Listening to God, discerning his voice and following where he is directing you ranks among the top struggles for even the most veteran of Christians. Can children learn to hear his voice? Are they able to discern the voice of God and follow as he directs? If you are in doubt, read 1 Samuel 3. But recognizing God’s voice does take time to learn. And guidance and modeling from experienced adults helps, as is seen in Eli’s guidance of Samuel. Take time to share this story with your family or read John 10:1-6 with them about hearing the Shepherd’s voice.
Previously, I shared with you how our Honduras team listened to God and trusted him to lead them in our recent trip to Honduras. And I promised you a challenge that you could take with your family. So, here’s your first adventure!
Allow the creative ones in your family to decorate a jar or a box—your PRAY BIG box or jar. Place it on the dining room table or close by with slips of paper and a pencil next to it. Begin praying as a family. God, what would you have our family do for you? The first time you meet don’t try to answer the question. Allow everyone to ask God that question out loud in prayer.
As things come to mind, each family member can write it on a slip of paper and place it in the box or jar. Be sure to reiterate the question at family meals or times together regularly and record what each person is hearing, without criticism.
After a week or two, take the papers out and read them together. Share what prompted that idea to be written. Through discussion, you will be able to discern which answers are simply selfish wishes and which ones may show God’s leading.
As a family, keep praying to see if there is one particular idea God is asking you to pursue. What will you need to accomplish it? How can you sacrifice to do the work God is calling you to do?
Watch for God bringing consensus and help everyone get involved. Pray and work through these details. As a parent, you will need to help your kids see how God is working at first.
Make sure, though, you listen to your kids and take seriously what God is saying to them as well. As I have led kids through this process, I’ve seen their concept of God change greatly as they realize what it means to partner with the living God to serve someone else.
Of course, when you come to agreement, do what God has called you to do!
Share with us thoughts about this God experience and let us know what God leads you to do.