Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God

Sharon Jaynes A Sudden Glory, Listening to God, Living Fully 28 Comments

I want to tell you a funny story today. One that taught me a great lesson. Here goes…

Fourteen exhausted, sweaty teenage boys plopped down on the bottom step of the gymnasium bleachers—my son being one of them. The assistant Junior Varsity basketball coach paced back and forth, lecturing them on the error of their ways. In the style of Sergeant Carter addressing Gomer Pyle, he yelled, “Who’s talking?”

The boys, in practiced unison shouted back, “You are, sir!”

“OK then, listen up!” he barked.

For the next twenty minutes, they did just that.

Unfortunately for the merry band of athletes, school is not simply a place where sports are played, but also an institution for academic advancement. The next day it was time to see just how much advancement had taken place in the first four months of school via the dreaded semester exams.

Six of the basketball players sat nervously with their peers on the edge of their seats. Each grasped pencils in hand, ready to attack the twenty-page social studies test. Apparently, someone broke the total silence code with a whisper. The six-foot-five, two-hundred-and-fifty-pound teacher jumped to attention and yelled, “Who’s talking?”

Automatically, without even thinking, Chris Crutchfield, one of the basketball teammates, shot back, “You are, sir!”

The high school freshman social studies class erupted with laughter. Everyone was tickled, except the teacher and the terrified Chris.

“So, you want to be smart, do you?” Mr. Thompson asked. “Who else in here wants to be smart?”

More than half of the class (mostly boys overcome with mischief, my son included) raised their hands. “I want to be smart,” they answered back.

After school detention was crowded that week.

It was an innocent mistake—an automatic response—a reflex reaction. But it made Chris a hero for the day among his buddies. And in a way, he was my hero as well.

All through the Bible, God tells us to listen to Him. In the Old Testament, Isaiah penned, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left” (Isaiah 30:21 NLT).

In the New Testament, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27 ESV). And another translation of that verse says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (NIV).

When Moses saw a burning bush in the desert that was not being consumed, he turned aside, stopped what he was doing, and went to investigate. The Bible says, “When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, ‘Moses! Moses!’ And Moses said, ‘Here I am’” (Exodus 3:4 NIV)

Ah, there’s the key. Moses turned aside; God had his full attention. Could it be that we become so wrapped up in our daily activities and to-do lists that we don’t take the time to turn aside when God speaks? Could it be we have grown unaccustomed to listening or unbelieving that He will speak at all? I wonder how many burning bushes I’ve missed in my own backyard.

Who’s talking? You are, LORD!

The Bible is also packed with stories about people not listening to God and the fallout that followed. Jeremiah wrote: “Yet they did not listen or pay attention; they were stiff-necked and would not listen or respond to discipline” (Jeremiah 17:23 NIV). “And though the LORD has sent all his servants the prophets to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention” (Jeremiah 25:4 NIV). “But I have spoken to you again and again, yet you have not obeyed me” (Jeremiah 35:14b NIV).

Those words give me chills. I don’t want to be that person.

On the other hand, God promises, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV).

I do want to be that person. I think you do too.

So maybe Chris’s automatic response to the teacher wasn’t such a bad thing after all. When God speaks, let’s be ready to listen. Let’s become women who listen to God’s voice through Scripture, the Holy Spirit, nature, other people, and the circumstance in our lives. Then we will have moments of sudden glory when God makes His presence known right in the middle of our busy days.

Speak Lord, for I am listening. Help me to recognize Your gentle nudges and Your still small voice. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

When was the last time you sensed God speaking to you? I’d love to hear about it. Click comment and let’s share stories.

Did you know that God wants to speak to you, not just as a once in a lifetime event, but on a daily basis? Learn how to erase the line between your “spiritual life” and your “daily life” so that “all of life” becomes an act of worship where we experience God’s presence in my  book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Response to Your Ache for Something More.

Also, I’m so excited that Never Less Than: Living Empowered, Esteemed, and Equipped When the World Tells You Otherwise is ready now available on my website. This is an updated and revised version of How Jesus Broke the Rules to Set You Free. This version has extra space for responses for the Bible study in the back. Perfect for group studies!

