The one voice that stands out amongst the crowd!
This past week, I was reflecting on my high school senior year and playing in a state championship in football. When sharing with leaders and their teams, I often share about turning points or defining moments in our lives. Everyone of us can look back and see circumstances or decisions in life where, as I say, “one play changed the game”. For me, I often share how the experience of having the privilege of quarterbacking a state championship football team was a turning point in my life. It was at this turning point that I discovered I was a leader and what true teamwork looks like.
While I always love to tell more of this story, today, I want to share a different story which ties to those days on the football field. For those of you who have played sports, you can likely related to what I’ll refer to as the crowd noise. During the course of the game, you tend to gain energy from the crowd as they erupt after a big play or encourage you headed into the final minutes. Given this, you likely don’t key in on any one particular voice. The crowd noise is simply in the background with your focus being fulling on the game.
Well, this was true for me as well except for one distinct recognizable voice. This one voice, always seem to stand out among the crowd as a voice of encouragement. Looking back on it, this particular voice was a bit louder than most; however, I don’t believe that is the only reason it stood out so clearly. The voice I was hearing was a voice I heard regularly. When I heard words of encouragement like, “way to go tiger”, these words were words I’d heard time and time again on and off the field. These words and that distinct recognizable voice was my Dad! Yes, many of you can likely relate, Dad’s voice always stood out above the crowd and was heard throughout the game.
Let me ask you something. Did you know that the same way my earthly father’s voice stood out amongst the crowd, we have the opportunity to hear our Heavenly Father’s distinct recognizable voice? Yes, our Heavenly Father desires to have a relationship with us as “Christ-followers” that long to hear his distinct recognizable voice. No, it may not be an audible voice like my Dad’s voice, however, once you know it, you know it’s His voice.
One of the best teachings I’ve heard relating to Hearing God’s Voice is by Pastor Jim Samra from Grand Rapids, MI. One of the things that always stood out in his teaching was that Jesus has a distinct recognizable voice not unlike that of many we know. Jim used the analogy of a telephone. His question was when you answer the phone (prior to caller ID) and your spouse, best friend, father, mother or others you are in close relationship are on the other end of the line, do you have to ask who it is? No, you don’t even have to ask; you know their voice, their distinct recognizable voice. This is the same once we know God’s distinct recognizable voice.
Again, no, it most likely isn’t an audible voice like my fathers or that person on the phone. It is, however, distinct and recognizable. Depending on the level of your relationship, it may vary to what degree and doesn’t look the same for everyone. However, when you hear it, you know it was God. There is absolutely no mistaking it. While it can be, it normally doesn’t look like a burning bush moment or some miraculous circumstance. More so, what I’m finding is that it comes in the form of any relationship as we spend time together. The more time, the more distinct and recognizable God’s voice tends to be.
So, I’m sure today’s blog post raises many questions. In some circumstances, it may be raising a few yellow or, even, red flags. Unfortunately, in one blog post, I can’t even scratch the surface on giving this topic justice. If you’re intrigued or even have flags being raised, I encourage you to read some of the stories in the Hearing God’s Voice category on my blog. Once you’ve read these, I always welcome conversations to further discuss.
Finally, do you have stories of how you’ve heard God’s distinct recognizable voice? If so, share via the comments below or sending them directly to me. While I won’t share today, I have a project underway for compiling these stories for the encouragement of others longing to experience the same.