One way you can give God an opportunity to speak to you is meditating on scripture. I’ve been going through 1 Thessalonians because that’s what I believe He’s leading me to do at the moment. Here’s what I do:
I go to my special place. Since it’s so cold, I can’t go walking in the mountains–well, I can, but it doesn’t exactly make you want to sit and contemplate for long–you’ve got to keep moving. 😉 Anyway, my special place just now is a comfy chair in our bedroom with a lamp and a little table. I even painted a picture of my table.
I usually have my quiet time in the mornings. If I wait until evening, I fall asleep. So, I go in and shut the door and sit down and quiet my mind. If I have plenty of time, I might read a chapter of one of the books I’m reading. Christian brothers and sisters have a lot to offer, and I love reading their books–they’ve helped me draw closer to our Lord. I might also read through the last few days of journal entries. It’s amazing how quickly I can forget what God told me yesterday, so I do re-read the things I’ve written. I might sing one or two of the songs He’s given me. Once in a while, He just gives me a song out of nowhere. He’s so incredible.
I might ask Him a question, or just ask Him what He’d like to say to me, then I just sit and listen to my spirit. I have quieted my mind, and I dont’ allow myself to think of anything. After a while, seemingly from nowhere, a stream of words or pictures comes into my mind. Once upon a time, I would have simply let them pass along with all the random wanderings of my mind, but these pictures feel different, and if I look at them, I can sense the Holy Spirit speaking. If they’re words, I just write them down and more words come. If they’re pictures, I might draw them, or I might just look at them for a while until God says something about them, then I write. Usually, it comes down to words, but occasionally the pictures are so strong and memorable that I can only draw them or describe them.
Lately, though, I’ve been meditating on 1 Thessalonians, as I said. Today’s verse was short: “As a result (of their joyous acceptance of Christ despite the severe persecution that followed), you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia.” Remember, this is Paul writing to the believers of Thessalonica after he was driven from the city by the persecutors. So, here’s what God said to me:
“My believers in China have become an example to the world. The western church looks at them in surprise and wonderment. You too can be an example if you will follow Me in simple joy. I will manifest Myself in your midst for others–My elect–to see, and many will be attracted to the light of My presence in you. Become transparent vessels for My glory. Become so saturated with My Spirit that even the walls of the earthen vessel (metaphor for a Christ follower) smell like, taste like, feel like, look like, sound like Me. Then I will work My works in you, and I will bring peoples to Myself through the testimony of My Spirit in you.
“This is My commandment: That you love one another that your joy may be full. When you are filled with joy, you are brimming over with My strength–My power. People will receive from Me just by getting close to you. You will slosh out wherever you go, and the people will drink.”
God is so good. Grace and peace to you!