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Comments 28

  1. I can relate to this story and even now Jeremiah 25:4 speaks to my spirit, so I started doing what I heard but not with wholehearted involvement, since I wasn’t sure in which direction I’m to go with this writing because it’s my first time so I just backed away from it, however God knew I was convicted by what I just read, so I will get back to writing and seek Him as I write, knowing that He will guide me as I acknowledge Him. So, thank you very much Sharon for continuing to share your life with us (your sisters) through your writing.
    Would you pray for me, to not shy away from writing, if God wants me to share my story or pieces of my story in it? Thank you, sis and I’ll pray for you as well.

  2. I really need these 2 books to help me listen and know that it’s God’s voice. I’ve been struggling with this for some time now. Now 53 years of age it’s time to know the difference: Speak Lord, for I am listening. Help me to recognize Your gentle nudges and Your still small voice

  3. Our oldest son is an addict and put us through the a whole lot of agonizing times before he was even 18 years old. At one of the lowest points I cried God please help us what do we do with him ? And for the first time in my life I heard, as clear as day, God say “Pray for him. That’s all you can do.” So I did. Today, he is 24 and a beautiful human being;)

  4. A good old song to get into your heart and mind then let it play throughout the day.
    The old song that sings…
    I’ll be somewhere listening
    I’ll be somewhere listening
    I’ll be somewhere listening for my name (yes for my name)
    I’ll be somewhere listening
    I’ll be somewhere listening
    I’ll be somewhere listening for my name

    Vs. 1
    When the Savior calls I will answer
    When He calls for me I will hear
    When the Savior calls I will answer
    I’ll be somewhere listening for my name

    Vs. 2
    If my heart is right when He calls me
    If my heart is right I will hear
    If my heart is right when He calls me
    I’ll be somewhere listening for my name

    Vs. 3
    If my robe is white when He calls me
    If my robe is white I will hear
    If my robe is white when He calls me
    I’ll be somewhere listening for my name

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  5. WOW!
    Just last Sunday, as the hubby and I were having lunch…..God clearly spoke to me. Often, I am stubborn headed and He has to knock me over my head since the earlier gentle nudges from Him were ignored.
    I’ve been battling my spirit since some family had broken my heart. What do I do with them? What do I say to them? They deserve this and that.
    As my God speaking husband was praying and telling stories of the Bible…..God’s voice said “FORGIVE THEM”. God commanded me to forgive so that, my burden would be lighter. “Have faith in Me again!” As Roman 8 reads…..all things will be used for good!!

  6. Listen and respond to those who are hurting. Everyone wants to be valued and heard. I love it when I hear my friends are actively listening.
    I remember listening to God’s voice that I needed to ask if a friend needed something. No i don’t and I persistent. This family was in need of toilet paper.

  7. Dear Sharon, I look forward to reading your messages, often forwarding to my Bible Study group, “Sisters in Christ”. I feel I should share with you when I first heard God speak to me but, myself says, “it’s too long, etc.”. So, I will try to be brief.

    My father was an Assembly of God minister; my mother died when I was six months old; my stepmother who was very young, but was the only mother I ever knew, raised me and had my brother when I was three followed by my sister 18 months later. Needless to say, there was little time for affection.

    I knew Jesus and believed with all my heart but felt I could never be good enough for Jesus to love me. So I married at 17 and basically decided to go my own way and hope to find out who God really was without all the man-made laws.

    After three children, I divorced my husband; supported our children by working a full time job and singing at night. After 11 years I met and eventually married a man who had been married. Now, I had committed adultery; been a singer in Clubs; wore makeup; lied; and you get the picture! Now I knew God could never love me.

    One morning as I sat in my bedroom
    I picked up my Bible and opened it to Psalms. As I read David’s prayers, talking about his enemies, I started to cry. I remember as tears rolled I asked God, “How can you love you? I’ve sinned in so many ways!” Sharon, as loudly and as clearly as though someone was standing in the room with me, I heard a voice say, “I Love you like a Mother”! My Dad had been so involved with church I didn’t understand “father” love; my mother was a stepmother, so I didn’t understand love from her. BUT, I had three children and I knew that no matter how badly they made mistakes I would love them always with all my heart.

    God knew exactly how to explain His love to me. His love is not conditional. He may not like what we’ve done but He forgives and loves us. All we have to do is ask for forgiveness and He forgives and loves!

    It took many years before I could fully accept His forgiveness and forgive myself. But today I know Him and serve Him! I still fail but He never leaves me.

