Have you ever received a phone call that went something like this?
"Hey, how are you?"
"I'm good, how are you?"
"Great, did you watch the game last night?"
"Yes, great game"
"Well, all of us need to get together to watch a game soon."
"Sure, we need to do that."
"What about this weekend?"
"Uh… who is this?"
I don't always recognize every voice that comes over the phone. That's why I have Caller ID. However, there are some voices that I always recognize. I know my husband's voice and he recognizes my voice without me having to introduce myself on the phone. I can pick his voice out of crowd. Actually, that's not very difficult because he's usually the loudest one in the group… sorry honey, but it's true. He has a very nice voice by the way (I hope that smoothed things over with him).
I also can easily recognize the voice of my children. I don't have to ask which daughter is calling when I hear a voice over the phone. Although, I do have to confess that many times when I'm talking about one of my three children, I will run through all three names and even add in the names of the grandchildren before saying the correct name (everyone does that… right?).
What I love most is that there are people in my life that know the sound of voice and all I have to say is, "hey, it's me" and they know exactly who's calling. Before my mom passed away, I could call her and just simply say, "hey Momma", and even though she has three daughters, she always knew that it was me, it was Darlene, her oldest daughter calling. Not only did she know my voice but the sound of her voice let me know that she was happy to hear from me.
My ramblings here do have a purpose, so I'll get to the point that I want to make.
I am thankful that God also knows my voice. At times when I cry out, "Jesus"; my heart can feel him answer, "Hello Darlene, I'm glad you called". When I fall on my knees and pray, "Father God", I can almost hear Him say, "Yes, Baby Girl, I'm right here". When life gets busy and the world gets so loud that I don't think anyone can hear me, it's comforting to know that my Heavenly Father always hears me and He knows my voice. I love to talk to Him, especially at times when I know that no one else could understand my ramblings. I love that I can call Him and just say, "Hey, it's me".
The other side of this coin is that God wants us to recognize His voice as well. This is where I fall short. I tend to be more like Samuel. A voice called to him three times before Eli finally explained to him that the voice he was hearing was God (1 Samuel 3). I talk often to my Heavenly Father, but I need more practice at listening well enough to be able to recognize His voice. We were created to commune with God. That means he wants a relationship with us. Most will agree that to have a good relationship with someone else, such as a spouse or a friend, we need to communicate. Communication should not be "one-way". I love to share my thoughts with my husband and tell him about my day but sometimes, I also have to allow him to talk and I practice my listening skills.
Here are a few things to improve communication
•Sit face to face and make eye contact: we spend a lot of time communicating through text, emails, and social networks but to build a good relationship, we need to get face to face.
•Minimize distractions; both external and internal: life is filled with distractions. It may take some effort but reduce the noise, turn off the TV, the computer, the cell phone, etc. Focus your thoughts on the conversation and guard against letting your mind wonder to other things.
•Focus all your attention on the one speaking: we want others to pay attention to us when we are talking, so we should do the same for them. Remember the "Golden Rule".
•Face to Face: we can't do this literally but we can find a quiet place where we can have an intimate conversation with God.
•Minimize distractions: shut out external distractions by turning the noise of the world off; spending time in prayer, reading God's Word, or worshiping Him in song can help clear your thoughts of worldly distractions.
•Focus all your attention on Him: God gives us His full attention and He doesn't want to compete for our attention.
Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. Deuteronomy 32:1-2
The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. John 10: 2-5
My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God
Proverbs 2: 1-5