What does God sound like?

What does God sound like?

Ever wondered what God sounds like? I listen to sermons and read books on spiritual growth where the author says “I heard God telling me…”, and I wonder WHAT does God sound like?  Has He got a deep voice? Is it a whisper? Also, how do I know it is Him? Is it a figment of my overactive imagination? Did I dream it? All these questions!

I have spent most of my summer this year inside the arctic circle. It has been an incredible adventure, exploring the natural beauty that is thousands of years in the making. I stood on a glacier where the first snowflake fell nearly 3000 years ago, excavated fossils formed in the Jurassic period and I marvelled at a landscape carved by the wind and ice in Svalbard and Iceland.  I sat in a natural hot spring bubbling at +45 degrees centigrade surrounded by snow capped mountains. I sailed through fjords with icebergs floating past and encountered walls of ice of indescribable beauty for as far as the eye could see! Sidenote: visit Iceland and Svalbard if you can.  During my summer of arctic sailing I picked two books about identity to read, more on that in a minute. Both authors regularly mention how God spoke to them directly, and as their words (His words) sank in, I started thinking about my walk and if I hear could hear Him. So I started a conversation.

I asked questions in my prayers and I waited to hear the answers. I have to be honest and admit I felt contempt for the quote : “Silence is an answer too”. Surely He could just say “no” or “not yet” rather than leave me hanging! A resounding endorsement of spiritual immaturity. Lets call it my terrible twos, seen as it been 2 years since I was saved.  So like a petulant child I declared I couldn’t hear God. I still tried to listen though.  Nothing, Nada. Zilch. Zero! Cue temper tantrum.

As the nautical miles clocked up on the Arctic Ocean , Greenland Sea, Norwegian Sea, North Sea and Denmark Straight I persevered with the reading. Some wise counsel recommend a few books. I selected two as I was searching for the reconnect with my identity in Christ after my childish display. The words from Destined to Win and Without Rival directed me towards scripture and re-educated me on some lessons I forgot and taught me some new things too! I really do recommend both.  It helped that I had no phone signal. Being off the grid is one of the things I love about sailing.  Actually living in the moment, appreciating where I am.  Of course there are pockets of signal to get back onto the grid, but for the most part (whilst at sea) I was without any kind of digital presence.

Not having signal is great when it comes to devotional time. No signal = no distractions. Ever found during a reading or prayer you get distracted by that vibration or ping? I know I do. So not having that was great, it allowed me to focus, to  think, to digest.  But what does all of this pre-amble have to do with hearing God?

Well, I found that when I focused, I kept my train of thought, I  fully ingested the words of my bible and reading material. I got closer to Him. So, now when I set time aside for devotion, I activate the ‘do not disturb’ function on all devices!  

Quality time without notifications.
Tip: Activate your “Do not Disturb” if you are distracted easily too.

I’m sure you are familiar with the story of creation in Genesis, and Psalms 95 reiterates the mountains are His.  I was reminded I could hear Him every time I went on watch.  I only had to use my eyes! What a revelation that was. Right now, stop, look around you and hear the wonder of  His voice in your surroundings. This is not conventional hearing, but it is hearing.

Psalms 95:4-5
In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

I was surrounded by such infinite beauty, it was deafening, and I was desensitised.  It literally surrounded me and until I tuned into the right frequency; the word – I couldn’t appreciate it for what it was.  His voice.

I cannot stress how important daily devotional time has been to  my growth. Every christian has to spend time in the word, daily! Hebrews 12 speaks volumes! Spending time in the word will open all your senses to hear! I have so much more to share with you, but for now thanks for stopping by. 

Subscribe if you want to hear more about my walk. What does God sound like to you? Comment below, I would love to hear how He speaks to you.

Share in the comments section below how you hear His voice. How He speaks to you.
Please share in the comments section below what He sounds like to you.

Into my wilderness

The last 2 weeks have been a roller-coaster ride. For the record one is not a fan. The elation after my baptism was inexplicable. But, to try and explain it felt like I moved into sunshine, I basked in the light and felt it’s warmth.

Almost immediately I was in my own wilderness I looked around and felt lost, despair, anger, hurt and sadness. The sunny disposition had evaporated as quickly as it had appeared.

Why? Well because with a week to go before I headed off on my new path a lump appeared in my leg and surgery was necessary. I could barely walk, I could not envision lifting let alone changing sails. Please read my previous post for more detail.

My test had begun. And, the kind words of support were invaluable to get me through as was the word.

I knew I could take pain killers and “power through” but I also knew that was irresponsible. In my new career I will be expected to make the right decisions and look after people and their welfare. With that in mind I couldn’t risk disrupting the training with my soon to be colleagues because I wanted this experience so much.

The training program is intensive and being on the water means it’s not just a 999 call if I went down. That in mind, I contacted the powers that be and did the only thing I could – beg for more recovery time. I knew this could end the dream but there was a possibility it might just delay the dream.

During the past year reading the Bible in a Facebook group and chatting to a special lady in my church I was reminded of Jesus’ baptism. Matthew Ch4.

