So as my blog post title from yesterday suggested, this is a continuation on my experience of hearing God’s voice (if you haven’t read it yet here’s the link if you want to check it out). Yesterday I mentioned hearing God’s voice in the silence, but some may ask aside from early in the morning or late in the day or going into seclusion, when can we find silence? I know that I often ask myself this question. In this day and age, many of us live in big cities where there are noises around us for most of the day. Whether this noise is natural or man-made (usually the latter) it can be highly distracting for those of us trying to find and hear God’s voice.
One of my bible study members (the youngest mind you) came up with an idea that was actually very interesting. He said, ” The way that I find silence is to listen to the same music everyday until I can just zone out so that the music becomes background noise.” In my opinion, this is a very wise thing that he said. I think that we don’t have to completely isolate ourselves (even though Jesus and the prophets before him managed to do it, his society was very different from ours) in order to hear God’s voice; instead we need to find the will and the discipline to find an inner silence and move all noises into the background.
As a musician, God speaks to (and through) me a lot through music. Now this may sound a little contradictory to what I just said, but allow me to explain. In the moment that I worship through music, maybe a thought or phrase comes up (sometimes it stems from lyrics from the song that I sing/listen to). That thought or phrase all of a sudden will bring me an inner peace; and then I can focus less on the song and more on what God is trying to tell me. In this way I find my inner silence.
About two years ago, I was asked to lead worship for the young adults group that I was attending at the time. I still considered myself fairly new to the group at that time, and was a little bit uncomfortable at this thought, but I agreed because no one else was able to do it. The whole time that I planned the set I was constantly in contact with one of my close friends, who had been there longer, asking him if they sang this song or that song. He responded, “just pick any songs and we will just follow whatever you lead.” I ended up with a three song set of Starfield’s “Unashamed” and “Hosanna” as well as Chris Tomlin’s “Our God”. The night of our meeting (Friday night) went really well but I didn’t realize the importance that two of the songs would have on my life. The two songs were “Hosanna” and “Our God”.
Here’s the account of the next few days (no joke):
Sunday service (at my home church, not the one where I went to for the young adults group) we sang the two songs as part of the service
Tuesday night, my mom picked me up and “Our God” was playing on the radio and when we went to our Tuesday night prayer meeting we sang “Hosanna”
It was too crazy to be a coincidence!! God was definitely trying to tell me something, but I didn’t know what. Now two months ago my family switched home churches. This church has a youthband (the coolest thing ever!!) This past Sunday they were the one’s leading us in worship and guess what? Yeah we sang those two songs again… God really wanted me to hear him that particular Sunday. You see I was going through a tough week where I was having a hard time motivating myself to get some things for school done. In the moment that we started singing, I got this feeling and I was overwhelmed!! Part way through we started singing “Our God” and later on we sang “Hosanna”. That was when I got a flashback to that moment two years ago. God as trying to remind me of a time when I was unsure of myself but everything turned out alright. He was trying to tell me through “Our God” that if he is for us then what can stop us. He was trying to tell me through “Hosanna” to repent and find his voice (“Take my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen, show me how to love like you have loved me…”)
As one of my mentors once said, “We think that music has a way of jump-starting our worship to God, which is not really true. Music is not the beginning of worship, it is the end product of it. When we sing to God and play music to Him, it is merely the expression of the worship that is already in our hearts. I pray that God will reveal His greatness, His unshakeable character, and the limitless depth of His grace and love to you until your hearts melt or explode in worship!”
I definitely learned this from the experience that I encountered. I had to express what was on my heart and put everything else aside in order to find and hear God’s voice.
I hope this song encourages you to find God’s voice wherever you are in your walk of life