Two officers of the River of Doubt expedition (1913) had reputations in the Amazon jungle and along its rivers. They had treaties with the Indians and knew how to navigate the trails along the telegraph lines. Until they ran into a tribe that had never seen a white man.
South America had been home for many large animals, but by 1900 with encroaching civilization the large animals were not as plentiful. Of the mammals that remained, the jaguar was undisputed king.
In the River of Doubt book by Candice Millard, she quotes one of the officers named Cheerie as he spoke of an expedition in Paraguay: “‘Few people have heard a horse scream,’ Cherrie wrote, still bothered by the memory of the sound.”
“When the cat started in the direction of the horses they literally screamed with fear….” (p.179)
I don’t need to hear that sound to be set on edge!
Our visiting dog is voice controllable. Usually. When she hears me call her name she instantly returns. Carole had Kona out when the dog rousted a cat out of the bushes. Then the dog saw the rooster and decided to chase both of them. I heard Carole yelling at the dog. Kona doesn’t obey Carole when a cat or rooster has the dog’s attention.
One of our friends has small terriers bred to hunt. Apparently, when they are on the trail of game their ears shut down. They are not being disobedient, they literally are so focused they cannot hear.
“In the fathomless canyons of tree trunks and the shrouds of black vines that surrounded the men at night, the hum and chatter of thousands of nocturnal creatures would snap into instant silence in response to a strange noise, leaving the men to wait in breathless apprehension of what might come next.” (Millard—page 158)
What kind of noises and sounds are you hearing in your jungle today?
The Hebrew word Naba translated “to prophesy” literally means to “bubble up.” Mark Virkler says when a biblical prophet wanted to sense the prophetic flow—what God wanted to say—the prophet would “tune in” to what was bubbling up within.
Want to hear God’s voice? Want to know His plan? Want to hear His solution or strategy He wants you to present? Then decipher what word or vision is bubbling up in you.
Jesus says, “Rivers of living water will brim and spill out of the depths of anyone who believes in me…” (Message John 7:38). The King James says, “Out of your innermost being shall flow rivers of living water.”
I ate Mexican food for lunch yesterday. I promise you! Not all that bubbles up is God’s voice. Limiting the bubbling to thoughts, visions, words, the source can be self, satan, self-programmed words (self-talk) or the source can be God.
Learning to hear God’s voice begins by becoming aware of what is bubbling up. Paul tells us (2 Corinthians 10) “to take every imagination or thought captive.” That demands we monitor our thoughts.
What thoughts are floating in your head? What is going on in your proverbial gut? There is a lot of noise in your jungle. Can you identify what is jungle noise and what is self-talk and what could be God’s voice?
This is not impossible. Jesus said His sheep know His voice. Your jungle noise and your reaction to the noises/sounds/words can distort the rhema message from Him.
- Quiet. Find a place where the jungle is muted. Sometimes I change locations until I find it.
- Focus. Invite Jesus. Given who and where you are in your experience, how would you imagine Jesus being present with you? Over coffee? At a coffee table? On the other side of an altar? Walking through the woods. Playing tennis?
- Listen. Assume Jesus’ presence with you. What is “bubbling up” inside you as you focus on Him?
- Write. Take notes about the words or describe the vision.
I’m seriously looking at this topic. I think God is saying more than I’m hearing. First, I’m going to monitor the jungle sounds. So far, there is a dog and a pesky, loving cat, news about Iraq and regret that I didn’t make better coffee this morning. I’m listening to it all and shutting down the jungle borders. Want to join me on this quest?
D. Dean Benton
Benton Quest House
Developing the I’m Possible Life