The other day I was driving to my workshop and chatting with a close friend. We speak often, so while I soaked up a few moments of her time, I also mentally made a to-do list and took in the morning sunshine. In the busyness of my morning I gave her only part of my attention. Much to my surprise, in the middle of our conversation, I heard a word from the Lord.
It was too quite to hear with my ears, but much too loud to ignore. “Stop what you’re doing” He said, “Listen to what she’s saying. Dig deeper. Nothing is more important than this moment.”
So I pulled the car over. I asked question upon question trying to uncover more of what she was feeling and experiencing. As the truth unfolded we cried together. We prayed together. When we hung up the phone I sat in stunned silence for a good five minutes. In the midst of our casual conversation, God decided He had some work to do.
I wish I could tell you the whole story of how God opened up her heart and what she shared—but that’s not my story to tell. My story is just a small part of the bigger story. It’s a simple story of hearing God speak to me and taking a moment to listen. But it was so heart-changing that I can hardly stop thinking about it.
In that moment it didn’t seem strange to hear God’s voice. It was a gentle nudging paired with an unmistakable direction. “Stop, listen and dig deeper.” To be honest, I can’t remember ever hearing God speak to me so clearly. But maybe I’m just not listening?
I want to listen better. I want to be willing to hear. I want God to use me, in all my busyness and imperfection. James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Pray with me? Lord please, open up my ears to hear from you. Draw me nearer to you. Amen.
By: LisaLeave a Comment
Lisa, I think we all get caught up in multi-tasking or we are listening with the intent of sharing our story as well and then aren’t getting what we need to be out of what we’re hearing. Thank you for listening to the Spirit’s urging to you. Too often we push it aside and miss these opportunities. As much as this blessed you, I bet it also blessed your friend knowing that God was there in her moment of need and sent you as his hands and feet.
lisa leonard says
Aw, thanks Heather. I want to be ready to listen when God is speaking to me.
Sarah S. says
Awesome. Such truth. These days we are so enamored with “multi-tasking” — yet all too often that means “not really paying attention to anything…” Thank you so much for sharing this, and a reminder to myself to always be listening for what God is saying — and LISTEN!
Beautiful testimony. He is that still small voice. In my world of constant noise (2 boys, one golden retriever, Air Force base living, and church activities), I often forget to take the time to listen. Thank you for the reminder. He craves my attention too.
Thank you so much for sharing, Lisa.
Yesterday I had a similar encounter after Bible Study. A woman (who I don’t know except by name) were walking down the steps after our class ended. I mentioned that she was pretty quiet during Bible Study and asked if she was ok. She stopped, and said, “Honestly?” And I stopped and said, “Yes, honestly.” This gave her the opportunity to share what was on her heart. I was so glad that she asked “Honestly?” because I honestly believe that we are all seeking real community. Community where we share and open up and learn about one another to be able to share true Jesus centered love with others.
Thank You, God, for these lessons in listening to others!
~Melissa in Georgia
lisa leonard says
Melissa, this is so beautiful! It takes time and energy to be honest. I love that she took you seriously and then you took the time to really listen.
the timing of this article is uncanny because i’ve been hearing God nudge me and whisper to me; i’d started asking Him His purpose for me in this new season of empty nesting over a year ago and i’m just now able to hear, and it’s loud and clear. thanks so much lisa.
lisa leonard says
That is so cool. I love how God can work in us and through us–and how he can go from a whisper to a loud and clear message. So beautiful.
Eleanor Watson says
Oh my! Just exactly what the Lord has been dealing with me about..stopping and listening..I was just watching the Ann Voscamp video about being fully awake..wow.
That happened exactly to me to after our final bible study/book club this past month when a friend shared her plans for her birthday. As we talked I found out how hard the gathering was going to be since it was also the anniversary of her mother’s death and they had been very close, her mother had been a great giver to her from her time and her heart. While she cried and we hugged she shared how she was going to write every family member at the dinner a letter to tell them about what they meant to her and how special they were to her. In the midst of her grief she recognized the need to show the people in her life appreciation for being there for her on her day. She was so broken and yet in that she was more whole in her heart and kindness and respectfulness to people in her life. I’m glad I stayed just to chat because she showed me something beautiful about herself and I was able to offer consolation..
lisa leonard says
A heart moment–two souls connecting. So lovely!
Cannot seem to hear this enough these days. I need it to hear this message about listening, bending the ear, and being atune to the little things. Thanks for presenting this in such a lovely way. And thanks for speaking to me this morning, early.
julie anna says
thank you for the reminder…we miss so much in the busy-ness of life. i love when God nudges and reminds me to just be with people…wish i paid more attention when he does!