  8. This is my prayer to God even just this morning. I am seeking God for direction. I needed this confirmation this morning. Thank you

  9. I absolutely relate to what our sister Avaney Scott said, struggling to hear God’s voice. My friend once told me,if I want to hear God’s voice,I should sit still and just listen without thinking about anything.My problem is, whenever I do that I fall asleep.please advice,how I can overcome this weakness.thanks.

  10. As I’m sure most of you know, there were terrible tornadoes a few weeks ago in Kentucky. My son and his wife had recently moved to that area from Pennsylvania. That night, as we watched the weather, we became concerned for their safety.

    That night, I took time to spend with God and asked for prayers of protection over them. God spoke to me during that prayer and told me they would be OK.

    The tornado traveled five miles from their house but they were safe. I am still praising God for protecting them that stormy night.

    God then provided an opportunity for me to help those who were affected by the devastating tornadoes. I won’t go into detail, but we were able to provide relief through a huge food donation that we never expected. God works in amazing ways as long as we listen to Him. God is soooo good!

  11. What a sweet memory that was that you shared about the boys. I do hope you have shared that with Chris. I felt like I was there, just reading it. And thanks for the reminder about THAT voice that is calling.

  12. I was in a woman’s Bible study when I got a call I had to take. I walked out to the hallway to answer it, then headed back inside. I was going to pack up and go home when I heard, “sit” so I did but started to gather my things to leave and again I heard “ sit”. So I stayed for the rest of the study and I needed to hear what was spoken. God is so good!

  13. I am in the same situation. I read my devotion, Bible, keep a prayer journal and pray for guidance but don’t hear anything. I am currently struggling with cancer and I desperately want to do what God wants me to do as far as treatment and my children but I don’t hear his quiet voice.
    I’m sorry Beth. It’s frustrating.

  14. Your devotional helped me with a decision that I had been wrestling with. My husband and I had big plans to attend a bowl game that our favorite team was playing in. Within a week before the game, I encountered more than one instance that said don’t go.

    Two instances involved people with whom I would have had close contact, learning that they had been exposed to someone who tested positive for covid. Fortunately, both of my peers tested negative. Another instance was where two people tested positive who I would have been in contact with but I changed my mind about interacting with them, not knowing at the time that they would learn that they had contracted the virus.

    Then there was the lab results that indicated my immune system looked a little low. I needed to be cautious.

    Your devotional was the first thing I read the day before I would have left for my trip. Listen to the voice of God. That’s when it clicked in my spirit that God had been blocking/protecting me, and my better judgement pointed towards NOT attending the game.

    I canceled my plans. My team won the game, and I was completely jubilant and at peace watching the game on my television.

    I’m glad that God did not back off from speaking to me. I’m glad that I listened. Won’t he do it? Yes He will!

  15. Thank you for this message. Something tragic happened to me so there’s many voices in my head. I struggled to hear God’s voice and even prayed to hear His voice. Going to Bible studies and going to church totally helped me to be able to hear God’s voice. It actually took years it was not an overnight thing. Before I accepted Jesus into my life I could hear the Holy Spirit’s admonishments and nudges. When I got sick it was a battleground to hear both God and the Holy Spirit. I surrendered my life to God because I know God is a great healer and physician. I read a book by Phyllis Shirer on how to hear God’s voice. It was not an overnight thing and it didn’t help that I was confused. But with more of God’s word, I finally am able to hear God’s voice. The devil is a great schemer and manipulator. he even tried to sound like God making me think it’s God’s voice. But like what Jesus said in John 10:27 it’s true. The devil will scheme and scheme but he will not prevail. I’m grateful that now I’m able to hear God’s voice and feel relieved. I thought I would never experience that but now I struggle with obedience. Obedience is the important part. Please pray for me that I will be able to hear, trust, and obey.

  16. I had to step away from a position at work that I loved doing because I couldn’t physically do it anymore. While recovering from both of my knees being replaced, I wondered what job I would have when I returned to work. I applied for 2 different ones that I was interested in. One I was terrified to get, one I really didn’t want but knew I could succeed at. I was interviewed for the latter position. I could feel God causing the answers to the questions to flow effortlessly out of my mouth. In reality, I was being interviewed for both positions. I received the position I was terrified to get. I love it! God knows exactly what He is doing, I just needed to trust and listen to Him.

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