The ocean waves keep flowing in on the beach here at Ko Olina. (Thanks to an anniversary gift Kristi and I are in Hawaii!) I love to watch them roll in, one after the other, and come crashing into shore, splashing and spraying. I love to listen to them all day and night.
Near the surf I was sitting on a rock with Kristi wondering, What are the waves saying? What is God saying?
I turned to Psalm 29 and read it to Kristi. (It’s such a blessing to “Pray a Psalm in its Nature Setting.”) Then we quietly meditated on the Word of God in Scripture and as it was being reenacted in the ocean before us:
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters. The God of glory thunders. The Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful. The voice of the Lord is majestic… The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (verses 3-4, 11).
What Does God’s Voice Sound Like?
What is God saying at the ocean? To discern this the Psalmist shows us that we have to know what God’s voice sounds like. You may not be sure.
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters.” It comes in a flow like the ocean waves, rhythmic and dynamic, moving around you and through you. But it stays in the background of your consciousness unless you slow down and quiet yourself to listen.
“The voice of the Lord is powerful.” The Lord Almighty speaks with thunderous authority, the self-authenticating kind, not the red-faced, imposing kind.
“The voice of the Lord is majestic.” God is glorious and his words elevate our attention to what is good and beautiful.
The Effect of God’s Voice
When God speaks he creates life. His words strengthen us and put us at peace (verse 11). Anyone who sits still by the ocean and breathes with their soul experiences God’s voice encouraging and refreshing them, whether they recognize this as God’s blessing or not. Meditating on the Word of God is like this, explicitly.
But as sailors and surfers know so well, you have to respect the ocean. Carelessly play around and you might get hurt or even killed! As the Biblical record testifies, if we’re disrespecting the God of glory then his words will not bring us peace, not initially. Instead they’ll come with conviction of sin, bringing disruption and distress until we come to our senses to find refuge in Jesus Christ and then we can experience God’s strength and peace.
Hearing God’s Voice at the Ocean
So we were sitting on our Christ rock listening to God’s voice for a long time. Wave after wave came rolling into our souls: “Listen to my words of life… Live in rhythm with Jesus… Find strength in me… Be at peace…”
“The voice of the Lord is over the waters.” It’s over oceans, rivers, and lakes. It’s over your soul. Listen…