Hearing and Heeding God’s Voice

By Juli Vice
From the August 2022 issue of The Christian Science Journal

Can we actually hear God’s voice? We read in the Bible how God communicated directly to Moses, Abraham, David, and the prophets. Christian healer Mary Baker Eddy said we can hear God, too. She wrote, “Before human knowledge dipped to its depths into a false sense of things,—into belief in material origins which discard the one Mind and true source of being,—it is possible that the impressions from Truth were as distinct as sound, and that they came as sound to the primitive prophets” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 213–214).
The question is, How? We have this promise, from Isaiah 30:21: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” Isaiah was telling those who were feeling afraid that if they turned wholly to God, they would receive the help they needed. This encouragement still rings true today, proclaiming what is possible when we follow the First Commandment to have no other God but the one divine Mind.
We can do this by turning away from the noise of the world and turning to God, our Father-Mother, as the source of all good— directing us at all times. If we look to God as infinite Mind and understand that there is only one God, who is All-in-all, this helps us see that there is only the one Mind and its infinite manifestation, including the true, spiritual identity of each of us.
Also, as we affirm that we are the image and likeness of God, as the Bible says, we can realize our oneness with this infinite Mind and how impossible it is for us to be separate from the Divine. Our oneness with God makes it possible to communicate with Him. And because we reflect infinite Mind—which is all and knows all—we are able to know what God knows and hear God speaking to us. To me, this takes the First Commandment from just a thing we have to do to an acknowledgment that we are only subject to God, Mind.
I had the opportunity to put these ideas into practice and heed God’s voice when I was kayaking off the coast of Maine one summer. I set out on what appeared to be a fairly calm afternoon with the intent of seeing harbor seals a few miles away. I was enjoying the journey and thinking about some spiritual truths I’d been praying with earlier. But as I continued, I noticed that the wind had picked up somewhat. I didn’t think much of it, because, after all, I was in a cove and pretty close to where the seals usually appeared.
That was when I heard a very firm message: “Turn around.” I said a mental “Hmm,” but continued to paddle. I heard it a second time: “Turn around!” That really got my attention. So, I turned the kayak around right away.
As it turned out, I still got to see a seal, which had been watching me from about twenty feet away. I also saw that the clouds were darkening and that the wind was starting to increase more significantly. It was then that I recognized I was being divinely directed out of harm’s way, so I began to paddle back to shore as quickly as I could.

Soon, the wind and waves increased to the point that the kayak was starting to take on water. I was beginning to tire. For a moment, I was tempted to panic, but right then, two strong ideas came” and “God is not in the wind.” To me these ideas meant that God was always guiding me to be safe.
I focused on these ideas as I navigated the waves. They gave me courage and proof that divine Love is my “refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalms 46:1). I also noticed that the seal was still with me, which was precious to me.
My task at that moment was to trust in God’s help and know that divine Love was meeting my need in the midst of the sea, even though the physical surroundings seemed to indicate I was in a dire situation. But was I going to accept that? As I asked myself that question, I was reminded of the first verse of a dear hymn from the Christian Science Hymnal:

In heavenly Love abiding,
No change my heart shall fear; And safe is such confiding,
For nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, My heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me, And can I be dismayed?
(Anna L. Waring, No. 148)

The message from this hymn was strong, and I had no doubt that it was from Love. As I sang those lines out loud, I found that divine wisdom was guiding me to angle the kayak in just a way that would minimize water coming in and allow me to move forward. And it was no surprise to me that I felt a renewed sense of strength and energy.
This reassurance that God was “round about me” brought me such gratitude and joy, and soon after, I made it safely to shore. I was also touched that the harbor seal, which I had come out to see, had kept me company the entire time, and once I was safely in the harbor, it turned around and left.
Within a short time, a storm rolled in with gale-force winds and torrential rain that continued through the night. It was a strong lesson to me about the importance of being obedient to divine direction.

So, how was I able to hear God’s voice? I have found in my daily practice of Christian Science that remaining focused on God helps to keep thought tuned in, so to speak, to the truths that divine Mind is unceasingly communicating to all of us. Whether I’m praying for others, driving in my car, or doing projects around the house, this focus on God makes me more aware of the saving laws of God that are always in effect. It also alerts me to what does not go along with God’s laws, such as discord, illness, limitation, hatred, fear, and so forth, and the unreality of that which opposes good is more readily discerned. Then problems are corrected by yielding to the reality of divine Truth, which is constantly broadcasting the law of harmony, limitlessness, love, perfection, and peace to all mankind.
We need to stay alert, though, in order to hear what Mind is saying to us and in order to determine whether the voice we’re hearing is God’s or not. Mrs. Eddy speaks of the need for this mental alertness in this way: “In a world of sin and sensuality hastening to a greater development of power, it is wise earnestly to consider whether it is the human mind or the divine Mind which is influencing one” (Science and Health, pp. 82–83).

Our ability to receive the messages coming from Mind is innate, because of our oneness with Mind. And, just as I heard a message from God and was protected from a storm in this one instance, we all can always hear and obey God and find refuge. As we get quiet, we’ll hear what God is saying and continue to be protected. We are all able to do this.

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