An Unparalleled Way to Clear Your Mind to Hear from God
Amidst all of the distractions of our busy lives, how can we clear our mind enough to hear from God? Today, we will take a page from scripture, seeking relationship with the Lord.
On cool summer evenings, when porch lights came on and kids were called home, my dad would occasionally sit on the front cement step and start playing his guitar. From inside, I would hear the soft strumming, a sure invitation to join him.
The stars were faintly appearing, and the crickets were warming up for their evening symphony. We sat side by side, Dad with his beer, me with my iced tea with a heaping spoonful of sugar settling on the bottom.
His repertoire wasn’t very big, which made perfecting the harmonies all the more possible. The three songs I remember were “Grandfather’s Clock,” “I See the Moon,” and “She’ll Be Comin’ Around the Mountain.” You could make up so many verses to that song!
We didn’t talk much. Mainly I listened and tried to match his rhythm. He never told me to go inside or get to bed.
These sweet times on the front porch took me away. Away from the perils of my teenage mind. Away from school and work and anything that had gone wrong that day. It was just me and Dad and the crickets and fire flies.
Throughout Elisha’s ministry as a prophet, he faced hardships and predicaments. But he also witnessed incredible miracles as God worked through him. How humbling and phenomenal it must have been to watch God multiply the oil to fill many vessels, raise a child from the dead, and heal Naaman of leprosy.
In our passage for today, we get the only glimpse of how Elisha heard from God. To be clear, this was all God’s doing. God chooses when and how to communicate with us. There isn’t a magic formula, and we can’t snap our fingers and expect God to cater to us.
Rather, in relationship with Him, we seek to quiet our soul and open our heart so that we may hear from God.
Without seeking God’s guidance, three kings had allied for battle and had marched through the desert for so long that they had run out of water for their troops and their accompanying animals.
Desperate to know what they should do, the kings approached the prophet Elisha to inquire of the Lord. Consider Elisha’s position: The situation was tense, war was imminent, and the kings wanted to hear from God on demand.
This is not exactly the makings of a blissful and quiet devotional time with God.
So what did Elisha do? He requested music:
“But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him. (2 Kings 3:15 ESV)
Elisha knew that in the midst of this pressure, the only way he would be able to hear God’s voice would be to quiet his soul with music.
On the front porch, Dad leaned back and laid down his guitar, the repertoire complete. The stars were brightly shining now, and the crickets were at full crescendo. I went inside, my heart calm and full.
2 Kings 3:13-20 (ESV)
This is a fascinating chapter of the Bible. If you have time, you can read all of chapter 3. To read a different devotion specific to this account, see What Hard Thing Do You Need God to Do? For today’s purposes, focus on verse 15, bolded here for you.
13 And Elisha said to the king of Israel, “What have I to do with you? Go to the prophets of your father and to the prophets of your mother.” But the king of Israel said to him, “No; it is the LORD who has called these three kings to give them into the hand of Moab.” 14 And Elisha said, “As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand, were it not that I have regard for Jehoshaphat the king of Judah, I would neither look at you nor see you. 15 But now bring me a musician.” And when the musician played, the hand of the LORD came upon him. 16 And he said, “Thus says the LORD, ‘I will make this dry streambed full of pools.’ 17 For thus says the LORD, ‘You shall not see wind or rain, but that streambed shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, you, your livestock, and your animals.’ 18 This is a light thing in the sight of the LORD. He will also give the Moabites into your hand, 19 and you shall attack every fortified city and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree and stop up all springs of water and ruin every good piece of land with stones.” 20 The next morning, about the time of offering the sacrifice, behold, water came from the direction of Edom, till the country was filled with water.
Digging Deeper: Hear from God with Music
Enjoy this precious time with the Lord. Reflect on or journal about the following questions, listening for what God has to say to you.
1. What role has music played in your life? Does a particular song bring back a special memory? What kind of music do you like best? What about it brings a smile to your face?
2. Can you think of times when music played a role in your spiritual life? Describe how the song, hymn, or harmonies intertwined with your walk with Jesus. Consider that the effect might not have been because of a particular melody but because of your participation–hearing the voices around you, singing with other people, or being free of other distractions.
3. It’s time to give it a try! Quiet your soul and open your heart to hear from God by playing music. Listen to your favorite worship song or one of the choices below and listen for what God has to say to you. If it doesn’t distract you too much, write down the thoughts that come to mind. If you can’t do this right now, identify a time today or this week that you will spend time listening to music and letting God speak to you.
At Your Name (Phil Wickham)
Jesus (Chris Tomlin)
To start this series on Hearing God’s Voice from the beginning, click here.
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