Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
In the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral there is what is known as the Whispering Gallery. Through the peculiar construction of the dome a whisper by a person at one side travels round and can be distinctly heard by another person standing at the other.
An even more remarkable whispering gallery is that known as the Ear of Dionysius at Syracuse in Sicily. This is a vast cave, which externally bears a resemblance to a human ear. Entering by a low doorway, the visitor finds himself in a huge cavern. High up, concealed in the roof, is a chamber, which can only be entered by a concealed path at the top. The faintest whisper uttered below is distinctly heard by those concealed above. In this chamber the tyrant Dionysius used to sit listening to his slaves working or to his captives imprisoned below. All their plots against him were thus, to them, mysteriously discovered and circumvented. From this historical fact the cave has received the name of the Ear of Dionysius.
We, too, can learn to hear everything God says – if we know how to listen. God really does speak to us today. He desires communication with us and we desire communication with Him. Hearing from God is probable, possible and even very necessary. How does God speak and what does He say?
God speaks to us today through His Holy Spirit. We can hear His voice. It’s not a sound, it’s a voice. It’s not something you hear with your ears but in your mind. Once you learn to recognize and respond to this voice you’ll recognize it often. It’s a gentle whisper, not a shout. God speaks rich and enlightening thoughts to our spirit by His Spirit. Often this still, small voice speaks rich and enlightening thoughts by causing a burning within my heart.
The disciples who talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus that first Resurrection Sunday experienced this. Luke 24:32 says, “They asked each other, ‘were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'”
Psalm 39:1-3 talks about this as well. “My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned.”
One of the more familiar quotes about this comes from the journal of John Wesley for May 14, 1738. “In the evening I went very unwillingly to a society in Aldersgate-Street, where one was reading Luther’s preface to the Epistle to the Romans. About a quarter before nine, while he was describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation: And an assurance was given me, that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.”
Haven’t you found yourself moved by something you sense in your spirit? Perhaps it happens during a song or sermon, when listening to a testimony or out in nature? This stirring is God speaking to our hearts through His Holy Spirit, putting His fire within us to highlight something of importance.
Charles Stanley writes: “As you pray and read, trust the Holy Spirit to quicken your spirit to His truth. You may feel this as warmth inside, or you may feel a great sense of absoluteness about a particular verse. Sometimes the words on the page of your Bible may seem to stand out to you as if they were written in bold headlines. Sometimes you may not be able to get away from a particular passage. It comes repeatedly to your mind, and you can’t seem to shake it from memory.”
So we see that this still, small voice speaks rich and enlightening thoughts by causing a burning within our hearts. How He speaks is by a gentle, quiet whisper. Where He speaks is to our thoughts and to our hearts. He touches our rational mental capacity (enlightened thoughts) as well as our emotional feelings (burning hearts).
Luke 24:32, “They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'”
Psalm 39:1-3, “I said, ‘I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence.’ But when I was silent and still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased. My heart grew hot within me, and as I meditated, the fire burned; then I spoke with my tongue: ‘Ask God to make you sensitive to the ‘burning’ He puts in your heart, the desires and emotions He creates in you to speak His truth to you.'”
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 15 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on January 3, 2010