I’m grasping this concept. And this story has blessed me IMMENSELY! The other day I was walking and I PROMISE YOU I heard someone say “Excuse me.” I turned around, but there was no one there. Even as I listened to the worship music on my iPod, I heard the voice of the Lord giving me direction and clarity , answering a prayer that I’d recently prayed. My prayer is that I see God in EVERY thing and this was SO timely for me!
lisa leonard says
That give me chills–and I totally believe you. When God wants our attention–he’ll get it! xo
So true. It is a joy and a honor when we take time to listen to the heart of God for our lives. Just a couple of weeks ago I gave a candle light dinner for a friend who is fighting for her life. Why, because while I was sitting in church the Lord said in a still small voice, celebrate her life, honor her, show her how much I love her, surround her with those who care for her. What a night it was! I shutter to think if I had not listened like so many other times. She was blessed and so were we beyond what I could ever imagine. He is teaching the power of His word and the privilege of being His hands and feet.
Beth Williams says
We all need to stop & really listen–not only to God, but to family & friends as well. It is too easy, espeically as busy women to think about much while talking to someone, but not really hearing them.
I think God is trying to get us to Stop & smell the roses–listen deep down and hear our friends–their cry for help or their shout of excitement. Can’t be a good friend if you don’t listen and pray for exactly what they need.
lisa leonard says
So true! Listening can be difficult–it’s hard to slow down and take time. But so important. xo
Mindy Bowman says
I love this! God blessed both of you because you were obedient and listened! I wonder how many times in my life I’ve missed His blessing me in the same way because I didn’t listen. Thanks for the reminder!
Cynthia McGarity says
Thanks for this, Lisa. I was queen of the multi-taskers for more years than I’d like to admit. This past year, I’ve been literally forced into the act of “stop, listen and dig deeper.” Dig deeper into self, children, husband, friends…and I’ve never felt closer to Him. But of course, there are those modern day “guilts” from which I suffer…those saying I’m not busy enough, not doing enough, not earning enough. Thank you for sharing this message spoken to you but that is truly meant for so many of us – as validation that the most important thing we can do in life is stop and listen.
Michelle DeRusha says
This reminds me of what was said in the (in)RL video about Sara Gitzen – how she was always completely tuned in and 100 percent present to whomever she was speaking with. I was struck then, as I am here, with how simple, yet powerful that is.
tiffany day says
oh lisa – i am smiling big because I too have had this happen! although for me I think the Lord was speaking sooner but I didn’t stop and listen – so when I did hear him it was LOUD big and could not be ignored. I took a huge step in my life that has forever changed my circumstances and my kids – it was good though – there was grace and mercy! I had been praying for months for God to speak to me and tell me what to do; I also prayed for ears to hear him and wisdom to know what to do!
So it works — praying for the Lord to speak to us! Thank for this today such a good reminder for me to KEEP seeking Him and to keep my ears open; my heart too! I want to hear Him even if he whispers to me!
Praying with you today Lisa!
Love and Blessings,
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
so important to the listening and hearing…is the obedience to what He’s asking us to do, and yes, we need to be attentive to being available to listen for God’s speaking to us. What a privilege to have God work in our lives in such an intimate way.
It is such a blessing that you recognized God’s voice and obeyed the prompting. I feel like if we push it aside or wait, He is less likely to use us as instruments in the future. Besides that, I think we will kind of lose our “God” listening skills. Just my thoughts…
Used to be 100% tuned but I think I tuned out long ago… this (and my lady book club friend) are giving me the resolve to become fully present for those who need me – thx!
Beth Werner Lee says
Something like that happened to me once! I love it when God speaks and at first I don’t know whether to go with it or not, but then when I do and it was so good, my faith grows.
lisa leonard says
So true. I think in that little moment, my faith grew and was deepened.
We don’t do this often enough…Love each other!
Lisa! You just gave me shivers. Thanks so much for reminding me that God speaks to us all the time. We just need to listen to him.
I love this, Lisa. We could all benefict from being better listeners! This post is the perfect example!!
Amy Hunt says
I’ve been overwhelmed at this lately. Just slowing to listen and be used in the moment. Especially when I come home and feel the temptation to hurry with dinner making, He is slowing me to listen to my Boy and all his seemingly endless chatter that can’t wait to bring me into his day.
Love Tells the Truth says
So many affirming comments. Will you tolerate one challenging comment? I assure you that I write this not to hurt anyone. My point in writing this is, “as iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17
“Stop what you’re doing” He said, “Listen to what she’s saying. Dig deeper. Nothing is more important than this moment.”
Do you mean as in “Thus says the LORD”? If so, what you claim is frightening! This is one of the main points of the Reformation – sola Scriptura.
