(Post #4 in a 5-part series collaboration)
By Aaron Pilant (bio below)
When I was preparing to get married twenty years ago, I remember some very important advice that the marriage counselor gave us both. He said that communication is the key to any successful relationship. He went on to say that if we could learn to communicate well with each other, our marriage would be a success. No problem. I like to talk. She likes to talk. Done. Twenty years later, I have learned that communicating is not just talking, but being heard as well. I have also learned that communication is not always verbal. Actually, most communication is non-verbal. The communication you are reading right now…non-verbal.
I am a Christian who committed his life to Christ at the age of thirteen. My “salvation” experience occurred when I was alone in my bedroom late at night. I had been struggling with this decision for some time. I was wrestling back and forth. That night was different though. I remember being in bed trying to sleep, but I was unable to stop thinking about God and my relationship to Him. I was raised in church. My parents dragged me and my siblings to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. I participated in church clubs and activities, but secretly I was battling in my inner heart and mind. I knew how to give my life to Christ by surrendering to Him, but for some reason I resisted. That night in June, I was back wrestling within again. This night was different, though. This night, I felt that I could no longer put this decision off. There was a sense of urgency within me. This is where I first remember hearing from God.
I think it’s important to know, I have never audibly heard God’s voice. I have never seen writing in the sky. What I heard was within. I was given a vision of my reality apart from God. Then I heard within myself, “Why are you waiting, Why are resisting me?” The vision was unpleasant. The question burned within my mind, my heart, my soul. I finally yielded that there was no good reason. I then poured my heart out to God asking Him to forgive me of my sin and stubbornness. I then committed to following Him as my Lord.
So from that day I have worked diligently and sometimes not so diligently to hear God in my life. I will say this-there are times when I can’t hear God. But there are many times where I hear God speaking to me in my heart. Every time I hear from God, it is within. Sometimes it is words. Sometimes it is peace. Sometimes it is just a feeling. I am usually able to determine that it is God when the communication that I am receiving is far from what I would naturally want to do or like to do. They are always in line with His word and often confirmed through scripture being brought to my mind.
I want to conclude by saying God doesn’t always speak to me when I want him to…or speak to me in the way I want Him to. There have been many occasions when I have pleaded God for answers and none came. I have spent hours, days, weeks, and months waiting. I do get frustrated when waiting for these answers. Funny, though, I am soon reminded of Isaiah 40:31 or a verse very similar. I think, though, there are very good reasons for the lack of answers at times. I know that when the answers are not readily available I spend more time talking with Him, calling out to Him, pleading with Him, crying to Him. I wonder if the reason that answers are not always so available is because God wants to spend more time with me. Or probably more accurate, He knows I need more time with Him. I have often been told that life is not about the destination but the journey. I believe that our walk with God is the same. If you can’t or don’t hear Him, He doesn’t want you to give up. He wants you to spend more time with Him until He knows you are ready to hear what He has for you. God speaks to us all. We just need to learn to listen.
Blogger Bio: Aaron Pilant married Erin Pilant nearly 20 years ago. They have a 16-year-old son and a 9-year-old daughter. Their very favorite thing to do as a family is go to Disney World, and they do it often.