Do you ever feel overwhelmed by all the life decisions we have to make as a teenager? Like who we’re supposed to date, what we’re supposed to major in, where we should go to college, or what career we’re going to have? The decisions we make now, as a teenager, can determine our life’s course for decades to come. That’s a lot of responsibility for someone who not only has to handle their future life, but their overwhelming current life too.
As a Christian, we’ve probably brought several of these issues up to God, or even given Him deadlines for when He should answer us. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this: “God, I need an answer by this date, preferably carved into the sky. With lightning.” Unfortunately, I’ve never gotten an answer through crashing thunder or roaring wind, but now I know why.
1 Kings 19:11-12 says, “And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.”
To hear a whisper, we have to be quieter than the whisper. That’s definitely not rocket science, and I’m betting all of you already knew that, but it’s so much easier to pray to God, to rant, to plead, to beg, rather than listening to Him, which is why sometimes we don’t hear God’s answer. Because we aren’t listening. So how do we listen to God? The simple answer is: be quiet.
We just need to set aside a small amount of time—just five minutes— per day to listen. Please don’t try to do this while multi-tasking, and saying that we don’t have time isn’t an excuse either. Relationships are all about two-way communication, and a relationship with God is no exception. We don’t have time to not listen.
As silly as it sounds, I pretend I’m a receiver in a football game while I’m listening for God. What do receivers do? Well, first of all, their hands have to be empty. If they’re holding something already, they’re not going to catch the ball, which is why I try to just focus on the quiet. I empty my own thoughts, so I can be open to God’s.
Secondly, they’ve got their eye on the ball. They’re looking at it to see where it’s going to go, and their focus doesn’t waver from the ball. Stay focused. Our thoughts are going to clamor for our attention, but they have the rest of the day to be heard. Give these five minutes to God.
Last of all, the receiver is expecting the ball, mentally ready to catch it. This sounds ridiculously simplistic. And that’s because it is, yet it’s just as necessary as the first two steps. We have to believe that we’re going to hear what God wants to tell us. Now, by expectancy, I don’t mean expectations. I learned the difference between the two from the phenomenal book, The Story of With by Allan Arnold. Expectancy is remaining hopeful and faithful, knowing that God’s timing and His plans are perfect and being ready for whatever He brings to us, while expectations set us up for disappointment. Expectations are specific goals based on us and our plans. We can’t expect God to smite us with inspiration every time we’re quiet. If we don’t hear Him, that doesn’t mean we’ve failed or God has bailed out on us, just enjoy whatever time you have with God, even if it’s in silence. If God wants us to hear something, and we’re readily listening, we’ll hear it.
You have huge life decisions coming up and with them, amazing opportunities. Don’t stress about it! If you’ve given everything over to God, then that’s it. He’s got you covered. I know that sometimes it seems God has let you down, but He’s always got a back up plan. If a relationship doesn’t work out or a college doesn’t accept you, just remember: that means God’s got something bigger and better in store.
Elizabeth (Liz) Newsom is a gifted, young author of clean, enticing romance and a blogger at ElizabethNewsom.com, where she writes creative book reviews, polls, writing tips, and pretty much anything else she can come up with that falls under her hobbies. She is a senior in high school of which she does through homeschool, and has already completed one fantasy romance novel. Please feel free to check out her little piece of the internet by clicking the following link: