‘Some time later God tested Abraham.’ Genesis 22.1
Many a sermon has been preached on this story of Abraham and his son, Isaac, with many of them ending by posing the question of whether we would be prepared to give up what is most precious to us. One of the most astonishing things about this account is what it says about Abraham’s ability to hear the voice of God, and distinguish his voice from the many distractions around. It is something that we would all love to be able to do better – but it is something that we can practice on a daily basis.
When you have important decisions to make, you would probably like the voice of God to be loud and booming, or for his directions to be written in large letters in the sky! However, we all need to learn to listen for the gentleness of his voice that is so easy to miss. Many people find it easier to do this with a paper and pen.
Take a moment to focus on the truth of God’s love for you, and find the presence of Jesus with you. Where would you say he is? Can you pinpoint him in the room, or is he somewhere in your mind? Now speak to him, and let him reply. Write down what comes, however random, without thinking too hard about it. So often we have an immediate desire to analyse everything and it’s easy to dismiss God’s voice before really taking it on board.
Now look at what you have written – does it seem like the sort of thing God might say? Is it what you thought he would say? What are you going to do with it and how will it affect your day?
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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