“This is precisely why the sufficiency of Scripture—sola Scriptura—is such a crucial doctrine. If the written Word of God truly is able to give us all the wisdom we need for complete salvation, and if it is able to make us adequate, thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:15–17)—then is there really any necessity for additional “prophecies” in the life of the believer? Does God need to say more to us than He has already said? This is a question advocates of modern prophetic revelation would do well to ponder carefully.” Excerpt From RECKLESS FAITH, When the Church Loses Its Will to Discern by John F. MacArthur
lisa leonard says
Oh gosh, I think you might have misunderstood my point. I only mean that God through the Holy Spirit nudged me to love my friend by stopping to listen, as we are called to love. Hope that helps! xo
Love Tells the Truth says
I understand your point in that we should learn to listen to our friends when their talking. I agree. But here is what you said with my emphisis added.
“Stop what you’re doing” HE SAID, “Listen to what she’s saying. Dig deeper. Nothing is more important than this moment.”
You see if GOD speaks as you and so many others here have claimed, then you need to write what He says down on paper and make sure a copy is in everyone’s Bibles. Or stop claiming GOD is still speaking audibly (or even in a “still small voice”) neither of which can be supported by the Bible. God’s Word is sufficient.
Lisa isn’t claiming to add to scripture in this blog post. She is conveying to us a personal and intimate conversation with her Father. The fruit of this is encouragement and strengthening both in Lisa and her friend.
1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 says, “19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.”
Instead of quenching the Spirit’s prompting, Lisa obeyed and ministered to her friend. She was not claiming to be prophesying, although that is one of the gifts of the Spirit. I think that, like Scripture says, we need to test everything and hold fast to what is good.
Praying you know the Father intimately as well.
So true…be in the moment. Be present in the everyday. Stop buying into this multi-tasking culture. You’ll be richer for it. In so many ways.
Linda Ogborn says
Thank you very much…I needed to hear that badly. God bless. 🙂
Jesus always STOPPED when He was needed. He stopped what he was doing, where He was going, to spend time with those who needed Him at that moment. To be like Jesus is our true setting of the bar. Thanks for sharing your words from the Lord with us, Lisa, as I needed to be reminded, as well.
LOVE TELLS THE TRUTH. . . You are trying to put God in a box. He is so much bigger than being confined! You are ignorant to think that HE can’t move anyway he chooses, whether it be through a still small voice, a confirmation, or audibly. HE is very much alive and he continues to make himself known to us as long as we are willing to stop and see it.
So true–good listening is absolutely invaluable for all of us! So hard to do sometimes, but so crucial! And, indeed, it can be even harder to slow down and really listen to God than it is to anyone else, but absolutely essential! Blessings to you, Lisa, for embracing the challenge and truly listening! Blessings!
kara s. says
i think that the Lord speaks loudest at our weakest moments. sometimes we dont realize how weak we are, but HE does, and is with us. sometimes it is a whisper, and we dont notice, somtimes its something loud where we go..huh?
i’ve been there done that, and look to the Lord more for what to do.
i agree with others, that we all need to slow down and listen. just BE.
Thanks for sharing that sweet story, Lisa, and what a great reminder of that wonderful word: -Listen –
listen (ˈlɪs ə n)
1. to concentrate on hearing something
2. to take heed; pay attention
(I love definitions of words)
Thank you for taking your time to share.
Thank you for taking your time to share!
Amen! Thank you for this!
Thank you, thank you for sharing your story!
My family has a similar story. A few years ago, my autistic brother went missing for several hours. You cannot put into words the whirlwind of emotions that take over.
But in that whirlwind, there was God.
I remember holding him after he was found, and on the drive home, clear as day God speaking to me and saying.
“We talked and I told him, that he was still needed on Earth”
To know that my brother, had a conversation with God and did what was asked of him astounded me. But that is what happens when you put God in a box. I had prayed for the Lord to shield and protect my brother, I never ONCE prayed for him to SPEAK to him, as if God was not capable of communicating with him because of his autism!
I am so glad that the Lord was with Him and kept him, and returned him to your beautiful family!
I work with kindergarten and the Lord has been speaking to me to listen as well. Sometimes it is really hard because of their speech and sometimes just because their stories can be never ending. But listening to them has blessed my heart, and I pray theirs. I love them so much!
Lisa, you bless the socks off me!
I love this reminder. God so loved your friend and knew the importance of what was going on and so wanted to be a part of it and he trusted you, Lisa, to get her to bring it to Him in prayer! A great reminder of his overwhelming love for each ONE of us.
I think a lot of us need to stop what we are doing and open up our ears to him.