Johannes Benninghoff, Youth Minister – 21 December 2018
In this final post for Advent we are discussing God’s voice, mentorship, and faith. At our Life Night this past Sunday we discussed how to move through Advent. Advent is a good time to get back to the basics. We focused on the two greatest commandments: loving God with all your mind and heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:36-40). One of the other basics to go back to is focusing on the voice of God. The Annunciation to Mary (Luke 1:26-33) should prompt us to reflect on what it is to hear God.
In Mary’s case she was visited by the Archangel Gabriel, which made it pretty easy for Mary to understand the situation. However, in our case it can be difficult to discern the voice of God since we don’t usually have the privilege of having God’s messengers visiting us and even in Mary’s case she was initially still troubled. Our minds are constantly receiving information and producing thoughts that are often beyond our own doing because the brain is always working. The key is to identify the source, the morality, and the endstate of what we are thinking about when trying to identify God’s presence.
As I stated in the video, God communicates with us through our senses. God can communicate through other people as well. God normally does not shout at us but whispers, which makes Him difficult to hear at times. Knowing how God communicates helps us identify His voice. If what we believe to be God speaking to us violates His teachings it is easy to rule out that it is God that is speaking. God does not contradict Himself. Sometimes even things that appear good can be of our own mind or even Satan’s influence. When this is the case, the outcome must be looked at to identify God’s voice. If the outcome is not a good one or one that is a product of sinful behaviors, then the voice is, again, not God’s. God wants what is best for us, so if the thought produces joy and holy outcomes, then it is of God.
Being able to identify God’s voice is one of the reasons it is beneficial to have a mentor. Having a mentor allows one to walk in the shoes of another and identify the good and bad of a particular area in relation to our desires, gifts, and needs. Mentor’s will help us discern God’s will in our lives and, if we decide to go in our mentor’s footsteps, help us grow.
Finally, all of this requires faith. We have discussed many things in this series and it was a lot of fun to explore the various topics. After all of the discussion and reflection, it is important to go back to faith. Our faith in God and His promises will lead us to hope and joy. Advent is a time to go back to the basics and see what we actually have. God is ready to give us a wonderful gift in His Son, so the question is, are we prepared to receive Him? As Advent comes to a close, let us ask God to help us get ready!