Home » Born-again Christian » AMPLIFYING THE STILL SMALL VOICE


One of the main pleasures of being a born-again believer is talking to God every day. And I’m talking conversations, not one-way petitions that are sent off like messages in a bottle, never really expected to be received. God and I talk every day, just like Jesus talked with God every day and Adam talked with God every day before he got booted from the Garden. God and I talk. Formally, it’s known as prayer, but I just think of it as talking. Sometimes I hog the conversation and sometimes God hogs the conversation, and every now and then Jesus butts in with a comment that at times makes me laugh and at times gives me pause. I never come away from the conversations without having learned something, which means I learn something new every day, simply by talking to God.

But you have to listen to hear God. He’s not going to shout over your headphones or earbuds. He’s not going to interrupt your movie streaming. He’s not going to talk over your conversations with your friends and family. You purposely open yourself to God to hear him. You purposely seek him out, the way that Moses climbed the mountain to talk to God. You make the effort, and God rewards you with his presence.

This is his promise to his children, a promise which he delivered through Jesus and is recorded in John’s Gospel. If you’re genuinely born-again, you are a child of God. Jesus said we would have the same relationship with God that he had – that of Father and child. This was a promise Jesus made to us on behalf of God, and God always keeps his promises.


Unfortunately, today’s world does all it can to drown out the still small voice. Even God’s children are being lured away to listen to anything other than God. We are tempted with music and movies, videos and podcasts, TV and radio, and a seemingly endless assortment of audio distractions that spill over into cars with automated wayfinder systems and even onto elevators with tinkling muzak, lest we mistake the elevators for the closet that Jesus said we should go into to pray.

If you live in the world (I mean, if you’re not a child of God), the soundscape is perpetual and loud, with audio distractions being delivered through speakers in every building, loudspeakers on every street, and headphones on every head. Added to that, combustion engines are everywhere. Living in the world means never finding any peace and quiet and always being surrounded by some kind of intrusive noise, including ubiquitous white noise that you only realize is there when the power goes out.

I was startled awake this morning by a piercing fire alarm. After it stopped (it was a false alarm), it occurred to me that I haven’t heard many birds outside my window this year. What I do hear is the roar of vehicles and construction machinery, and the groaning whirr of the industrial-sized HVAC system housed a few hundred feet away from my university residence.

This time last year, I was living in a house in the country. I was in a community of six or seven houses amounting to about 15 people, myself included. Between us and the next communities were woods on all sides stretching for miles. You would think, with so few people in such an isolated environment, that it would be quiet. You would think. But even with so few people living in the middle of nowhere, we sure managed to make a lot of noise.

All-terrain vehicles, as I found out last summer, are the travel mode of choice in the country. Added to that, most of the residents in the little community were related to each other and visited each other several times a day. Despite living no more than a few minutes’ walk from each other, no-one seemed to want to stroll down their driveway and up the neighbouring one or to cut across lawns. No-one seemed to own a bicycle, not even the two children living there. So dozens of times a day I was serenaded with the growl and sputter of ten lawnmowers combined into one obnoxious ATV engine roaring past my country kitchen windows.

Sometimes, my neighbours would even get into their car and drive across the street to make their visit, and this on a sunny summer day. I thought at first that they were taking their car because they were delivering something that was too big or too heavy to carry, but no. They were just taking their car because it was easier to drive 100 feet than to walk 100 feet.

I don’t drive (not even ATVs), so I wasn’t able to contribute to the cacophony, other than when my delivery guys from the city pulled up in their mini vans a few times a week. About halfway through the summer, the dad of the two kids bought a 1940s pick-up truck whose main feature was that it backfired every few seconds. He then did something to amplify the muffler. By August, I had given up my fight against the noise and just kept my windows shut most of the day.

The nights were quiet, though.


The world contrives to keep us overwhelmed by so much noise, that the still small voice of God gets drowned out unless we consciously and purposely listen for it. I would be lost without talking to God every day. The Bible is a comfort, but it pales in comparison to just being with God. The irony is that, when you’re in the God bubble, you don’t hear the noise anymore. It’s still there, but distant: It gets blocked out.

When you talk to God, his voice and your voice (and occasionally Jesus’ voice) are all you really hear.

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