Whenever I have a hard time hearing from God or need additional time with Him after morning prayers and reading, I head to a park. I am blessed to be able to choose from a number of parks near me. I look for parks that are not crowded and are more “natural” versus ones designed for people who want pavement. I bring ear buds and a playlist filled with worship music so I can tune into worshiping Him while walking in His creation. I typically will have an ear bud in one ear with the music while listening to sounds around me with my other ear.
If you do not have a park near you, find a quiet and safe place to put both of your ear buds in and listen to praise music. Close your eyes and just focus on Him. The goal is to draw closer to God, not necessarily be in a park or surrounded by nature – unless those help you draw closer. James 4:8 says, “Come close to God, and God will come close to you” (NLT).
On a recent walk with Him in the park, here are things I heard and things He showed me. I pray these insights bless you.
Do not allow fear to rob you of seeing God already at work
Are there times that you learn of an activity or a ministry and you are filled with joy just thinking about the opportunity to get involved? That is your passion being illuminated by God already at work. Your immediate reaction is excitement, energy, and a desire to get involved.
Soon after that, however, the fear sets in: How would this work? I have no time. I would not know anyone there. What if I don’t know what I am doing?
When we feel God leading us into an assignment or a task, it will most likely be scary. When we are scared of something, it causes us pause, to proceed with caution or rethink what we are doing. Being scared is normal when we are stepping into something new or something that only God can achieve that we cannot do in our own strength. This is different than fear.
Fear is defined as a potentially paralyzing emotion caused by impending danger, evil or pain, whether the threat is real or not. Fear can result in us not doing what we feel passionate about or led to do. Fear is the tool of the enemy. We must trust in Him to equip us for His calling.
Sometimes, trees fall down in winter but they are replaced with fresh growth in the spring
When one thing is torn down in your life, He will raise new life from it – in His timing. When one opportunity is gone, He sends something else. We just have to always keep our eyes open. While you are in a season of waiting, use this time to work on you. This season is a once in a lifetime opportunity when you will be the age you are, have these specific people around you, and be in your current situation.
Listen through the daily noise of life, and you will find Him in unexpected places
In the park, right next to a major highway, was a little waterfall. It is easy to be focused on the circumstances around us, for they are in our faces and demand our attention. God is present everywhere, but tends to be a whisper.
“‘Go out and stand before me on the mountain,’ the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.”
1 Kings 19:11-12 NLT
What if you don’t hear from Him? There have been times in my life when I was desperate to hear from Him for a looming decision with an expiring timeline. I had been on my knees praying James 1:5: “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking” (NLT). I poured out my heart to Him asking why I had not heard, despite trying many things and praying those verses.
Then I heard, “You have heard from Me. You have the Bible.” This is why it is crucial to keep reading the Word. If not already, you should make it a daily habit. If you think you don’t have enough time, start with a verse a day and slowly increase from there. Keep praying. Keep worshiping Him. Keep doing the last thing you heard Him tell you to do. The enemy will attack you and want to discourage you from obeying God. Remain vigilant. Enlist prayer partners. Stay focused on Jesus. Let Him bend you, break you, and mold you into who He created you to be.
“Overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.”
from Romans 8:37 NLT