When a child is small, whether we want to or not, we train them to hear our voice. We have certain tones of voices that indicate “I mean business.”
By the time a child is four or five years old, they will begin to have so much going on in their heads that sometimes they don’t hear us until we turn on that certain tone of voice.
In the busyness of the Christmas season, it might seem counterproductive to pause. Yet, it is in these moments that we can learn so much about listening. Take a few moments today to consider how you hear God’s voice. Do you only hear Him when He “turns on the voice”, or are you hearing even His whispers?
God speaks in many different ways. The Christmas narrative shows us that God spoke to people in ways that they would understand, and with just the right approach to help them understand and believe.
For Mary, God showed up as an angel, in person, with encouragements.
“Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you…you will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus…”
Joseph got an angel too, but every time an angel appeared to Joseph, it was in a dream.
God spoke to Zechariah through an angel, but his wife only heard God’s voice through circumstances—first her husband couldn’t speak, then she found out she was pregnant.
Yet, God used her to encourage Mary with a word of knowledge. “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”
The shepherds heard from a host of angels, but the Wise Men heard from God through a change in nature—there was a star in the East.
There are two people in the narrative that we should take some time to consider: Simon and Anna.
Luke 2 tells us that Simon was moved by the Spirit. It wasn’t even his day to work, but he went into the temple courts. He was there when Mary and Joseph brought in the child Jesus. Simon had spent so much time in God’s presence that he knew His voice.
Then we have Anna. Anna made it her habit to be in the Temple courts. Because it was her habit to fast and pray and be in the Temple, she was there when Jesus showed up.
In the season where we celebrate God’s big acts, let’s take a few moments to consider—are we making it our habit to be in God’s presence? Are we listening for His voice so we will hear Him when He speaks?
Whether you are in a space to really listen, or in a space that you need God to turn up the volume, the Bible shows us that God is the ultimate communicator. He speaks so that His audience will hear and understand Him.
Kim Martinez is an ordained Assemblies of God pastor with a Masters of Theology from Fuller Seminary. She is a ministry and life development coach, and can be found online at www.deepimprints.com.
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