Be Still and Know God: 5 Ways to Hear God’s Voice in the Middle of the Chaos

Iphone Notifications, Distraction


“Turn it off.” “Be quiet.” That’s what God said to me one night. At first, I thought He meant the fan in my room, which added noise to my otherwise silent night. And He did. But I came to discover that it was about so much more than my fan. He wanted me to turn off the sound of the world and quiet my mind, my thoughts, and even my voice. He wanted me to hear the sound of silence.

“Be still, and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10

Silencing our minds in a world that is moving full speed ahead can be challenging. There is always so much to do, it seems. Our to-do lists are nourished by the constant onslaught of information in this digital age. We may be working on one “to-do” only to be distracted by another.

      • Maybe we are interrupted by the text alert about the latest sale at Pottery Barn, so we stop what we are doing to shop.

      • Or we suddenly remember that conversation with a friend about how the world is out of control, so we pop on over to our favorite news site or our Twitter/X feed to get a play-by-play.

    The distractions begin to pile up as we crowd our minds with things that are not needed, leaving no space for the one “to-do” that matters: spending time with our Lord and hearing His voice.

    Distractions are Satan’s playground. He is a thief and a liar and uses distractions to steal our time with God.

    Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

    1 Peter 5:9

    There is no better way to hinder the delivery of the Good News than to distract the receiver with distractions. Distractions can take many forms: phones, TVs, people, and thoughts, to name a few. For each of us, the distraction may look different, but for all of us, the result is the same: when we are distracted, we open the door to Satan and allow him free rein to steal our peace and our God-given purpose. There are five steps you can take to silence the distractions and hear God’s voice in the middle of the chaos.



    We can’t hear God if our noisy lives muffle His voice. Do not let the cares and the distractions of the world crowd God out of your life. Turn the distractions off, take your thoughts captive, and embrace the sound of silence.

    For many of us, embracing silence is hard. Including me. Have you ever been in a room and suddenly everyone stopped talking? What was your first impulse – was it to break the silence? For me, it was, and sometimes it still is. 

    Silence is uncomfortable. Silence leaves us alone with ourselves. But that’s exactly where God wants us so we can hear His voice. He is calling us to cast our cares on Him and to stop worrying. Once we turn off the distractions and quiet the noise in our heads, we will be able to hear His voice more clearly.

    Be still before the Lord, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling.” 

    Zecharian 2:13


    We are busy people. Constantly moving, constantly striving. Our lives are noisy. You might be a mom of little ones, or maybe you work full-time and have a family to take care of in the evening. No matter your situation in life, you can find a place to practice silence and listen for God’s voice. You can – but you may have to fight for it!

    Look at Susanna Wesley, mother of ten children, including John and Charles Wesley, two men whose lives would impact millions. Wherever Susanna was, whatever was going on around her, it didn’t matter. She fought for her space and her time alone with God. Susanna did this by pulling her apron over her head and praying. She knew her time with God was a lifeline for her and her family, so she found a way to quiet the noise around her.

    Find your place: a bathroom, a closet, a chair. Find your time: morning, lunchtime, evening, 3 a.m., it doesn’t matter. Fight for your space and your time alone with God, and embrace the silence no matter what is going on around you.

     God will honor that.

    And after he [Jesus] had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 

    Matthew 14:23


    Once you find your place, then you need to create your space. By this, I mean you must minimize distractions and make space in your mind for the one thing that matters: our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I have no problem finding my place; it is creating the space that challenges me. Digital distraction is a tool in Satan’s arsenal that he uses against me. God’s Word is more available to us than it has ever been to anyone before. We can download an app and access whatever Bible translation we want, every sermon under the sun, and all kinds of teachings and commentaries. Good right? Yes, but…

    I love using these online resources, but then again, they are on my phone/iPad/computer – the same place I work, get my news, talk to friends, shop, pay bills, play games, listen to music, you get the picture…..ALL these things can distract me, and I try to steal away my time with God. Indeed, I can go back to the old-fashioned no-phone method…..but there are other options too.

    I recently discovered with the latest iPhone update, the Focus mode. If set up correctly, this feature will create space to spend time alone with God without all the distractions of the digital world.  You can silence unwanted notifications and hide certain apps during specific times. Here is a good article on how to set up Focus, if you are interested.

    Even with tools to help minimize distractions, we must be intentional about not allowing distractions to creep back into our time with God.

     “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 

    Psalm 62:5


    We must guard our space like our lives depend on it because, in reality, our spiritual lives do.

    Every so often, check yourself. Ask yourself how you spent your time with God. Did you embrace the silence, or did you allow the text message here or the thought over there to creep in and spoil your quiet time? Look at your calendar and your “to-do” lists. Remove those things that you can, and keep only those things that are necessary.

    But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.

    Luke 5:15-16


    Stop talking. Sit still. Practice silence. Seriously. After you get done reading this, grab a notebook, sit down, quiet yourself, and focus on hearing from God. Write down what God speaks to your heart. How long were you able to listen without distraction?  The first time, possibly not long. But try again tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. Practice the sound of silence.

    Speak, for your servant is listening. 1st

    1st Samuel 3:10

    If we want to hear God’s voice, experience His peace, and walk out His purpose for our lives, we have to learn to turn off the sound of the world and quiet our minds, thoughts, and even our voices. We must embrace the sound of silence, be comfortable with it and then listen for God’s voice. He is speaking!




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