October 08, 2010

Listening to God--Janet Sketchley

As I packed for a spiritual retreat last weekend, a thought hit me: you can count on hearing God at a retreat because you’ve reduced the distractions, but it’s also because you’re listening. You’re anticipating. You expect to hear him.

Some people listen regularly. They hear from Him. Not every day, maybe, but a word here and a thought there that add up to a message. Then they obey.

And I have heard from Him at in the busyness of daily life, usually when I was desperate. But then, like on retreat, it was a one-time insight or connection.

This time, I bumped into the word “control” before even zipping my suitcase. Then, surprise: the subject was a significant theme at the retreat. And it’s been following me since I’ve come home.

I’m struck by how long a process this is. Not a one-piece insight or revelation, but a constant alertness to catch and piece together God’s message to me. He’s probably speaking like this all the time and I’m just not tuned in.

I’ve started jotting notes in a little book so I can see the emerging picture. And so I can hold myself accountable to obey what I’ve heard so far. After all, the hearing isn’t much good if it isn’t put into practice through action. God doesn’t seem to spend much time teaching us abstract concepts or theories on which to speculate. What He says, He expects us to do.

Father, teach me to walk... to listen... to always be alert for what You might say... not just in devotional times but each moment... in all circumstances. Help me not to over-spiritualize trivial things, but help me be open to what You actually say, whether through the trivial or the profound. Help me pay attention.

© Janet Sketchley, 2010
For devotionals, reviews and conversation, stop by Janet Sketchley's blog, God with Us: Finding Joy.


  1. Janet, I wait with bated breath... and hope you will continue to give us glimpses of these insights of truth He is giving you.

    I for one would be interested in hearing more of what He's saying to you about 'control'.

    Thanks for sharing...happy day........

  2. Learning to listen... isn't this a task of a lifetime? Seems like it. Thanks for being an encouragement today!

  3. Brenda, next Friday (Oct. 15) on my personal blog (http://janetsketchley.wordpress.com/) I have a post scheduled with more thoughts on control... and with some links to posts on other blogs that are part of my journey. Hope you'll add some of your insights!

    Elsie, learning to listen will indeed be a lifetime task... I'm really still working on remembering to listen. Recently I've been taking notes and that's helped me stay alert.


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