TMI warning – some of my best ideas come to me while I’m in the shower. After years of shower-time revelations, it’s now a joke between my husband and me. He’ll walk into our bathroom while I’m getting ready for the day and I will let him know I’ve been “thinking.” His reply is generally something along the lines of, “oh no.” And then we’ll laugh because we both know it’s often in the shower when God opens my heart to His direction.
Why the shower? Well, I have a theory about that. It’s because He has my undivided attention in there. Sometimes I play music while I’m in the shower, but many days I appreciate the silence disturbed only by the sound of the falling water. I take deep breaths in and out and feel the cleansing I am receiving both physically and emotionally. And in my mind, I often experience the voice of God.
Recently I heard someone say that we can be still and know (from Psalm 46:10) or we can stay busy and forget. So much of whether or not we hear God speaking to us is our decision. I know for sure He is calling us, guiding us, leading us, and correcting us every day. But we choose whether or not we will make space to listen to Him.
I hear God in my thoughts in the shower, yes. And I hear Him in the quiet of my office when my Bible is open, and I am studying. I hear Him when I am praying. I hear Him when I am worshipping in private. Bottom line, I hear Him when I still my life and seek Him.
One morning last week while I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day, I was facing an all-too-familiar decision about whether or not I would sit and do some Bible study before I got started in on other things. My day was going to be full (probably too full), and it would sure feel good to get a few things accomplished right away.
But as I was putting away my cosmetics and winding the cord around my flat iron to store it away, my mind was aware of a familiar voice. Two familiar voices, actually. One voice was saying something like, “you must do your Bible study first, or you aren’t the good Christian you profess to be.” And the other voice sounded more like, “I would love to spend time with you this morning, but don’t forget my love for you does not depend on this decision.”
Which of my thoughts were from God, and which were not? Here’s what I use to make the distinction. God is love. God is invitational. God is persistent. God is faithful, good, and kind. But God is not condemning. God is not shaming. God is not mean, punishing, or hateful.
I measure the words I hear through the greatest commandment to Love God, Love Others, and Love Self. If what I am hearing isn’t loving, it isn’t of God. In my experience, even God’s correction is loving. It may not always be pleasant, but it is always offered to build me up. It is never lashed out at me to tear me down.
So, take a shower. Take a walk. Take time to pull away from the busyness in your life that tempts you to forget. Let your mind wander free to think about anything and everything. And when you hear a thought and wonder if that might be God talking to you, evaluate the discovery through the lens of love.
This post is chapter 6/7 of The Ways God Speaks To Us