Ways to hear from God – four day devotional

Scripture – Andrew Price | Day One

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord” Psalm 1:2

One morning, quite recently, I read scripture to God.  Time seemed to stop. I was conscious of a profound peace and a sustained joy like a deep orchestral chord.  It was as if I sat at his feet and read, while he smiled and listened in the way a parent might listen to a child.

Now before you remind me that God is everywhere and that he is always present, let me explain.  I was reading Genesis and I had decided to read it in a different way.  I read out loud, slowly and clearly.  I was noticing and enjoying turns of phrase and echoes of other scriptures.  Little things, like the fact that God didn’t just make trees appear in a flash, he “made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground…” In my mind’s eye I see stout oaks and slender birches slowly emerging from the rich soil and taking on their unique shape as God looks on approvingly.  Too often I read scripture like a tourist trying to do London in a day, seeing everything but seeing nothing.  Reading out loud slows me down.  I see more and hear more, like the difference between driving down a country lane and walking along it.

Thought life – Roanna Day | Day Two

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12 v 2

Who is thinking your thoughts? The old you, or the new? The you that Jesus put to death on the cross or the new, that is seated on high with Him?

Not every thought you have is truly you, or rather – the truest you. It’s not just a case of having lots of your thoughts and then occasionally hearing God in the midst. Your thought life is a battlefield and the war is between your old self and your new. Which one is winning today?

If I may speak somewhat prematurely, discerning the root of my thoughts has become the most important work of my life.

If you’d have asked me about hearing from God ten years ago I would say that I did hear from Him but that it was infrequent, like a break of sunlight amidst a grey sky. It took real focus to hone in on His voice and sharing those thoughts felt like a huge leap of faith because, well, what if I’d heard wrong?

If you ask me now? Well, I talk to God throughout the day, everyday. I know that His and my headspace are the same and He loves to talk to me as I cook, garden or play with my daughter. Sharing what I hear from Him? Well, it’s honestly hard for me not to! Whether it’s in a meeting (remember those?) or at a dinner date with friends, my head floods with thoughts from the Father and I struggle to suppress them. I am now so sure of His voice, so confident in discerning His thoughts, it’s easy to step out and share them. 

Knowing how to navigate your thought life and making the effort to, as Paul says, renew your mind, is one of the most worthwhile endeavours set before us. I’m not exaggerating when I say, it will change your life. 

Drawing – Abbie Price | Day Three

I’ve always loved drawing (a childhood nickname was “Doodle”!) I love losing myself in the act of drawing and connecting with my creator God.

Sometimes creating flows out of my worship, but when I deliberately combine prayer and drawing, I often hear from God in a way that I’m really only just beginning to understand.

This pair of drawings emerged over a series of quiet times at the beginning of last year. At first they were just shapes, but in the process, images started to form.

The first drawing became a kind of tower block, in shades of blue, with red cracks and explosions surrounding it. The second drawing felt like the aftermath. Some of the blue blocks from the tower remained, scattered, but in a new, green landscape, with a huge yellow sun rising over it all.

And this is what I found myself writing about these drawings… 

Imagination – Ruth Price | Day Four

During this last week I have been pondering something that unfolded in one of my prayer encounters. It wasn’t a vision; in the moment I couldn’t see anything specific. However, I knew, sensed that there was a translucent, filtered light around me. I just didn’t know where I was. And, more worrying, I couldn’t see Jesus.

Praying with the imagination can tap into every aspect of who you are: visual images, memories, feelings, sensory impressions as well as your thought processes. One thing I have found, is that when I am in dialogue with whichever member of the Trinity chooses to be present, it is impossible to direct my imaginative processes in the way that can happen when you’re daydreaming.

On this particular occasion, all I had was an awareness that I was curled up in a narrow place but with a sense of movement, a pushing all around.  I couldn’t change the image or the scene by trying to imagine something different. Questions tumbled around my mind like leaves in a storm. They distilled down into this “Jesus, where are you and what is happening to me??”

His answer, “I’m right here, and you’re being born again.”