk less.
I set myself to listen more.
Instead of just going about my daily business and unconsciously compartmentalizing my time with God to the dining room table, I made it a point to reach out to Him in a steady stream throughout the day.
I may have had a list of errands or chores, but I started asking Him what was on His agenda for me and then—I heard Him tell me! This happened over and over again.
Okay, there are probably some of you thinking (and rightfully so): “Isn’t that what being a Christian is all about?”
But I had unintentionally quieted the voice of the Holy Spirit by allowing my own thoughts to overcrowd His space.
Of course, He wasn’t completely silent prior to this year, but intentionality in this space made all the difference.
I came to understand He’s always talking and guiding and leading, it’s just that I’m not always paying attention.
At the beginning of the summer, my husband and I went to a three-day conference all about hearing from the Lord, and it was more incredible than I even expected (and I admit my expectations were pretty high).
But during this time to get away and practice hearing from God, we experienced more and more the reality of Jesus’ words that His sheep know His voice.
He designed and created us to hear Him!
It’s not that it’s particularly difficult, it just takes practice.
Since the beginning of the year, I don’t necessarily think God has spoken to me any more than He ever has, but I feel like I have heard Him more than ever.
And that hearing has made me able to respond.
God has spoken words of encouragement directly to my heart and given me words for others of His children that were exactly what they needed in the right timing.
Sometimes I still miss His voice, but He’s also taught me that that is part of the process.
We won’t always get it right, sometimes we misunderstand, but it’s a relationship, miscommunication happens, and He’s not mad about it. It’s up to us to not get discouraged, to keep coming back, and to lean in to Him because the more we hear, the better we get at listening.
Alexis Busetti is a personal finance coach, wife, and mom to four littles in Houston, TX. She is the host of the podcast That Makes Total Sense! and co-author of Entrusted With Money: A 90 Day Workbook for Building a Healthy Relationship With Your Finances. Alexis has been quoted in articles for U.S. News & World Report Money section and featured on Nasdaq.com. She is also a regular contributor to FamilyChristian.com. As a believer in wealth-building, generosity, and social justice, she encourages her clients and friends to do well for themselves so they can do good for others!
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