Learning to “hear” God’s voice (i.e., “discernment”) actually begins by learning what is not God’s voice.
That is to say, each of us arrives to our relationship with God with many voices in our head – the voices of our family, our culture, our friends…the voice of Reason, of our deepest hopes, our deepest fears. Indeed, our inner stage is crowded with actors repeating their lines, each calling us in a different directions.
Ignatius (of Loyola) reminds us that one of those voices is God. God is actively trying to engage with us, not hiding afar off until we prove ourselves worthy. But God’s voice is often drown out by the clamor of all the others making demands upon our will.
As we seek to discern God’s voice from the crowd, we do best to first identify as many of the others as we can. Not to judge or dismiss them outright (our families and friends and intellects and passions can have many good things to say). Rather, we simply want to become aware of who is saying what. When a voice calls me strongly, which voice is it? And does God have an alternative word to offer?
This is a sermon that was originally presented at Canvas (a Presbyterian church in Irvine, CA), February 22, 2015. To learn more about Canvas, click here!
To receive future episodes automatically, simply subscribe by clicking below: