How We Listen
By Fullerton Free | February 18, 2021
Spiritual disciplines aren’t just something we learn about—they are something we need to put into practice. This is why our new series is called Spring Training. Spiritual disciplines are things we practice in our training as followers of Christ, ways in which we are training to be more like Him.
For each of us, this training looks different. We may use some of the same techniques but we are all in a different place in our walk with Jesus—we require different training plans. To encourage us to practice the listening discipline, we asked some of our FF family to tell us how they practice listening to God. May you be encouraged by the ways they practice this discipline and maybe even be inspired to practice in a similar way. No matter what, our prayer is that you would take time listening to God, diving deeper into your relationship with Him as we practice this discipline together.
“Over the years I’ve learned that if I want to hear from God, my part is to actively listen. In a healthy relationship, one person doesn’t do all the talking, but they ask a question or share something, and then they listen for a response. I think it’s got to be the same in our relationship with God. I’ve also found that when I’m listening for His voice, it is super helpful to make space for silence and solitude because it is there that I can best discern His voice and hear Him above the noise, business and other voices in my life.” —Jenn Hale
“One of my habitual disciplines is taking time alone out of the week to do something that interests me (biking, detailing, hard labor, etc). During these times, I sit in my thoughts and dwell on how I can be a better image of God. Together, God and I recap the week and review how and when the Spirit was speaking to me. By doing this, I learn how the Spirit is speaking to me in every moment and every decision. The more I am able to identify His method of influence, the more I can create an innate habit of following the Spirit.”
“Some of the most influential advice given to me about my relationship with God was to pay attention to what season I am in. Hearing God’s voice and the way that we create space to listen to Him cannot truly look exactly the same from one season to the next, because we ourselves are not the same one season to the next. This advice allowed me the freedom to open up and explore how conversations with God look. In my most recent season with God, listening looks like taking walks with God (and with my dog). I start my walk by literally inviting God, asking Him to have a conversation with me. Sometimes this turns into me having a conversation just with myself, but usually we are able to walk together through times of silence, reflection and truth. I usually end up back on my doorstep with some Scripture in mind, a confession I needed to make, or just the sense that I was with a good friend.” —Becca Stavert
“As I reflect back on the message from this Sunday, one of the greatest ways I feel I can hear God is through journaling, especially during my hardest seasons. For me to be able to write out my thoughts, my fears and my sorrows and know that in the midst of it all, God hears and He knows. It’s incredibly freeing to release all that can tie me up and focus on things that are true, right and pure. God is good and He always meets me in my messy, grammatically imperfect words and reminds me of His perfect love for me.” —Jennifer Hebert
“One of my favorite stories in the Bible is when God speaks to Elijah in 1 Kings 19. The Bible tells us that God came to speak to Elijah in ‘a still small voice.’ It was in that voice that Elijah heard from God.
The discipline of silence can seem almost impossible in this day and age of social media, internet and a 24/7 news cycle that changes by the minute. We do not have to look far to find something to catch and keep our attention, but by keeping ourselves busy with the latest and greatest, we have often missed out on stopping to listen to God.
The most valuable practice I have learned over the last year or two has been to stop what I am doing and listen to God in silence. It is not easy. It takes discipline and intentionality to put everything aside and listen for that still small voice of God. Sometimes it is a prayer to ask God to quiet my soul and slow me down in my way of life. Other times it is reciting the week’s memory passage slowly and thinking about what God is saying through His Word. Regardless of what it is, I make it a practice to just stop what I am doing and listen for that still small voice.” —Steve Hernandez