“You will seek Me and
find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.”
- Jeremiah 29:13
I’m a big fan of nature documentaries. There have been some really good ones released in the last several years: African Cats, Dolphin Reef, Born in
(which, contrary to what you
might think, is not about the coronavirus … it’s about pandas and snow
leopards). But my absolute favorite nature documentary is March of the Penguins.
This film records the amazing story of the way Emperor Penguins migrate in
order to breed. Every year, several thousand of these tenacious birds walk—or,
actually, waddle—70 miles from the ocean to their breeding grounds. China
When the penguins arrive, they pair up into couples, and the female lays one egg. She then passes her egg off to her hubby, who carefully places the egg on top of his feet underneath his abdominal feathers. And Dad holds that egg on his feet for two months while his Mrs. and the other ladies walk 70 miles back to the ocean to find food. During those two months, the male emperor penguin waits through temperatures as low as 70 degrees below zero, and he loses around one-third of his total body weight.
Eventually the egg hatches, and the females returns. And each male penguin calls for his mate. As over a thousand penguins call for their wives at the same time, to us it just sounds like a bunch of racket. But somehow, every female penguin is able to distinguish the call of her hubby and go to him. Isn’t that cool?
As humans, our ears aren’t nearly so fine-tuned. Every day we hear hundreds of voices vying for our attention: the voices of our spouses, our kids and our parents … our friends, neighbors, coworkers and bosses. We hear hundreds of voices on TV, on the radio and at WalMart, and sometimes it just sounds like a whole lot of noise. All these voices are fighting for our attention, and as followers of Jesus Christ we want to know: “With hundreds of different voices rattling in my ears, how can I single out the one voice I want to hear? How do I hear God’s voice?”
Let’s take a look at Elijah. In 1 Kings 19:11, the Lord tells Elijah that He is about to pass by. Right after He says that, a “great and powerful wind” rips through the mountains. But somehow, Elijah knows that God is not in the wind. Then a great earthquake rattles the mountain. But somehow, Elijah knows that God is not in the earthquake. Then a raging fire torches the mountainside. But once again, Elijah knows that God is not in the fire. Finally, at the end of verse 12, Elijah hears a “gentle whisper.” And Elijah immediately recognizes that God is in the gentle whisper. Amidst the earth-shaking noise of the wind and the earthquake and the fire, Elijah recognizes the voice of God. Wouldn’t you love to be able to do that? Let me share a few insights about how you can hear God’s voice.
Insight #1: The problem isn’t that God’s not TALKING. The problem is that you’re not LISTENING. The truth is, God speaks to us in a hundred different ways every day. He speaks to us through prayer. He speaks to us through people. He speaks to us through our triumphs, and He even speaks to us through our failures and pain. And the number one way that God speaks to us is through His Word. If you want to hear God’s voice, just start reading. You’ll hear it---for sure!! There’s a reason we call the Bible “God’s word.” Remember that the God of heaven and earth is a very personal God, and He speaks to us in a very personal way. It’s amazing how a Bible verse that you’ve read a hundred times can come alive for the first time on a certain day and you just know in your heart of hearts, “God is speaking to me right now.”
Insight #2: God speaks to us more often than we realize, but we don’t hear Him because there’s too much noise drowning Him out. We live in a very noisy world. For many of us the radio is always on in our cars and the TV is always on in our homes. In order to hear God’s whisper, you must strive to eliminate at least some of the background noise. To do this, you need to practice a little self-discipline. Turn off the TV and radio. Get out in nature if you’re able to. Wake up early and get into God’s Word before everyone else in the house wakes up and starts making noise. In order to hear God’s voice, you have to be able to HEAR God’s voice. Make sense?
Insight #3: You’ve gotta want it—really, really want it. It’s easy to say, “I want to hear God’s voice.” But do you really, really, REALLY want to hear God’s voice? In Jeremiah 29:13, God says, “You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart.” Do you seek God with “all your heart”? Just as Mama Penguin’s heart’s desire is to hear Daddy’s voice, our heart’s desire should be to hear our Daddy’s voice. We must have hearts that love God and want to spend time with God and long to hear the voice of God. There are no shortcuts. It takes time. It takes effort. It takes practice. But you will seek God and find God and hear God, when you seek Him and listen with all your heart.
Dane Davis is the Pastor of Impact Christian Church. Please join us for our online worship service Sundays at
10 a.m. at Live.GreaterImpact.cc or on our YouTube channel (Impact Christian Church) or on Facebook.