Changing God’s Volume.

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Acknowledge God. Acknowledging God first thing every morning transforms my day. I often begin my day by reconfirming His authority over me and submitting to Him as Lord in advance of my daily circumstances. I try to accept the words of Joshua 24:15 as a personal daily challenge: “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.”
-Beth Moore

I used to view God as silent…much like an imaginary friend who I truly believed existed. In the depths of my being, I knew He was there, but the process of prayer would leave me feeling as if I were talking to a wall.

We’ve all known those people who have radical, miraculous encounters with God. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I have never audibly heard God’s voice. I have never tangibly felt His presence. This separation and great divide was the cause of great frustration in my life for many years. Why was He silent? Where was He when I needed Him?

If you’ve ever experienced this hurt, we aren’t alone in this feeling.

“God, are you avoiding me?
Where are you when I need you?”

-Psalm 10:1

I can’t tell you the amount of times I have asked those questions, cried out to God, and wondered where He was. I don’t have a big secret to communicating with God, and I don’t have His phone number like in Bruce Almighty. But I have learned that I can change the volume at which I hear from Him.

In my frustration and times of deep pain, I learned to tune Him out. During my darkest days, I wouldn’t pray. I let dust collect on my bible. I knew exactly how to avoid His truth. God’s voice was so quiet and pushed so deeply into the caverns of my soul that I could barely notice it.

However, just as I know how to tune Him out, I also know how to tune in and turn up the volume. Like any healthy relationship, it requires time, energy, effort, intention, and patience.

God’s love and truth is loud. It is living. It is in His word. It is in the beauty around us. It is in our suffering. It is in our victories. It is in our encounters with others. It is in our prayer. It is in our silence.

We truly can experience the presence of God if we take the time to open our eyes and ears…to be still and focus on who He is. Some of my favorite ways to connect with Him are through…

-Prayer (It doesn’t have to be formal, just talk to God. Be real with Him, He can handle it).
-Gratitude (It’s easy to focus on the struggles, but when we give thanks, we can really see the ways God has blessed us and is present in our lives.)
-Meditation (It is crucial that we learn the discipline of being still and knowing He is God…clearing away distractions and allowing Him to be our fuel.)
-Studying Him (If you love someone, you want to know them. The more I prioritize reading His word and understanding God’s character, His truth silences the lies and doubts in my mind. Memorizing scripture has been an enormous tool for me to carry through life’s difficulties, as it is a way for God’s living words and promises to go with me always.)

Starting the day by connecting with God has helped me immensely. I highly recommend finding a short morning devotional that fills you with His grace, love, and truth prior to stepping out into the unknowns that come with each new day. With my lapdog snuggling close by and a hot cup of coffee in hand, each morning I read Jesus Calling, which has a short message from Him for each day of the year. Enjoy the truth below, and remember to silence distractions and turn up the volume of His presence. God wants to love you out loud today.

“Modern man has lost the perspective of eternity. To distract himself from the gaping jaws of death, he engages in ceaseless activity and amusement. The practice of being still in my presence is almost a lost art, yet it is this very stillness that enables you to experience my eternal love. You need the certainty of my loving presence in order to weather the storms of life. During times of severe testing, even the best theology can fail you if it isn’t accompanied by experiential knowledge of me. The ultimate protection against sinking during life’s storms is devoting time to develop your friendship with me.”

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{Photo credit: Meredith Sledge photography}

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