One of the challenges that you face in your journey toward wholeness and truth is the volume of deception and the author of it, the devil, is 120 decibels the same as a running chainsaw. His messages are so loud that they cannot be avoided. Truth is most often found in the quiet. The prophet Elijah needed to hear from God. After a great wind that was so strong that it tore up mountains, an earthquake, and a great fire he still did not hear from God. He finally hears God speak “in a still small voice” (a whisper is at 10 decibels).
For this reason, the only way to hear God is to invite the quiet. Stop all the noise and invite the silence. This is not always easy with the routine you may have and in your effort to meet the expectations and responsibilities that you have. To stop the noise is a choice. It can even be an uncomfortable choice when you are getting started. There may be voices that the noise helps you avoid. Self-talk can be vicious when it is quiet. You may have echoes of critical voices that have spoken into your life. You may prefer the noise. But it only masks the issues that are coming up.
The only way to quiet the voices and move toward wholeness is to confront the voices and learn to enjoy the silence. When you do you can hear the voice of God! He can comfort you and tell you the truth about your identity. This will eliminate the discomfort and create moments with God that are unforgettable. He will comfort you and quiet the voices and negative self talk.
Thomas Merton encouraged Christ-based meditation and prayer. He lived in solitude in a cabin in the hills of Kentucky near the abbey that he served. He like you had voices to quiet but experienced a level of communion that allowed him to write very personally about God and his presence. He was able to teach with a level of personal experience when he spoke of God’s presence. He is not extraordinary. This same level of communion is offered to you.
It is a deliberate choice to enter into silence. It rarely happens without intentionality. You may feel that there is no opportunity for this in your life. If that is the case you must take control of your life and create the space. Every one of us can carve out fifteen or twenty minutes if we are intentional. The reality is that you need to do this. It is not optional if you want to remain healthy. In creation, God included a sabbath rest as a pattern for you. He loves you and like any love relationship, you will make time for those you love. Satan is the author of the messages that discourage this. He does not want you to pause and connect with your creator. He knows that when you pause and listen that you are one step closer to reality. He has to keep you on the treadmill to keep up the illusions. As long as you believe the lie that you cannot stop that you will not uncover his deception.
I want to clarify any misunderstanding as well. While general meditation can be helpful, this is specifically focused on scripture and has the purpose of connecting to God. It is not for the purpose of some inner tranquility although that is a byproduct. Scripture promises that if you, “draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” Like the father of the prodigal, he is waiting at the end of the road for you to come home (Luke 15:19-20). Brennan Manning used to say, God not only loves you, he likes you! This is a powerful truth. Spend time with the Father, He is waiting and He likes you. Whatever you have thought that is different than this is a lie. He is not going to condemn you or hurt you. He desires to spend time with you. Meditation and prayer are a good start to hearing his voice.