Ears to Hear God’s Voice

Ears to Hear God’s Voice

June 1, 2024

Bible Verse

While Peter was still speaking, the shadow of a bright cloud passed over them. From the cloud, a voice said, “This is my own dear Son, and I am pleased with him. Listen to what he says!” (CEV)  Matthew 17:5

Knowing who to listen to in a world with so many messages bombarding our ears and minds can be complicated. But we can do something that many people can’t: ask our Creator for help (Matthew 6:9-13). However, it can be hard to hear or recognize his voice when we get out of practice.

Thankfully, we can listen to God’s voice in many different ways. In his book Sacred Pathways, Gary Thomas describes nine spiritual styles or ways someone experiences or connects with God: through nature, through senses, through ritual, through silence and solitude, through confrontation, by loving others, with mystery and celebration, through adoration, and with the mind. If you would like to help your child uncover their style, here are a few different activities you can try:

  1. Nature and Adoration: Go for a walk with your children and intentionally notice the world around you. As you walk, thank God for all the gifts he has given you and the plants and animals you hear or see.

  2. Rituals and Senses: Create a ritual you follow every time you do family devotions. Experiment with family prayer and study times by burning candles or incense, playing music, or moving prayer beads through your hands.

  3. Silence and Solitude: Take time to “Sit with Jesus.” Invite the Holy Spirit to join you, close your eyes, take deep breaths, and imagine that Jesus is beside you. Ask your children to try sitting silently and letting the Holy Spirit guide their imaginations for two or three minutes.

  4. Confrontation and Caregiver: It might seem strange to put these two spiritual styles together, but they might look similar for children because they both feel close to God when they can volunteer somewhere and help out. Whether that’s picking up trash (and encouraging others to do the same) in the park, raking an elderly neighbor’s leaves, or raising funds for a homeless shelter, they feel close to God when working with him.

  5. Mysteries: This might be their spiritual style if your child is artistic. Encourage them to paint, dance, sing, write, or use other creative expressions to meet God through artistic inspiration.

  6. Mind: Some kids love reading and learning. The more they know, the more they want to learn, and the more they are amazed by everything God can do. They’d probably enjoy a Bible study, either through the church or just as a family, and getting asked questions about how some aspect of a story relates to a different one.

Another KC devotional talks about how God’s presence helps us to have hope. But before that can happen, we have to be able to recognize God’s presence. When we see that God is with us, we can have hope when things are hard, joy in every situation, and an unshakeable sense of security because we know he is there for us. I hope these different activities help you and your children find ways to experience God’s presence in your lives.

Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Listening for God

Christina Van Starkenburg

Christina Van Starkenburg

Christina Van Starkenburg is an award-winning freelance writer and author of The Key Thief and One Tiny Turtle: A Story You Can Colour. In her free time, she enjoys reading, dancing, and exploring the world with her husband and three kids. Visit her at www.christinavanstarkenburg.com to read more.

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