A friend bought a used car a few months ago. It was an unusual shade of green, which was one of the reasons she chose it. Soon, she started seeing cars of this color on the highways and in parking lots everywhere. She assumed the color had suddenly become trendy.
Psychologists chalk this phenomenon up to frequency illusion. Frequency illusion occurs when something that has recently come to our attention suddenly seems to appear with improbable frequency shortly afterwards. Selective attention and confirmation bias can influence such observations.
After I shared a meme with scripture on Facebook, a family member commented that “this is the third time God has placed this verse in front of me this week. It must be something He wants me to hear.”
As this happened shortly after I’d learned of the frequency illusion concept, I had to wonder: Could this be a case of frequency illusion? But after recalling numerous ways God has spoken to me, I quickly debunked that idea.
TUNING IN TO GOD’S FREQUENCY
God uses various methods to speak to us when we’re on His wavelength. Here are five frequencies for hearing from God.
- We Hear from God Through Prayer
Brother Lawrence, a 17th century monk, penned a wonderful little book titled The Practice of the Presence of God. The book points out that one of the primary benefits of spending time in God’s presence is that He listens and generously communicates with us.
2. We Hear from God Through His Word.
The Bible is a guide to a fruit-bearing life of abundance. The Bible teaches us, guides us, and disciplines us. Its stories assure us of God’s love and strengthens our faith in Him.
3.We Hear from God Through a Sermon or Devotion.
I took a short-term job recently that kept me super busy and left me drained. I fell out of the habit of practicing the presence of God. That is, until God intervened.
First, I read a devotion by Missy Butler. Read it here: cbn.com. Her beautiful story illustrated how she let Jesus bring peace to her heart triggered a memory for me of visiting a small country church with a girlfriend when we were in high school. The preacher painted a picture with his words:
“When your burdens are heavy, imagine Jesus sitting big on His throne—welcoming you as your crawl upon His lap. He encloses you in His arms, loving you just as you are, assuring you that His grace is sufficient for you as He whispers, ‘Rest my child, rest.’”
It was an inviting visual and one I used through the years. I’ve gained sleep in my Father’s arms a few times by imaging this scene. But I’d all but forgotten it as the years rolled on.
A couple of days later, an author friend, Luann K. Edwards, wrote a related blog. Read it here: “Words of Encouragement” in which she compared children finding solace in their parents’ arms with how Jesus calls us to Him for comfort during our tough times.
I got excited when J.D. Wininger, another writer friend, shared a poem that he wrote in June 1978 for his adopted father. His wonderful words enhanced the scene of God as our heavenly Father. I include it here with J.D.’s permission. Enjoy!
“My Father’s Arms”
by J.D. Wininger
When I’m tired, sad, or lonely,
When few others seem to care,
There’s a place I go to get away,
For there are no troubles there.
I can laugh or cry, or fall asleep,
Or all my problems bare.
It’s the one place where I can just be me,
For there are no troubles there.
I love that place, its peaceful warmth,
A place with many charms.
My favorite place… in all the world,
Is in my Father’s arms. (Thanks, JD!)
God used multiple sources to remind me how simple it is to find comfort in His arms. And peace. And love.
4. We Hear from God Through Other Believers.
God equips others to speak to us. I was once greatly conflicted about a job in ministry I thought God might be calling me to. But it meant leaving people I loved and who loved me, people who had invested a lot in me. How could I leave? I couldn’t find the courage to leave one for the other.
I continued to pray while I waffled. Finally, a staff member at school, who knew nothing about my internal conflict, popped into my office and suggested I consider applying for the position open at our church.
Decision made. God used her words to confirm that the call was from Him.
5. We Hear from God Through Nature and Art.
I’ve experienced God through the beauty He’s creates in the world. I also believe He uses books and poems and music to spark joy in our soul and draw us back to Him.
I don’t believe such events have anything to do with frequency illusion, but rather to God’s frequency. When we pray and tune it to God’s frequency, He guides us through the Holy Spirit. God is, after all, the One ultimately in control of everything.
…if you seek it like silver and search for it like hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. (Proverbs 2:4-6 NIV)God uses various methods to speak to us when we’re on His wavelength. Here are five frequencies for hearing from God. Click To Tweet