Hearing Clearly

The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.

John 3:8

A common misconception is that as we grow in our ability to hear the Lord speak to us, He speaks louder. There is definitely a learning curve when it comes to hearing the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. It takes time and it takes risk to step out in faith when we believe He is telling us to do something or say something. But as we grow in the discipline of hearing His voice, it’s not so much that He gets louder but clearer.

What I mean is that the volume doesn’t always get turned up. It’s more that the other thoughts in our head start to carry noticeably less weight. It starts to become more clear when it is the Holy Spirit and when it is our own thoughts.

In fact, growing in our maturity doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit speaks louder but that we will obey even when He speaks softer. Maturity is when we will obey even the most gentle impression from the Spirit without needing a loud, booming thought interrupting our own thoughts. We become like a highly sensitive weather vane, easily moved and directed by the slightest breeze of the Spirit.

This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”

Acts 8:27-29

When we think about a child listening to the direction of a parent, the same principles apply. If a parent has to repeat the directions loudly, multiple times, it means the child’s obedience is lacking. Yet, if the child responds quickly with a simple and soft request from the parent, it is clear that child has developed the discipline of obedience (and likely has a good, loving relationship with their parent). The child doesn’t need the parent to be loud. Even through the noise of a crowded room, that child can clearly discern the voice of their parent making the request. It’s not about volume but clarity.

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