Augustine said, “By hearing Thee I am happy; because of Thy voice I am happy.” There’s no place we can go to hear God speak authoritatively, to hear His voice with complete confidence, other than the Bible itself.
We need to hear from God before we hear from everybody else. That’s a good reason not to start the day by looking at email or text messages, but rather to first look at the messages God has placed in your primary inbox: Scripture.
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words. (Psalm 119:147)
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. (Psalm 143:8).
A. W. Tozer said, “Listen to no man who has not listened to God.” Once we hear from God, only then are we ready to bring His perspective to the onslaught of human opinion and need, the trivial and the overwhelming that comes upon us wave by wave throughout the day. (Listening to Scripture on audio might be a great way to start your day with God’s Word, and you can play it while you make breakfast, take a shower, or pack a lunch.)
Dallas Willard writes in Hearing God, “Our failure to hear His voice when we want to is due to the fact that we do not in general want to hear it, that we want it only when we think we need it.”
Only when we understand our need for God’s Word—and are ready to listen to Him—are we prepared to listen to others, and to give back to them not from sludgy murk, but from a reservoir of pure waters. “Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2). Crying infants aren’t concerned about doing their duty; they simply want to be fed. They crave milk because they need it.
If you’re not craving God’s Word, you’ve forgotten what you’re missing—or perhaps you’ve never known. If that’s the case, dive into it. After you’ve spent enough time there, you’ll find that television and social media and popular culture will ring hollow to you.
Father, you’ve spoken to us through Your Word. Help us turn off the world’s incessant noise so we might hear you. With all the voices that clamor for our attention, Lord, help us turn off and turn away from others’ and listen to yours, when we rise in the morning and all throughout our day.
Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries.