6 of the Best Ways to Fight Distraction and Listen to God

Welcome to Week #1 of the Summer Sizzle Blog Hop Series! Woo Hoo! I am so excited to share some of my favorite people with you!

This week’s guest is Dawn Klinge from Above the Waves. Dawn named her blog Above the Waves because she wants to always focus on “letting go of worry and keeping my eyes on Jesus instead of the storms.”

I love that!

Dawn always inspires me. She is kind, caring, and her love for Jesus is evident in every word she writes.  I know you’re going to love her just as much as I do!

6 of the Best Ways to Fight Distraction and Listen to God

Distractions are constant in our overly busy lives. You and I need help to quiet our hearts and minds to listen to God and know His will.

“If destruction fails to entangle us, distraction will do its best.” – Beth Moore

As I sit here at my desk preparing to write, to share something that I hope ministers to you, dear readers, I find myself needing to practice first, the very thing I want to share with you today.  I need to stop and listen. I need to quiet my mind and listen for God to speak.

How do I do that?

It’s a discipline that I’m still working on (and probably always will be). My mind is not, naturally, a quiet place.  Yours probably isn’t either.  Am I right?

Distractions are everywhere, but there are steps we can take to minimize those distractions and quiet our thoughts, even in the midst of our busy lives.  We need quiet pauses in our day.  We need to make space for listening to the most important voice of all- the voice of God.

When we listen to God, we might consider the following verse,

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NIV)

Notice that God’s voice came to Elijah as a gentle whisper.  We have to be quiet to hear a whisper.

I think, too, of how Jesus went away to “lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

My own experiences in hearing God speak to me seem to come during the quiet times as well.

Do I hear an audible voice? 

I haven’t, personally (but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen).  It would be interesting to search for all the instances where God speaks to people in an audible voice throughout the Bible.  There are plenty of examples to be found.

For me, I hear God when I’m reading the Bible.  The meaning of a certain verse, maybe something I’ve read many times before, will suddenly become more clear, often speaking to an area of my life that I have questions about.

There are other times when I read the Bible; I might not feel like I received a whole lot from that time.  But later, sometimes much later, when I need it, a verse will come back to me- and it’s like a light bulb comes on.  A fresh perspective, a thought that I know wasn’t from me…these are some of the ways I hear God speaking to me.

God speaks to us through the Bible and it’s the Holy Spirit that illuminates His Word, speaking to us so that we can better understand it and how it relates to our lives.

If we’re wondering whether the voice we’re hearing is the voice of God, there’s an easy test.  God won’t contradict himself.  We can measure everything against his Word in the Bible.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

We can, and should, test everything we hear against the Scriptures.

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11 (ESV)

I believe that God speaks to us but we miss out on what he’s saying because we’re not listening.

How can we quiet our minds and minimize the distractions that get in the way of hearing from God?

6 of the Best Ways to Fight Distraction and Listen to God by Dawn Klinge @ Counting My Blessings by Deb Wolf

HERE ARE 6 TIPS FOR QUIETING YOUR MIND SO YOU CAN LISTEN TO GOD:

1. Place yourself in an environment that helps you concentrate.  Find a quiet corner or room that is away from distractions.  I live in small house with my husband and two teens, so sometimes, the only place I can find is the bathroom!  I like to fill up the bathtub with hot water, lock the door, and read my Bible while I soak.

2. Talk to God about what you’re reading in the Bible when you pray.  Treat it like a conversation.  Leave space and quiet for him to respond.

3. Don’t fight distracting thoughts by trying to avoid them altogether.  The more you focus on what you don’t want to think about, the more you’ll think about it!  Instead, think of those distracting thoughts as if you’re sitting by the side of a busy freeway.  The thoughts are like cars speeding by.  Acknowledge that they’re there, watch them go by, and let go.

4.  Choose a short phrase or sentence from the Bible.  Meditate on it, reading and re-reading it until it really sinks in.

5. Find a time to pray and meditate that works for you and stay consistent with that time. First thing in the morning works for a lot of people.

Distractions are constant in our overly busy lives. You and I need help to quiet our hearts and minds to listen to God and know His will.

6. Start small. Baby steps.  If you aren’t used to sitting quietly, try 5 minutes until that gets easier, then work your way up to longer periods.

The habit of listening is something that you can improve upon and develop.  It doesn’t always come easily.  With a little practice and intention, you can strengthen your ability to quiet your mind and meditate.

Listen to God’s voice.  He’s has something to say to you.

Dawn is a freelance writer and Christian blogger who loves encouraging women to keep their focus on Jesus. She’s the author of Look to Jesus: How to Let Go of Worry and Trust God. She’s a wife and mom to two teens. A Seattle girl, she loves books and coffee. You can find her at www.dawnklinge.com

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20 thoughts on “6 of the Best Ways to Fight Distraction and Listen to God

  1. I can always get better with my quality time with God. I have two 6-year olds and 4-year old so I chuckled when I imagine myself locked in a bathroom for my quality time. (I have hidden out in a closet.) Whatever the case, one on one time with God is absolutely essential to my purpose and my walk in faith, blogging, parenthood, marriage and just survival in general.

  2. Finding a quiet place with God is my favorite. I love meeting Him in my War Room. I go when I’m broken or when I’m in awe either way that quiet place is where I hear Him speak to me. Stopping by from By His Grace Bloggers.

  3. I love to be quiet in the presence of God; at such a moment the Holy Spirit convicts me of my sins. I would hear a voice in mind rebuking me of my shortcomings. Sometimes it would be a step I need to take over a particular situation.
    Thank you for blessing us with this timely message.

  4. I’ve also learned to tell God, “Sorry, I got distracted!” and then pick up where I left off. I’m thankful that He knows my heart and never gives up on me but waits patiently for my return.

  5. I know exactly how you feel about finding a quiet place. Mine is the flower garden,pulling weeds. I call it my sanctuary. I don’t usually have my Bible, but I listen and talk to God.

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