sometimes god whispers

I’ll be honest. This title has been sitting in my “drafts” as a blank post since Monday.

Do you ever feel so pulled to something – whether it be a phrase, or a word, or an action – but aren’t quite sure how to approach it? Yeah, that’s been me all week. I just couldn’t get my words straight.

I recently started attending a church right down the street from our new house, and really feel like I have found a home there. I had shared a little about it on my personal Facebook after the first service I attended, and how I was feeling a little strange to be so at home in a Southern Baptist sanctuary, when the pastor said something that really struck me. While discussing the Book of Revelation he said,

“Sometimes we lose sight of what God’s church truly is. God’s Church is not a Baptist Church, a Pentecostal Church, a Methodist Church – it’s his people, of all denominations and walks of faith.”

Talk about a moment of God crashing through the door of my heart with a voice of thunder and raging waterfalls. The kind of moment that shakes your soul, and so clearly says “THIS IS IMPORTANT.”

Fast forward to this past Sunday, we had a sermon that spoke to me in a completely different (although complimentary) way. Continuing our study of Revelation, we discussed how powerful it was for John the Baptist to see Jesus with eyes of fire and a double-edged sword coming out of his mouth. But, while we sure do have those big, powerful moments  – that’s not how He speaks to us the wide majority of the time, is it? God isn’t the Kool-Aid man, He doesn’t spend His days crashing through our walls. Nope.

Sometimes God whispers.

Wow. Just… wow, y’all. How incredibly powerful is that to think about? And absolutely humbling?  I’ll be the first to admit, those three words were a much-needed wake up call for me this week.

(There’s song I really love about this, and I personally think it makes the perfect soundtrack for this.
I’ve linked it in case you want to listen while you read!)

How many times have we missed (or blatantly ignored) what God had to say to us, because we were too headstrong and stubborn? Because we thought we could do it ourselves, so we put Him in a corner and said, “I’ve got this, I can do it on my own”? I’ll be the first to admit, I have an extremely bad habit of this. I’ve always been fiercely independent, and my relationship with God has been no exception to that. I struggle to slow down, to accept help, to admit that maybe I absolutely can’t do it all on my own.

I wasn’t letting God be in the lead. I wasn’t listening. And because of that, I was missing His whispers.

So, I’ve spent this week slowing down, and doing my best to listen for those quiet whispers. Actively seeking Him in my daily life, instead of doing it all on my own. And wouldn’t you know it? I heard them. 

They weren’t thunderous, waterfall moments. Not even close. In fact, at times they were so quiet that I wondered if I was imaging things. But, each time I acted on that tug on my heart – things fell into place.

What was He trying to tell me?

The first whisper came during a conversation with a group of my friends, talking about where life was headed and being nervous to take a big leap career-wise. I felt so compelled to share a piece of that very sermon about God whispering. So… I did it. I hesitantly shared, unsure of where my friends stood in their relationships with God- and as it would turn out, many of us felt the same. And by sharing it, I was able to help put God back into the hearts of a few of my friends. I listened to His whispers, and in turn He turned my vulnerability into a small, but powerful, piece of my testimony.

The second came, funny enough, walking on the treadmill at my gym. I ended up on a treadmill next to sweet, elderly Italian gentleman who I’ve crossed paths with there a handful of times over the last few weeks. Something told me to take a headphone out, and just say hello. We ended up chatting – and I left the gym with a warm heart and the reminder that no matter how slow we’re moving, if our hearts are still beating and feet are still moving – that we’re still making progress. I listened to His whispers, and in turn he used a stranger named Giuseppe to give me much-needed perspective.

The third, something I’ve been praying hard about, came this morning. Each month at our Junior League meetings, we have a different leader from the community join and speak to us. This month happened to be Principal Marc Zachary from Mary H. Wright Elementary, right here in Spartanburg. He shared about his year teaching in the Congo, how he ended up back in the school where he started his career as an educator, and how it is a South Carolina “Priority School” – which means that it is one of the most ‘at-risk’ in the state. When he told us about the lunch-time mentorship program they have – I felt a tug on my heart saying, “Dallas, you need to do this.” Well, just this morning I received the the email for my background check, and I’ll be paired with a student soon! I listened to His whispers, and in turn I’m going to be given the chance to mentor a young mind.

Are you listening?

Is there something tugging on your heart that, much like I felt about this post, you’re just not sure how to approach? I would encourage you to slow down and really listen to what God is saying. If we’re only looking for eyes of fire and a mouth with a double-edged sword, we’re missing the message.

Listen for him in your daily encounters. Listen for him on a busy sidewalk, and in the breeze of a quiet moment. Listen for him in the sunrise and in your evening prayers. Listen for him in the words of others.

Because listening for God’s whispers isn’t about opening your ears. It’s about opening your heart.

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