Must Listen

I’m not particularly athletic. At times I can be clumsy. But one thing I love, and wish I had started when I was much younger, is hiking in the mountains. I can’t do the strenuous trails. But I can walk long and slow and hear the wind rustle and the brook bubble and the quiet of it all.

Backtrack sixteen years ago. A sweet couple took us hiking – on several occasions. Then one time, as we came near the end of a trail, we were on a level path that ran along a shallow river. To get to the water was just a few stumbling feet down some rock. Down went everyone…except me.

I stood there hesitating. I could hear a voice saying: ‘don’t go down’. However, feeling foolish waiting behind won over and so I went. The end of the story is – I broke my arm – on the easiest part of the trail. The lesson is: listen.

That was the day I began to acknowledge that the Holy Spirit really does indwell us. Ever speaking to us. Yet we rarely listen. Or we write it off as self-talk. But once we accept Jesus, truth is, the Holy Spirit is in us.

And there is purpose in that indwelling – our protection, guidance so we can live and act for the Lord, and so we can learn the deep things of God’s Word and become wise (but not with worldly wisdom). “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no heart has imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed it to us by the Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (1Corinthians 2:9b-10 BSB)

During the years since that fall, I’ve been on a journey: one leading to listening while also learning to seek out His voice.

It’s such a hard concept to grasp. We can grasp God, a Savior. But we easily write off the Holy Spirit. Too undefinable, too hard to explain – we think. But oh what wonder in discovering that Jesus’ words about sending a Counselor to be with us were not idle words. They were a promise. “When the Counselor comes, the One I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father—He will testify about Me.” (John 15:26 HCSB)

Like most things in this walk with Jesus, it does not come easy. Yes, the Spirit is with us always and forever, but He is not pushy. We must learn all about this aspect of God, this treasure given us in this mortal body. In order to hear Him, we must listen.

13 Comments on “Must Listen

  1. Love your posts!! You put into words what I think about but cannot put into words! You also remind me of the things I want & should be doing more of!! Thanks you and keep posting!!

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  2. We enjoy walking mountain trails too, Paris. This is so vital to our relationship with Him, “I’ve been on a journey: one leading to listening while also learning to seek out His voice.”

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    • Lisa, sorry for the late reply, was out of town, supposed to be hiking – got sick instead – but was an opportunity to seek that voice. Blessings as you listen and seek to hear the One who is right there with you…

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  3. I love your post. I, too, wish I had started hiking. The truth is I am afraid of snakes but love to be outdoors. I’m so sorry you broke your arm. Yes, we need to heed the direction of the holy spirit.

    I hate to admit it, but I heard God prompt me to stop by and visit with someone this week. I felt embarrassed stopping by. It isn’t someone I know very well. So with shame, I have to say I didn’t stop. But as soon as I finish typing this, I will write them a note since they have left the area.

    I am getting ready to start a series on listening. So your post was what I needed to give me a jump start. I want to improve my listening and obedience this year.

    Thank you for your words. Maree

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    • Maree, I just got back in town and saw your email about featuring me in your post yesterday. What an honor, thank you very much. Funny how our Lord works, this trip was supposed to be about two best friends who live far apart having a great time and we both wound up sick. So we had lots of time to listen for the Holy Spirit – we can’t figure out the “whys” but His presence kept us in the “whatevers” – whatever is true, pure, lovely  May you and I both be blessed not only with hearts that listen but find that voice daily!

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  4. I’ve had to learn lessons the hard way too. I want to learn to listen more and more closely to the Holy Spirit and discern his voice from all others in my head. Thanks for sharing this lesson.

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  5. This is a wonderful reminder for me today. Lately, I’ve found myself doubting that whisper is the Holy Spirit and instead just my own flawed inner voice. Love your advice that the Holy Spirit never tells us anything that doesn’t align with the Bible and usually tells us something that’s uncomfortable.

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    • Simple – Jesus keeps things simple for us, not easy, but simple. Listen to Him, seek Him, trust Him, obey Him…blessings on the journey towards living simply.

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    • Amen – you are so right. He is right here with us, closer than our breath. The Holy Spirit is an unbelievable gift. Blessings as you call on Him and listen for Him.

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