This is the question from one of the incarcerated youth we work with from last week. What a great question! It does seem like Satan and the world scream for our attention, yet God waits quietly for us to turn to him. So how can we hear God’s soft voice?
When I was a senior in high school, our wrestling team got a new head coach. He made an immediate impact on me as he sat me down and discussed our strategy to get me to the state championship. I knew right away that I should listen to this guy. I remember one day, when I was out on the mat in the middle of a wrestling match, Coach Johnson was yelling instructions to me on possible moves I could make. I remember stopping and looking over at him because I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. He was surprised that I stopped and said, “Keep going!”
After the match, he asked why I stopped and looked at him. I told him that I couldn’t quite understand what he was saying. You have to understand that in wrestling many times there are several matches going on, and the crowd, the team, and others are very loud. Coach Johnson asked, “You can hear me out there?” My response was, “Of course Coach, I listen for your voice above the crowd.”
My answer to my young friend at the prison (a week later, after having time to reflect) was that we need to choose whose voice we want to hear, and learn to listen for that voice. As we spend more and more time with God, our ability to block out the noise of the world increases, and suddenly His voice gets clearer.