This was definitely a testing time for me, but I had an army of people praying for me and it worked! Prayers were answered for healing & recovery, compassion and continuation.

If you needed tangible proof:
1. The nurses have never seen a post-op wound like mine heal as quickly as it has been.
2. Whilst waiting to find out if this new journey would start the right people were available and, thankfully, they said yes to starting a week late and to working around a full recovery.
3. Travel was cancelled with full refunds, despite the late hour. A blessing on my finances as I am no longer in employment.

I don’t know what lesson I had to learn from this experience nor if I ever will.

I do know this though:

1. I know that my faith was tested, and trusting in it and Him was far from easy. But it helped holding onto it.
2. I know that prayer was answered, and I thank everyone for their prayers.
3. I know I’m never alone – friends and family messages and calls lifted my spirit also Ps 73:23
4. I made no bargains to get the outcome I wanted during prayer, but I did ask for what I wanted. Accepting the answer may well be “no” – and only then did I feel the warmth again.

Thanks for reading feel free to comment, share or like. If you are interested in following my journey then please subscribe.

James 1:2-3. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

Down and not out…

Down and not out…

Today it certainly feels like prospects are diminished but I need to focus on the positives. There is a chill in the air – just like the one that comes in the twilight… before the dark.
It’s just under a week until my dream job starts and I am uncertain as to whether or not Im actually going to start. Waiting is the worst! I cannot ignore the possibility that I may not start because i just had surgery. I cannot stop thinking about the dream I have been chasing, about it slipping away. I’m trying to focus on the positive that I had surgery, it was successful and caught in time to prevent it the complete evaporation of the dream. But I’m down, emotionally and physically in the twilight, where the light seems to be fading and it is infuriating. Im on the tipping point of Rage!

Neo discovered it was a glitch in The Matrix (in my top ten of films), changes and not the good kind! A long time ago my heart was completely focused on a desire to serve Queen and country. It was within reach, I cleared every hurdle and had a start date at Cranwell. Then events out with my control delayed it. Dejected I went to plan B, the deferral, I made the conscious choice to use that time waiting productively and joined the reserves. Whilst on basic training, I got injured and there ended my full time military career on medical grounds. Call it stubbornness or determination; I grabbed hold of the reserve career as part-time was better than nothing. 
I went through numerous operations and repeatedly injured myself after months of remedial fitness training to avoid medical discharge. The damage of this madness has had repercussions, but they are not integral to this rambling. I moved into oil and gas and wanted a career in QA and got it for 9 months before the redundancy took it away. The point is, this week I developed a lump in my leg that required surgery and now my career [granted to me] is in danger of slipping through my fingers again! 

Last Sunday I was basking in the light. Squinting in brilliance of all its splendour. Warmed by the joy and happiness radiating from within. A friend who had recently been baptised, told me to be vigilant, by becoming a beacon for God I instantaneously put myself as a target on the enemy radar. The exact words were “the enemy will try and rob you of your daughter inheritance”.You can see why I am so angry right? Why would God put these things within my reach and take them away? Why would He plant those desires and have me invest every fibre of my being into making them a reality and then prevent me from achieving them? Why do I have to settle for second best? This divine comedy just twisted into sick -right?

All these questions with no answers in sight. Just the incoming chill of darkness. Reading the word only made my heart heavier…Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is: there you heart will be also. This scripture for me is about sailing. The scripture speaks of our hearts desires and those desires speak to us about Him – applicable to each unique soul on earth. Psalms 20:4, 37:4, key is Philippians 2:13 – The desires of your heart and the treasure we seek was put there by Him to fulfil his purpose – be his beacon in the dark to others. And then I remembered what my friend said about the enemy.

When you choose to become a light [Matt 5:14] you willingly open yourself to spiritual warfare. I think this is why we constantly face trials and tribulations. Fear and anger turn us away from our chosen path, which is exactly what Satan wants. He wins if we revoke our declaration of faith, of trust. Now I do know that right now as I type the anger is dissipating. I know that the questions are merely a tool to discourage me. I know that ‘the glitch in the matrix’ comes because of the eternal war between the good and the bad. Jesus was sent to save us, he was persecuted and suffered his own trials and tribulations, that doesn’t mean to me that as a christian that we have to suffer they way he did but it is evident the enemy has power and that He uses it.   

I found sailing through my alternative military career, the surgery may have prevented repeated necessary treatment and surgery saving me from painful and extended recovery time, because it was found so early. I know I found great friends who helped me go after the dream job in my QA career. I know that sailing is in my destiny – of course I hope and I pray [please pray too] it is centred on the course I am on, but if it isn’t then the disappointment will pass but I wont be deterred. In His will there will be a way. John 13:7 !

I know that I have friends and family praying for a speedy recovery because they love me and have faith. I am drawing strength from their faith, to uphold the commitment I made 6 days ago. I thank them for the encouragement and reminders. 

1 Peter 5:9 Resist him, standing firm in faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering.